2 days in Townsville

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
Trip End Feb 01, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our next stop up the east coast was a place called Townsville. A quiet little town with access to one of the best dive sites in the world: The SS Yongala, a wreck dive about 2 hours away from shore.

When we left the train station we thought we had a short 5 minute walk to our hostel. It turns out that the Lonely Planet helpfully but the old train station on the map, rather than the new one and our 5 minute walked turned to an hour's hike with our heavy bags in scorching hot heat. We were both ready to faint by the time we made it to our hostel. (I am SO over walking around with my backpack!)

We were pleasantly surprised by our hostel, Civic Guesthouse where we had a bright clean room all to ourselves. The AC and internet in the room made it feel ultra luxurious. I have to say that after 18 months of sleeping in a different bed most nights, I just can’t wait for the comforts of home. The idea of lounging on MY sofa, watching telly and listening to the rain outside sounds like bliss! (I wonder how long that’s going to last!)

We spent our day in Townsville walking along the pretty promenade and actually swimming in the sea. It was our first swim in the east coast without the need for stinger suits, only because they’d installed huge stinger nets that protected the bay. Every 100 metres or so we noticed free open air bar-b-q’s installed for people to use. What a brilliant idea!

Even though we’d come here primarily to dive, we didn’t manage to, mainly because a trip out to the Yongala would have cost us around $600. As spectacular as it’s meant to be we just couldn’t justify spending all that money on a single dive.

We’d nearly given up on the idea of diving the great barrier reef and both of us went to bed quite disappointed that night. However, the next morning we remembered the wise words of David, a friend of ours who’d just returned from travelling when we left. His advice was 'if there’s something special to do in an area you’re in, then do it. Coz if you don’t you’ll regret it afterwards’.

Both of us seemed to wake up determined to find a place where we could dive. Paul had come across this company in Cairns that had a special on a Live-aboard (where you actually live on board a boat and dive all day for a few days). For a couple of hundred dollars extra we could actually go on a live-aboard and do not 1 but 11 dives on the Great Barrier Reef and spend 3 whole days on it. Without thinking too much about it we called the company, found they had space and immediately booked a cabin.

The excitement I felt after confirmed that we’d done the right move. And so after a whirlwind stop in Townsville we got back on the train and headed further north to Cairns where 3 glorious days of diving awaited us!


 See you on the reef!

Karen and Paul

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mom on

lovely x



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