When we arrived in Brisbane on the night of the 19th, it was raining lightly. The next day it continued to rain while we stayed inside figuring out our onward travel plans. We had bought rail passes to get us north to Airlie Beach where we had reserved a cabin on a three day sailing trip. Unfortunately, Cyclone Marcia was looming with potential flooding and wind damage so the train north on the 20th was cancelled. We rescheduled for the next day’s train, but a few hours after making our reservation, that train was cancelled as well. At this point we were getting nervous because the rail passes we had bought now couldn’t get us to Airlie Beach in time. We couldn’t reschedule the sailboat trip, so we looked into flights north. Thankfully, the flights to Airlie Beach were still scheduled so we booked a flight and were able to get a refund on our unused Queensland Rail passes. We spent the rest of that day in Brisbane watching the TV coverage about the cyclone and updating our blog and photos.
Our flight out of Brisbane on the 21st wasn’t until the afternoon, but we headed to the airport around 10 AM just in case the weather caused any problems. It rained steadily in Brisbane all day as the now weaker storm Marcia passed over the city. The storm had caused problems up the coast, but thankfully it came ashore well south of Airlie Beach so it won’t impact our sailing trip. It was also much weaker when it reached Brisbane so our flight left on schedule.
Flying north, the clouds eventually cleared and we could see the coastline below. I could see a few dots of coral reefs offshore and could see lots of sandy beaches on green forested islands. We landed at Proserpine airport near Airlie Beach and passed through sugar cane fields on the bus into town. Airlie Beach was having a Chinese New Year celebration that evening so we went to the beach and waited with all the other tourists and locals for the small fireworks show to begin.
We had nothing planned for the 22nd, so we lazed around in our air conditioned hostel a lot. Airlie Beach is very hot and humid and I’m really hoping I don’t regret booking a sailboat that doesn’t have air conditioning.