Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

19-Apr-2005
   

250km further up the Queensland coast we set up camp at Alligator Creek, which is close to Townsville. The campsite is very good with flushing loos and hot showers. Really good value for $8 a night! The campsite is in the Bowling Green Bay National Park and is situated alongside Alligator Creek. The creek has running water and several good swimming holes, just right for cooling down in the heat of the tropics.

A quick skinny dip before breakfast and no, there are no alligators in there!

Me in the creek
Rock Wallaby

There are quite a few wallabies wandering around the campsite including the shy Rock Wallaby. These creatures normally live high in the cliffs and are very good climbers and rarely seen during the day. The wallaby in the picture below has a joey and it allowed me to get quite close. Mum stood about 70cm tall.

A Rock Wallaby with a joey

The other type of wallaby was an Agile Wallaby. The one in the picture was licking the tree before I disturbed it. It was almost twice the size of the Rock Wallaby.

An 'Agile Wallaby'

Agile Wallaby
Golden Orb Spider On the track to the swimming hole Ali spotted this spider. It is a Golden Orb Spider. The web was very large and the spider was about the size of your hand. I wanted Ali to put her hand alongside it to show how big it was but she didn't think that was a good idea.

The Brush Turkey's were out in force here and didn't just appear in the evenings. These guys were out to steal anything they could as soon as your back was turned. I asked a local if they tasted good and he told me how to cook them:

1. Pluck turkey
2. Stuff with a brick
3. Roast
4. Throw the turkey away and eat the brick!

I guess they don't taste too good.

Brush Turkey
Magnetic Island

Townsville is a busy town that's a bit past its sell-by date. It sprawls out over a large area between the hills and the ocean. About 9km across the sea is Magnetic Island and I think this is the main attraction for tourists together with the reef further out. Captain Cook named it Magnetic Island on his 1770 voyage as he thought the island was affecting his compass. The magnetism must have worn off a bit, as it did not attract us across. The view from Castle Hill in the centre of Townville did give us a good view of the island.

View from Castle Hill across to Magnetic Island

Looking inland you can see the town spreading out to the hills in the distance.

Townsville

Townsville