“Where the heck are all the animals???”
I had just embarked on my first bush walk, 8k long, which should bring me from my hostel to the Koala sanctuary and then to the beach on the other side of the island to a serene bay.
Magnetic Island is an island that’s 52 km2 small, has about 2000 residents and though it’s far from being a remote and uninhabited island, there are plenty of walking tracks throughout the island. Nevertheless, most people are not crazy enough to actually walk, the preferred method of transportation is driving a tiny topless pink beach car.
So why the hell did this weird German girl decide to walk through 40 degree bush weather instead of driving a comfy car with natural air conditioning? Because that’s where the koalas are! Apparently Magnetic Island is one of the places to see them in the wild, sitting on trees, eating or sleeping or doing whatever it is that koalas are doing. Or at least that’s what the girl in the hostel told me who was cleaning the kitchen while I was distributing LSF50+ all over my face and arms. She told me that she had seen them just yesterday on her day off when she went for a walk, and she also told me that I should be stomping and singing the whole time to scare away any snakes that will be on the track. The koalas won’t mind the stomping and singing because they’re in the trees sleeping.
Reassured by her advise and not at all freaked out by the possibility of meeting a snake on the track I took my water bottle and went into the bush. Searching and stomping, singing and scanning the trees for furry things, finding colorful birds instead
The Australian bush is very different than the New Zealand bush, I noticed right away. While everything is green and lush in NZ, Australia’s trees and bushes look rather grey. There are very little flowers and everything looks rather dried out. I wonder how koalas survive here.
After about 1 hour of stomping I decided to take a break and drink some water. I was pretty dehydrated from all the singing too and I found a nice looking stone in the shade. Careful not to drink too much, not knowing how much longer I would have to walk in this heat I only drank one third and put the bottle away. I then stood up and turned around to be faced with a giant spider as big as my head (no picture available but I remember it to be black and red).
One panic attack later, I proceeded to gracefully
stomp walk through the bush. And slowly I learned to appreciate Australia’s beauty. It is rather unconventional and sometimes even hiding, but if you look close enough you will see it.
I didn’t manage to find any wild koalas, but in the end I found an amazing sunset and that’s almost as good.