I've already told you about the food we ate when my parents were visiting, and I promised some photos of what we'd done. Well, here they are.
My parents arrived late on Monday night, thanks to about 8 or 9 hours of airline delays. The next day I showed them around town, especially the Strand (Townsville's main beach). It was a bit windy, and cloudy, which meant they didn't completely melt in the heat. Here's me and my mum with a view of Magnetic Island in the background.
In the afternoon we strolled around the Museum of Tropical Queensland, which has a really fun interactive room geared towards primary school kids. We were there during school hours, so there was no one to interrupt our playing! Here I am, turned into a centrepiece!Since Maggie is so close, we went over for three days. Maggie is a great place, tropical and gorgeous, but pretty quiet. Especially during the off-season. We saw more rock wallabies than we saw people, including this Mum with her bub.We went for lots and lots of hikes, which my parents aren't used to. Luckily, Magnetic Island has walks of varying lengths and intensities. The walk up Hawkings Point takes about 30 minutes, and is a bit steep, but gives you views like this:
The Forts Walk, on the other side of the island, takes 90 minutes return, and has similarly stunning views, but is most famous for the likeliness of spotting a koala. I'd previously been on the walk twice, and heard a male koala calling out, but had yet to see any. Well, that time we saw two! They were nestled up in the nooks of trees having a bit of a nap, and they wouldn't turn their face to us, but even their butts are cute. What the picture doesn't show is their fierce claws--even though they look cuddly, don't mess with a wild koala!Mostly, though, we enjoyed the many beaches Maggie has to offer. It's stinger season, so we could only actually swim in two of them (where the stinger nets are set up), but they make for good walks anyways.One day Andy skipped work and took us all up to Crystal Creek, which I've blogged about before. We went a little further down the track this time and found the Rock Slides, a series of small waterfalls and swimming holes. We took a dip to cool off, and boy was it cold! It was a mix of rain and spring water from the World Heritage rainforest of the Paluma mountain range. Brr!
Around Townsville, we also hit up two different Sunday morning markets. Here we are buying black sapote, white sapote, and limes from our favourite tropical fruit people.
And we even discovered some new things ourselves, like this Rainbow Serpent along the river. He's the creator in many (all?) Aboriginal Australian traditions. In one, he snaked his way along the coastline, and finally got tired up here and decided to lay down and rest. His head became Magnetic Island.
This particular Rainbow Serpent monument is in honour of the Wulguru-kaba and Bindal people, the original inhabitants of Townsville and part of the larger Birrigubba Aboriginal group.
I hope my parents enjoyed themselves! But now, it's back to thesis work, and drafting a methodology chapter. Woo hoo?