After a very quiet night we organised breakfast and packed up and made the short drive down to Coral Coast Tourist Park.
It didn’t take us long to set up and do a quick reconnaissance walk around the park. The amenities block was large and clean, the camp kitchen and barbecue weren’t too far from our site and there was a pool. However even though it was sunny it wasn’t hot enough to tempt us any time during our stay.
Townsville – Things To Do
There is lots to do in and around Townsville. We had aimed to stay a week but due to the Touring Car Championships could only secure six days at the Coral Coast Tourist Park. So what can you do? You can climb Castle Hill, visit Magnetic Island for a day trip, visit Billabong Sanctuary to see native animals up close, stroll the Strand, walk up Mt Louisa, visit the Museum of Underwater Art, go to Reef HQ Aquarium (which we had done on a previous visit), take a day trip to Paluma Range National Park to see the cascades, go diving or snorkelling on the Great Barrier reef and eat at any number of great restaurants and cafes.
On our first afternoon in Townsville we met up with our friends, Phil and Dorothy, who were staying in Townsville for a few months. We met at the Strand, right in the middle near Juliette’s, a well known ice creamery in Townsville. (More about that later.)
It’s a sealed pathway along the north eastern shoreline of Townsville going from the Sealink Ferry Terminal all the way up to an outdoor rockpool. When we were there the pool was empty and having a clean. It didn’t matter though because we were more interested in walking as we had our dog, Mel, with us and Phil and Dorothy had their two mini Schnauzers, Rose and Roxy with them.
We headed north west towards the rockpool. It was quite a walk. Lots of other dog walkers were out as it was lovely weather. At times we had to dodge joggers, skateboarders and scooter riders. Mel doesn’t like fast moving wheels so we had to hold her firmly on the lead a few times as she would want to bark and lunge at them otherwise. There were lots of apartments and views to Castle Hill on one side
and on the other side there were nice green belts along the path, a couple of sandy strips of beach,
a lot of rock retaining walls to stop erosion from the sea
and magnificent views out to Magnetic Island to enjoy as we walked and chatted.
Of course there was lots of stopping so the dogs could sniff to sense who else had been there before them.
At one point there was a photo viewpoint with props.
I had a fun photo taken in the chair with the legs and the beer stubby holder. It was a shame it was metal.
At one stage we couldn’t hear ourselves as some military helicopters flew above us.
At the end we came to the rockpool but as I previously mentioned it was empty. So we turned back for the return walk. We were intrigued by the statue of the lady out in the water.
On our return to our starting point we headed to Juliette’s to order one of their delicious ice creams.
We sat down to eat them and plan what we might do in the next few days. We decided we would have a rest day and do a day trip to Magnetic island the following day again. Because it’s mostly national park Karen organised a local dogsitter for Mel the next morning. We also did a big load or two of laundry as the caravan park had a good laundry set up. While that dried we headed up to stock up on dog food and other groceries. The barbecue beckoned that night. The sunset was stunning.
Magnetic Island Day Trip
After breakfast the next day we drove into the Sealink car park, parked and met Phil and Dorothy, having dropped Mel off with a very friendly, nearby dogsitter. Being Seniors gave us a discount on the tickets over to Magnetic Island, which was good as we later discovered the bus fares on the island were also half price for Seniors. The ferry trip over to Nelly Bay was very smooth and only took about twenty minutes. On arrival we walked out to the bus stop. Sure enough a bus arrived within a few minutes and after buying our seniors day tickets we were off to Picnic Bay. After leaving the bus we started with a short walk along the Picnic bay pier.
The views are beautiful so we took a quick selfie.
By now it was time for a drink which we ordered at the nearby R & R Bar. After that we walked along a path past some fig trees with massive root systems
and onto the beach. We had some nice views to the mainland
and back to the pier.
By now the tide was out. I decided to take a few photos. Here you can see me trying to frame a better shot.
Here’s one of the photos I took.
Once we reached the end of the beach we turned back to return to the bus stop. There was a beautiful mural near the bus stop.
The bus took us back through Nelly Bay, Arcadia and Alma Bay before heading over the hill to where the Forts Walk can be done and finally to Horseshoe Bay, our lunchtime destination.
After a quick look around we decided to eat at a cute little house cafe, The Early Bird. It had lovely views to all the boats moored in Horseshoe Bay.
After lunch we took a walk along the beach
to the far end before coming back to the bus stop for our return trip to Nelly Bay. The ferry was just docking at the pier.
Once the incoming passengers had disembarked we walked down the ramp
and onto the ferry, ready for our return trip.
It had been a thoroughly enjoyable day. Back on the mainland we drove to the dogsitter’s to pick up Mel, who was very happy to see us. We were totally impressed with the dogsitter, who had kept in touch with us during the day sending messages and photos of Mel. The next day our adventures started with a walk with Mel at Mt Louisa. More about that next post. Thanks for reading.
Regular readers will have noticed it is some time since I last posted here. There are a number of reasons. The first is that we have welcomed our first grandson into the world. The second is a sadder event – my mother passed away and with a funeral to arrange, sorting out her will and moving my father into a new location within aged care it has been hard to have time to write anything. The third was that Christmas and the New Year was a very busy and different time for the previous reasons.
Looking forward to new travels in 2023 and to reading about your travels. Cheers, Mark