It was almost 6 weeks ago that I was in Airlie Beach for a scuba-diving holiday, but I was recently reminiscing and so thought I’d write something about it. Plus it comes up on my map as another pointer.
Backpacker towns are reasonably similar the world over, I imagine. All sorts of shops and such tailored to the niche needs of the backpacker. I had never really been in one prior to this trip, and it was an interesting change of scene. The bars were always open and full of backpackers, and the lagoon (Airlie’s substitute for a beach, because of the jellyfish in the water) always bustling.
However, after being there for a week, this novelty started to wear off. For the first few days we were diving all day every day (and we got steak for lunch). But after the diving was done, and we had time to wander around and see what there was to see, we realised how little there was to see. A lot of this could be because I am not really a great holidayer.
I am a typical ‘Type A‘ personality: I am not all that great at relaxing, and even get bored if left to my own devices with nothing to do. So being in a town that has become centred on pandering directly to the short-term backpacker population left me at somewhat of a loss after being there for more than five days.
This then led me to wonder how the residents of Airlie liked this high-turnover, high-throughput lifestyle. Sure they’re living in an amazing climate that is temperate all year ’round, but how do they like having their town trashed on a weekly basis by drunken backpackers? I suppose they just learn to take advantage of it and clip the ticket while the backpackers travel through.