SHELLY BEACH SNIPPETS No. 68. June, 2016.
Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley
Greetings from beautiful Airlie Beach in Queensland, gateway to the Whitsunday, icons to the Great Barrier Reef, Heart Reef, Daydream Island and Whitehaven Beach. Airlie is the hub of the Whitsunday region, being the largest town on the Whitsunday coast, almost entirely focused on tourism. Travellers are offered a great variety of accommodation from backpacker hotels and resorts and everything in between. Airlie Beach is the place to base yourself for freedom and flexibility in your choice of activities and tours, sailing, snorkelling, bushwalking, relaxing and of course wining and dining plus the famous night life of Airlie Beach.
For those cruising at this time of year Tahiti is at the top of the list, just the name conjures up the world’s definition of paradise. Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, the South Pacific Archipelago shaped like a figure – 8 it is divided into Tahiti Nui the large Western Section and Tahiti Lti the Eastern Peninsula. With black-sand beaches, lagoons, waterfalls and two extinct volcanos, the mountainous interior is adorned with deep valleys, clear streams, all bathed in green iridescence of light. The coastal lands edged with a rugged coastline are home to fields of tropical flowers and most of the island’s population.
Papeete, meaning “water basket” was once a place where Tahitians came to fill their calabashes with fresh waters. Now the capital city and portal of the country boasts world-class resorts, spas, fine dining and unique restaurants, nightclubs vibrant markets, Pearl shops and boutiques. Overwater Bungalows, Floating Villas with floors that supply a window to the Lagoon life below. There a hundred and one things to do in Tahiti and here are just a few.
Visit the Black Pearl Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to pearls.
Paul Gauguin Museum, the famous French artist who spent his final years in Polynesia capturing and painting the essence of the country.
Discover the stars of the Southern Hemisphere. The Astronomers’ Society of Tahiti invites the public to their observatory to watch the Astral performances of the moon, stars, planets, galaxies and meteor showers through powerful telescopes.
Arts and Crafts Villages which are filled with jewellery, woven goods, carved items, from primitive to contemporary.
Explore the three waterfalls of Fa’Arumai – this is a “must” stop for most visitors to Tahiti.
Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Lagoon.
Nightclubbing at Le Grenier de Montmartre a true Parisian hot spot.
There are Dolphins, Whale watching, and Giant Eels with Blue Eyes.
Buy some Polynesian fabrics with their beautiful designs.
Surfing, skiing, snorkelling, sailing, swimming or just lazing around.
The Islands of Tahiti are embraced by Mana. Tahitians refer to this Mana as a life force and spirit that surrounds and connects all living things.
Bora Bora is French Polynesian’s leading lady, a glamorous tropical island with tall palm trees and fields of tropical flowers and fruits, sunshine and cocktails, paradise on earth and just the place for a perfect honeymoon.
Huahine is recognised as the Garden of Eden.
Moorea the mythical Bali Hai from South Pacific.
Raiatea is the birthplace of Polynesia.
Taha’a a true Botanical beauty.
Tetiaroa best known as Marlon Brando’s private island and a retreat fit for royalty.
These Islands are the jewels of the South Seas. All visitors are welcomed by flowers, Frangipani yellow white or pink, Hibiscus of all colours, the dramatic Heliconia, flowing Orchids, Ginger, Jasmine, and Tiare Apetahi which is only found on the island of Raiatea and forbidden to be picked.
The Tiare flower is the national symbol of Tahiti, worn by men and women, on your left ear if you are taken and right ear to show you are available. It is known as the Tahitian Gardenia .
If you visit in July as we did you will see the best Chant and Dance groups compete on the famous Toata stage and showcase the most festive and rooted Polynesian traditions, with fantastic colourful grass skirts and piled high head dress. This will be a holiday to remember.
Shelly Beach has had some very dramatic weather and more is expected as we batten down the hatches for storms and heavy rain. However the beach is still open and surfers are doing their thing. Princess Pixie the Pomeranian is still hunting for the garden lizard and the birds are flying in for their regular feed. My Yellow Wattle bird is still being daily hand fed and we have had some delightful black backed Magpies, the carolling song of these birds is a delight to hear.
My books “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I love,” are available on Amazon, Xlibris, and my website www.patriciasartworld.com
Enjoy. Cheers. Patricia.