The Holiday in Working Holiday

Once upon a time I wrote a word or two about the work in working holiday. Let’s just say that times were stressful.

Well, I have finally seen what you can get in return, if you work hard and save a few dollars while at it.

During one week we experienced sleeping under thousands of stars, scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef and swimming under the waterfalls. Then we spent time on Magnetic Island outside of Townsville, which was our little piece of paradise for a while.


The nature and wildlife is what made Magnetic Island so special to us. It was easy to see various wildlife here. We saw hundreds of butterflies in one place, possums, musky rat-kangaroos, rock-wallabies, colourful parrots, kookaburra birds, koalas, kangaroos, lizards, gekkos and sea turtles (although this is debatable if I really saw it or I suffered from a sunstroke). There were several places for snorkeling to see coral reefs and beautiful, colour fish. All of this is on a little island with several, tranquil bays with fine sand and palm trees.

This guy enjoyed some honey at the hostel


Near our hostel there was a place where rock-wallabies gathered every day. People have gotten into a habit of feeding them and so we were prepared with carrots as well. However, after reading about it, I would advice against feeding them. The population grows unnecessary big on the little island, which threatens other species.

Furry fellows waiting for people to feed them

First time in a few months we also spent a little time apart. Matte took on a diving course, getting his open water certification. It took him three days, so I had to come up with things to do on my own.

First day I went horsebackriding on a beach (conveniently named Horseshoe Bay), which has been a dream of mine. We even went into the water with the horses. Riders just in their swimwear and horses without a saddle. It was amazing.

Clydesdale horse called Bentley, he was as kind as he was handsome


The whole time in Magnetic Island I kept thinking of going back again. Unfortunately 120 dollars was too much to pay twice, but I was so so happy to experience it at least once (thanks mom!).

After the ride it was time to go for a swim. Horseshoe Bay is one of the few bays to have lifeguards around.


On the second day I had my proper full beach day. Morning at Alma Bay, watching over Matte on his diving course. Quick lunch at the hostel and back to the beach. Life could be worse…



Matte returning from his dive

Third day I spend hiking in the bush and the ultimate goal was to see a koala, since Magnetic Island has the largest koala population in the whole of Australia – also the healthiest one, since they don’t have the same illnesses as the ones on the mainland. I climbed up and down for two hours and did not see a soul.

During our visit to Blue Mountains back in Sydney Matte exlaimed “too much green stuff!” after hiking in the bush for an hour. In Magnetic Island it was my turn to get frustrated with all the nature around me. Since it seemed not that many people used the hiking trail, the path was filled with spider webs you could not see before you walked in it. I got slightly paranoid after brushing off webs off my face for the 100th time.

I finally found my koala on Forts Walk trail. Mama koala and baby koala, that is.




Needless to say it made my day. After standing there for a while and starting to feel guilty not leaving them be in peace, I decided to get back to the hostel, instead of trying to find more.

Rest of the day I spend counting minutes until Matte would be finished with his course. Truth to be told, there is not that much to do on Magnetic Island – unless you have deep pockets to fill your days with pricey activities. Maybe it is the winter season, but there was this sleepy feeling around the island. It is chilled and serene, but I once again noticed missing the vibrant life of a big city.


All the sunshine made me transform into a baked bean

After a while it started to feel that there was not much else to do than just lay on the beach.

Hard life, eh?


So for all the backpackers who might be thinking at their jobs “is this worth it”, I say “yes!”. Spend every penny on activities all around Australia and you just might get what you came here for.

But on Magnetic Island there is only one rule:

Relax, and repeat.



4 thoughts on “The Holiday in Working Holiday

  1. Oh I want to go back to magnetic island properly! I was so unwell with food poisoning that I missed out entirely! Gutted wasn’t the word and the ferry wasn’t pretty! Great post – Laura


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