Rishab Pillai: The perfect getaway, which isn’t too far away!

Bye Townsville! The view of the city from the ferry. It was a bit gloomy at the start of the day, thankfully the sun was out in a few hours.

They say time flies when you’re having fun! They forgot to mention it’s the same when you are studying. Just feels like yesterday when we were attending O week and absorbing everything new, that uni and Townsville has to offer. Before we realized it, week 3 is here! And I am sure everyone has a fair idea of their assessments over the upcoming semester and also coming to terms with some of those subjects we inevitably have a grudge against (we all have that one). Keep in mind, it’s just the start and with all the great academic support available you can turn the subject you dislike into one you love by making full use of all the help James Cook University has to offer.

I recently read a paper highlighting the benefits of nature on mental health and cognition, which makes sense to me as I always felt my concentration improved after spending some time out in natural green spaces or in this case, some blue spaces. After spending a fair bit of time catching up on subjects completely new to me, my friends asked me if I would like to tag along on a day trip to Magnetic Island (or as it’s known locally, Maggie Island). Being just a short ferry ride from Townsville, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. From a historical perspective, the island was part of the mainland around 7500 years ago, which is now separated due to sea level rise, leaving us with a breathtaking paradise.

Starting the day at around 10am, we got on to the ferry making use of our student discounts and reached Maggie Island in about 20 minutes.  As the ferry left the jetty, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the mesmerizing seascapes that surrounded us. Such abundance of nature was what got me thinking about moving to Townsville, and I am glad I made the big move! With all day bus services available we took off for our 1st stop for the day, Arcadia beach. A small beach with some really scenic views and rock outcrops, it isn’t teeming with people if you prefer avoiding crowds and enjoy being in the midst  of some lush green parklands. After hiking up to the highest vantage point to absorb the great views, we went for a swim to beat the afternoon heat.

Arcadia Beach!

 The view at the top was stunning!

All that hiking and swimming made us super hungry (as expected) and we gobbled down a lunch of fish and chips, which by the way is something every seafood lover must try during your stay in Australia! If you love cooking, you could consider packing your own food and having a barbeque on the many inbuilt barbeques which are plentiful around the beaches.  After a lovely lunch, we waited at Geoffrey Bay for a bit to check out some Rock Wallabies and just wander around on the beach. You will get used to seeing Wallabies around campus at JCU, however, this is a species different to the ones on campus.


Check out this awesome shot of a Rock Wallaby! Those long tails are used by wallabies and kangaroos for balance while hoping around (Photo credits: David Coley)

Geoffrey Bay, a short walk from Arcadia, it’s so calm and peaceful

 The last stop for the day was Horseshoe Bay, which was a bit more crowded but still nice! With lot of options to eat and drink right across the beach will you soak in the magnificent sunset, it was the perfect way to end the short trip to this lovely place, which I am sure will not be my last.

After cutting off for a day and exploring a small bit of the new found paradise, I cannot wait for my next visit to Maggie island which is going to be to do the Forts Walk! My short piece on the trip and the photographs don’t do much justice to this miracle of nature which we are fortunate to be so close to.

So remember whenever life gets tough, take a break and go experience nature!


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