Townsville 20-24th October

After my first painful flight in years (thanks sinusitis) I was very glad to touch down in Townsville. Having been up since about 3am, when I finally got to my hostel they let me check in early so I just crashed out for a few more hours of sleep. For the rest of the afternoon, I planned part of my SE Asia trip and managed to book a hostel in Singapore but couldn’t get beyond that with planning as I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do!

The first full day, feeling a little better with some more energy, I headed out to Magnetic Island. Even at 8.30 am, it was already very warm and humid but thankfully the forecast for the day was windy so that kept me from completely overheating. When on the island, I headed over to horse shoe bay on the opposite side of the island and wandered along the beach, enjoying the spectacular scenery with blue skies, blue water, and clean beach palm trees. Yet another snippet of paradise. While waiting for a bus to a walks starting point when I had done enough wandering, I enjoyed a cuppa and my first proper ice cream (not counting shaved ice) of this whole trip!

Magnetic island
Snippets of Paradise
Horse shoe bay

I did the forts walk which was a nice gentle walk and I hoped to see some wild koalas on the way and I sure did! The moment I saw the first one, I just started smiling. They make me very happy, these sleepy grey fluff balls which is pretty much what they look like when they’re asleep up in the trees. From on top of the forts, there was a great view all across the island. However, it was deafeningly windy at the top but it sure did cool me down after the hike up there.

Spot a sleepy grey fluff ball
View from inside one of the forts
It was windy!
A nicer photo taken in between some of the gusts

When back at the bottom of the trail, I noticed that the next bus didn’t come through for about 1.5 hrs which was really irritating so I was on the lookout for a life and I got one. The couple who had taken my photo at the top of the fort were driving in a topless tourist car and were heading in the direction that I wanted to go so I’m calling it my first (and potentially only) proper hitch-hike (the one in Yosemite I was offered rather than I asked for so I don’t know if that counts). They dropped me off near the post office so I could post my postcard to my Grandparents and as I was leaving I noticed that the shop next door was a jewelry shop. Being the earring hoarder that I am, I went in. I didn’t leave for over an hour as I got talking to the lady in the shop and then later on, her sister joined us and we were merrily chatting away for a long time and it was a really nice experience. I did eventually buy some earrings as well as coming away with some other bits and bobs and tid bits of information that they gave me about the area. A very nice find.

Thanks for the ride!

I got the ferry back but this time it was quite a rough ride after the wind blowing all day. Back at the hostel, I was shattered and went straight to sleep.

Quite a long way from home!

Unfortunately, that was the only proper day I had in Townsville. The next day all I could manage was a 6 minute walk to the shop before feeling like I’d run a marathon and the day after, I managed a walk down to the waterfront but my plans of trying to climb to the top of Castle Hill for a sunset were definitely not doable with my energy/illness levels. I’m not sure I missed out too much on stuff though as I don’t think there’s a huge amount to do in Townsville anyway but I would have liked to go back to Magnetic Island for another day trip. Next time.

The hill I wanted to climb but even looking at it made me tired!