In August of 1996, I went to Magnetic Island, just offshore from the Australian town of Townsville. This is the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, the driest part of the year, and also the season when the dreaded box jellyfish are not active (more about that, later).
The photographs of this vacation have been lying around on apartment floors around the world since then, but I received a request to put the photos up on the website for some people thinking of making a trip from the USA down to Townsville. Here, then, are the photos, but at present I lack the time to put together much in the way of accompanying text - wit of the extraordinary caliber to be found on this site is a lot of work (or, as the Australians would say, "hard yakka").
The best views of Townsville and Magnetic Island come on the flight in from one of the international hubs, either Sydney or Brisbane.
The Australians themselves are a "weird mob" (as one famous book described them). I even found an excellent website you might like to check out, it tells you all you need to know about Australia and Australians.
There's lots to keep the avid bird or animal watcher happy. Above water, there are plenty of colorful and interesting birds, the marsupials which Australia is famous for, and various creepy crawlies. You can take a trip out to the Barrier Reef itself, where there are corals, some fish you might not want to meet, surgeonfish, angelfish and butterflyfish, fish you might expect to see in an aquarium, other interesting fish, and giant clams with huge shells and flesh with incredible colors and patterns.