MAGNETIC ISLAND day 65

It was an early 6am start for us as we jumped in the car and drove down to Alma Bay for sunrise. Within minutes it went from dark and chilly to brilliant sunshine and what looked like a boiling hot day ahead. We had a drive right round to picnic bay on the other side of the island, and then headed back to horseshoe bay to grab some breakfast. We ate at Nourish Cafe, and enjoyed avocado on toast with a sea view – can’t get much better than that!

We spent the rest of the morning sunbathing at the beach, before heading back down to Nelly Bay to drop the car back off. In the afternoon we went on a wildlife tour back at Bungalow Bay Koala Village. We got to hold tortoises, lizards, a salt water croc (a baby one) and a koala! We only got to cuddle one and have a quick picture with her, but then we got to go into a little enclosure and pet another koala called hagrid. He got hit by a car on the island and broke both of his legs (so sad!) and now he lives in the koala village where they take care of him and make sure he gets enough eucalyptus leaves. After we saw the koalas, we got to have a python draped around our shoulders, which was really heavy!

After our koala cuddles, we wanted to go and use the jet skis back at horseshoe bay, but unfortunately they were closed for the day. We headed back to the hostel to pack our bags and have one last drink before we hopped on the bus, and then caught the ferry back to Townsville. It’s just a quick overnight stop there before we get our last greyhound coach up the coast to cairns on Friday.

Sunrise at Alma bay

Cruising in the Malibu barbie car

Owen and hagrid

koala cuddles

AIRLIE BEACH / WHITSUNDAYS day 59 & 60

After a long old overnight coach trip, we arrived in Airlie Beach early on Friday morning. After a short walk through town, we were able to check in to the hostel right away, which was amazing as we thought we’d have to wait until at least 2!

We got some breakfast at Sidewalk Cafe, did some well needed laundry, and then spent the day chilling by the lagoon pool at the sea front (you can’t really swim in the sea here as there are so many jellyfish!).

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt about Easter bank holiday weekend in Australia, it is verrrrrry different to an English one. Fancy spending good Friday in a beer garden, drinking and relaxing in the sunshine? Think again! There are some crazy rules here that mean you can’t buy alcohol ANYWHERE on good Friday, and if you want to drink in a bar / restaurant then it has to be with a meal! This resulted in an enormous queue which reached out on to the road, from the only pub in town that was serving drink when bought with a meal. Imagine it… hundreds of Backpackers buying some below par pub lasagne just so they can have one pint. It’s madness! Jesus did not hatch out of an egg on Easter weekend so we could spend the bank holiday sober!

(lol rant over)

We spent Saturday on the ‘BIG FURY’ speed boat trip to the Whitsundays. It was SO fun, the boat ride was like being on a very wet rollercoaster, and Whitehaven Beach was like a tropical paradise. We had to wear stinger suits in the sea because of the jellyfish, so everyone was wandering around looking like ninjas. On the beach there were tons of goanas (big lizards) scuttling about, chasing each other and trying to nick scraps of food from you. We hiked through the bush to the lookout point and got an amazing view of the swirling sands. It’s a shame it was a bit of a cloudy day but the view was still incredible! In the afternoon we went snorkelling on the reef. It was really windy and wavey so a little tricky to swim without crashing in to each other and swallowing a load of sea water. We got to see lots of coral and some fish too, but I couldn’t get the camera to work under water so no pictures unfortunately!

Luckily the bars were all open today, so we had a couple of jugs of beer at our hostel (magnums Backpackers). It’s famous for its huge beer garden and bar, and really popular with Backpackers and locals. We played a couple of games of pool and chilled there for the rest of the evening.

Beach lagoon

Sunset at Airlie

Swirling sands on Whitsunday island

Goanna up a tree