A Travellerspoint blog

Magnetic Island

sunny 30 °C

Hey there! Today I'm writing from our hostel on Magnetic Island. We took a bus from Airlie Beach up into the City of Townsville. The bus dropped us right at the ferry port, and we bought tickets and got on board. The ferry ride was only about ten minutes long, but it was really fun because there were waves! When we got off the ferry, we were told to just get on the bus and tell the driver where we wanted to go. So, when the bus pulled in, we bought tickets and said, "we're going to Bungalow Bay Resort", and the driver looked at us but said nothing, so we got on board. A large distance later, we were like, "how far to Bungalow Bay?" and he said, "you're on the wrong bus."

We were mildly unimpressed, however this is not a large island, so we got back to the bus terminal without wasting *too* much time. Eventually, we arrived. It's great! We are in little wooden huts in the middle of a rainforest. It's probably not actually a rainforest, but it's the closest thing to a rainforest I've ever seen. There's internet access right in the hostel, which is great because I can't find internet anywhere else on the island. However, the important part of the computer where I would hook up my USB is locked, so alas you won't be getting photos for a while... I do promise a lot once I get back to the mainland!

There's a really great pool, just a short walk away from our dorm room, and there's a whole bunch of hammoks surrounding it, attached to various palm trees. Being in Vacation-Mode, I have insisted upon two days of sitting in a hammok in my bathing suit, reading a book, going for a swim when the heat gets to be too much (which is often)... this is the life! I'm growing very fond of used book stores, because most of them are book exchanges as well. I'm onto novel number four and have only paid $8!!

If we don't feel like going to the pool, we can take a leisurely, 400m walk down to the beach. We are right on Horseshoe Bay, which apparently is the longest beach on the island. We've walked it several times, but unfortunately, the further north we go, the more into jellyfish-land we get, on top of the fact that jelly-season has just started. So, we stay safely behind the jelly-nets, though there are still warnings that are somewhat unnerving... "These nets don't guaruntee that very small jellies, or chunks off of larger jellies will be kept out of the swimming area, so BEWARE"... Kay and I headed back to the pool.

At around 4:00 pm, they bring out trays of food, and *hundreds* of wild lorikeets swarm down on you. If you are brave enough to grab a handful of the food you basically get attacked, but it's worth it. They're too cute! I've got loads of photos, and I wanted to post one of me with the lorikeets, but I will have to do that later. When the lorikeets aren't attacking, there are several kookaburras that hover around the bar. The bartender likes to throw chunks of meat at them, which the kookaburras then proceed to "kill" by smacking it on the picnic tables. Pretty cute.

Wow. This was a longer post than normal. I will most likely get online at least once more before we leave the island, so depending on what I've got going on I will pop in again. Hope you all are doing okay! My heart goes out to those of you cursed with winter weather... the coldest November gets on this island is 19C, so we're just ducky out here! See you later!

~Steph

Posted by dogdudette 18:45 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

A Fun Update

sunny 35 °C

Hello everyone! I'm checking in again! It hasn't been very long since my last update, but I needed to tell you more stuff ^0^!! Let me start off with... it's hot! Yestersay, by 9 in the morning, it was 33C with 90% humidity. My hair is not impressed...

Yesterday Kay and I went out on an ocean kayaking trip. It was reeeeally cool! We were in a two person kayak, the guide was in a two person kayak with a Brittish girl, and there was one other pair of people from France. It worked rather well because for the rest of the trip we were referred to as Team Canada and Team France.

We pulled out and went to all sorts of little islands, searching for sea turtles and stingrays. Then we landed at an island and went snorkelling in the coral! It was phenomenal... the water was crystal clear, and turquoise, and it felt lovely after a long-ish time in the boat.

Other than that... I don't have a whole lot to report, so I've comprised a little list of things that I find amusing over here:

1. The spelling is funny sometimes, like youghurt and tyre.

2. If you are driving on a road, not a highway, and there is a hill, signs are posted with the percentage of the incline.

3. They are thongs, not flip-flops, and while it may be hard to ask someone where to buy a good pair of thongs, you get funny looks if you call them flip-flops.

4. Boys don't like to wear shirts. Or shoes for that matter... I thought it was weird the first time a guy was in the grocery store wearing just shorts, but it happens a LOT.

5. It is not a Cantalope Melon, it is a Rock Melon.

6. Bananas are usually dipped in red wax on the tips

7. Several of the Aussie guys we've talked to are jealous that there is snow in Calgary. Actually, they have never seen snow, which is hard to imagine. Nevertheless there is fake snow on all the christmas trees.

And that's all I've got for now... I'm heading up up to Townsville tomorrow, to catch a ferry over to Magnetic Island. We'll be staying over there for about a week, so I hope to touch base again at least once. I'll see you all later!!

~Steph

Posted by dogdudette 19:02 Comments (4)

Happy Heat Wave!

Or, according to locals, "A Pleasant Day"

sunny 35 °C

Today I am writing from the town of Airlie Beach. This place is really nice, although I can only describe it as tropical! We stepped off the Greyhound at about 2 in the afternoon and it was like a wave of humidity and heat. It kind of reminded me of South Korea! Though, I must admit, South Korea was hotter. Maybe that's because it's still only spring over here. It is kind of hard to wrap your mind around 35C spring weather, and the locals say it gets even hotter. Not to mention we're still heading north! We might as well be on the equator already!!

Today we caught a shuttle bus up into the main part of town, and it's pretty nice. Lots of little shops and pubs and it's right on the beach/marina. Not much swimming though, because it's essentially all harbours. Lots and lots of sailboats. It's very pretty, especially if you're into sailing.

DSC06498.jpg

Like I mentioned... it is rather tropical here, so we're situated right in the middle of, essentially, a rainforest. There are palm trees, and rainforest trees, and wild cockatoos and lorikeets. They are super cute! I like it, even most of the houses are right in the middle of the trees!

DSC06492.jpg

Our hostel is pretty nice, we're actually in a little cabin, which is kind of cute. The shuttle picked us up right from the bus station, which is really handy, and drove us about a kilometer back into the forest to where the hostel is. Here is a photo of the walking path along the cabins where we're staying:

DSC06490.jpg

Tomorrow we are going on an ocean kayaking trip! We'll be visiting several little islands and snorkelling in the coral reefs! I really wish I could take photos but they are stressing a waterproof camera and I'm not sure if i'll buy one just for this. I'd have to mail it home or something... who knows. Either way, this is going to be fun and I shall keep you posted! I'm out for now, have fun in the snow, Calgary!! (hahaha)

~Steph

Posted by dogdudette 19:46 Comments (0)

Beef Capital, Australia!

sunny 25 °C

Yee-haw!! We have stumbled upon one of the most random little towns, and I can't say I ever imagined finding something like this out here. It looks like an old western town from the movies. None of the buildings are new, and it's realatively flat compared to elsewhere. When we drove in we noticed that there were cows everywhere, and not just the real ones. There are statues of cows, and pictures of cows, and by golly if this isnt literally the Beef Capital of Australia. It's almost like being back in Alberta ^0^!

We were talking to our very chatty hostel manager this morning, trying to figure out something to do today, and he told us that if we do nothing else it would be to have steak at their restaurant. Then he asked us if we were steak people, to which we replied, "yep... we're actually from Cow-Town Alberta ourselves"... and he got pretty excited. He was gung-ho that their steaks will beat even our Alberta beef, so I think we might just have to test this out later tonight! He also informed us that we had to check out the rodeo on Friday night.

The bus ride here was a drag, we got on at 8:30 in the morning and arrived at 7:30 in the evening. Yuck. At least we didn't have to walk anywhere... we had barely arrived when a shuttle bus came to get us, almost like they were expecting the exact time of our arrival! Anyways, I guess I don't have much more to say about that, so I will leave you with a few more photos from yesterday:

DSC06460.jpg

DSC06464.jpg

~Steph

Posted by dogdudette 20:08 Archived in Australia Tagged animal Comments (1)

I Love the Beach

And other fun things to do...

sunny 25 °C

Holla from Maroochydore ^-^!! This little town has quickly become one of my favorite places in the world. The hostel is *fantastic* and it is soooo much nicer than our first hostel, which wasn't even all that bad. We have made friends with several great people, including a native Australian guy who tells us fun stuff to do, and a girl from British Columbia who was staying in the same dorm as us. Plus the receptionist is goooorgeous...... but I divert.

We read in the hostel write-up about how it's very accomodating, and only 200m from the beach, but I don't think it occured quite how close that was until we got there. This is the view from our dorm window:

DSC06390.jpg

Needless to say we have spent a bit of time on the beach. And it's beyond words! The real ocean, which smells fantastic, gorgeous breeze... it's delightful. And you know those essentially deserted streches of sand and water that you see in commercials all the time? We're right on it!! The sunset was more than I can even describe... here's a shot of me right at dusk on the beach:

DSC06352.jpg

That was the evening that we arrived here. The next day was entirely devoted to the beach. When we walked outside there was an adorable little flea market which apparently sets up every Sunday. We bought sarongs (because they were too cute) and then headed to the ocean! Spent the day swimming and lounging and walking back and forth along the entire stretch of water. If this shot's not making you jealous yet I'm not doing a very good job ^0^:

DSC06364.jpg

(mom... I put sunscreen on 3 or 4 times and only burned a tiny little bit...)

Finally... today we hopped a free shuttle bus (which wound up being a huge double-decker) down to the Australia Zoo. I have always always always wanted to go there, because I want to be just like Steve Irwin when I grow up. Anyways... it was a great time, we were quite the tourists, scooting around to all the enclosures, and you could even interact with a lot of the animals! Here's my Kay making friends:

DSC06423.jpg

And that about sums up my latest excursions! We head out tomorrow at 8:30 am to the city Rockhampton. It's a lot farther than it looks on the map, as we found out, we've got a 10 hour bus ride ahead of us. Ah well... If our goal is to make it to Cairns by November 15 we've got to keep on moving! Again, I'm not sure about what internet connections I'll have access to, but I promise to check in if it's available! Bye!!

~Steph

Posted by dogdudette 00:07 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (3)

(Entries 26 - 30 of 34) « Page 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 »