Day 26:

23 July 2010

We awoke at 7:10a.m. having listened to the train going by all night in Hughenden, QLD, so rising this morning was a bit tough.  After cereal and orange juice, we packed up and got fairly quickly on the road (still route 66) to Townsville on the east coast.

Hughenden boasts a fossil centre as well, which we opted to skip as we'd had our fill of fossils the previous day.  But, they do claim to have fossils of dinosaurs that were found right in that area, which is impressive.  Plus, there's a replica right in the middle of town.

Hughenden, Queensland is famous for it's dinosaur discoveries

I drove all 380kms today (a small amount to what Rob's been doing lately) with only one stop for packaged mix cappuccinos for $5.00 each at the Homestead Gateway rest stop and once for petrol outside of Townsville. 

Homestead Gateway - very friendly service, but don't expect a real cappuccino - it's from a box

Yet more diversity in the scenery

Welcome to Townsville!

 

By 2:00, we were in the Fantasea Magnetic Island depot in the non-car "queue" (us and an older gentleman on his motorbike) for the car ferry over to Magnetic Island.  It was surreal to be cooking bacon and making and eating BLTs in the campervan while lilting from the ferry turbulence, but very, very cool.

Fantasea Magnetic Island Car Ferry Depot                         Sydney, Jenna and Devon waiting for their BLTs while on the car ferry

                                                                                                                - - in the campervan

Twenty minutes later, we drove onto the island and up the hill and partially around the island (about 7 kms) to the Bungalow Bay Koala Village where Rob checked us in to our caravan park spot (#28).  We sussed out the options for the evening and opted to walk to Horseshoe Bay in our swimmers to check out the closest beach (a four minute walk away).   After splashing in the waves a bit, we headed back village reception and booked into the restaurant for dinner tomorrow night and breakfast ("Bush Tucker Brunch with the Koalas") on Sunday (which includes breakfast and a two-hour talk that includes the opportunity to cuddle the local animals (koalas, crocodiles, snakes, lizards and more).  We also looked into a snorkeling eco tour run by a real-live marine biologist, but turns out that's been cancelled due to high wind warnings.  (Should we be worried?)

Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island

Rob and Sydney relaxing on Horseshoe Bay Beach

Devon teasing the waves on Horseshoe Bay Beach

Sunrays peeking through the clouds at Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island

The kids had a swim in the pool while Rob and I relaxed in hammocks and then they had a go in the hammocks while we enjoyed $12 two-for-one cocktails at the Bar (don't worry, the kids were within eyeshot).

So nice to be out of the campervan for a bit

(Devon, Sydney Rachel and Jenna at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village Pool)

Then, it was homemade soft tacos and nachos on our camping table and chairs for dinner - we even used the awning!  (Too exciting).

More tomorrow!

***

NB: 

The facilities here are all new, clean and well kept.  And, unlike their friends to the north west, they RECYCLE.  I can't tell you how painful it's been to throw away recyclables for the past two weeks simply because there were no facilities (and you can only store so much rubbish in a campervan before your husband wants to throw you out the window (smirk).  So, choosing my marriage over recycling, we've managed, but today I was actually able to put our recyclables in a recycle bin.

 

 This place is amazing and we will be here two glorious nights.