Tom and I have been having an absolute ball this week. We went to Magnetic Island for a few days and although we got rained out on the second night we had an absolute blast. We went on a beautiful walk on the island and Tom saw his first wild koalas. I also went for a wild horse ride on the island it was supposed to be a chilled out ride to the beach followed by taking the horses for a swim in the ocean, it turned out to be a hardcore ride in torrential rain followed by the horses freaking out in the ocean and three people falling off – including me! I’m fine but have an extremely sore bum. The horses freaked out when a big wave came and all of them bolted for the shore. Luckily no one got hurt and at least the ride wasn’t boring. Although I was a bit bruised I got straight back on my horse and we all rode back to the ranch.
We met a couple from Scotland Ewan and Amy who have been travelling all over the world and rented a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Wicked Van to travel in Australia with. We entered a team together in the local trivia night and called ourselves Team Cowabunga we didn’t do too badly and although we didn’t win either we had lots of laughs.
It rained the whole second night that we were on Magnetic Island and when I say it rained – IT POURED!! It was full on!!!! Beauty our campervan only had a minor leak thank god! The next day it was back on the ferry back to Townsville and onto Ingham. After passing through Ingham we made our way to Mission Beach. Tom and I found a lovely caravan park to spend the night, we had the rainforest as our backgarden.
The next day we were up early and on our way to do a couple of rainforest walks. On our way we were lucky enough to see two wild Cassowaries! Cassowaries are Australia’s largest flightless bird and are part of the emu family. They are endangered due to destruction of their natural habitat and in the Mission beach area there is estimated to be only around 50 left. So we were very lucky to see 2!
We headed into the rainforest and although I was very excited about seeing the Cassowaries from the safety of our car I was not at all keen to bump into one whilst walking through the rainforest. Cassowaries can be potentially dangerous, if they feel threatened they will jump and kick out with both legs at the same time to attack you with the claws on their feet – um, no thanks. The walk was really magical – it was like stepping in to another world. We were both a bit jumpy on the walk which was funny –we were both expecting a Cassowary to jump out and attack us!
After surviving our rainforest walks, we drove to Paronella Park which was built by a Spanish immigrant named Jose Paronella. As a child Jose’s mother told him bedtime stories about castles and ‘pleasure gardens’ so as an adult he decided that he would build his own and open it to the public. This place has to been seen to be believed! It is spectacular, even with most of the gardens in partial ruins now (due to fires, floods and cyclones) it is still incredible to visit. Mena Waterfalls run through the gardens and are spectacular in their own right. We stayed in the park’s overnight camping area and went on the night tour which is also a must if you go the park.
We slept in this morning and didn’t get out of bed until 9am and then we slowly got our things together and hit the road. The weather was perfect and it was so nice driving through all the sugar cane fields with the music blaring and the windows down!
After a couple of hours we made it to Cairns and here we are now at Stevie’s place! Thanks Stevie for having us – you’re a legend! Tom and I are also both super excited because Angelika arrives in Cairns tomorrow! Yippeeee!!! We are yet to plan what we adventure we are going to do together but we are thinking about visiting Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas and the Daintree River for some croc spotting! Who knows? Whatever we do it will be fun!
To be continued…….