From Beautiful to Terrifying.

Yesterday I spent the day on Maggie Island in the Coral Sea off the coast of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Over half of Maggie Island is National Park and it lies in the the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. As I was riding the ferry over I thought to myself this is going to be one of the best days of my life. My goals for the day were simple. Visit as many bays as possible. See a koala, kayak in the Coral sea. I will spoil the suspense of seeing if I met my goal by saying right away. I visited 2 bays; Nelly bay where the ferry lands, and Horseshoe Bay on the north shore of the island. I did not sea kayak (maybe another day), but I did see a Koala!

The island took my breath away with the mix of tropical terrain, rain forest, rocky beaches, and sandy bays. It was truly amazing.

View of Maggie Island riding over on the ferry.

Coral on the beach at Horseshoe bay.

Sandy beach, low tide, Horseshoe Bay.

The next part of this post is a bit of a confession. I am a biology teacher, and nature lover. I spend time as much time as possible in nature, traveling and studying. But I love touristy wildlife tours. I don’t care if it pay “X” amount to see the worlds largest hog at the county fair, or in Australia pay “Y” amount to take a ‘bush walk’ and hold a Koala. I eat it up, and love it!

On Maggie Island just south of Horseshoe Bay there is a wild life park and backpackers accommodations called Bungalow Bay Koala VillagePerfect I thought, I will get to see a Koala. When they said for an extra fee you can hold a Koala and get a souvenir photo, my eyes lit up. I was so excited, the phrase ‘like a kid in a candy shop’ should be rewritten to be ‘like a biology teacher in a wildlife park’. 

I’m making this face because I can’t believe I’m holding a Koala, and because he just pooped on me.

So your reading this far and thinking why is this blog post titled from beautiful to terrifying? So far seems beautiful to me. The last thing on our 2 hour ‘bush walk’ that didn’t include much walking was to see the Rainbow Lorikeets. I was excited because they are beautiful parrots and I have been trying to snap a good picture for over a month now, and haven’t got one to share. So I was given some soggy bread and I waited.

Waiting to feed the Rainbow Lorikeets and hopefully get a good picture.

Little did I know what terror would follow. My smug look and outstretched arm did not know what was coming. The birds descended on the feeding by the hundreds. Flying at us they were loud, and a the bright mass of green would head straight for us and then wiz around on every side. We were dive bombed with bird poop, from every direction. It was awesome! It was terrifying!

My expression started with surprise. These parrots are beautiful.

Four parrots on my hand.

Okay that not necessary! Your pooping on my head, and your foot is in my eye.

This was the second, third, fourth… times I got pooped on today.

That’s my eye. At this point it’s starting to get terrifying.

Okay this is cool again.

When a predator would come the mass of Rainbow lorikeets would all fly away at once. You could feel the wind from there winds as they flapped like one giant silk fabric of bright green, yellow and red.

The expressions of the kids’ faces were priceless.

So what do you think? Do you have traveling indulgences that you secretly love? Were you ever terrified by a beautiful experience gone wrong?

8 Responses to “From Beautiful to Terrifying.”
  1. Howard says:

    What an exciting time. The birds are so colorful !
    You should carry a bucket to keep the fertilizer
    I’m sure you could grow something:) the water is soooooo blue! Love the pictures!

  2. pteamey says:

    Love it, love it, love it!! The only thing magnetic on maggie island is the immediate attraction to its awesomeness. great pics!

    • Mr. Chopp says:

      Paige. Thanks. I will follow up tomorrow with a blog post about reptiles, more koala pics, and a wombat! Australia misses you. I hope your readjusting to the states, summer, and the city.

  3. Wally says:

    Such a tourist…

    Looks like a great time.

    • Mr. Chopp says:


      Thanks for the comment. I am an unashamed tourist, though I didn’t have a hawaiian shirt, socks with sandals, and a camera around my neck.

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  1. […] wrote yesterday in my post “From Beautiful to Terrifying” about some of my adventures on Maggie Island at Koala Village this weekend. If you are ever in […]

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