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EXPLORING LONG ISLAND...continued

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Back at the beach we had a chat with a staff member from the local resort. Numbers were way down because of the bad publicity that Queensland had during the previous summer – floods in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Bundaberg and Rockhampton, followed by Cyclone Yasi further north. Sounded like the whole Queensland coast was a wreck, but it wasn’t, although the section from Bedarra Island north of Townsville through to Dunk Island was truly pulverized, as we were to find later.

Above: the entrance to Cid Harbour on Whitsunday Island, seen from Long Island

Above: old fig trees and ferns on scree slope

Above: Rainbow Bracket Fungi on the forest floor

SOUTH MOLLE ISLAND

21 - 23 JULY. After a short, gentle sail we dropped anchor in Bauer Bay. The views of Spion Kop on the way in were impressive. We took the foot track from the resort up to the summit of Spion Kop, 154m above sea level. Again we were blessed with the most perfect of weather and a sparklingly clear atmosphere.

Left: Whitsunday Passage from the slopes of Spion Kop