Magnetic Island

We sat in bed this morning listening to our festival CD in a little tribute to Alli and Adrian who have gone to the Isle of White festival. If we had been at home we would have gone too and I’m very sad about that. On the plus side, I do feel normal today with none of the hangover symptoms we normally all have when we get together. Alli tells me in her last email she hasn’t touched Jack Daniels since our leaving party (Or been able to look at a teapot- the Jack Daniels drinking vessel of choice that night!) Funny!

We got up and quickly repacked, we have to catch the bus at 9.45 to the ferry terminal where we will get a 20 minute ferry ride to Magnetic Island. The small ferry is very clean and safe looking, unlike a few we went on in Thailand! And we arrive at Nelly Bay just after 11am. We catch the local bus to Horseshoe Bay where we are staying and get out at Bungalow Bay Koala Village.

We have reserved two wooden huts for 2 nights and we’re pleased to see they are a bit more spacious and sturdy looking than the ones we stayed in on Ko Hai. In the sun it’s really warm and I take advantage of this by quickly stripping off to my bikini and lying on the grass for an hour or so. It’s a good opportunity to have a look around, this place is really a big campsite but with the added benefit of a restaurant and bar and it’s a beautiful setting. Lots of space and loads of tall leafy trees for the hundreds of birds to perch on. Not so tropical looking as further north though.

At 3 o’clock we head off up the road to walk the Koala Trail. Apparently they are around late in the afternoon and we thought it would be cool to see them in the wild. On the way we pass a field with a group of 6 or 7 kangaroos. They are quite big, I think 4 or 5 feet tall and don’t seem to mind us standing gazing at them and taking their picture. We reach the Koala Trail; I’m a bit worried to see signs saying there are Death Adders here. These are some of Australia’s most dangerous snakes and apparently a few dogs have been killed by them on Magnetic Island in the past few weeks.

We walk along the trail and stop on the way to take some photographs of the lovely bay below. We pass a big water tank and there in front of us is a small group of people staring up into a tree. The koala is all curled up, fast asleep and clinging on tightly to the branch with its long black claws. It’s quite big and it is nice to see it in the wild rather than at a reserve.

When we get back there is obviously something going on with the local bird population as we can hear the excited screeches of parrots. As we come round the corner, we see maybe one hundred of the most brightly coloured birds I have ever seen. It is Lorikeet feeding time. They are quite something and (At feeding time at least) completely tame. Standing on peoples heads and outstretched hands and fighting over the last few scraps of food.

We order a few drinks and sit at the bar while Ali and Maisie entertain themselves making Maisie’s Dance Video. (Very funny, will try and put it on website).As we sit chatting about our plans for the next few days, Tracey the girl from Guilin and Cairns walks in. We accuse her of stalking us and sit and have drink and catch up. She’s leaving in the morning and we promise the next place we meet we will definitely have dinner. We have our dinner and take her Ipod and charge it up for her. Then say our goodbyes again and head off for our little cabin.

On the way we look at the army of tree possums watching us from the branches. It’s really cold now and I’m glad we’ve got our sleeping bags as we snuggle down. Tomorrow we are hoping to hire a Mini Moke, the best way to get around the island but unfortunately all booked out today.

We have also been considering a 3 day sailing trip around the Whitsunday Islands. (A must see, must do activity when in OZ) There are lots of boats to choose from but the kids aren’t allowed on the maxi racing yachts and this does narrow our choices. The boat we like the look of is a Tall Ship with a long an interesting history but will cost (Ouch!) 750 quid. Looks like this could be one adventure we can’t see, can’t do. We’ll sleep on it.