Always when travelling in northern Australias tropical areas always carry and use a strong reliable mosquito repellant. The recent heavy rains along with the storms and cyclones in the north have increased the mosquito problems .
The number of mosquito borne infections is on the increase now and Ross River fever Dengue fever are prevelant...A newcomer to Australia is particularly dangerous and that is Encephylitis..an extremely dangerous mosquito borne infection..
Make sure that in the evenings to wear light loose light fitting clothes with long sleeves and long trousers..Cover all exposed skin with a good reliable mosquito repellant ..Don't forget your ears..!! This is most important as these mosquitos now can be extremely dangerous and if showing signs of infection seek medical help..
I had booked our airfares on-line through expedia flying with Virgin Blue. This was the first time EVER I had booked flights on-line and it all seemed to go very smoothly until .... we got to the check-in counter at Sydney Airport!!!!
When doin my on-line booking not once did I ever see an option to 'PURCHASE OUR BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE". The check-in lady looked long and hard over my paperwork and then said "It appears you have NOT purchased any baggage allowance". I was rather stunned, as I had never had to purchase baggage allowance before. She said that with most on-line airfare bookings there will be an option for you to purchase it, I told her I NEVER saw such an option on the Expedia site.
Anyway, she said Virgin Blue baggage allowance was $10 for every 23kg of luggage. I asked if we could then take our 2 small suitcases on as carry-on luggage, but she said no as they were too heavy. Luckily, our 2 suitcases combined came to 23.1kg and she let us off with only paying $10.
So ... just note that if you are booking airfares on-line (on any website) and specificallly if you are booking Virgin Blue airfares that you look further into PURCHASING YOUR BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE!!!
During the summer months in the Whitsundays when the ocean is warm you can experience an increase of these jellyfish in the ocean. They are small and transparent and if you are bitten you are likely to experience stinging, severe pain, muscle constriction and possible breathing difficulties. For this reason, it is often recommended that you limit your swimming to the many pools on the island. We only went swimming in the ocean once and did not see any jellyfish.
If you arrive anywhere on the Whitsundays and there has been a cyclone warning .... TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!!! If you see businessess taping up their windows and glass doors, then prepare for lockdown!!! Most of the buildings on Hamilton Island are definitely cyclone proof, but it still could be a dangerous place to be, if you chose to venture out of your room!
Wet season in the Whitsundays is (I think) from about January to April and at the very least, if you visit during this period, you can expect storms and rain. I can now say Ive survived a tropical cyclone!!!
Stay away from the Raggamuffin if it's being propelled by tourists like us haha.
The Raggamuffin is an ex racing yaucht, retired on the Whitsundays, dragging amatures around like us.
I recommend this day trip to everyone. We had a ball!!
Whilst walking on the bush trails you will see some of the native animals resident on the island. Nothing much to worry about as long as you keep your distance and do not disturb them. Where most people get into trouble is attempting to feed the native animals, leave them alone as they can easily look after themselves.
When you sight animals I recommend you remain very quiet and just observe them, this will allow you to watch them for much longer and also get some good photos. Whilst on One Tree Hill we saw a large goanna in the scrub and got some good photos , however as soon as we tried to get closer it moved off. These animals can bite if you get close and will climb up your body and chew your ears. This actually happened to my mother when she was a child, not a nice experience.
I was there in January fpr 5 night and for 90% of the time it rained! It rained on and off for four days - for one day it rained torrentially to the point where we couldn't leave the hotel to go outside. We were actually told that they had hot, sunny weather for 2 months before we had arrived!
Apparently that time of the year is its 'wet' season (which I was told AFTER I had booked). So when booking for a holiday to the island during the summer months, keep in mind that its in the 'tropical north' of queensland and your going to get the unpredicatable weather that comes with it so you might be luck, or you might not be.
Nevertheless, I still had a great time - while it was raining on and off, the air and the water were still really warm there so people were out swimming and there was still plenty of stuff to do.
Yes, a further warning.
We had to leave a signed credit card voucher, with no amount filled in, which we understood to be an insurance bond which would be for $500 if the buggy was returned late or damaged.
While we were still in hospital, $1000 was deducted by the hire company from the credit card.
We followed this up with our solicitor who said:
1. We had agreed to pay the cost of damage to the buggy when we signed the agreement. ie buyer beware or as the Latin has it: caveat emptor
2. The buggies are not insured against damage, so any damage will have to be paid in full.
The one bit of good news is that at last we are making progress in our rehabilitation, 4 months after the event.
Golf buggies are the main form of transport on the island, and are great managing the hills and distances but they have their dangers. They are unstable, there are many accidents including our recent serious one, where we ended up going over a 30m. cliff, with both my partner and I suffering fractures, cuts, head injuries and bruising, requiring helicopter evacuation and hospitalisation, no way to end a holiday!
You should also be aware that Queensland Third Party Insurance applies to these buggies, which gives passengers or other people injured by them, the opportunity to have medical and related costs, as well as pain and suffering, compensated. Drivers are not covered by this insurance.
The Sulfur-Crested Cockatoos that live on the island are pretty smart birds, they have worked out that the abundance of people means an abundance of food and have developed some ingenious ways of getting it! All of the accommodation has little stickers on the balcony doors warning you to close the screen and glass doors when you leave the room since these birds will actually scratch through the screen doors to get into your room! Once inside its a free-for-all with the minibar.
Sounds far-fetched? No, we actually saw it happen - in the afternoon while having a nap I heard great commotion out on our balcony, a ganag of about 15 cockies had landed on the balcony and made it through the screen, they they proceeded to fly out of the room with a can of pringles and eat then (very humanlike up in the tree outside the room!!).
At breakfast one morning a daring cockatoo flew into the restaurant and grabbed a slice of toash from the buffet table! The restaurant actually supply perspex covers for outdoor diners to protect their food if they leave the table!!
So these guys are very cute, but a real menace too!