The weekend and our four days off work has come and gone. Glen and Amanda came up to Townsville to visit us on Thursday and left yesterday. Just prior to them arriving we took our dogs, Brock and Chev, to a close by but well reviewed boarding kennel. We knew that while Glen and Amanda were here we were going to be out a lot and we preferred to know they were being taken care of, rather than sitting in our annex on their own. This also meant that Ben and I had some freedom for a few days!
We greeted Glen and Amanda at Townsville Airport. It was great to see their missed, familiar faces coming down the terminal. We then met up again at their accommodation, The Ville, which also happens to be Townsville’s one and only casino. We had lunch there and a good chat about what had gone on in the seven or so months since we had seen them. The night time, like all of the other nights they were here, were then filled with walks along The Stand and main streets of Townsville City. Townsville has numerous themed and interesting little bars and restaurants to explore. The Taphouse is one of them. Ben and I had been to the Taphouse previously and this was one place we were sure they would enjoy. It is a trendy bar in an outdoor arcade area, they specialise in craft beer but they do offer self-pour beer taps. You just get one of their cards, put credit on it and then pour whichever beer you like the sound of into your glass. They charge per ML and so you can pour as little or as much of each beer as you like. As you can imagine, Ben and Glen took hold of the self-pour novelty with open arms.
The next day we took a trip to Magnetic Island, affectionately called Maggie Island by the locals. It is a short ferry ride from Townsville’s shore to the island. When you arrive your eyes are taken by the massive boulders and rockiness that graces its points and its shore line, then the thick greenery that covers the rest of the mountains that make up most of the island. We hired a mini moke (not an actual one), which was basically a tiny, topless, door-less, manual car to drive around the island. Ben and Glen had a great time pushing the little cart to its limits, which were not very high, while Amanda and I sat back and enjoyed the ride. We visited a pub over there for brunch then went to Horseshoe Bay, which is a picturesque area of the island. It features a wide beach with, clean aqua waters and beautiful palms. We found a pub in Horseshoe Bay where we could stop and quench our thirsts. It is around 12km from one side of Maggie to the other, keeping in mind that much of the Island is inaccessible via road due to bushland and rocky mountain. There were lots of bushwalks and National Park areas to explore but these were not on our to-do list this time. After a bit more driving and seeing Picnic Bay and a few of the other places Maggie has to offer we stopped at the breakwater for a bit. We were surprised when we saw rock wallabies coming from caves in the rocks and stopping to take a look at us. We returned to Townsville and to top it off, we had ourselves an amazing dining experience at one of Townville’s most popular restaurants called A Touch of Salt. Everything there was great, the food was decadent, the drinks were cold, except for the cognac, which was rightfully served warm and the service was fantastic. What was even better was that everybody had a great time there. It was a late night, more drinks were had and some time in the Casino was spent. What a great day!
There were many, many more drinks and food and every night was a late one. I think Ben and Glen tried just about every unusual whiskey, bourbon, scotch and rum on the rocks that Townsville had to offer. Amanda and I had a few too but there was no way we were keeping up with the boys pace. We visited an Irish bar where Glen graced the open mic stage with his presence at one stage. A different night they had a great live band there that drew us in. We laughed every day and had an absolute blast while they were here.
When we said goodbye to them at the airport yesterday we could not believe that our time with them had already passed. We had definitely made the most of it though and we cannot wait to see them again. It is truly special when great friends make the effort to come and see you, especially when you are so far from home.
Although we miss our friends greatly we were glad it was not us having to get on the plane and go back to chilly Melbourne. We are enjoying our time in Townsville, despite how much work we have been doing, and plan to stay here for at least another fortnight before we move up the coast. We wanted to visit Castle Hill while they were here but this
We wanted to visit Castle Hill while Glen and Amanda were here but this did not end up happening due to a fund raiser they had here, which required road closures in that area but Ben and I did visit Castle Hill when we first arrived in Townsville. Here are the pictures we took from the look out. They give a good overview of the spread out, chilled out, country-feel city we currently reside in. I have also added a few random Townsville fishing pics! Enjoy.