Cairns to Magnetic Island (09.08.2012): Still tired we checked onto our OZ Experience bus at 07:30am to start the first sector of our journey to Brisbane. There were only 3 of us on board - it definitely is low season! The OZ Experience is a tour rather than just transport. We spent most of the day exploring the Atherton Tablelands. We stopped first of all at Lake Barrine checking out two enormous kauri pine trees. We then travelled on to Lake Eacham to check out the turtles and for a swim in the lake (though we declined, cold!). Next stop was the Curtain Fig Tree - an extraordinary big parasitic strangler fig whose base is entirely overhung by a mass of roots coming from the higher branches. It was pretty impressive for a tree.
Our last stop of the Atherton Tablelands was the Mela Mela falls or Malanda (I can't remember) but I do remember that they are the falls that feature in the Herbal Essences advert! On leaving the Atherton Tablelands we headed for Tully - the wettest place in OZ with a huge boot to show you how much water they get. Next we headed for Cardwell Bay where we had a nice lunch by the sea before heading on to Townsville to catch the 17:20 ferry to Magnetic Island where we will be staying for 3 nights.
At Townsville we were driven to a view point for an amazing view of Townsville and out to Magnetic Island. Our ferry took 20 mins whereupon we waved goodbye to our guide and caught a bus to Horseshoe Bay on the north of the island. Our home for 3 nights is the Bungalow Bay YHA resort which resides within a koala sanctuary. We have a wooden bungalow which we share with one other person. It is an amazing place. So much wildlife. We got here just in time for coconut bowling (exactly what it sounds, bowling with a coconut for a ball). We manage to win ourselves free drinks - woooo! Great fun. Looking forward to a nice relax on this lovely island.
On the way back from the bar to our bungalow we saw loads of possums and Adam managed to spot a wombat and this hedgehog thing. He was out till 1am with his camera!