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Driving The Great Barrier Reef - Pt 2 (Townsville Region)

If you haven’t already, CLICK HERE and read where to start your journey in Tropical North Queensland!

Day 12

• Wake up nice and early to catch a Ferry from Townsville to Magnetic Island, (the first ferry leaves at 7:45am!) I would recommend getting there as early as possible to make the most of your day.

• We did a half day tour around the entire island with Aquascene - it was an amazing way to visit the best beaches and parts of the island that can only be accessed by boat. It’s a family owned business that offer the most incredible personalised tours (taking you to those special secret spots that they have discovered on their 30 years on the island.)

• After your tour, grab some lunch from a local cafe or have a picnic with a packed lunch you brought with you from Townsville. You are then free to roam the island or return to some of those sweet little spots you were shown earlier. The only way around the island is by public buses - so I would recommend hiring a Tropical Topless Car so you can travel at your own leisure, and as you can see below it’s not your usual hire car…

• It’s worth sticking around on the island for sunset - and there’s no better way or people to spend it with than the team behind Pilgrim Sunset Sailing! A photogenic sailing boat, a genuine friendly couple for your captain and hostess and some wine/beer paired with a cheese platter to snack on - it’s what dreams are made of! Pilgrim is on a whole other level when it comes to sunset sailing, your only problem will be not wanting to get off the boat when you come back into harbour!

Day 13

• Whilst you’re staying in Townsville, be sure to snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef! Make sure you have something booked in advance as spots can fill up pretty quickly, a week should be enough time outside of peak/holiday periods, and this way you can make sure the wind and sun are in your favour for the best possible clarity. I can’t stress enough that this is the BEST spot to fully experience the reef, the coral is absolutely stunning! Adrenalin Dive are absolute legends, and the trip is pretty well priced for what they provide - A full day on the reef, delicious lunch and snacks, and you are only with around 20 other people so the experience is much more intimate and genuine. A Few years back Mitch and myself went out from Port Douglas, we thought the further up we went, the greater the chance of seeing lively colourful coral - we were sadly mistaken. The coral was pretty white and dead (yes global warming is real) and we thought, dammit, there goes our generations chance of witnessing the Great Barrier Reef!! We were taken aback at how beautiful Lodestone still is - so please, get in as quick as you can, this is a sight EVERYONE should see!

(Its also worth noting that our boat from Port Douglas was 1 of 3 out at that particular reef, with groups of around 100 people per boat, it felt like we were only a number filling up space on these large vessels, so make sure heading out from Townsville with Adrenalin is your priority.)

Day 14

• If you have the budget, finish off your stay in Townsville with a scenic flight over the iconic reef with Townsville Helicopters. It is just as beautiful from the air, (if not more so) and it will make you appreciate how vast this World Heritage reef system really is! This scenic flight is pretty special, you aren't just paying for the view from above - the helicopter lands on a tiny sand-cay in the middle of Wheeler Reef where you are able to get out and explore the untouched waters that surround you from every angle. It’s a magical and perfect way to end your weeks spent in Queensland, then, back to the airport you go to fly home!

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