Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Townsvill Queensland Australia

Having arrived at Townsville we took a while to find the motel.  The Townsville Icon is a large rock that juts out in the middle of the town.. An imposing hill that is now a reserve.. But one or two houses had managed to be built on it's slopes so far up ..... 

The hitch hikers guide to the universe says this of Townsville


As the unofficial capital of North Queensland, Townsville combines the lure of the tropics with the attractions of a city. It is a renowned centre for research into marine life and is home to the headquarters for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Townsville also supports a significant defence presence along with the main campus of James Cook University, so visitors are well catered for with a complete range of accommodation, nightlife, cultural and leisure pursuits.

Magnetic Island is just a 20-minute ferry ride offshore, and a huge drawcard for visitors. Also within reach are Orpheus, Hinchinbrook, Dunk and Bedarra Islands. Inland, the historic goldmining towns of Charters Towers and Ravenswood make a fascinating day trip or overnight stay. 

The Strand is the favourite beachfront leisure spot for locals and visitors with four man-made headlands, rockpools, eating places and a play area with waterslides, fountains and a water cannon. The city’s modern buildings have been successfully integrated with 18th century heritage architecture to house the galleries, museums and restaurants that make a visit to Townsville especially memorable.


This is the beach off the strand ..And by shear good fortune the motel was just across the road from where this picture was taken ...

Note the water temperature of 24C :O) Not that Jill would agree having taken feet out of 40C+ tramping boots and paddling for a few seconds .... We were so over dressed on the beach...we're trampers not beach bunnies ..

The motel was not the best.. Dark and well in need of re-decorating..But Clean and the bed was comfortable ... We did a little drive around that evening. The good cafe's were packed and being tired from the travelling we opted for a takeaway..Red Rooster ...I'll say no more :O\

Up early the next morning we made the call to stay another night to allow us the change to take a 20 minute  boat trip over to the now famous (to us having heard so much about it ) Magnetic Island...But first we wanted to drive up the hill in the middle of the township and have a look around .....

This was an interesting looking church we came across ...Note the rather 'Dan Brown' sinister URL of ''...I was going to go on and make fun of them over it here ..but I googled the site and they seem a rather nice family/charity focussed bunch ...So I won't ....

Blurred Picture of a flowering tree - but it was an awesome plant - must look up the name ..

Similarly - wonder what this tree was ...The fruit wasn't large

As we got closer to the rock we noticed something painted on the left bump in the picture

Turned out to be the icon from the 'Saint' TV series with Roger Moore decades ago...But who the sam decided to put that there off a sheer cliff !!!! 

The day was almost cloudless and clear...The views were pretty damned good

The island is Magnetic Island in the distance

Plane crash on side of cliff face !!!

Blurred picture again - But this was unofficially the biggest Bumble Bee on the planet !! Huge !!! HUGE!!! how he could take off with those tiny wings he had would be a major physics lesson in itself !! 

Shame about the power lines ... By now the temperature had risen dramatically ...It must get really hot up there as at the carpark there was a drinking fountain with chilled water !!! and very welcome it was too :O) 

We then headed off through the township (Dramatic, large, turn of the century, affluent  type buildings ) and back over to the port to grab a ferry... What we didn't know was that between about 11am and 2pm there are no ferries over to the island !!  Whoops ... What to do ?? We came across the marine building and the fish displays but as we were about to enter we talked it over (as we do) and decided to pack up and head north a way to shorten the next leg of our travels to cairns and the daintree forest .... 

It was sometime around now that Jill asked where the passports were ......Don't know why ... But at that point my heart stopped beating and a cold sweat broke out on my forehead !! THE PASSPORTS !!! They're in my Jacket !!!! Which is still in the hotel wardrobe back in Mackay !!!!!!!!!

As Jill rang the motel I looked up numbers of Embassy's...HOW LONG to get a replacement !!! How long to get my permenant residency Visa re-issued !!!!! It could be weeks !!

The very nice lady back at the 'Ocean International Motel'  was very helpful. But she would have to speak to the cleaning staff and find out if they had them ...Jill and her worked out contacting arrangements and then it was a waiting game ... Then - Yes they have jacket and passports !! OH JOY !!!!!!!!!!!... Arrangements for couriering the package to the lodge we were staying at in a day or twos time were made ... ticket numbers would be sent so we could track our parcel ... we had done all we could .... 

De-stress - De-stress - De-stress ......... 

I've never felt so sick ...Stupid thing as normally they would not be in my jacket... We usually check the room about 3 times before leaving etc ..... But holiday back on track we packed and looked for accommodation for the night ahead somewhere north of where we were ... 

And we found it - Sanctuary retreat Mission Beach ...and the heart of cassowarie territory !!! 



Kay said...

Wow what memories - what a beautiful place - what a fright you got - but it all turned out okay (believe me these things do! I know ...) And (of course) what beautiful photos!

Ann said...

You sure have a good trip and great photos. Did you climb the cliff or pick a fruit from the tree and eat it?

The Aussies must be thinking," Those English people, come to the beach in tramping boots!!!!!!"