The coach to Townsville (where the Port to Magnetic Island is located) was delayed so we didn’t make it there until 1am. The hostel was actually one of the nicest we have stayed in so it was kind of a shame that we were only there for 9 hours. Townsville didn’t exactly look like the nicest place though so we weren’t too sad (it is also rumoured to have the highest crime rate).
The ferry to Magnetic Island was only 20 mins. We stayed at Base (one of the big hostel chains) which trumped the hostel the night before. We had a sea view from our dorm which was amazing and something we paid a lot of money for in Mexico. Whilst waiting for Anna and Pete, we went to hire a 4WD which was so much fun to drive (and the biggest car I’ve ever driven). For $30 each for 24 hours, it was definitely worth the money. That day, we visited a couple of beaches and went to feed wild rock wallabies. Seeing the mini kangaroo looking things venture down from the rocks to be fed was such an amazing experience. We even saw one with a baby in its pouch which topped it off! A 20 minute drive on the dirt track then took us to West Point where we sat and watched the sunset with a few drinks from the bottleshop. The sunset was beautiful and of the best so far. As we were getting out of the car, we were approached by a couple who had just left their camera equipment on a bus. Jack and Pete came to their rescue and drove them to find the bus with the bag on, however that delayed our dinner. No one had ever mentioned that every restaurant/ bar serving food closed at 8pm, so we were now stuck for choices. We drove around in disbelief and finally found a very swanky restaurant which was still open. Being on a budget, we agreed that we couldn’t afford the $40 mains and ordered an array of starters and sharing boards which were actually so tasty and filling. It turned out to be a very nice dinner. The girl who lost her bag did however offer us cost price activities in Cairns, which I took up for Skydiving.
Our second day in Magnetic Island started with a hearty breakfast by the sea followed by a bush walk in anticipation of spotting wild koalas. After nearly giving up, we spotted one snoozing in a tree way up high. After ooo’ing and ahh’Ing we walked another 5 mins and saw one shoulder height with a tiny baby one in the tree above it! I fell in love with koalas at the zoo, so this made my trip! We then went to the beach for a swim after so Jack and Pete could play with their ball (apparently the best ball ever!) Sadly that was it for our trip to “Maggie” but it was so nice to be able to do our own thing for a bit as the rest of the east coast is full of more tours.
We arrived in Cairns at night and were met by the Nomad’s shuttle bus. Obviously the hostel was the furthest out from the centre, but as we managed to use four nights of our bed hopper passes (pre paid) it was free so we didn’t mind. As with all late check ins, finding our bunks in the dark was fun! Jack ended up with a top bunk by the door which was practically impossible to get in and I ended up with the squeakiest top bunk in the room. We actually slept pretty well and woke up to my 8am alarm the next morning. My alarm was set early to speak to the girl who lost her bag to arrange my skydive. This turned into such a drama as the hostel “forgot” to mention that each person was only allowed 1 hour of wifi per day- obvs I used mine the next day. I did however manage to make the payment and book onto the 11am skydive. Jack didn’t fancy it, but at 10.40am we both boarded the bus to the skydive centre. I was getting nervous and Jack was nervous for me 😂. I was actually fine up until the door of the plane opened. My legs would not budge to the edge of the plane, luckily I was strapped to a professional who pushed us both. The free fall was unreal, but no one tells you that it’s actually quite hard to breathe with the air rushing against you. I managed to breathe somehow but was grateful when the parachute jerked us upwards. From this point, I was so chilled and was just taking in the views. Jack was on the ground waving me in. It was definitely one of the best things I have done and would recommend it to EVERYONE!! We didn’t get back until 4.30pm and hadn’t eaten, so headed out to a “healthy” burger bar and shopped for some souvenirs in the local markets (which also do massages – bit weird). We welcomed Anna and Pete to the hostel and went to bed.
Day 2 was jam packed with a tour of the Great Barrier Reef. Our boat departed at 7.30am so it was an early start for us. We were surprised with our boat as it was definitely the best in the harbour and held 150 people. We were all given snorkels, masks and fins along with a safety number. They offered stinger suits to protect against jellyfish, but we decided that if you had to pay for them, it wasn’t a necessity. Both swim stops of the trip were full of coral and funky fish, but didn’t beat the sheer amount of fish we saw on the whitsundays. I did however see something which looked like a small shark, but no one would believe me! Snacks and lunch aboard were so good; tea and biscuits in the morning, BBQ for lunch and fruit followed by cheese and wine. Being on a budget, we made sure we got our money’s worth. Again, my GoPro came into its own and took some amazing underwater snaps. We ate in a cute Mexican in town that evening followed by a few drinks. However, the nightlife if nowhere near what everyone raves about, but maybe we were in the wrong place or just too used to London
The following morning was another early start and we were picked up at 7.15am by our tour guide Ro. Ro was taking us on a tour of the Atherton Tablelands, a unique area of rainforest just outside Cairns. The day mainly consisted of swim spots, waterfalls and snacks which pretty much makes it a perfect day in my eyes. The waterfalls were pretty spectacular but the water just a tad chilly – not that that stopped us. The day was going great until we went to a really cool waterfall with a natural water slide. Being a rock covered in water, it was pretty slippery and was the cause of two quite nasty head injuries. One being Anna. Let’s just say there was a fair amount of blood and it didn’t help that both casualties were very blonde. We left shortly after both were patched up by Ro, but it ruined our dinner plans for that evening. We ended up eating at the hostel where the food was pretty good and very cheap. Poor Anna and Pete went to bed hungry.
The following day it was time for us to head to the airport to catch a flight to Adelaide and say bye to our new besties who were heading to NZ. My bag weighed in at 25kgs and still really needs to be sorted. The flight felt pretty quick, but we both thought it was crazy that an internal flight could last 3 hours.
We could get to Portugal quicker from home.
The east cost has been brilliant, but we both look forward to a more chilled month in our camper van, Melbourne and Sydney.
Love as always xx