Before I moved to Australia – or even knew I would one day move to Australia – I was on the phone to Greg who had returned home to finish his studies. It was a cold winter evening in Munich, snow flakes ever so lightly falling out of the sky and building up on the ground and giving the trees a white frame. I’m standing at the window, sneaking past the curtains watching this natural wonder with the phone on my ear waiting to hear Greg’s voice. „Greg speaking“ I hear a very deep, familiar voice. It’s almost like I get waken from a daydream staring at the snow „How are you going? What did you do all day?“
„Just helping mum in the yard. . . “ is what I kind of hear as I’m listening to the background noise. And jeez there is a lot of noise that I’d never heard before. „What’s all this noise? Are you at the zoo?“ I ask. Well he couldn’t be at the zoo, I just dialled his mum’s number. . . strange. Greg chuckles „No, I’m at mums, sitting on the balcony. You can hear the birds, bats and cicadas.“ „Ci-what?“ „Cicadas, they are like crickets.“ „Interesting . . . – are you sure you’re not at the zoo?“ I just can’t believe the volume of the creatures in the background and the amount of different noises.
I’ve been to that „zoo“ quite a number of times over the past years and it’s such a beautiful spot in the world. Magnetic Island. It’s a small island with only about 2500 inhabitants and over half of the island is National Park. So no wonder it sound like the zoo. The house is just down the road from the beach, palm and mango trees wherever you look. It’s so peaceful, just the right spot for relaxing and recharging the batteries and just being a tourist doing ‚touristy‘ things like jet-skiing, horse riding on the beach, diving, whatever you can imagine doing on a tropical island.
The only thing I have to warn you about are the curlews who add to the zoo impression with their whining. I promise you if you have no idea what they are, you’ll be wondering about them when you lay in your bed the first night, it’s pitch black outside and you hear this long whining noise repeatedly and loads of it as there are so many of those birds. It takes a little getting used to. ‚So birds?‘ you might wonder, didn’t you just see in your travel guide that there are spiders, snakes and if you’re really lucky crocodiles. . . Well, it’s like everything in Australia, the creatures are around of course, but usually as long as you leave them alone, they leave you alone. They are not very interested in humans. One thing I don’t understand is why mostly German tourists seem to get eaten by the tropical crocs (there are usually big warning signs and if there is a sign that means they’ve spotted one right there). Usually we Germans are very rule obedient, must be the holiday adventurer coming out 😉 So just a hint, if you see a sign, just get out of there!
Magnetic Island (click here) has a lot to offer for any holiday adventurer, but it surely must be one of the best spots in the world to just sit down, have a cold beer and relax. It’s one of the few places where even I manage to do nothing (everyone who knows me, knows that I’m not very good at ‚doing nothing‘!).
While doing nothing the other week in Newcastle I rang a friend in Germany. „Hey how are you going?“ She replies hesitantly „Yeah good! Where are you? At the zoo?“ The cicadas were happily chirping in the background and I don’t even hear it anymore.