22 November 2010

Magnetic Island & Airlie Beach

Our tent!
After our stay in Port Douglas, we headed south to the mysteriously titled Magnetic Island (I'll explain the name later). After a long bus journey, we took the late night ferry across to the island then hopped aboard a bus that dropped us off at our accommodation: a nice change to the protocol in Asia where taxi drivers bombarded tourists at the ferry ports to offer rip-off prices. 

The island, which measures only 52 square kilometres, had just experienced a power cut, so it was with some trepidation that we checked into our guesthouse and were led to where we would be sleeping: a tent in the middle of the resort's tropical grounds.

Back on the golf course at last!
Let's just say that sleeping that night was quite difficult, surrounded by squawking birds, croaking toads, noisy lizards... and snakes. The owner assured us they were harmless - and happily pointed one out that was perched in the rafters of the lounge area!

I had read that former world number 1 golfer Greg Norman used to play the golf course on the island and decided, after a stretch of over ten golfless weeks, to give it a go myself while Pam had an afternoon at the beach.

The course was short, tight and difficult and it would be fair to say that I played terribly, but it felt great to swing a golf club again!

We took the bus to Horseshoe Bay - the busiest area of this tiny, quiet island - where we chilled on the beach before we set off on the Forts Walk to see koalas in the wild. We saw two on the walk to the top of the hill, and one even climbed down a tree to greet us!

Working the camera
The sleepy Magnetic Island was not one of our favourite places we have been to on our travels, so it was with renewed hope that we left for Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays. However, we hadn't planned for weather typical of a rainy April in Scotland!

With just a few shops, restaurants and internet cafes, the rain left us with little to do. So, instead of sailing in the Whitsundays or enjoying some time at the lagoon, we ended up booking our hostels and bus journeys for the next two weeks. I had a hair cut at the local barber shop and was (surprisingly) permitted to take scissors to Pam's hair. I maintain I did a good job, though you'd have to ask Pam what she thinks!


PS: If you wanted to know why it's called Magnetic Island, it's because when Captain Cook sailed past it, his compass behaved strangely. Although there is no scientific basis for why this happened, the name stuck.

The sun came finally decided to come out just hours before we were due to leave!
Rain, rain, go away...
Dweebing in an internet cafe
Pam's new hairdresser: The Butcher


  1. Shame about Airlie Beach - we did have a three day trip round the Whitsundays from there, which was a highlight of our time in Australia. Now to see if I can follow your mum's instructions for setting up a profile . . .

  2. Can I book a hairdressing appointment with you James when you come home in April? Looks like you did a good job! x

  3. The Airlie beach is so inviting! Glad you still enjoyed your trip despite the power cut. That rainbow picture is nice. :)


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