Travel Confessions: SF consultant Madelin Baldwin on Magnetic Island
Student Flights Geelong Assistant Manager Madelin Baldwin headed to Magnetic Island in Tropical North Queensland for a full moon party with 20 other Student Flights consultants and after a non-stop night of 'Jageritas', recovered enough to tell the tale...
When 54 percent of the island is a national park, you just know you’re in for a treat when you visit Magnetic Island – only 8 kilometres away from Townsville via ferry. Named after the ‘magnetic’ affect Captain Cook discovered on his compass when he was sailing by, Magnetic Island is a stunning island complete with palm trees, balmy tropical weather and only about 2,000 permanent residents.
Recently, I was lucky enough to travel there with Livn Holidays and 20 other agents from Student Flights, and at 4.40am I was up to get to the first of our 2 flights for the day. When we make it to the ferry terminal in Townsville by lunchtime, we’re pretty happy to hang out with the locals and grab a cold beer for the 25-minute ride across to Magnetic Island. Once we arrive on the island, the people staying at Peppers on Blue are lucky enough to be about 20 metres from the terminal, while the rest of us jump in local buses and taxis to get to Base Hostel, about 10 minutes away.
Down the streets here, people walk around barefoot and drive in topless Jeeps or on tiny scooters as we ride around the stunning Cleveland Bay. This time of year is stinger season, so unfortunately we can’t jump in without a full wetsuit on, but for now, it’s enough to soak it all in before we start our party!
At Base Hostel, we’re greeted with friendly check-in staff, loud music and a welcome margarita before we head up to find our rooms. The rooms are set in a villa-like setting with each dorm being somewhat like a stand-alone hut or bure. Each of the wooden dorms have 4 bunk beds and a ceiling fan, however you can upgrade to an air-conditioned room, and for the ladies they even have ‘pamper’ rooms with freebies like shampoo and conditioner! There is a large toilet block, which I noticed was cleaned fairly regularly, but can be a good 50-metre walk in the dark and there are lots of bugs and animals around!
We are here for the full moon party so, after a few get-to- know-you drinks, we change into our outfits for the night (it’s Hawaiian theme), and the DJs start up! All night we make our way through the island concoctions of ‘Jageritas’ and ‘Island Cups’, with a few sneaky shots here and there, while DJs like Alice in Wonderland and Wave Rider keep the party charging. As is traditional with a full moon party, it goes right through the night until 5am. You can get your body painted in fluoro colours, there are fire twirlers, and an abundance of glow-in-the-dark sticks on show.
The next day, we wake to the incredibly loud local birds and the stifling humid northern Queensland heat. I’m amazed to see the whole hostel area has been completely cleaned with all of the evidence of the prior night’s antics seemingly washed away.
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