Hayden and I NYE’d, camping, on the lovely Magnetic Island. It was great. It was so relaxing. It was amazing how different to Townsville. Magnetic is only 8 km off the coast, but it felt like we were in another country altogether. There is a line you cross when you exit the greyish-greenish waters of Townsville and enter the pure North-Queensland-aqua waters of Magnetic. You pull into the harbour surrounded by massive boulders and native trees. You disembark from the boat quietly and step aboard a bus that takes you to the other side of the island. There is something about it that was like an injection of 50 yoga classes’ worth of calm straight into the base of my spine.
I realised how good it is for my general wellbeing to go camping every once in a while. I don’t know why that is; maybe I just love the discomfort and inconvenience of it.
I also realised that Townsville truly is the ugly navel of an extremely beautiful part of the world. Don’t get me wrong; Townsville is a pretty good place to live. It’s quiet and slow and cheap, and it’s got everything we need – apart from dear old friends and family, of course. But the best part about it is its proximity to all these amazing places to visit, and I’ve heard that there is a line, similar to the line between the grey and aqua waters, which divides the rocky dry ground of Townsville and, say, the lush verdure around Bowen and the coast near the Whitsundays.
Somewhat sneakily, the camera packed up just before we got to the best bits. But here are some snaps of us at Noodies’ restaurant (I know, I thought it was going to be a noodle bar too, but actually the name refers to Balding Bay, the nudist beach nearby. We met the couple who run the restaurant; such relaxed, tanned people, just like a good many of the Maggie Island locals. It was very good to visit a tourist spot where the locals are more relaxed than the visitors).