So I am currently lying in a hammock by the pool, listening to wild parakeets and cockatoos sqwark, enjoying the beatiful Australian sun. And yes you guessed it, I’m at Bungalow Bay Koala Village. Sadly, I’ve just checked out, and this is my last day on the stunning Magnetic Island.
1 – The scenery is amazing – the first thing that strikes you when you walk into this YHA hostel is the amazing environment it is set in. Towering vibrant green trees map out various parts of the campsite, and wild birds fly between them effortlessly, adding fleeting burst of colour.
2- The bungalows are super cool – set back in the park, behind the campers area, the bungalows, triangular pods, similar to glamping huts, are the perfect place to rest your head. Super clean, complete with fridge, kettle and 2 charging points they fulfill all your needs. We opted for a double with shared bathroom, which just meant a short 1 minute stroll across to the toilet block for a suprisingly powerful shower! The rooms also have air con and fans and the bed was really comfy! My favourite part however was the view from the bed. Looking up into the trees you could see the birds hopping from tree to tree – ultimate relaxation!
3 – You can have breakfast with the koalas! – this was an amazing experience. Available at 830am every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (pre booking is essential!), for a small fee you get a slap up breakfast in the wildlife centre, where you can hold lizards and snakes, and pet Hagrid the resident male Koala. Hagrid was a rescue who was hit by a car in the wild and wasn’t able to be re-released due to his injuries. He is super friendly, and more than happy to chew on his eucalyptus leaves whilst you take a selfie with him – a proper dude! The sanctuary also offer the chance to have a photo holding Claudia, a 2 year old captive bred koala. This session is done very professionally, with handling time of only a few seconds, appropriate supervision, and the kolas welfare being top priority.
4 – The staff are really friendly – a great team of helpful staff work at the site. More than happy to answer all your questions with a smile. They offer evening games at the bar – last night was trivia night and our 2 man team ‘koality unassured’ came a fabulous last place – I’m blaming the fact we had the fewest team members … ha! Shane did win a scooner for his paper plane skills in the interval plane throwing competition however – every cloud!
5 – They are committed to eco tourism and conservation – two things I care very strongly about. They sponsor wildlife rescue and care, and use a percentage of the proceeds from koala photos for this. They are advanced eco certified for eco tourism, and also support the Australian Koala foundation, who are committed to the conservation and management of the wild koala and its habitat – https://www.savethekoala.com
6 – You get to visit Magnetic Island – a beautiful location set just a 25 minute ferry ride from Townsville, the ferry terminal is conveniently also where the greyhound bus stops! $33 for a return trip and $6 for a daily bus pass for the island, if your not just coming to experience this amazing hostel, chances are your main motivation is to explore this beautiful island. Complete with fringing reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, spectacular beaches and walks that lead you to wild koalas and stunning view points, Magnetic Island should be on everyone’s to do list!
If you would like to book a stay, or contact the hostel then here is their website: http://www.bungalowbay.com.au
Disclaimer: A discounted stay and free koala handling was provided to travel animal online by Bungalow Bay Koala Village. All opinions and recommendations are my own .