And so onwards it was to Townsville, ferry port town to ‘Maggie’ or Magnetic Island. We had decided to spend the night in Townsville before heading to Magnetic early the next morning, just to get a decent night of rest after the madness that was Airlie Beach and also to make sure that we didn’t miss anything that Townsville had to offer. We also met up from with the boys from the band that we had met during the music festival as they are locals to the town. They took us up to Castle Point viewpoint where we could see right out over the town which made for a spectacular night time view. We vowed to go back during the daytime but sadly didn’t have time in the end. I’m sure I can Google an image. Josey and I explored The Strand, ate ice cream and sat on funky Art Deco chairs (and Josey rode a turtle) before heading back to our hostel for an early night. Where we found a tiny little kitten and instantly fell in love. It turns out ‘Atom’ belonged to the hostel and so they let him roam the place, apparently he’s a bit of a ladies man. I couldn’t tell you why.
The next morning we were up bright and early to catch the ferry over to Magentic Island. Quick bit of history, Captain Cook named the island Magnetic upon discovering Australia in 1770 as he noticed his compass going mental as he sailed on by and presumed it was because of magnetic forces. The forces can’t have been that strong as nothing metal stuck to the floor on the island, perhaps his compass was just broken. Anyway, we arrived into Nelly Bay and jumped on the bus which took us the tourist route to our hostel (By tourist route I mean he made a 20 minute journey last an hour and I’m fairly sure he was driving us in circles). After we had checked in and had the obligitary ‘woohoo we checked in’ beer, we packed our beach towels and hopped back on the bus to explore the island. In Horseshoe Bay on the opposite side of the island we had quite possibly the best ice cream I’d eaten since arriving in Australia and another nice cold beer in the Tavern before heading back to the hostel. I had heard about open top cars you could hire for the day to se the island in style. They had been nicknamed ‘Barbie Cars’ because of their bright pink bodywork, and I wanted a go. We rang up the shop to be told they had two left for the next day and so it was booked! I couldn’t wait!
The next morning, we signed away our life, handed over all of our pocket money and were off. I drove, me! She who hasn’t driven in years was being trusted to ferry two extra passages around. And hey, nobody died all day! Everyone’s a winner. We had been given a map pointing out different spots that we should try and visit during the day, such as the rock Wallabies, the bird feeding, a walk where you can supposedly (supposedly meaning we saw none) see koalas and Alma bay, the only place on the island where you can swim without fear of being attatcked by stingers. Fun fact, the stingers out here are so deadly that if you don’t die from the sting you’ll die from the pain shortly after anyway. And a nice man told us, as we were swimming in Alma Bay, they there is a net at the end of the bay on which they tie kangaroo carcass to ward off the SHARKS. Jeysus. We got out of the sea then. Quickly. I absolutely loved the day spent in the Barbie cars. If nothing else it was a photo opportunity with some spectacular views along the way and the day was rounded off watching the sunset in Horeshoe Bay before driving back to the hostel for the night. Sadly the morning after it was time to leave Maggie and head back to Townsville where Josey and I had treated ourselves to two nights in a double private room. It was bliss. Next stop, Mission Beach – it was skydive time! Eep!