The ferry from townsville to magnetic takes about 30 mins. We were staying at bungalow bay hostel in the area of horseshoe bay. It was really easy to get to, as soon as you come out of the ferry terminal look right and there will be a bus stop. The bus has horseshoe bay written on it and the driver will shout when you get the bungalow bay, it cost $2.85 and takes about 15 mins. The hostel is right next to a koala sanctuary and with the ticket we bought we got entry to the sanctuary and a koala cuddle included. The opening times of the sanctuary were all later in the day and as we only had one day to explore the island we saw there was a special ‘champagne breakfast’ you could do which was from 0830-1000. So we did this which was $18 extra; pretty steep but it was a huge breakfast and meant we weren’t wasting time just waiting for the sanctuary tour to start.
So the breakfast is pretty cool, it’s buffet style and has; bacon, sausage, hash brown, mackerel, pancakes, a variety of cakes, fruit, yogurts, cereals, toast, juice, chocolate and strawberry milk, tea and coffee. Oh and one class of a bucks fizz type drink. Safe to say the best breakfast we’d had in a while and the staff are really happy for you to each as much as you can. There was loads of food left over. So while we were having breakfast the guides brought out the lizards and a massive snake for us to look at and hold. We all had a hold of the lizards (abbie got a little wet) but only abbie and dani were brave enough to hold the snake, I freaked out as it kept wrapping itself around everyone’s legs and chests!
After this, feeling pretty full, we had a cuddle and photo with ‘Thor’ the koala. We were only allowed to hold him for a minute but it was the best minute ever! He was so cute and felt really comfy in your arms. All the koalas in the sanctuary have been rescued for various reasons and are pretty tame and relaxed.
After holding Thor we went to see the other koalas, they have 4 more. One of them was in a RTA and has no use of his back legs so we were allowed to go in and scratch his bottom as he finds this hard to do now. There were also some little crocodiles at the sanctuary who I didn’t see move once! Also we can’t forget the wombat and some birds who abbie and Dani had a great time with.
At 1100 Isle hire came to pick us up from the hostel and take us to the office to do the paper work for the open top car hire. For $88 you get the car for the day and they’ll come and pick you up and drop you back to where you need to be. So its not too bad if you split it between four people. The petrol was $20 ish so another $5 each. It was definately worth getting the car to explore the island as there isn’t really any other way to get around, plus it’s really fun driving the car around the island! It can be a bit bumpy at times, especially when Marta (our Spanish friend we had met in Whitsundays) was driving and forgot about being on the left side of the road :).
Highlights of the island for us were; driving to west point for the sunset, …. to see the wallabys, and Arthur bay look out point.
There are lots of beautiful beaches to go swimming on the island but make sure you wear something stinger suit, I went in without one in the netted area and still got stung! The jellies are everywhere and sometimes so small that you can’t see them.
We went to base for dinner as this was where Marta was staying, this is the party hostel and if you haven’t been told already it gets pretty rowdy. The night we were there they had beer pong and spicy hot wing challenge (there was a boy puking into a cup afterwards and he didn’t even finish them).
Next day we got the ferry back to townsville, said goodbye to abbie as she was staying there with a friend, and we got on the premier bus to mission beach…