The next stop on the list was Agnes Water – Town of 1770 (basically the same place). This is where Captain James Cook crash landed in Australia for the first time. We arrived in the Greyhound around half 6, so it was already dark. I was staying at a place called Cool Bananas because that was where Alyshea and Laura from my Fraser Island tour had booked to stay. So when we stepped off the coach, this guy was standing in a banana costume… I kind of guessed where I had to go. The town is so small, it literally took us 2 mins in the shuttle bus to get there.
At first you think this place is going to be horrible and a total dive, especially as when you check in they tell you that no one really has a room key, all the rooms are left open, but if you want a room key you have to tell everyone else in the dorm so they can get one. So you feel as though it’s rude to ask for one! The staff help you with your bags and linen and take you on a small tour and show you to your room.
The rooms were pretty big and decent. There were only two top bunks left and I chose the one nearest the door hoping it would be cooler. Once the reception guy left, I noticed that I recognised the sarong that was wrapped around the lower bunk bed… and then the rucksack and then the suitcase… I had just randomly chosen the top bunk to Alyshea’s bed!! She came in the room not long after and was surprised to see me on the top of her bed!
We then went to dinner, I had pot noodle, yum, whilst everyone else had chicken schnitzel and vegetables and sweet potato mash made by the resident cook, Richard. You had to order by 2pm, so I couldn’t have any! I was on it the next day when chilli with chips was on offer; a home cooked meal for $8, yes please!
Although Agnes is pretty, there isn’t a great deal to do there. You can surf for $20, but since I had already done that in Surfer’s, I wasn’t too bothered. So Alyshea and I headed to the shops, where I bought pineapple Timtams and then went to the beach for a few hours. The waves were pretty calm so it was easy to swim in the sea. Thankfully we didn’t get stung… not that the life guard would have noticed or cared anyway!
After looking forward to it all day, I was so glad when dinner time finally arrived. I realised at that point that it had been a whole month since I arrived in Australia. It was a weird feeling; it just doesn’t feel like it’s been a month. It’s gone so quickly and now I’m only 3 weeks away from heading to New Zealand! So crazy! The food Richard made was delicious and I even treated myself to a crepe with ‘all the toppings’. I was so full, I felt sick. But in a good way.
With the wifi in this hostel, they have a ‘blackout’ between 6-8pm to get everyone talking to each other at dinner. Then at 8pm you have to answer a riddle to get the new wifi code. Admittedly when they first told me this, I thought it was stupid, but I was loving it by the second night! Especially as I kept guessing them! This night we also joined in with a trivia game. I chose our team name – Let’s Get Quizical – classic pub quiz name in England… no one else had heard of it here.
For part of the trivia game, I ended up having to tell a joke in front of everyone in an Aussie accent, something which I shall not repeat. In the end, we didn’t do bad… we just didn’t win…
The next day rained so hard, and that’s when I actually finished my last blog post! Alyshea and I were getting the same night bus to Airlie Beach, so whilst she risked the beach, I went for a little walk, but mainly chilled at the hostel. Because the bus wasn’t until 9:45pm, we ordered dinner again. Today it was Richard’s day off, so it was made by someone else. Sausage curry with rice and then a fruit custard tart for dessert, and I got myself a couple of beers. Very happy. Cool bananas has definitely been my favourite hostel on this trip so far!
The night bus was looooooooong. Luckily I managed to fall asleep for a fair amount of time, but weirdly Alyshea’s ankles decided to swell up… We made it to Airlie beach at the disgusting time of 7:30am and had to walk all the way to the hostel. Since we couldn’t check in yet, we left our stuff in the luggage storage and headed to the lagoon. This is where Alyshea tried to teach me to swim a bit. Turns out I can do forward stroke pretty well, I just need to sort out my breathing technique.
This hostel was pretty low. The beds were awful and rooms pretty dirty. I’m quite sure I received a few bed bug bites here. The girls in my room were lovely though, making it a bit better! The kitchen is so small for the amount of people there and no one washes or dries their dishes. I had to eat yoghurt with a fork at one point.
It didn’t bother me too much because I was going on my Whitsundays boat trip the next day!!!
So I packed all my stuff ready for this sailing trip, put my backpack in overnight storage and walked for about 20 minutes until I found the Abell Point marina. The girls at the office the day before showed me a picture of where to wait for the crew to come and meet us at 8:45. So I sat myself down exactly where I was meant to be at 8:30. And then I waited…. and waited… 8:45 came and went and no one else was there. Starting to panic a little, I was messaging Gemma saying I couldn’t see anyone else! When 9:00 hit, I decided to have a walk around, and on the other side where the cafe was, I found my group. Apparently I was waiting in the correct spot, but everyone had congregated there. Great.
We had a lovely mix of people on the boat, called Ragamuffin, an older German couple, a younger German couple, three German boys, a guy my age from Holland and then two girls from Boston who I actually first met at Cool Bananas; they have an awesome hippy car that’s hard to forget. Our Captain, Karl, was originally from Rhode Island, but moved to Australia and who had an actual eye patch. And Abbey, the ‘host’, was from New Zealand – she made the best food. And I was the only British person on board; kind of odd since I keep meeting British people everywhere!!!
The first day was spent in the pouring rain. We learnt to put the shelters up for the sun, but they actually protected us, mildly, from the rain. It was a small boat, so we had to stay on the top deck, as it was way too hot and cramped downstairs, and you also feel 10 times more sea sick downstairs.
The rain held off for our first snorkel dive. I was kind of nervous as I’ve never snorkelled before or swam in the sea properly… But I was happy to find we had floaty noodles, so I didn’t have to worry about sinking. We were also given stinger suits, which I think I looked sexy in. It was so beautiful down there. There were so many fish and Karl kept throwing them food, so they would literally swim into you and hit you. It was so much fun. I also bumped into the Irish guys again who were snorkelling in the same area.
We had a long sail to where we were going to stay for the night; next to Hook Island. Abby had made a delicious dinner with chicken, rice and salad. I hadn’t had chicken in weeks, so I was very happy! The rest of the night was spent drinking some of my 5 litres of goon and playing card games with Ryanne, Demi (the two girls from Boston) and Linn (one of the three German guys). Despite the rain, we tried to sleep outside on the deck. Linn gave up straight away as there wasn’t enough shelter to cover him. Part way through the night, a dolphin emerged right next to Demi and we tried to follow it round with a torch until it left us. Then again, at about half 1 in the morning, I woke up and saw Demi and Ryan sitting at the edge of the boat. They were watching two dolphins playing around. It was so cute!
Eventually they disappeared again. The rain was holding off at this point, making it easier to fall asleep. However, at 4am, the wind was successful in waking me up. I was so determined to spend the whole night on the deck though I kept telling myself it will die off soon, it will calm down. But it didn’t. The wind was blowing my blanket all over the place. Ryanne had already gone below deck, and I looked over at Demi wondering how she looked so cosy and had not been woken by the wind yet. So at half 4 I headed down and slept in the tiny little bed next to Daniel.
We woke early(ish) the next morning and had a wonderful breakfast spread laid out for us. We snorkelled in the spot where we’d stayed that night and the coral was even more beautiful here. It was definitely a lot more colourful, but not as many fish!
We learnt how to put the sails up on the boat and actually had time proper sailing instead of using the motor. However, it made it kind of hard to stay in the shade, so I caught the sun a bit. We headed to Whitehaven beach, voted the most beautiful beach on the planet. When getting out of the dinghy I managed to slip and properly cut my leg open on the rocks, brilliant when you’re about to go somewhere with sharks. We took our stinger suits with us so we could look for the sting rays. We managed to see a couple when we first go there, but no more after. Ryanne was trying to teach me to properly swim under the water, I just couldn’t do it!
I had a walk across the beach by myself and saw some Lemon Sharks, which are tiny little baby sharks. We were meant to stay there until sunset, but it was quite overcast and not a lot to do except fall asleep. So when Daniel came over and woke me up merely by standing over me trying to scare me, we decided to head back. We sailed into the night whilst eating cheese and biscuits. I ended up talking to Karl and Demi for a bit; turns out Karl had lived in England for a while and taught Maths, Physics and Chemistry as, what I assumed, was a substitute teacher. He had a wife and two kids who he ended up leaving to come back to Aus last year.
Abby had made spaghetti bolognese for dinner, but but this point I had a migraine coming on. I took some tablets and waited a while to eat my dinner, something I was really looking forward to as spag Bol is one of the best dinner inventions ever!! But whenever I ate it, I felt sick so waited for the tablets to kick in. When I eventually felt like I could stuff my face, however, it started to down pour with rain. Everyone rushed to get the covers up, but I was trying to hold my dinner so it didn’t go everywhere. It was as though the forces were against me eating that night. I managed about half a plate before it literally was drowning in the rain.
Most of us ended up playing drinking games, something I found I am crap at. It was a fun last night on the boat.
The last day was so hot. We went for a final snorkel where we saw turtles and dolphins (before we got in the water), and Ryanne got some good shots on my GoPro for me. We sailed for a bit again, meaning no shade. Despite covering myself in sun cream, I got burnt again… the next day noticing my top lip actually blistered and now it currently looks like I have a cold sore. Yay. At one point Karl dropped us off at this weird island… it looked like an abandoned resort and there was one caretaker guy there telling us off for not sticking to the path. It was creepy. So we ran away.
For the rest of the day we just sailed in the direction of Airlie Beach. I tried to stick to the shade, but it was nearly impossible. Otherwise it was a relaxed afternoon just chilling on the deck, eating sandwiches and listening to the Harry Potter audiobook.
It was sad to say goodbye to some of the group who wouldn’t be coming to drinks that evening… Especially Momma and Pappa, the older German couple how had adopted these nicknames. The German boys were nice and took my bags with them in their car as we were staying at the same hostel, and then the younger German couple drove me back in their camper van, something which I was extremely grateful for as it was far too hot to walk.
When I got to my new room, I put my stuff on what I thought was the only free bed, a bottom bunk and had a shower. When I came back, there was a guy lying on the bed I had chosen… I ask ‘Oh sorry, was this bed already taken?’ ‘Yeah, I just hadn’t put my sheets on it yet.’ ‘Oh ok, that’s why I put my sheets on it.’ ‘You can have my sheets if you want. The top bunk is free.’ ‘Thanks, how considerate.’ That night when I got in at half 1, I made sure I rocked the bed as much as possible when I climbed into the top bunk to make a point of waking the twat up.
At the hostel, they had reserved seats for our boat where we could get free beer. Alyshea joined us for a while before her night bus to Cairns. Most of the younger people on our boat came, however a few disappeared as they felt sick, begging the question of whether they got food poisoning form the boat… Daniel disappeared as well, not to be seen again, so it was mainly Ryanne, Linn and I. It was also ‘ladies night’, so the girls were able to have a ticket allowing us to have 5 free glasses of champagne. I gave some of mine to Linn as I know my body does not agree with mixing drinks. Once I had ran out, I rubbed off my stamp and asked the guy giving out the tickets how I was able to get my free champagne because I didn’t know about it. He then took me directly to the back of the bar where they were serving the champagne and got me a glass straight away. I thanked him so much, kissed him on the cheek, and enjoyed my extra free glass.
Not going to lie, I can’t remember the rest of the night that well. I think Linn and I found Ryanne in a club called Africa Momma (I think). It wasn’t hard because it was dead in there. Then I think we got food from somewhere… I don’t remember what I ate, but it was good! Then everyone suddenly disappeared and I ended up going back to my room and passing out (after shaking the bunk bed vigorously). And thanks to my brilliant genes, I woke up feeling fresh as a daisy at half 7 the next morning. That didn’t stop me from staying in bed for an extra 3 hours though.
Happy Anniversary to Mum and Dad and my Gran and Granddad on the 25th ❤️ xx
P.S. Current location: Townsville
Main aim of visiting Townsville: Go to Magnetic Island