Olivia Lee: from Melbourne to an Island Hop

20160505_173751Sometimes the Universe gives you hints of what you should do, and going to Melbourne this week was a very strong push on their part. Not only was Of Monsters & Men performing, but flight tickets were on sale from Townsville and it was also my friend’s birthday. There were 3 reasons to go and 3 things I would regret if I hadn’t.

Travelling in Australia is considerably expensive, especially with flights. It wouldn’t be unusual to spend close to $350 for flights into Melbourne or Sydney from Townsville. From car rentals to accommodation and food (excluding bargain pizzas and grocery stores), it would be best to save up if you plan on visiting any of the capital cities.

The concert venue in Melbourne was a restored old-fashioned cinema with majestic pillars and grand staircases still gleaming from the imprints of the ghosts of yesteryear. It was quite out considering Of Monsters & Men have music that is slightly ethereal and out of this world. The Palais Theatre was seated and it was one of the more relaxed concerts I had been to. The music was amazing and it was really satisfying to hear one of my favourite bands live!

20160505_195117Something else “out of this world” that was happening around the same time was the Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower in conjunction with Halley’s Comet. After the concert, my friends had already planned to drive outskirts to find a dark spot to see the meteor shower. It was an event more visible in the Southern Hemisphere and we were all fighting lethargy to reach our destination. We arrived at 4am at a reservoir and saw the trails of meteors burning in the sky. It wasn’t heaps as what we expected (30 trails an hour, as NASA quoted) but we were all in awe at what we were able to witness, and it was the perfect scene for my friend to spend her birthday at.

And what can be said if you go to Melbourne and forego their amazing food??

Snapchat-4560178137212715244-1And more food!

To end my trip on a high note, we accidentally locked ourselves out of the apartment, I left my shoes at another friend’s place, and was really close to being late for the bus to take me back to the airport. Despite it all, it was the most fun I’ve had in a short span of time and it was because I was spending it with people I really cared about.

I came back to Townsville the day after and went to Magnetic Island with a friend who was really keen to spot some wild koalas! Magnetic Island is 8km off shore from Townsville and can be traversed to daily on a 20 minute ferry ride. We (I say ‘we’, but it’s mostly to make myself feel better I was no help at spotting koalas) didn’t just spot 1 or 2 koalas, but 4! That was during the Forts Walk.20160508_123039

We trudged around the numerous bays that covered the island and my favourite, Alma Bay, let me down as there was a strange smell during low tide. I wasn’t sure if it was washed up animals getting roasted under the sun or stream effluent, but we quickly made our way to Horseshoe Bay to catch the sunset…after taking the wrong route on the bus and circling around the wrong side of Magnetic Island for close to an hour. Tip #4: The weekend bus schedules in Townsville and Magnetic Island are painfully slow, come on a weekday if possible.

Despite it all (again), we did get to see some nice sceneries from the bus and the company you’re with does make a difference. All in all, one of the best and most tiring weekends I’ve had visiting the lovely Garden State and our nearby island.

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