Our tropical island holiday
By jmcp on Feb 17, 2006
So we were really, really pleased when February rolled around and we were able to take some time away. We flew up to Townsville on the Friday afternoon, and spent a night at the Aquarius On The Beach
overlooking The Strand, an area which has changed a lot since the first time I saw it 5 years ago. We had a reasonably nice if late dinner at the Seaview Hotel's Steakhouse (see below for mini-review).
On the Saturday we caught the ferry across to Magnetic Island. The ferry now pulls into the new (well, since we visited last!) harbour at Nelly Bay rather than at Picnic Bay.
We caught the bus around to Horseshoe Bay, where we checked in to a unit at Sails on Horseshoe. Unit 1 has a great aspect - at the front, with only a small strip of road before the bay foreshore:
As you can see, the view from the balcony is pretty good:
It was actually quite difficult for us to remember how to relax (8 months since we had anything more than a long weekend off), so we put some effort in: wake up, breakfast on the balcony, go for a swim
(Note the stinger net --- this is tropical North Queensland). Then after our swim we'd have lunch, have a snooze for a few hours, then swim again, have dinner, read for a bit (we got through all of the 6 novels we brought with us) and then sleep.
One morning I got up just before daybreak to take some photos. Since Nathan showed me to use my camera better, I figured I'd play around a bit and see what happened.
I also went around to Alma Bay (which was hosting the island's annual surf carnival the day we arrived) and climbed about 50m up the cliffs. As you can see, the water was perfect!
Later in the week we went around to Gregory Bay (where the car ferry used to come into) because J said there were Rock Wallabies to see. Just like these two:
We did try to get ourselves on a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef, but the company we rang up said "Sorry, we're trucking our vessel up to Cairns for repairs in the off-season." !!!!!
So instead on the thursday we went on an Eco-tourism trip: Sea Kayaking around from Horseshoe Bay to Balding and Radical Bays. The bloke who runs it
has won several awards over the last 10 years he's been operating, and does lots of work with schools from all over.
We finished our stay on the island with dinner at Barefoot Art Food Wine restaurant and gallery. They have a really good wine list, and the eye fillet was one of the best I've had anywhere in the world. I'll go into more detail on the food a little later. In the meantime, suffice to say that this place is totally, totally recommended.
Then we went back to Townsville, staying at the Aquarius again, swam, went to The Point restaurant for dinner, and came back to Sydney on the Saturday.
So we had a great time, we did just about nothing, and by the end of the weekk we actually felt relaxed and refreshed. It was a great change.