I had the most interesting shower today. As I was bending to rinse off the salty water (late swim at the beach) in a shower made for Lilliputians, two spiders were fighting over the same ant right above my head. Eventually, a huge butterfly flew in and distracted them long enough for the ant to escape. I then brushed my teeth at the sink, bending over to make sure I wasn’t stepping on the palm-sized non-identified black bug at my feet.

Ah, the joy of tropical Queensland…!

We are now in Airlie Beach, a four-hour bus trip South of Townsville. The town is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, 74 white-sand beaches and paradisiac islands.

The town itself has nothing special. It’s just a main street with a bunch of hostels, restaurants and tour operators. In a way, it reminds me of Ushuaia (a gateway to Antarctica) or Cuzco (a gateway to Machu Picchu)—a tourist spot but the area is a must see. The hostel is surprisingly cheap but we figure it makes more money selling beer to backpackers than it does renting rooms.

On The Road To Airlie Beach
Airlie Beach, the Main Street
Airlie Beach
Unidentified Huge Insect
Living in Paradise

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  1. Linguist-in-Waiting December 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Is that really Australia? With all the palm trees, that looks more like somewhere in Southeast Asia! And by the way, you encountered a Xylotrupes ulysses, also known as the rhinoceros beetle, which is a large beetle native to Australia. It’s related to the scarab beetles that the ancient Egyptians worshiped.

  2. kyh December 23, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Don’t you just love the tropics? Although the heat can get very unbearable most of the time! 😀

  3. Em December 26, 2010 at 11:29 am

    This last pic is absolutely amazing, Zhu!

  4. Em December 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

    I went to the wrong post! I meant the one on the Whitsundays post 🙂 The contrast of the colours is just… just…

  5. Gail at Large December 29, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    That black insect is the Goliath Beetle, a native of Africa:

    I first encountered one in north Queensland and discovered firsthand that they HISS! I ran away so fast it took a few minutes to come back for a second look!

  6. Zhu December 30, 2010 at 5:16 am

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – Ah, that must be it! Thank you for the explanation. I never know insects/flowers’ proper names in either language.

    @kyh – I don’t mind the heat most of the time but yes, it’s brutal at first!

    @Em – Thank you! The Whitsundays are an amazing place, can’t get any picture wrong there!

    @Gail at Large – Thank you for the explanation! I ran first but then came back for a pic (with the zoom lens… of course :lol:)


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