We spent nearly a week at Magnetic Island and in Townsville. Donald stuffed up some immigration issues so had to leave Australia to renew his visa. That meant we had to stick around for a little while while we arranged plane flights, etc.
At Magnetic Island we took the Forts Walk and got to see koalas in the wild (well sort of). Better than our zoo experience at Hamilton Island. First up was a mama/baby pair that just begged to be included in the advertising collateral for Australian vacations.
We got to see the baby when it was actually pretty active. This is more the norm, snoozing in a nice crook in a tree.
And this guy woke up when he heard strangers tramping around in his forest. Sorry dude.
Jackie was with us and got to enjoy all of the fun.
Horseshoe Bay where all the tourists come to play (and all the boats come to anchor although you can’t see them in this photo). A pleasant enough place but your basic tourist beach complete with knicknacks and mediocre food.
We spent most of our time around the corner from Horseshoe Bay at Five Beaches Bay. In Horseshoe there were 20 or 30 boats at anchor, in Five Beaches we had one other boat stop by for a few hours one day over the four days we spent there. Otherwise we had it all to ourselves. Looks a bit like Lake Tahoe in the summertime.
During part of this we had to head into Townsville for a long weekend. Donald missed a deadline to prove he was healthy by a couple of days so his visa extension got denied. The only option was to leave the country for a short time in order to get a new 90-day visa. That entailed a flight to New Zealand where he got to sleep in the Auckland airport for about 6 hours overnight then get back on the plane and come back to Australia. Could be worse. Erika and her Mom had to fend for themselves for a couple of days, keeping the boat safe in the Duck Pond anchorage and managing the half-mile dinghy ride back and forth to shore. It wouldn’t have been too much of a problem except Erika got locked in by another boatie – kind of like getting a boot put on your car – but with some ingenuity and a little help from the neighbors she was able to break free.
We got to see a lot of Townsville as Erika’s health exam date was a little later so we got to travel all over town (to places most tourists never see) to find doctors and radiologists so she could prove she wouldn’t die while in Australia (or pass along any nasty disease). In the end it would have been cheaper for both of us to plan in advance and fly away for a short vacation. Live and learn.