Airlie Beach Bum exposes the backside of Airlie Beach. Think of it as a helpful alternative to the many tourist web sites that praise Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays as paradise on earth. It truly was once the paradise they still proclaim.
I was stuck at home at Airlie Beach in February 2008 because of the rainy season. The horizon was a grey blur, you couldn't tell where sky and sea met, and you certainly couldn't see the offshore island resorts. Too wet to take a walk through town. Too wet to take a boat trip. You can't even go crane spotting at the construction sites. Too many mosquitos to even open the doors. So I had time to cause trouble.
I started taking notes of nasty things the real estate agents and travel agents don't tell you about Airlie Beach when they praise it. As usual these days, I drafted my notes as text, marked up with simple html tags, suitable for web pages.
In mid May a reporter from the Sunday Mail, Jessica Lawrence, interviewed me for an article on Airlie Beach - Luxury haven or paradise lost?. I decided that I really did need to get to work turning my own rough notes into an actual web site.
Prior to moving to Airlie Beach in 1997, I tried checking on the place on the web. There was not much detail available. I wrote a detailed web site about Airlie Beach. This remained reasonably well positioned in search engines for a considerable time, thanks to mostly accurate content for its time. Eventually I fell behind in updating my Airlie Beach and Whitsundays site. By this time innumerable Whitsunday tourism web sites about Airlie Beach were emerging. My material seemed less timely or of use amid all the advertising about what a wonderful place Airlie Beach was for backpackers to spend their money. It is still a pretty good place for backpackers.
Airlie Beach holiday websites all concentrate on how Queensland is beautiful one day, perfect the next. They fail to mention the intolerable rainy season in tropical north Queensland, when any sensible person leaves town, and the decent restaurants close for February. They don't mention the stinger season, even longer than the tropical wet season. Nor do they mention the ridiculous looking protective stinger suits people wear. They don't mention sharks at the Great Barrier Reef, snakes at the resorts, crocodiles in the rivers or other troublesome creatures lurking in the area. They don't mention floods inundating the only roads reaching Airlie Beach and isolating the area, cyclones in the tropics, boats sinking on the shore, planes crashing on the beach, trains being stranded by floods, airports being closed by floods, and all the rest are here on Gilligan's Isle.
Where the Rainforest meets the Sea, until the developers arrived, and the golden sand comes in dump trucks.