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Andy’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 01 Jul 2006

Location: Townsville, Australia


Townsville was my next stop after the Whitsundays. I hitched a lift with Becky and Lucy - who i had travelled with up to Byron Bay - in their Wicked camper. These are an institution on the backpacking circuit; camper vans with awesome paint jobs which range from simple eye pleasing designs to more politically motivated slogans and pictures. George Dubya features on quite a few, invariably with a pun on the word Bush. After a journey which traversed the borders of hair-raising (whenever Lucy overtook - she usually forgot to get back in the correct lane), disaster movie (the van was invaded by huge green ants), and lastly, chilled (watching the sunset over some spectacular scenery) we arrived in Towsnville where i left the campers and met up with Gemma and Claire again. We only stayed in Townsville, which should be renamed Snoresville (geddit?? narf) for one night before we took the ferry to Magnetic Island.

Maggie is very isolated, sparsely populated (2000 people i think), with one small food shop and a bar or two. Im glad i came when i did, a commercialisation programme is currently underway which will completely change (read ruin) the atmosphere and feel of the island.

We stayed at Base which was in the middle of nowhere but thankfully right on the beach. One of the best hostels weve stayed in. The rooms are all self contained little huts perched on the granite rocks just behind the beach or lying on the the steep, rocky banks of a creek that was in the middle of the hostel grounds. The hostel was a series of low-rise buildings, huts, a pool area, bar (with a huge veranda and ocean views) etc. all in beautiful landscaped gardens and palm trees. Most of our time was spent in the hammocks reading and chatting.

All in all a great place for some R and R before continuing the journey up the East coast where my last stop would be Cairns.