We parked up 30 mins outside Townsville last night at Toomulla beach - it's a free rest stop with toilets and has other campers parked up similar to ours. We wake up and investigate around 9am discovering we are near waters that home crocodiles - omg!!!
We head off to Pellender beach for brekkie - it's not open to swimmers following a recent crocodile sighting so we wolf down cornflakes and Matt practices Ed Sheeran's "thinking out loud" on guitar - sounding good!
We decide to check out some Australian wildlife at the Billabong sanctuary just outside Townsville. It's more of an open grounded area than a zoo (hence the word sanctuary) and you can get quite close to the animals, they have great space and to hold them costs nothing at all but pics are $18 dollars a go. We loved it - got to feed kangaroos even saw a Joey both in and out of the pouch, fed Emus, Matt held a Koala and a Wallaby and we watched an amazing Crocodile feeding show as well as a bird show all for $33 - half the price of the Australian zoo. We seriously recommend it - it's also got a pool on site which Matt took full advantage of.
We make tracks and on route a small accident takes place in front of us - just a bump but the guy in front drives into the back of a slow paced camper van like ours - he's been up their rear for ages although they have been painfully slow at times to be honest. Despite it we leave our number and names in case they need them and discover the victims are a travelling French couple who speak very little English and ask us for a hand phoning the police as the hire company apparently advised them. Jacq finds a local non-urgent police number and calls it in for them - they are advised to swap details and call their insurance companies. The guy who smashed into them was irate at the beginning but has calmed down and admitted he's messed up tailgating them so it's all good and we leave then to it - thank god it wasn't us! The drama does set us back an hour though.
We head off then for Bowen where a third of the movie Australia was set and Jacq discovers the bar used in the movie in the town called "Grand View Hotel" - we pull up and can't believe how like the movie it is!! We walk in for a drink and what appears to be a local walks up to us insisting he buys us one delighted we stopped to see the pub. His name is Mike - he's a lovely man and we then discover he owns the joint - we manage to eventually insist on buying him back a drink he then gets Matt some duck spring rolls, gives us tips on the area and offers us a room for the night as he's concerned the weather at Whitsunday's won't be great for our boat trip tomorrow at 7am and it is another hour drive away. We cannot get over the level of friendliness and sincere helpfulness we've experienced in this country so far - they people are great!
Respectfully we decline thinking if it is cancelled we need to show up to get our money back at least. Great bar though! We make tracks for Airlee beach as we have an early shout at the port tomorrow which depending on the weather could be interesting.