10 of my favourite holiday photos

{This photo was taken at Flames restaurant – and isn’t one of my pics. I just wanted to share one of the whole gang. We were trying to dance.}.

The past week up in The Great Barrier Reef was the most jam-packed I’ve ever experienced. We went from one activity to another, without time for a lie down or breather in between. It was perfect though. I shared it with an awesome group of people. We all said over the week that we couldn’t have been surrounded by better people. The dynamics were brilliant. I wanted to share 10 of my favourite pictures and why I love them.

1. I loved that this was the calm before the storm. We had a few hours in our rooms before officially meeting everyone, after we arrived in Cairns. I had butterflies of excitement. I also love time to myself, so this was a perfect moment.
2. On day two of our adventures we headed off to a little island for a workshop and to do some sea walking {I couldn’t because of a medication I take}. Afterwards we boarded a helicopter thinking we were heading back to our hotel, instead we were taken to a cay out in the middle of the ocean. It was breath-taking and mind-blowing. I sat next to Jackie and we were just in awe of our lives in that moment.
3. This is the little cay that we landed on. There were 4 helicopters in total, the most that have ever landed on the isle at once. Sometimes the whole cay goes underwater, which we experienced as we explored and the tides came in.
4. On day three we headed up to Port Douglas to the rainforest. As the sun was setting we headed to our accommodation at Thala Beach Lodge. We made our way down to the beach and had coconut cocktails and watched the sun set. It was hilarious watching everyone taking photos of their coconuts, because it’s what bloggers do best {take photos that is, not drink cocktails – although we can do that too!}.
5. I was nervous to snorkel. You know sharks and all that. But I got in with two of the girls from Tourism Queensland {Celeste and Shelly} and Katja from Travelettes. This photo doesn’t do the colours justice. It was stunning.
6. I took this photo with my iPhone {inside an inDepth underwater case}. Afterwards I swam my phone back to the boat so that I could explore some more. Looking around I came across a shark about 1 metre long, and it swam underneath me. I popped my head up to see where everyone else was and they were forever away. I calmly made my way back to them. Scary moment!
7. Our accommodation at Thala Beach Lodge were little tree houses scattered throughout the property. This was the view I woke up to each morning. I slept with the curtains wide open so I could enjoy the view. I am dying to get back to this place. It’s the best I’ve ever experienced.
8. How cute is this little dude winking at us? Jodi, Mei and I had a behind the scenes tour and had the chance to cuddle a koala. Hilariously he pooped on Jodi, and then I wasn’t so keen to get up close and personal with him. You can see Jodi’s reaction here.
9. This was another rare moment of solitude. I got up early and headed down to the beach at Thala and got the whole place to myself. I love putting my feet in the sand and let the sun kiss my skin. This was a magical moment.
10. This was our very last night together. A few us gathered early for cocktails at the restaurant while we waited for the others to finish their adventures {white water rafting and zip-lining}. Everywhere I looked in this area was stunning. It feels so untouched and perfect. It was bittersweet, the week had gone by so fast and as we’re from all over the world – we may never see each other again {although we’ve tried to convince Tourism Queensland to have us every year, we’ll see!}. Thankfully we’ve got social media to stay connected.
Have you ever made friends online and met them in real life?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04585816729964741872 Jay

    Your photos are stunning. It looks like you had an amazing time.

    Personally, I haven't met any of my online friends in real life however, I think it's so cool and hope that I get the chance!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11403678982244460691 Sam

    I'm glad you had an amazing trip. I love all your photos but my favourite has to be the coconut one but it's very closely rivalled by the winking koala. x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08422869782118463486 me (maria)

    They are great photos!!!
    I liked the nature, i scared with the shark, i laughed with that little dude winking at us…
    Thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15055786297167495271 Viki

    Beautiful photos. It looks like it was a heavenly trip. You are so blessed :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14390042498106039979 xtiffyxx

    love your pics, sounds like you had a fantastic time! :) x

  • https://www.facebook.com/angeleyes338/favorites#!/angeleyes338 Steffi

    These are beautiful pictures. Really looks like paradise where you have been.
    I actually made friends back in the days when we used to write letters instead of emails, tweets and so on. But I met a lot of them online again. Which I'm happy about. But I also have met a few of them in real life.

  • https://www.facebook.com/angeleyes338 Steffi

    Just realized that the URL doesn't work. Maybe this one will.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14823592591852859988 Beck

    Your photos are beauitiful. It looks like you had an amazing time. How do i book a holiday like this???

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02167267576456836722 Chantelle {fat mum slim}

      Just go to Tourism Queensland and they'll have all the details on their site.

      I recommend GBR helicopter tours, Thala Beach Lodge resort, ReefSprinter tours in Port Douglas.

      But I'll do a post with the things I truly loved later on. x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12065470321265371781 Cheri

    Lovely photos. I especially love the ones of the snorkeling and the koala. What precious memories you have made.

    I met some friends on a fan board about a television program (don't judge!), and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet several of them IRL later on. Even before we met, two of them became some of my best friends, and have remained so, though we live in three different states, separated by thousands of miles. The Internet can be a wonderful thing.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02631661183258067800 Erin

    Looks like you had an incredible time! I'm so jealous of the place (and the bloggers) that you were able to spend time with! I hope I'm half as blessed as you are to have blogger friends someday!


  • http://blog.scissorspaperrockdesigns.com.au/ Claire Chadwick @ Scissors Paper Rock

    Oh my goodness…what a holiday!!! I LOVE that 2nd last shot….perfectly shows a QLD beach break :) And coconut cocktails….on my bucket list to drink :))
    As for meeting an online friend in real life….when pregnant with Ella 4yrs ago, I made wonderful friends with a girl in Canada, who was also pregnant & due the same week as me. We had our girls & maintained an amazing connection online through emails & FB & skype & blogs. Last year, whilst 30weeks pregnant with Ryder, I traveled the mammoth trip to Canada to finally meet her in person & hang out with her for a week – BLISS!!! The online world can be cruel, but it has also brought me some amazing friends & connections.

  • http://www.thalabeach.com.au Thala Beach Lodge, Port Douglas

    Chantelle – it was such a joy meeting you and your fellow bloggers! We were delighted to have you stay with us at our special place (included our URL for your followers asking how to book such a holiday!) – and are thrilled we featured so much in your Top 10! Hopefully you can return again soon!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02167267576456836722 Chantelle {fat mum slim}

      Michelle! Loved meeting you. Am already planning my trip back. See you soon-ish. x

  • http://www.slowyourhome.com Brooke {Slow Your Home}

    Wow, gorgeous photos, Chantelle. From what I've seen there's certain to be a boost in visitor numbers to Qld…

    PS. I would have paid my own way simply to pick the brain of Tsh Oxenreider. So cool.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02167267576456836722 Chantelle {fat mum slim}

      Tsh is one the most inspiring people I've ever met. She's beautiful. I was very lucky to spend so much time with her. We sat together at dinner most nights. x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15636757667368447102 Emily

    Gorgeous pics. I haven't yet met friends I've made online – but I have a dinner scheduled with a few bloggy friends and can't wait! Also hoping to make it to at least one blogging conference in the next twelve months.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02654348592481210713 Mademoiselle Slimalicious

    Haven't met any of my online friends yet, but hoping to do so soon. Beautiful photos. Looks like you had a great time. I have been to the Great Barrier Reef several times and love it there!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01364446516114445193 Hey Harriet

    Oh how gorgeous! I spent some time there last year and your photos make me want to go back there so bad! It's truly a magical place! Funny you ask about meeting up with online friends in real life on this post because I did with my visit to the Great Barrier Reef. A great blogging buddy from the US that I'd been in contact with for many years visited me last year and we headed up to the GBR together for a week! It was awesome!

  • http://eletmegapixel.wordpress.com/ euthymia

    ooh great pictures :)

    And my answer is YES!!

    I'v met some of my online friends. It was interesting and a bit strange too.
    You knew about of them somethings and read their blog emails or just watch their pictures and you think you familiar with that person but in the real life it is a bit different :) I like each others after that too :):)
    My best meeting was with a Hungarian girl who lives in Scotland, I am a Hungarian too and I live in Souht England. And we couldn't manage our meeting in the UK since 2008.. but last summer we were in Hungary at same time so we MET in Budapest and it was fun :) :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13439663139027095903 Mary

    Oh my, Thala Beach Lodge is on my list of Place We Must Stay At!! We called in once for a coffee driving between Trinity Beach and Port Douglas on holidays – what a gorgeous place! We sat up with our two tiny tots in a lounge room in the trees and marvelled at the view. Ever since we have been dreaming of a return! Great photos of your adventures!! What a time you had!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08156015996147898156 Glowless @ Where’s My Glow

    Chantelle, these photos are fabulous! I loved following along on Instagram.

    I met a guy online through a hashtag and we've become great friends and are heading off on a holiday together next weekend! No where quite as glam as Thala Beach Lodge though!!

  • http://4ravens.wordpress.com Megan

    great pictures – looks like it was a wonderful trip!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01342366280323032467 Eileen

    Great photos, it looks like an amazing place.

    I'm actually meeting one of my blogging friends for the first time tomorrow. She lives about 9 miles away and we're meeting up for lunch in her home town. I'm really excited about the meeting as we have lots of interests in common, including photography. If we hit it off I'm hoping that in the future we can meet regularly for photo walks.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01625000166397279642 Photographer Mum

    Wow that sounds amazing! Gorgeous photos too. I love the palm trees & sun – such perfect solitude. Sounds like you had a fabulous time! I would love to meet my online friends in real life one day. How special!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07519082956873746979 Jaki Morris

    I have met some amazing people on-line and then got to meet them in real life and they have become true friends

    Your photos are wonderful, I especially love the winking Koala!

    Take care

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11181216844318289796 Lexi:: PottyMouthMama

    Wow it looks incredible – awesome. Love your top 10 pics, and as for the shark. Freaky deaky. I would have wigged out too. Looks like you totes got to recharge – awesome! x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04962587342835841240 Jennifer M.

    Wow so beautiful there! That little koala is so cute too. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09641452132330917275 Katy_Potaty

    How FABULOUS! My husband and I held our destination wedding in Port Douglas a month and a half ago, and we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful spot to get married and share the love – he's promised me an annual trip back for our anniversary!
    So glad that Tourism QLD is sharing our gorgeous spots with everyone!