Beach huts, Bingo, and (koala) Bears

19.03.19

A four hour coach journey from Mission Beach to Townsville, a (rather bumpy glad-I-didn’t-just-have-my-lunch) 15 minute ferry ride to magnetic island, and a three minute bus ride later, and we had arrived at Base Hostel on Magnetic Island. (Fun fact: Originally named Yunbenun by the Aboriginal people, Magnetic Island was renamed by Captain Cook during his boat circumnavigation, due to the apparent strange effect the island had on his compass as it passed!) When I say hostel, this is not your average multi-storey bunk bed convention centre kind of hostel. I’m talking rows of triangular beach huts, neatly sat side by side along the waters’ edge, and a super chill beach bar overlooking the Great Barrier Reef marine park – too easy mate! (Sorry, just a subtle attempt at Aussie slang).

A hostel, really?!

After a morning of sitting, we decided to stretch our legs and take a walk to Hawkins Point Lookout. We clambered up the rocky path and were almost literally blown away by the huge gusts of wind that greeted us on reaching the peak. A lovely view over some of the island’s bays… and of the thick black cloud slowly edging its way towards us! If you read my previous post, you may notice that a theme seems to be emerging… turns out it’s rainy season up in Queensland, who knew!! We didn’t hang around too long and began our descent… but once again nature proved its power and the torrential rain began to fall! We were absolutely drenched, but with no other choice but to continue walking, we just laughed, put on our best ‘rain face’, and embraced the storm!

Back at the hostel our fellow (and arguably more sensible) islanders were huddled under the shelter of the bar, using the rain as a perfect excuse to start drinking at 3pm. Gradually, the rain died down and we took the opportunity to dry off before grabbing some dinner at the bar. Tonight’s evening entertainment was bingo – how civilised! Or maybe not… we were taken back to good old Bingo Lingo Uni nights; rowdy singing, dancing on the tables and, with a private ensuite room up for grabs, some ultra-competitive bingo squeezed in the gaps. And we had the best night!!

The next morning we could have a PROPER lie in!! So, naturally, Emma took complete advantage of this, and I, naturally, slept until the grand hour of 7.30am! But we definitely made the most of a very lazy morning, before picking up our 4×4 hire car with two pals we met on the way for a day of island exploring. It only took us 15 minutes to reach the opposite corner of the island, Horseshoe Bay, where we stopped for a coffee in one of the three cafes along the ‘main strip’. Next, we headed along the Forts Walk, and kept our eyes peeled for sleeping koalas up in the trees. Sure enough, we spotted three koalas, all balancing precariously between tree branches enough to be snoozing very happily! And they were so cute!!

We drove all around the little island for the rest of the afternoon, seeing what else was going on (not a lot), finding more hidden bays, and seeing if we could spot any more wildlife (a parrot or two). We had a great afternoon, and would definitely recommend Magnetic Island as a day trip destination, especially if you are a koala bear enthusiast! We rounded off the day with the classic traveller go-to meal of pesto pasta (or pasta pesto, the jury is still out on that one) and a few games of cards before heading to our little beach hut beds. Tomorrow we pack up and on to the next stop – Airlie Beach!

Speak soon! (And thank you so much for reading!)

Flicks 🙂

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