The great barrier reef is close to Townsville and therefore the great barrier reef HQ Aquarium is in Townsville. We thought it would be fun to visit.
The aquarium is situated right next to the ferry port and was about a 1 hour walk from our home.
We got to the aquarium and were greeted by a lovely staff member who explained what tours and talks were on whilst we were there.
There were 3 tours on whilst we were there, one of which was pretty much when we got there so we went upstairs and got to the talk area.
This talk was all about touching sea animals, such as crabs and starfish. We were told all about them and also shown a tiger sharks casing which it is born in. This is made from the same thing as hair and nails and one part feels like nail and one feels like hair.
We then touched some hermit crabs, all were in some interesting shells.
We then touched some starfish. We found out that starfish spit out their stomach to eat there food and that they have an eye on each end of their legs, which was interesting!
We walked around the rest of the upstairs area which included a very huge stonefish which was also very camouflaged and therefore petrifying! Kim went into the Nemo fish tank which looked odd and uncomfortable!
We then headed downstairs to the fish feeding part of the tour. This was where we were told interesting information about each fish they had and they fed them, as well as a crocodile which enjoyed jumping for his food! There was a barramundi fish too, which makes a big splash and thud when eating.
We then went to watch the big fish being fed in the tunnel. There were small sharks in here, too.
We found some other fish during our time killing before our next tour, including some small turtles and a squid.
We went to the theatre to catch the end of a video on jellyfish and then to start the turtle hospital tour!
We were taken to the turtle hospital in the back of the aquarium where they had 6 sick green turtles, some were big and some were small.
These were mostly new and they only stay there for as long as needed before being released into the wild. This was the best part of the tour as it was very interesting and there were Knowledgeable staff all around to answer your questions.
We left here and went back to our favourite pie shop down the road and got a chicken and mushroom pie to share which was divine!
We got back and Kim then made a delicious dinner of pesto shell pasta with bacon bits and blistered cherry tomatoes. It was absolutely gorgeous!
We shared a bottle of wine and now we only have 1 day left in Townsville before we move on.
We spent to day just doing admin. It felt almost like we were at work today with the amount of ‘work’ we had to do!
We had an application to complete and then we had to look into cars we can buy here in Australia as we are here for a while and a car would be easier. This took way longer than we expected. We looked up all regulations regarding buying, registering & insuring a car in Australia and before we knew it it was 16:30!
We needed a few more things from the shop, such as cereal, milk and some things for dinner, so we took a quick walk there before coming back and making dinner.
Kim made a style of chilli con carne with potato wedges and we had a beer and a chat with our host and had some dinner with him! It was a really nice early evening just chatting about past experiences and our plans for the future.
We then decided what we would do for tomorrow, which will be fun!
We were up nice and early this morning with a bag packed and swimming clothes on! We had french toast for breakfast and then left for the bus to the ferry terminal.
We got to the ferry terminal, bought a ticket for both the boat and for all day travel on the busses on Magnetic Island.
The island was only about a 20 minute journey across the water. Once we arrived, we just missed the bus so we walked to the first ‘bay’ called ‘Alma Bay’. Before we hit the bay, we walked to a spot where there are rock wallabies! We saw these wallabies, which are wild, and we watched them hopping around. They are beautiful creatures!
Alma bay was beautiful, quiet and relaxing! By this point we were so warm and just couldn’t wait to get into the water. We went straight into the water and spent some time there just poodling around and swimming.
We left this bay and caught the bus to horseshoe bay, which we were using purely for a food stop! We were looking for a pie again, but all we could come across was a lunchtime deal on lamb, chips & gravy which sounded perfect to us! We sat down and munched away at this delicious feast before continuing our day.
We hopped back onto the bus and went to ‘The Forts’. This has a fort within it, as well as a demolished fort and also, we were promised koalas! 🐨
We didn’t see any koalas for a bit of the walk, but then we saw a baby followed by some more adult kualas! Everyone helps by telling you where they are, and people even make arrows on the floor with sticks to show you where they are. This area is a nature reserve and all of the koalas are technically wild! They are so cute and one was even reclining for us!
We took a while to walk around this area as it was a long, long walk to get to the top of the fort, which did have beautiful views!
We walked back down the track and took a steep hill down towards another bay. We were told that Florence bay was a great place to go and was remote, but it was a very long, hilly walk and we were far too hot and tired for that! We got to a beach called ‘Arthur Bay’ which was again, beautiful. We stopped here, relaxed on the sand for a bit but mostly played around in the sea, just messing around and being pretty childish, which is so much fun!
This was the perfect beach to end on! We left here and went back to Alma bay and to see the wallabies! Unfortunately, there were a lot of people around now but there was a lovely man that knows a lot about the wallabies and was handing out some pellets for them so you can feed them and get a stroke! Kim took the opportunity. We tried to see if we could get a beautiful sunset, but it wasn’t that beautiful. We did however get a very nice photo!
We took a boat back in the dark which was nice, though we definitely both fell asleep!
We got back and Kim made a wonderful Sheppard’s pie…it was delicious!
Being in the sea all day is very tiring!
We got to see wild kualas and wallabies?! How crazy is that?
Before we walked up the hill, we had to get our laundry and hang it out. Where we are staying has a washing machine under the house which is accessed via a locked gate. This gate turned out to be very difficult to open and, after over 15 minutes of trying, both of us, Kim was finally able to open it! It turns out, you have to push down on the bottom bar of the gate to open it easier. This was a very interesting way to start the day! After this, we left to walk up the hill…
Castle hill is named this as it was the hill in the town previously called ‘castletown’ before being called Townsville. This means that there is unfortunately no castle.
This is a big hill which is right in the central area of the city, which is an interesting thing to see, when all other streets are flat, one street had a giant hill/mountain on it!
We took about 1 hour to walk to the hill’s base and then, reluctantly and wearing flipflops (for some rediculous reason!), We walked up towards the peak of the mountain. Today was very hot. The heat itself wasnt as hot as yesterday, but there was much less cloud so it felt much hotter.
We stopped only a couple of times and it must have taken us over an hour to teach the summit, where the were a lot of people because they are able to drive up!
We got some brilliant photos on the way up and down as well as at the summit. It was well worth the tiredness and pain going up and (more so) going down!
We walked down the hill again…slowly and in the way…before we got back to the base. We were rather tired but found free WiFi and headed for a pie shop. We had seen advertisments for pies everywhere so we had to get one! We went to pie house and shared a steak and mushroom pie which was absolutely delicious!
Once we ate this and relaxed a little, we made our way back home to start on some dinner! Kim had a chat with her sister on facetime as it is her birthday!
Kim made minced beef and cheese stuffed lightly toasted peppers with a side of mixed peppers and homemade paprika potato wedges…This was a beautiful dinner!
Tomorrow we have big plans and it will be a good read, hopefully!
Today, we eventually got out of bed and had some breakfast, before leaving to head back towards the beach.
We took a slightly quicker route to the beach and walked along the path before coming to the kissing point walk. This was a short uphill walk leading to kissing point. This is a fort which was used before and during the wars. It has a beautiful view and a lovely breeze too, which was welcoming from the heat!
We saw a few iguanas fighting and it turns out that they were much larger then we thought they were and one came out to tell us to ‘bog off’.
We walked around here for a while as well as looking at the barracks which is there also.
We walked along the beach for a little bit and then it started to get dark so we took the 1.5 hour walk back home.
Earlier on in the day, we had bought a SIM card which we will use here for a little bit as we need to do some admin which requires making phone calls, so we had to go home and set that up.
We got back home and then went to the shop down the road for a few things we need.
We got back and we were going to make some homemade food, but decided that a pizza was a better idea, so we got the one we just bought and stuck it in the oven.
We are still very tired from our flight so another early night it is, before having some admin to do tomorrow morning, then we have some plans for the day after!
Our flight last night was delayed by one hour, but once we got onto the plane, we slept for most of the time!
We landed in Australia and had to go through a pretty extensive check, but we were all good and able to enter the country! We were picked up by our AirBnB host, who is lovely, and were taken to our house! We have a lovely room with a very comfy bed!
We needed to get some food from the supermarket so we could cook for the first time in months, so we walked the 5/10 minutes down the road in the very hot weather to get to the shop and we bought all the required items which should hopefully last us for the week!
We got back and had a wonderful Breakfast made by Kim! A bacon, egg and cheese sandwich with a side of baked beans and bacon! What could be better?!
We got ready and left to explore! We took a 1.5 hour walk to a beach called the Strand.
This was more like a lot of different beaches together, but it was very hot and peaceful!
The centre is much more busy than anywhere else as you would expect, but elsewhere you barely see or hear anyone else…It’a quite eery!
We took the 1.5 hour walk back and stopped in a shop on the way back to the house as it is our hosts’ birthday so we got him some beer and ourselves a very cheap bottle of wine!
Kim made a pasta Bolognese and it was amazing to have home cooked food for the first time in months!
Tonight is an early night with more plans tomorrow!