We catch the ferry over to Magnetic Island. Ferries run every hour and the trip only takes 20 minutes. We’re on the aft deck beside two young ambo’s and a nurse. Laden with a gurney and equipment they are on their way to pick up a patient. It’s a beautiful morning and the city of Townsville looks superb from the water.
We disembark in Nelly Bay and decide to have lunch before touring. From there things go pear shaped. The Thai restaurant we are looking for is closed and after being on the road for several months we’re seriously over fish & chips. In the heat we trudge back to the wharf which is now completely devoid of buses and taxis and are seduced by the rather welcoming Peppers Resort. Lunch goes swimmingly, the wine is delightful and bugger it, we give up on any ideas of sightseeing, there’s nothing wrong with the view of the marina anyway.
As we wait for the ferry we meet the local wildlife, one rock wallaby on the harbour breakwater, and of course we do notice the towering granite hills and hoop pines. There are about 2000 people living permanently on the island and the houses are rather attractive.
We hop back on the ferry and wave goodbye to ‘Maggie’, sightseeing just wasn’t going to happen today and we’ll probably never get back here again.
Surprise, surprise, only a few months later we are steaming down the Queensland coast on a cruise ship and she drops anchor to send two ill passengers ashore to hospital. We peer through the darkness and wait, it can’t be, sure enough there she is Magnetic Island mere swimming distance away from us and the lights of Townsville twinkling across the harbour. We’re back!