Long distance coach journeys aren’t so bad when you’re driving down Australia’s East coast. Especially when you’re sat behind the driver (who is a proper Ozzie bloke with a pocketful of sad jokes) with the best seats in the house for the views of the rainforest on route.
It took us about six hours to get to Townsville from Cairns. And no I didn’t meet the powderpuff girls unfortunately. I watched Wild Child and finished my second book in a week (which I should have been doing whilst I was at uni ooops), and get getting Vietnam nostalgia when passing through all the green fields and bushy hills.
If you go to Magnetic Island- you cannot stay anywhere else other than Base backpackers. I’d heard amazing things about this place before we’d even got on the ferry to get over to the island, but even then I wasn’t expecting to show up to this gorgeous little place right on the beach (literally ON the sand) made up of cute little beach huts like a mini backpackers village. You get a free welcome drink, breakfast voucher and dinner voucher and there’s fun games on every night.
The chill out area is proper couch- it’s lined with pretty lights and fluorescent bean bags that you can lie on whilst drinking jugs of beer and watching the sky turn red as the sun sets. The beach huts are actually decieveingly big inside too, and as I’m sat in bed now writing this I can hear nothing but the waves crashing outside HOW AMAZING!
The best way to get around the island is by car. You can rent these really cute little topless barbie cards in loads of different colours! Neither me or Jenny drive so we ended up getting the bus, but it was the better option anyway because a day ticket on the bus only costs $7! So it’s a lot cheaper.
We started the day going find some rock wallabies at you can buy wallabe food at the newsagents there where the bus stops). The little fatsos get fed quite a lot in the morning so we weren’t expecting much but lucky we found this little guy who still fancied some munch. (Definitly my spirit animal- the fatty hanging around for the next bit of food when everyone else is in a food coma).
He looked at us from a distance when we shook the food bag then disappeared and popped his little he’s out of this rock. When we fed him he put his little paw on our hand for support hiw fucking cute is that!! Later that night we spotted another wallabe wondering around our hostel grounds and she had a little baby one sticking its head out of her pouch 😥 ❤ ❤ someone buy me one pleaseeee
The trek down to Florence bay was tricky in the heat- lots of hills and bumpy, stoney paths. But it was worth the walk because when we got there it was pretty much dead aside from a few other people. It’s proper Tucked away, the water is pristine and it’s a really nice place to sunbathe. It’s also a great snorkelling spot too and loads of turtles are often spotted there!
Luckily the walk on the way back was quicker and less exhausting because Jenny discovered a way of walking which didn’t hurt your legs or make you out of breath (pretty much a crab shuffle- anyone walking past would have questioned us).
If You walk up Forts walk (it’s next to the road you go down for Florence bay) it’s the best place for sporting koalas. We didn’t have to walk up too far to spot them either, which was good as we had a bus to catch.
Best time to see them is early in the morning or afternoon/ evening time, when they’re sleeping less. We saw four all together, including a tiny tiny tiny baby one which was crawling around it’s mums head!! I want one soooo badly just to snuggle owhhhh 😦
That night we watched the sunset at horseshoes bay and Jenny treated us to a chippy on the beach (deffo earnt one after our day of trekking).
You know you’re in an Ozzie chip shop when you have to pay for vinegar and they don’t have curry sauce!! I don’t think anyone could beat English standards… definitly one of the first things I’m going to do when I get home (mum I know you’re reading this, our usual chips, curry sauce and gin plan please)!
Horseshoe bay is also probably the best place on the island for places to eat.. Unfortunately i lost my really useful map to take photos for the best places to go for snorkelling etc, but there’s plenty of guides and maps at the ferry ports and accomodation if anyone wanted to know.
Things ended here on a high, I was awake by seven so used my time to do some yoga overlooking the beach which was heavenly! We’re now at a hostel in Airlie beach, getting ready for our Whitsundays trip tomorrow hooray.
Ending things with a massive shout out to Happy Travels Cairns and our travel agent Hannah Wright! I really recommend using these guys for anything from trips/ tours/ accomodation- everything! Despite us not being able to actually go into the office, Hannah booked and organised our whole trip for us communicating over Facebook messenger (which must have been a pain for her at times especially considering she sorted out so much for us out of her office hours and even when she was on holiday herself). Our ferries and coaches were even booked, so it’s just made everything so much easier and on top of that you end up with the best deals and places to go because it’s been organised by professionals! You can find Happy Travels office anywhere in Australia, but I definitely recommend using these guys 🙂