M and M...Mission Beach and Magnetic Island

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
Trip End Oct 02, 2005

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

24th June 2005

We got the bus at 9am and headed off to Mission Beach. Nothing there.
The hostel had been recommended and it was a nice enough place. Only problem was that there were no locks on any of the doors. When asked why, the woman at the counter replied "its mission beach love". I don't care if its the top of mount everest, if something is left laying around long enough it will grow legs and go walkies. Anyway, that aside, we walked the length of the beach, unable to go for a dip in the sea due to lethal box jellyfish (apparently its not the season now, but you never know), 2 young boys tried selling us a coconut for $1. We didn't have any change available, they then reduced their price, we still had no change, they then reduced the price further. In the end Sarah gave them a 20p piece, telling the kids it was worth about 60 cents in Australian dollars. They seemed happy enough. We made wandered around the town, well the 3 or so shops that they have there, and then went back to the hostel and slept. Thank goodness were off in the morning.

25th June 2005

It was back on the bus to head to Townsville, the gateway to Magnetic Island. Magnetic Island (or Maggie Island if you want to sound local) is so called due to the fact that you cannot take any metal onto there as there is a good chance you'll stick to things.
And yes that last line is a lie. The name stems from when Captain Cook found the Island and discovered that his compass was affected. We booked into the YHA and stayed in a wooden A frame hut. Very comfortable. The woman on the checkout was crackers, but she liked our telephone conversation with her and gave us the room for 3 nights at the standby rate that they charge. Bargain. We took a little walk up to Horseshoe bay (we were staying at the North West of the island) for a beer before heading back to have a wonderful Indian meal at the YHA.

26th June 2005

Time to put walking shoes on as we went for a walk to Radical bay. It didn't seem that far from where we were staying, but what it doesn't tell you on all the signs is that you have to walk up and over large hills to get there. We sat for a while once there and then pressed on to discover some more of this lovely little place. We walked up an unsealed road (which you wouldn't want to take a 4wd onto) and visited Florence and Arthur bay. On some of the trees, leaves had been clumped together and were being used as a nest for ants that had a green bum, very strange for them to live in the trees like that. They literally glue the leaves together into a ball shape and live in it. We made our way back to the bus stop, and it was then we realised that our short walk had turned into a nice 5km stroll. Not what we planned for but a nice jaunt none the less. That evening we met Adrian and Catherine, also from the UK. After a few drinks they asked if we fancied hiring a Moke the following day and touring around. We accepted and got ready for our trip the next day.

27th June 2005

The Moke was great fun. Its an old mini really but with a roll cage. Great fun to drive even if you have to stretch out for the gear stick. You can only cover around 10km on the island due to there being a lot of 4wd roads. We went from the north to the south, and had a good look around. We saw lots of wedge tailed and Sea Eagles whilst we were there, and on the southern side of the island, I was driving alonmg and spotted a Koala in a tree. Its the first wild one we had seen and he, or she, was just sat on a branch, chewing away on leaves. It was great. That night we cooked curry and drank wine, feeding the possums which were so friendly and tame. So tame that whe you tried to shoo them away they just kept on coming at you.

28th June 2005

We left Maggie island at 9am in order to catch an early bus down to Airlie beach. It would have arrived early if it hadn't have broken down on the way there. We managed to get into Airlie, staying at Reefo's, around 6 ish. We cooked in our little apartment they gave us to stay in, then packed ready for our sailing around the Whitsunday Islands!
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