August 23, 2017

All Systems W O A H… Big Fun on Big Fury!

All Systems WOAH... Big Fun on Big Fury! Anna Johnston -

Three days, two of my favourites folk visiting us from chilly Canberra and one great big desire to show off my little piece of paradise here in the Whitsundays meant just one thing. It was all systems WOAH with a trip out and around the islands at breakneck speeds on Big Fury, a 900hp jet boat sounded just the way to tick a whole lot of fun off the bucket list and drink in the glorious mid-winter ocean air in the Whitsundays.

All Systems WOAH... Big Fun on Big Fury! Anna Johnston -

Travelling means doing whatever floats your boat! 🌏 ⛵️ ✈️

A day out on Big Fury isn’t just for the speed hogs amongst us who love a bit of wind and salty ocean spray to blow away the cobwebs, there’s plenty of sight seeing to be had as you zip past awesome scenery including coral bays, secluded coves, Daydream, South Molle and Hamilton Island on the hour long trip.

Our morning was made all the more magical with a sighting of a whale and her calf lunging carelessly through the waters. One minute we were powering along and the next ‘Wazza’, our Captain killed the motors and for 10 minutes we all sat in awe as the whales lunged and swam carelessly nearby.

All Systems WOAH... Big Fun on Big Fury! Anna Johnston -

We’re having a whale of a time in the Whitsundays! 🐳 🐳 🐳

I absolutely recommend you have a chat with the deckies / eco hosts like Cam on Big Fury who supplied the photo of the whales for this post, as these guys live and breath boats, fish, the water and know the Whitsunday Islands like the back of their hands; we were kept thoroughly entertained and even learned a few things from all his local knowledge.

Our first stop was at a secluded bay where we could do some snorkeling amongst the underwater world of tropical fish and sadly ‘not so colourful’ corals thanks to ol mate Cyclone Debbie, but there were plenty of fish to see. I am told it is not uncommon to spot giant turtles that call this part of the world home, too. Being the adrenaline junkies we are (Ha!), we chose to skip the wetsuit and brave the ‘cool’ 25-Celsius water and duel with Mother Nature, risking a sting from a poisonous ocean dwelling creature.  Although it is rare to find stingers in the wintertime up this way, we jumped off the side of the boat and into the perfectly, perfect crystal clear aqua waters without a care in the world.

All Systems WOAH... Big Fun on Big Fury! Anna Johnston -

We must take adventures to find where we truly belong 💙

So you know how I mentioned it is really rare to be stung? Welllllll, just like every mozzie and midget that lurks in the tropics and seems to enjoy dining out on my skin, I came out of the sea with the tell tale 20 or so stinging stings that needed an instant dose of vinegar to calm down the red welts. Good news tho friends… I didn’t die, but the cranky marks itched, ached and took a week to disappear; so maybe wear a stinger suit.

Next we were dashing across to Whitehaven beach and awkwardly climbing down into Big Fury’s tiny little tender that delivers you from boat to shore and back. By the end of the day we’d all completely mastered the art of stepping down and up from that little boat (special thanks to the crew for their patience directing us where to put our feet), but few of us managed how to do it gracefully.

Lunch at Whitehaven Beach was A-MAZING and for everyone who loves dining alfresco in nature, this place takes your breath away and for me, offered a pinch me moment. There was loads of food, enough for most to go back for seconds and thirds #oink Pasta, creamy potato salad, indian rice salad, garden veggie salad, a cold meat platter, prawns, tropical fruits, fresh bread rolls and sauces. The seagulls are many and not afraid to steal your food if you’re not careful, but the friendly massive Lace Monitor Lizard that lurked around delighting everyone was a little creepy, especially when it came under our picnic table. Much squealing to be heard and rapid picking up of feet to be had, as it made it’s way around the tables.

All Systems WOAH... Big Fun on Big Fury! Anna Johnston -

‘Give yourself time to rest, time to dream, and time to enjoy the simple things’. 💫

Lunch with Lizards 🐉🐉🐉

After lunch settled and we had the perfect amount of time to explore Whitehaven Beach, it was time to board Big Fury for a quick blast to our last stop of the day, Hill Inlet.  At the time, being told all we had to do was get ourselves to the top of a mountain to see the view wasn’t exactly what we wanted, as we four were zoned out from the healthy dose of salt air, sunshine and full tummies; but climbing the short 15-minute track up the mountain was more than truly rewarded by the stunning views all around us and possibly the highlight of the day.

Collect moments, not things 🌍💙✈️

All Systems WOAH... Big Fun on Big Fury! Anna Johnston -

As the tide shifts at the hill-inlet at Whitehaven Beach each day, the water and sand combine leaving a beautiful and one-of-a-kind mosaic of colour!

All Systems WOAH... Big Fun on Big Fury! Anna Johnston -

Wonder less, wander more 🌏

Climbing back onboard Big Fury for the final time, we were served a feast of cakes and cookies to enjoy for that last thrilling ride back to the marina in Airlie Beach.

All Systems WOAH... Big Fun on Big Fury! Anna Johnston -

Steering towards the weekend! 🌊 ⚓️

All Systems WOAH... Big Fun on Big Fury! Anna Johnston -

Happiness is a way of travel – not a destination 😍

shenANNAgans was a guest of Big Fury but all opinions remain her own. 

Big Fury

Price: $150.00 per person
 From/to Airlie Beach accommodation. Departs from Abell Point Marina.
Phone: 0418 782 266


shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Anne Slater-Brooks - October 1, 2017 Reply

I love these types of boats and to do one in the Whitsundays would be awesome. it is a shame about the coral damage as I dived out that way and the diving was truly stunning. I loved the coral shapes

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    Yes, these types of rafts are so much fun and go so fast too. Cyclone Debbie was a big one, just 10klms short of a Category 5 Cyclone so it did do damage to both the land, sea and coral, it’ll take a long time for the coral to regenerate if ever, but, for all that diving in the Whitsundays is still amazing and not to be missed.

Marion Halliday - September 23, 2017 Reply

I thought I’d got over seeing photos of the oh-so-too-perfect Whitehaven Beach. Turns out I was wrong 😀 This sounds like a seriously awesome big day out – and I’m not just talking about lunch! But even without your recommendation I’d take the tour just so I could say I’d ridden Big Fury!!

Natasha Haley - September 17, 2017 Reply

Big Fury looks like a great boat to be on for a day! I love being on the open sea and I would be mesmerised by the whales if I saw them too. Sorry to hear you got stung, I am glad it went away but a week is a long time with a nagging pain!

    Anna - September 18, 2017 Reply

    Teehee… I went out again a couple of times after this tour and managed to be stung again, haha, so it seems I am a stinger magnet! 🙂 But… it all just adds to the experience, so no real complaints from me.

Sue Slaght - September 6, 2017 Reply

What an amazing day Anna! The whale and her baby would have me squealing with glee. Loved the crystal clear blue water and so much delicious food. I have to say that lizard on steroids is something else. Glad it is friendly but wowza!

    Anna - September 11, 2017 Reply

    It was AWESOME to see the whales, like really, really, really AWESOME!!! A day I wont be forgetting any time soon. 🙂

Liz (Good Things) - September 1, 2017 Reply

Wow, living the dream gal! xx

    Anna - September 1, 2017 Reply

    Yahhhh…. life is certainly filled with a whole lot of sunshine, warmth, love, fun and good times. 🙂

mjskitchen - August 31, 2017 Reply

Oh what fun!!!! A beautiful place and so many interesting things to see and do. That lizard is wicked looking. The blue color of the water is amazing, and how can one not enjoy hanging out with whales. Sorry you had to deal with the stringers for a week afterwards, but it appears to have been worth it. Thanks for sharing your trip!

    Anna - August 31, 2017 Reply

    SUCH FUN MJ! 🙂 And yes, the colour of the water is absolutely gorgeous. I sure am lucky that I get to call the Whitsundays home, I just don’t get tired of it either. The stingers only added to my day, bit painful, but the scars give me an excuse to rave about my wicked amazing adventures. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Heather - August 30, 2017 Reply

What a fantastic excursion! Being greeted by whales certainly isn’t a bad way to start the day 😉 The clear water conditions looks like the perfect place to enjoy a snorkel, noted to wear the stinger suit! I’m loving the view of the hill inlet, definitely worth the trek. Big Fury seems like the perfect day activity when with friends and family!

    Anna - August 31, 2017 Reply

    Yep, everything about the day was perfect. I love, love, loved seeing the whales too. Never seen anything so magical. If you are up this way, I do recommend taking a tour out to the islands and Whitehaven, plenty of ticks off the bucket list to be had.

sara | belly rumbles - August 30, 2017 Reply

That is really cool that the Big Fury takes you past some the major islands of the area. The snorkelling would have been amazing and lunch looks spot on. What a great day out on the water.

    Anna - August 31, 2017 Reply

    It was wonderful to whizz past the islands, especially Daydream which is where I used to live and work. 🙂 I sure am lucky that I get to play in such a magical backyard. And all the YES to that lunch on the beach. Such FUN!

Jessica M - August 30, 2017 Reply

sounds like paradise… except for the stingers! I looks like you came prepared though and that all the itching and pain did not stop you from a good time. That’s the attitude!

    Anna - August 31, 2017 Reply

    It is paradise. Haha. 🙂 And the stingers, they added to my day, Im now sporting scars that I can tell everyone about ‘that time……’

Tim UrbanDuniya - August 30, 2017 Reply

Feeling just a little bit jelly down here in cold, grey Melbourne!

And “Travelling means doing whatever floats your boat!”? You went there :p

Looks like an awesome day, my friend;… will hopefully be getting to Queensland soon!

    Anna - August 30, 2017 Reply

    Yes, I hear its been particularly miserable down south this winter. I gotta be honest, I dont miss it. 🙂
    It really was a pretty spectacular day!
    And WHEN, WHEN, WHEN are you coming to Queensland? I wanna see your face.

Elaine J Masters - August 29, 2017 Reply

Sounds and looks like a stellar day and so relaxing! I’d love to go Whoa too.

    Anna - August 29, 2017 Reply

    Well Elaine, I can absolutely recommend you stopping in at the Whitsundays and getting in on the action, pretty much every day includes a WOAH for me. 🙂

Kerri - August 29, 2017 Reply

Aah the beautiful Whitsundays….beautiful one day, perfect the next. This was my backyard as a kid. It took me all my childhood to realise how lucky I was growing up with regular trips out on the water here and lounging about on South Molle, Daydream, Lindeman, Hayman and Hamilton, all before they became “big names”. I just thought they were cool beaches. It’s so wonderful to see the tourism industry rebounding up there now in the wake of Cyclone Debbie and what better way for you to be involved than getting out on this amazing boat. Talking to the deckies is what I love, they always have such great stories. Anytime you can just hangout and watch the whales or dolphins out there is also awesome. Beautiful waters, yes, but as a “local” the stingers are always in my mind and I’ll admit to them still freaking me out a bit. Looks like you had a terrific time Anna.

    Anna - August 29, 2017 Reply

    Holy cow Kerri, that is AMAZING. How cool you grew up in this stunning, magnificent and absolutely incredible part of the world. Even cooler that a day at the beach was on Daydream, South Molle or Hayman… WOAH! 🙂

    It has been pretty special to see my community unite and rebuild and continue to show off the area, even though it was devastated by the cyclone. Makes me proud to call this place home. #handoverheart

    I went swimming yesterday in a stinger suit and a wetsuit for double protection, survived that, but am today sporting a giant welt on my arm from a bite on a bush walk at the inlet. :/

    If you are in this neck of the woods anytime soon Kerri, hola, Id love to catch up for a brew.

Paige W - August 29, 2017 Reply

That definitely looks like one heck of a day! What kind of whale did you get to see, do you know? I love whale watching. What an awesome bonus! It looks like you guys had a great lunch as well! I love when tours include absolutely everything! I’ll definitely keep Big Fury in mind!

    Anna - August 29, 2017 Reply

    It was incredible Paige. 🙂 I believe they were humpback whales, and I think I could be really into whale watching myself.
    Lunch was delicious, great day indeed.

Karla - August 28, 2017 Reply

This seems like a really nice place to visit. I am prone to bites too and it really stings apart from that— I guess I just take extra precaution.

    Anna - August 29, 2017 Reply

    Argh… I feel for you with the bites. Def wear the stinger suit if you are swimming in north Queensland, cause boy it hurt!

Megan Jerrard - August 28, 2017 Reply

Big Fury sounds like an awesome day out – the Whitsundays are my favorite part of Australia, so psyched for you that you call it home now! Yikes though sorry to hear you got done by stingers! Always the way though right, when they’re never supposed to be there you get stung!

The monitor lizards at Whitehaven beach look crazy! I don’t think I’ve seen one that big before – how cool! It looks like you had such a fab time with your folks – I bet they’re glad you moved to the WhitSundays as opposed to somewhere cold lol 😀

    Anna - August 29, 2017 Reply

    Yep, my little piece of paradise is def my favourite part of Australia too, Meg, so when ya visiting huh? Beers on a boat somewhere in the Whitsunday islands… YEAS?!?

    The monitor lizards were a plenty, and all super sized too. Very cool, as long as they kept their distance. 🙂

      Megan Jerrard - August 30, 2017 Reply

      Beers on a boat somewhere in the WhitSundays sounds great! Will let you know! (And if you ever feel the urge to trade in your sunshine for a little bit of Tas give us a shout!)

        Anna - August 31, 2017 Reply

        A shout I will indeed if I am ever in Tassie, you’ve got some pretty amazing food, wine and adventures Im yet to tick off the list. 🙂

Annika - August 28, 2017 Reply

It looks like you had a great day out on the water. How cool is it to see whales? Also, Whitehaven beach is stunning!

    Anna - August 29, 2017 Reply

    Whales are A-MAZING, as is Whitehaven Beach. I am very lucky to call this part of the world home. 🙂

Debra Schroeder - August 28, 2017 Reply

Such an exciting trip! From the looks of that boat you’d never think it was so powerful. How fun to see whales. That water looks so crystal blue. Glad you weren’t stung too badly.

    Anna - August 29, 2017 Reply

    Yeah, the ocean rafts dont look like they can go as fast as they do, was fun to be able to get out to the islands super quick and be able to be enjoying things quicker than others tho. 🙂

    The water is stunning huh? And the stings only made the story all the more interesting.

Meagan - August 28, 2017 Reply

What an adventure! Honestly, we’ve joked that Australia scares the crap out of us because we probably wouldn’t make it back alive (hahah). That said, your excursion looks absolutely stunning and I’m super jealous (in a very supportive way 😉 )

    Anna - August 29, 2017 Reply

    Hahaha… I went on a tour yesterday, I was the only Australian, it seems you are not alone with your fears of surviving. 🙂 It was a wonderful day, and if you ever do come for a visit, wear a stinger suit and make friends with the tour guides. You will survive and come away with some pretty wicked great stories to tell too.

Sarah Elliott - August 28, 2017 Reply

Ok so the lunch with the lizards would totally freak me out! Haha I am not much for creapy things like that. Kind of hinders the travel some, but yeah not a snake person, or lizards, or nasty bugs! lol

    Anna - August 29, 2017 Reply

    I am kinda with you on the ‘creepy things’ Sarah, currently in some pretty serious negotiations with a spider that has take up residence in my bedroom. But….. I figure I only live once and so far the ‘creepy things’ have only added to my life adventures.

sherianne - August 28, 2017 Reply

One of my first international trips was to Australia and I did not visit the Whitsundays. Not one of my better decisions, but now I have slid reason to return!

    Anna - August 29, 2017 Reply

    Guess you will just have to come back Sherianne, the Whitsundays are a must visit destination in Australia. Although…. I could be bias in my opinions. LOL!

carla - August 27, 2017 Reply

That day out is one big WHOA!! That water is really blue and clear! Really amazing beach day. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply

    Yeah it was! 🙂 The water is incredible, and that colour is possibly my most favourite. If you are ever in this neck of the woods, I absolutely recommend a visit.

Emma McKay - August 27, 2017 Reply

Looks like such an amazing place to visit. I’ve been hearing more and more about The Whitsundays recently – must be a reason why! That lizard is a little big for my liking though – not sure what it is, snakes are a-ok but lizards? Eek.

    Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply

    It is Emma, it is one of the most magical and amazing places to visit in the world. Although I am bias. 🙂
    The lizard was a little scary, but he seemed friendly enough. Ha! And… snakes are so not cool.

Krista Bjorn - August 27, 2017 Reply

You would be so much fun to travel with, Anna, because you always make the best of everything. 🙂 What a gorgeous adventure you had – in spite of those dreadful stings. The view! WOW!!!

    Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply

    What a lovely comment my dear friend, thank you. 😀 My day out with my faves was incredible, can’t wait to go back.

Jane M - August 27, 2017 Reply

Looks like a terrific day out. Can’t believe you saw whales and then had lunch with those enormous lizards! Also, the snorkeling looks fab – sorry you got stung though.

    Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply

    Yes, it was a rather outdoorsy with the wildlife type day. The stings only added to my day (in hindsight), the lizards are pretty friendly (I think) and I hope to get some more sightings of whales when I head out tomorrow. 🙂

Anna Faustino - August 27, 2017 Reply

I love seeing panoramic shots of that beach! Always sooooo picturesque and stunning! Looks like a fun day out.

    Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply

    Yep, apparently it is the 2nd most photographed place in Australia, or was it the world?! Ha. Either way… you are not alone with that thought. 🙂

Jem @ Lost in Utensils - August 27, 2017 Reply

What a horrible day lol. It was tough but you pulled through. I remember Whitehaven Beach…just so beautiful.

    Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply

    Hahaha… I know right. Just the most dreadful way to spend a day. 😀

Amanda (@lambsearshoney) - August 25, 2017 Reply

Wow – what an amazing way to spend the day. And whales – how lucky are you!

    Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply

    It was so incredible! 🙂 Heading out again tomorrow, will be camera ready for pictures of whales this time.

John/Kitchen Riffs - August 25, 2017 Reply

Sounds like an excellent adventure! Sorry to hear that you got stung though — yikes! And those lizards — the stuff of nightmares. 🙂 Fun read — thanks.

    Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply

    It was a MOST excellent adventure, and the stings, they kinda added to the story. But maybe that is just the Aussie in me. Glad ya enjoyed John. Hope you are kicking it over there in the USA. 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - August 24, 2017 Reply

What a perfect day! Well not the bites but you know what I mean. You look so gorgeously relaxed! 😀

    Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply

    I think I have found my forever home, Lorraine. 🙂 Life is wonderful.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - August 24, 2017 Reply

I just love the colour of the sea! Our area is known for whales and they are really something special to see 🙂

    Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply

    The whales were incredible! Hoping I get to see some more tomorrow when I head out. AND… you should come for a visit, the colour of the sea is lovely, really lovely.

David - August 23, 2017 Reply

Quite the experience, but will have to avoid the giant lizards, woah!

    Anna - August 24, 2017 Reply

    David, it was incredible, and made all the more special because I got to experience these most amazing places with my most favourite people. 🙂 Lizards were a bit scary tho, so be sure to keep your feet up if you make it for lunch on Whitehaven.

      Nzekwe Godswill - August 24, 2017 Reply


        Anna - August 27, 2017 Reply


Alice Lau - August 23, 2017 Reply

Love hearing about your little snippets of paradise Anna and there are definitely a lot more joyful moments to be had in life ahead. All of it is so beautifully picturesque except for ahem! The giant lizards!!! I must tell you the sorry of our stay in Malaysia one day, we were at a very upscale resort and there was a lizard (not quite so big) who had taken up residence in the private pool (much) to my dismay 😉 Lol, that lizard sure knew how to live in style!!!

    Anna - August 24, 2017 Reply

    ALICE… how are you my friend?! 🙂

    Yes, life up here in the paradise certainly is agreeing with us, so much amazingness and right at our doorstep. I couldn’t agree with you more re life being filled with joyful moments, this was absolutely one of the best Ive had this year.

    Hahaha… eeeek, pass on the lizard hanging out in your private pool, they were cool to look at, but not when they are right at your feet, or in your case, taking a dip in your pool. I will be calling you to see what happened next. I mean… did you allow lizard to stay? Did someone come and fish him out?

Mabel Kwong - August 23, 2017 Reply

This sounded like every much the trip of paradise. Sun, sea, warmth all round with good loving company. And the photos do show how happy you are 🙂 Very brave of you big sis to dive in to the water sans wetsuit and copping those stings from the stingrays. It must be your lucky day to get stung, survive and really have such a wonderful time. Amazing food spread too, and it certainly looked like enough food to keep you going for a bit, especially up that hill. What a view from the top and stunning different hues of blue in the water. Very lucky that you get to live in this part of Australia and enjoy the warmth for me. Big hugs to you x

    Anna - August 24, 2017 Reply

    Yep, I gotta say lil sis, you would LOVE living in this part of the world. The sun, sea and warmth are AMAZING! 🙂 You really should come for a visit. 🙂

    Teehee… my nickname up here is REX, like Tyrannosaurus Rex cause I am so brave and fearless. 🙂 Hah! Aint no stinger gonna stop me from enjoying the 25c ocean.

    The food was delicious, but I cant imagine anyone not enjoying sitting on one of the worlds best beaches eating delicious healthy food.

    The look out was incredible, the swirling sands are just magic.

    Hugs and love to you too. PS: When are you visiting? xoxo

Mandy - August 23, 2017 Reply

Apart from the stings *ouchie* what a fabulous day. Truly makes me miss living on Mauritius.
🙂 Mandy xo

    Anna - August 24, 2017 Reply

    Weird maybe, but the stings kinda added to the day in a strange way. 🙂 The scars make the story even better. 🙂
    I remember your life in Mauritius being so amazing, and thinking when I read your posts… wow, I wish I lived that life. And here I am, living that life!

    Love and hugs to you sweet Mandy! xox

Gary Lum - August 23, 2017 Reply

I know what you mean about stingers and mosquitoes and bitey things Anna. Without fail something will have a go at me too.
I loved the photograph of the lizard.
It’s great to see a big smile on your face too.

    Anna - August 24, 2017 Reply

    Its the WORST huh, Gary! And totally unfair we get eaten alive, although it does add to the story. Ha, well thats what I tell myself. 🙂

    Thanks for always being so supportive Gary, you sir, are a gentleman. 🙂

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