Townsville & The Whitsunday Islands - I've been on Holidays! - Part 1


Sorry I have been a little MIA these past few weeks! I've been on holidays!

(edit: I have just realised this is going to be one massive post so I have spilt it into 2!)

My boyfriend and I have been road-tipping around Queensland (QLD) for the last 2 weeks! We have had the best time, I love travelling overseas but sometimes its just as awesome to check out your own backyard! 

driving from toowoomba to emerald, QLD

We covered 3500kms in our 2 weeks away! And my little VW Golf (2012 TDi Model) handled it brilliantly! 

The plan for the trip was as follows:

Goondiwindi - Toowoomba - 230kms (1 night - for a wedding)
Toowoomba - Emerald - 750kms (1 night)
Emerald - Townsville - 620kms (5 nights)
Townsville - Airlie Beach -280kms (3 nights)
Airlie Beach - Yeppoon - 500kms (1 night)
Yeppoon - Goondiwindi - 710kms (home)

We were travelling to Townsville to visit my grandparents & for my grandfathers 80th birthday! So we decided to make a good trip out of it and add Airlie Beach to the itinerary. 

the strand with magnetic island in the background

Having travelled to Townsville so many times throughout my childhood, visiting all of my relatives, I knew what to expect, however my boyfriend had only previously been as far north as Fraser Island (about 4hrs north of Brisbane) he assumed Townsville to be a small sized city of around 80,000 people. He was pleasantly shocked when we arrived, and when I took him for a drive around the whole city. (Townsville has roughly 180,000 people & is the 13th largest city in Australia.)

Winter is the best time to travel to Townsville, its still nice and warm (depending on where you come from) with an average of about 25 degrees during the day (about 15 degrees at night), its warm enough you can go swimming, but not have to worry about those "killer jellyfish" that show up from November to May each year.

coconut palms everywhere!

If you have never been to Townsville, I suggest you go to your nearest airport & jump on a plane right now! It is such a lovely city and has changed so much in the past 10 years! There is an amazing array of restaurants and cafes, bars, pubs and of course Jupiter's Casino! 

view from castle hill overlooking townsville - magnetic island
on fire in the background

One thing you cannot miss on your trip to Townsville is a day (or overnight) trip to Magnetic Island, just off the coast of Townsville. Its a short 25min ferry trip across the bay. There are several ways to get around Magnetic Island - Hiring a car/mini moke/scooter/bike, walking or taking the buses that run frequently around the island!

our mini moke
on the hike to balding bay - excuse my runner/kaftan combo

We hired a Mini Moke - they are the finest way to get around the island! They are old, door-less and rough as guts, but oh so much fun! We drove all over the island! There are a few secluded bays that you can't reach by car or bus, most of them are about a 1km hike from a main bay. We hiked over to Balding Bay - which turned out to be a nudist beach! But the nudists were hiding amongst the trees lining the beach, so we kinda had the beach to ourselves (well except for when they went from a stroll to the water!)

balding bay - nudist beach

We also visited Reef HQ - the Townsville Aquarium, which is also a research centre and turtle hospital for the north QLD area. Reef HQ has the largest display reef in the world, and it is not one to be missed! It holds over 130 coral species & over 120 fish species, along with star fishes, sea cucumbers, urchins & sponges. Twice a day Reef HQ run a "Turtle Talk" where they talk about the species of turtles found around the world, most of which reside in Australian waters, dangers the turtles face both naturally and caused by humans, and what we can do to help. They then take you through to the Turtle Hospital which is located just behind the aquarium, to visit some of the patients currently under treatment at the hospital. 

one of the patients at reefHQ's turtle hospital

Thats the end of part 1, part 2 will be about our time in Airlie Beach!

As always, between blog posts you can find me on:

Instagram: @loadsoflifestyle
Twitter: @loadsoflifestyl

Mel x

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