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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Tag: Magnetic Island

Day 56: What We’ve Done

In only a few short days, here’s a smattering of things Ciara and I have done in Australia so far:

  • Gone through two full bottles of SPF 70 sunscreen
  • Gotten minor sunburns
  • Met wonderful, funny, smart and welcoming people who laughed with us and made us feel right at home (especially the lovely folks on Maggie Island)
  • Taken part in the first-ever dance party at the Marlin Bay restaurant
  • Gotten lost and made our way out of the bush and back into Australian civilization
  • Hiked until our hearts were happy and our calves were useless
  • Swam in the prettiest water in the world
  • Worn stinger suits in order to not get stung by deadly jellyfish in the prettiest water in the world
  • Washed what I’m convinced was a tiny animal out of a cut on my toe (apparently it may have been seaweed)
  • Awoke at 3 a.m. to the screams of the Curlew birds
  • Quietly stalked a very easygoing Echidna outside his home in a large, knotted tree
  • Tried to smash coconuts (impossible) while yelling, “WILSON!”
  • Tripped (four times each) on that one funky stair at the Airlie Beach YHA hostel
  • Eaten lots of pizza
  • Consumed at least 60 liters of water between the two of us
  • Referenced “rubbish” instead of “trash”
  • Sweat (we continue to sweat)
  • Planned a sailing trip, which we’ve been on for the last two days (more on that later!)
  • Driven over 600 kilometers and seen landscapes from this (note the stinger suits drying in the tree):

Stinger suits

To this:


And this: 

Airlie Beach

More to come.

Day 55: The Forts

On our massive Wednesday hike, Ciara and I also wandered up through “The Forts,” a winding trek that gave us some insight into Australia’s role in WWII.

During the war, Maggie Island housed a command post, at which Australian soldiers stood watch over the water, looking for Japanese war ships. The guns kept there were precautionary and were never actually used. And little did we know that some of the boulders we hiked over were actually fake and were built as camouflage.


The ammunitions building felt a little more like a creepy jail. We took some photos and got the heck out of there.


The soldiers had panoramic views of the water from their watchtower.

The gun post

The gun post seemed like an obvious place to take a senior picture.


One of the buildings was off-limits, but Ciara is pretty adventurous (we turned right around after this picture).


I saved the best for last. This is a wild koala taking a snooze in a tree near some of the fort buildings. You’re mostly seeing his cute little butt, wedged between the branches.

Day 54: The Raddest

Yesterday, Ciara and I went for a day-long hike around Maggie Island. We hiked up through the remains of a WWII fort (more on that tomorrow) and in and out of a series of incredible cove beaches. Each beach was unique and was an extremely welcome site to a couple of very sweaty hikers.

One of my favorites was Radical Bay. Out of seemingly nowhere, we emerged from a rocky, winding path to a open field of wildflowers. Just over the wildflower ridge was a perfect, smooth-sanded beach. So rad.

As soon as we saw it, I reverted to my 20-year-old self and proudly proclaimed that Radical Bay would be the new site of my future wedding. But unless all of my future guests feel like going for a few-hour pre-wedding hike, I’ll have to figure out a creative way to transport everyone there. I’m thinking helicopter.

Radical Beach 1

Radical Beach 4
Radical Beach 3

Radical Beach 2

A note: Ciara and I will be sailing through the Whitsunday Islands for the next few days (on a boat!), so I’m trying to schedule some posts before we go. If I accidentally miss a day, don’t worry—I’m probably fine. (Mom, that was specifically for you.)

Day 52: Maggie

Ciara (my college friend and travel buddy) and I made our way to Magnetic Island on Tuesday. It was a really beautiful and sweaty drive down the coast from Cairns.

We missed a turn somewhere near the end of the drive and wound up in the Australian boonies (exciting!), but we high-tailed our way back to civilization and caught a late afternoon ferry to the island from Townsville.

Maggie, as she’s called, is absolutely gorgeous. Ciara and I are pretty sure she’s actually magnetic and magically cures weary travelers of all their ailments.

Here are a few photos from our first evening here: