The small city of Rockhampton looked much better in daylight. It is a river city that experience record flooding over the past month and it was very evident. The beautiful waterfront was now a sea of mud. City workers were everywhere shovelling mud and debris from the flower beds and lawn. You could see the river was once the pride of the city but now the paved paths and walkways were now buried. We left Rock Hampton at noon and didn't expect to see much. The drive was actually quite scenic. Our days are never uneventful and this would be no exception. I think I have had three flat tires in my lifetime and two have occured in Australia. Not too sure if it is the bad roads or luck of the draw. We arrived in Airlie Beach around 6:30 pm and once again, the accommodations were disappointing. We have learned not to put too much credence in the reviews from the booking sites or company websites but we have found Tripadvisor to be pretty accurate. The next morning I went downstairs to speak with the manager Peter and explained we were a little disappointed in the room. Without hesitation, he offered us a poolside 1 bedroom suite at no extra charge, Just another example of a person who is genuinely concerned about customer service. Tomorrow we are off on a snorkel/island pontoon cruise which is supposed to be quite a thrilling experience. There are a total of 75 island within very close proximatey and most are uninhabited. Unfortunately, we only get to see a few. This area calls itself the gateway to the reef and we have had some pretty good reports. It will be interesting to compare the reef at Cairns and here.
We had a wonderful and busy day again today, touring the local village of Airlie & Whitsunday. There is a fabulous walking trail along the coast taking you to the various harbours and yacht clubs. We stopped for lunch at one of the yacht clubs and met a couple from Mackay, a fairly large city we passed on the way here. He is an Ozzie who married an American girl from Washington State many years ago. She has lived in Australia for 43 years and absolutely loves it! Hates the cold weather and snow and we can totally sympathize with that point of view.