Today dawned with a clear blue sky for the first time since Alice springs, its nice to see the sun again! Townsville wasn’t really on our radar when we were looking up things to see in Australia but as a stopover point it actually has a lot to see, we won’t get to half of it in our short time here.
We started off the morning with a leg burning hike up to the top of 286m high Castle Hill for a great view of the city, the surrounding countryside and the islands off the coast. After lunch we headed down to the beach area to explore the marina, parks and shops along the waterfront. The Esplanade stretches for 2+ kms with palm lined parks and pathways along the beach and a whole variety of shops, hotels and restaurants. Things in and around town we missed are a huge coral reef aquarium, Magnetic island with snorkeling, palm fringed beaches and koalas just offshore and a national park just inland with more waterfalls and swimming holes to see. I guess we should realize by now that we won’t be able to see it all, Australia is an entire continent!
After exploring the town we headed back to our suite to relax, have supper and plan out our next stop. We had been thinking of a sailing cruise around the Whitsunday islands which are now just 3 hours to the south of us. This was a highlight of both my sister Laura’s and my Dad’s trips to Australia. The trouble is most boats don’t allow babies. A few phone calls pointed us in the direction of two larger boats that might be ok with babies on board. Lucky for us its low season and a call directly to the owners of the second boat revealed that the boat is not full for the next few trips so they have no problems taking us and Isaac along and there would be no charge for him either. And as an extra bonus for a short notice booking they gave us a private double cabin for $60 less than the regular bunk price! So if you are wondering, for the next few days we’ll be on a restored 110 year old tall ship cruising through the tropical Whitsunday islands, snorkeling on the reef and hanging out on some white sand beaches. We get on the boat tomorrow evening and have 3 nights and 3 full days of fully catered luxury on the tall ship Solway Lass. We’re rather excited, here’s hoping Isaac is just as happy sailing as he has been so far for everything else!