Townsville: Magnetic Island

Thursday, 12 November 2015

From Airlie Beach we got a four and a half hour bus at 9.45am, sat in the sweltering heat drinking chocolate milk in the break and arrived in Townsville just before 2.40pm. Just our luck the ferries over to Magnetic Island were every hour and a half on a Sunday and we'd just missed one by ten minutes and had to wait until 3.45pm. Typical. Not only was the waiting around annoying, it also meant that by the time we got to the hostel and checked in, we'd pretty much spent our whole day travelling. Townsville looked like something out of a western film set - very saloon like - and the place itself just sounds cool, doesn't it? Desperate Housewives-esque and very pretty to look at. It was a shame we had to head straight over to Magnetic Island, although I fell in love with it straight away. 

At the ferry we got a free shuttle to Base hostel and it was like stepping into paradise. When we booked all of our trips we paid 102 dollars each for two nights accommodation, one breakfast and one dinner. The hostel had a large open plan bar and restaurant area which overlooked the sea and all the little huts were tucked away. They were really cute and wooden with steps and a personal decking area for each one, not to mention that we could see the sea when we stepped outside. It was probably one of the nicest we've stayed in apart from the lack of air con. We took a quick dip in the pool, had some dinner which took FOREVER to be made (it was tasty though so I found it in my heart to forgive) and decided to enter the beer pong competition to win an 80 dollar bar tab.

Call us gaaaay but we like organised fun - challenge accepted. We figured me and David were the best of a bad bunch so we went on one team while Abby, Kate and Katie made another team to double our chances. The girls were knocked out in the first round but me and David turned out to be a little beer pong dream team. There were 18 teams and when it got down to the semi finals, if the opposing team got the ball in your final cup you could stay in the competition by each taking off an item of clothing. Keep it classy Australia. There were girls holding their boobs and boys holding their willies but we managed to get to the final still fully clothed. Good job as well as there was no way I was taking my clothes off to win a bar tab. The boys we were playing against took their boxers off right before we landed the ball in their final cup. But it didn't stop there. They then covered their willies with plastic cups right before we planted another ball in their final cup, again. We were all cheering at the fact we'd just won only to be informed by the adjudicator that cups counted as clothing. Bullshit. Especially when he categorically banned hats and flip flops from being classed as clothing. Maybe he just wanted to see their willies.

So there we were on the brink of winning, standing opposite two boys with their willies dangling. Such a shame they were in my eyeline of the final cup - visually disturbing. Luckily my next shot was the one that meant they could swiftly get dressed (sorry Mr Adjudicator) and we could claim our 80 dollar bar tab prize. We wanted to save it for the following night which wasn't allowed so it just meant we had to get drunk. Again, challenge accepted. I don't know how or why but I'm actually sick at beer pong, so if there's a competition where I can win real money or whatever (beer pong Olympics, that kinda thing) then holla. We also learnt from David (skip this part if you're an immediate family member of mime) that a pubic hair trapped in the end of a penis is called a gypsy eyelash. Interesting. The rest of the night saw us winning a neck pillow (David did but I pinched it and he thought he lost it, but he'll never know because he'll never read this) and a hairbrush (which I drunkenly forced Abby into letting me brush her hair with) from an old guy wearing a rather large flashing bow tie. Me and Abby also mistakenly used the men's toilets, we enjoyed 2 free bottles of wine and 2 free jugs of cider thanks to our bar tab and I was bitten about 11 times in the night. Let's just say that beer pong is a much more efficient and enjoyable way to use ping pong balls than they do in Thailand.

The next morning I woke up pretty hungover (okay, really hungover) and phoned my boyfriend before we went to rent a Barbie car. It's an infamous thing to do on the island - drive around exploring the island in doorless, roofless bright pink cars. Me, Abby, Kate and Katie got one and David, his two Dutch friends Lucas and Tom and their friend Sophie got another. The pink one wasn't available until 12 so we were in a red automatic one which was pretty cool as none of us had ever driven an automatic before. It was so weird driving a car with no clutch because I naturally wanted to gravitate towards it to change gear, but it was pretty fun as it just felt like driving a go kart. We all drove to The Forts and walked to the Arthur Bay lookout point which was very pretty. We were going to carry on up to the wild koalas but truth be told when you mix a bunch of 8 sweaty and lazy people, you don't get very far. We then drove to Horseshoe Bay where we went for a little swim (there was a giant net as it's deadly jellyfish season) and enjoyed a much needed nap. We grabbed some fish and chips which were disappointingly bang average before switching cars. 

We traded in a bright red automatic for a bright pink manual and we were in our absolute element. We were the opitome of a cliche driving round blaring Barbie Girl, but there were zero shits given. To be honest, I'm not sure whether we spent more time driving or taking pictures of us in, on or around the car. Our next stop was Picnic Bay for a little rest which of course wouldn't have been complete without a little photoshoot (it's great with boys as you have a designated photographer at all times). The last stop of the day was a 5 minute drive away to see the wild wallabys. They live in the rocks and one man has visited them every day for 15 years to feed them. They're now my new favourite animal because of how bloody cute they are. We got to feed them and as we held out our hand, they gripped on to it to balance and nibbled the food. Heart quite literally melted, especially when we saw a little Joey poking out of a couple of their pouches. It was another pretty surreal moment but a great one as my new life goal is to own a baby wallaby.

After quickly nipping back to get ready the 8 of us went to the supermarket and picked up shed loads of food for a BBQ on the beach. Sadly it was pitch black and raining by the time we got up and running (not what I imagined my first Aussie BBQ to be like) but we all huddled under the shelter with our phone lights on (just like in Pitch Perfect 2 without the harmonies) and tucked into sausages, burgers, crisps, cake and halloumi. BBQ over we headed back to the hostel for a drink before getting an early night. The 9 hour sleep was definitely needed and I even got to catch up with my mum briefly the following morning which was nice. I'm really close to my parents so I miss them a lot. At Uni I used to call or text them at least once a day to tell them what was going on or ask a silly question so it's hard not being able to do that whenever I like. Sadly wifi got the better us and we had to cut the call short but it was nice to hear my mum's voice all the same. Us girls decided to have one last drive in our Barbie car before taking it back, so I drove us to the supermarket to buy some bits for breakfast and lunch. Spaghetti on toast was an absoslute treat after eating toast for a month and we made some lunch to take on the bus with us. With a few hours to kill we sat on some sun loungers despite the cloudy sky, until we got caught in a torrential downpour. Turns out sunglasses come in handy for rain, too.

The crappy weather called for one thing and one thing only - cake club. We forgot about the big chocolate cake we bought for the BBQ so we found some shelter and indulged while we waited to drop the car back at 12. Apparently the car was meant to be back at 10, according to the angry lady on the phone so we jumped in the car, filled up (it cost 2 dollars - I need a Barbie car) and dropped it back. The miserable lady was nowhere to be seen and the guy who was one of the friendliest we've met thanked us for hiring the car and even dropped us back to our hostel. Fitting 6 people in a 5 seater car was an experience. After another hour of waiting we got the free bus to the ferry port, got the ferry back to Townsville and boarded the bus to Mission Beach. Barbie car day was up there with one of my favourite days so far. We had such a fun time messing about on the beach, cruising round being one big fat Barbie cliche and singing our heads off. Magnetic Island was a beautiful place to be and Base hostel made it all the more memorable. After another full on couple of days (I feel like I say this a lot), we're off to Mission Beach to stay in a tree house in the rainforest. We've heard it's a very chilled place with an open air cinema and beautiful pool so I'm more than happy to put my feet up and relax for 2 days.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely! Those cabins or shacks or whatever you call them look like so much fun. Right on the beach too?!