Our next stop after Mission Beach was Townsville. As we arrived a bit too early to check in immediately, we drove up Castle Hill first for some nice views over the city.
Actually, you can walk up there, too. But seriously, it was way too hot for us to do that!
From up there, we could see our hotel already, the Aquarius on the beach. Try it too! What’s the highest and actually ugliest building of all?
Correct! That’s our hotel! :-D But isn’t it much better, being inside and enjoying the view over the ocean, then staying in a hotel next to it – or even worse, behind it! ;-)
And the room was quite nice. Clean, modern, with a kitchenette and as I said, ocean view!
We spend the afternoon walking down the esplanade along the sea…
…and going for a swim.
In Townsville, you can choose which sort of refreshment you prefer: The water playground…
…the sea water pool…
…or the ocean…
We went for the real thing, of course :-D
On our second day in Townsville, we took the ferry to drive over to Magnetic Island, or Maggi, as the locals call this beautiful place. The main reason we came here were the koalas that populate this island! We took an early ferry, the one that leaves at 7:30 am, and caught a bus that brought us to the start of the track “The Forts”. We were told that’s where the chances of spotting a koala are the highest.
As the track leads up to an old World War II Fort, you definitely want to do this hike in the morning, when the sun is not too hot.
And guys, what can I tell you, we were very lucky: We saw a koala!
Moritz spotted him, I would have walked past without noticing. But seriously, you need to have really good eyes to make out the cuddly, grey teddy bear in this big tree. Try it for yourself:
What did I tell you?! ;-)
OK, observing a koala in the wild is the main reason why people walk this track. But even without spotting one, the Two Forts track is worth going.
You pass an area where the soldiers camped and you can still see the remains of their stay.
And when you make out the old fort in the distance, on top of the hill, two thoughts cross your mind:
1.) Uh, that’s somewhat spooky. I feel like in one of Robert Arthur’s “The Three Investigators“ book (Die drei ???)
2.) F%§!, do I REALLY want to climb up there?
But I assure you, it’s worth the effort because…
1.) the view is stunning
2.) you might see some other wildlife, rock wallabies and kookaburras inhabit this area, too
3.) yes, it totally feels like an adventure á la “The Three Investigators”!!! :-D
Next to this nice hike, Maggi offers some very fine beaches, of which we visited three:
1.) Horseshoe Bay, where you can go swimming but also hire any water vehicle you can think of
2.) Geoffrey Bay, my favorite beach. Veeery beautiful. It’s a protected area so fishing is not allowed. Due to this, the fish in the crystal clear water are nearly tame and come very close to the beach.
3) Alma Bay, where a lifeguard is on duty during the summer months and where we went snorkeling for a bit.
From Alma Bay, we walked back to the ferry port. We passed Geoffrey Bay again and took the “Gabul way”, a pedestrian way next to the street with nice views over the ocean and Geoffrey Bay.
What a lovely day we had – and we saw koalas!! Woooohoooooo!!! :-D Good bye Magnetic Island, see you next time…
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