Existing Member?

Gina, Joe and Justin's Backpacking Experience

Townsville and North

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 13 January 2009 | Views [738] | Comments [3]

Ok sailings over and its time to make our way towards the final destination.  A few interesting things have happened over the last few days, some good...some not so good.  First off we made the executive decision to change our flight to leave Australia 9 days early and spend a little bit more time in Thailand instead.  Because of the way our flights were originally set up we would have been backtracking back to Brisbane over 10 days to make our flight out.  There really isn't enough in the northern part of the country to warrant doing it over again, so we figured the time would be much better used exploring new lands.  This new plan will give us about 23 days in Thailand vs the 14 we were looking at before….muuuch better!


Later the same day Gina decided to go to the eye doctor to have her eye looked at (its been bugging her quite a bit apparently).  She was then given the wonderful news that she has some eye infection/ulcer that requires a bunch of medicine and she can’t wear her contacts for 3 MONTHS!!! haha she looks so funny in her glasses...easy teasing target for me and Joe ;).  The unfortunate part to the whole thing was the new problem of Gina's diving.  This actually led us to our FIRST international travel problem/argument.  Without getting into the gory details we had a dive booked for a wreck which Gina obviously couldn’t go on.  When we tried to tell them that Joe and I would go, but Gina would not, the owner of the place flew off the handle.  It was actually pretty bad, he was swearing at us and insulting Americans and America among a long list of other offenses, including pulling Gina aside and screaming at her for her eye problem.  At that point we just left before a little problem turned it to a MUUCCCHH bigger problem...(note to all international businessmen:  don't mess with American women!!!)


Sooooo, alternate plan!  We headed north to a town called Townsville, which was a great little tropical city.  We all decided that if we had to pick a town to live in here in Australia...this would defiantly be it.  The city itself was about the size of Kalamazoo (which made it the biggest city in Queensland).  They had an impressive beach front park that had beaches with stinger nets, biking and running paths, a huge jungle gym (oh yeah), and a free water park with slides and the whole bit!  There was also a huge mountain in the middle of town that you could drive to the top of and get a 360 degree overlook of the whole city and coastline.  We were impressed!!! 


From town you could take a ferry to Magnetic Island. Magnetic Island is an old military fort perched about 15 miles from shore.  Because of its isolation they have populated it with lots of animals and plants which make it awesome for hikes and camping.  The island also has the highest concentration of wild Koalas in the country.  We arrived at the island a little late in the day so we weren’t able to explore the whole place, so we opted to do the most popular “Fort Track,” which takes you up to all the old military shacks and gunnery.  Although the gun's themselves were gone the HUGE cement footings were still very intact and you could get a feel for how massive these things were.  According to the signs the guns could be fired accurately up to 20km (14ish miles), and they were only fired one time during the entire existence of the stronghold.  You'll never guess who they shot at… of course, the US Navy, albeit accidentally.  The whole walk was great!  We were even lucky enough to see 3 wild Koalas on the hike: a mother and baby, and one bachelor.  Unfortunately Joe and I are both complete morons.  Joe forgot to bring his camera's memory card and my battery only had enough power for about 10 pictures.....soooo, the “proof” of how nice this lil island was doesn’t exist!!! doh!  All well, you'll have to take my word on it.


On a funny side note, while we were waiting for our ferry to the Island I decided that I would like to enjoy a delicious ice cream cone.  While unwrapping my ice cream I was disheartened to find that instead of the delicious ice cream I was planning on seeing, I was instead given a plastic replica ice cream cone?!?  What a dirty trick, I can still hear Joe and Gina laughing about this in my head.  After a few minutes of digging through the trash can for the wrapper and some reading I learned that I was the proud winner of an MP3 player...yay...I really just wanted an ice cream.  I did all the registration paperwork to redeem this thing, but I have really low hopes that they're going to mail it all the way to the states for me.  It figures the one contest in my life that I win and I’ll never see the fruits of it ;). 



The ice cream cone incident was definately one of my favorite things to happen to Justin on this trip. The look of disappointment and confusion on his face while he sat there trying to figure out why he was holding a plastic replica of his desire was beautiful. Even better is the fact that since it takes 8 to 10 short weeks to get the mp3 player in the mail and the little problem that they don't ship internationaly, Justin will never see this lovely prize. Only Justin could deserve having a winning event turned into losery. Oh yeah, he also ended up having to buy another ice cream cone because he didn't see the prize came with a coupon for a free cone. Great stuff.


  gborchers3 Jan 13, 2009 1:57 PM


My eye managed to heal much quicker than they originally thought it would so I can wear my contacts again!!! So Joe and Justin will have to find something else to make fun of me about. I'm sure they wont have too hard of a time finding something.

  gborchers3 Jan 22, 2009 5:19 PM


Justin, you just have no luck when it comes to ice cream mate. You never seem to get the right order. Remember the "chocolate flake" incident at Maca's in Auckland? I seem to recall a confused and disappointed look on your face then too. Both that incident and the one you wrote about above made me laugh histerically though. Maybe it's a sign - If I were you, I'd just stay away from ice cream; perhaps you should switch to frozen yogurt.

Miss you guys. :-)

  Canada Kim Jan 24, 2009 6:05 AM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.



Travel Answers about Australia

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.