I was concerned about Halloween not being a normal part of Aussie culture so I was quite surprised when a friend told me about a Full moon/Halloween party hosted on Magnetic Island which is an island off the coast of Townsville, Queensland. We jumped at the opportunity for a weekend getaway and an awesome party! We booked our flights and hostels and prepared for an awesome beginning to STUVAC (the study vacation that we have before finals begin). Magnetic Island is a gorgeous island with beautiful sandy beaches, palm trees and crystal blue water. Great place to lay back and relax.
Friday was Halloween and we started the day near the pool meeting other people who had come for the full moon party. Many backpackers from around the world, which made for really awesome conversations. That night we got all dressed up and walked down to the beach where the party was. Australian Halloween definitely has more of an emphasis on scary costumes whereas costumes in the US seem to be geared more towards popular culture like celebrities, movie characters, etc. Made for a very interesting evening filled with zombies, mummies, evil butchers and more! The party was awesome and I was glad we found a way to celebrate Halloween.
The next day, my friend and Nicole decided, while lounging by the pool, that we wanted to get out of the hostel and do something different. We asked for a tourism booklet from reception and decided on horse back riding! We took a bus to the ranch and got saddled up. My horse’s name was Jack and he was very patient with me as I tried to get the hang of trotting haha. It was an awesome two hour ride that started at the ranch and passed through the countryside where we were able to see kangaroos and koalas in their natural habitats rather than zoos! After a while we reached the beach where our instructors let us unsaddle and ride bare back in the water which leads me to a very hilarious story.
So anyone who has spent even two seconds with a horse knows that they poop and pee a lot and in large quantities. I didn’t realize this wouldn’t stop in the water. (Warning: this wasn’t a beach with people swimming.) As we are riding slowly in the water, Freckles (my friend Nicole’s horse) decided he needed to poop… with Jack and I right behind him. Needless to say the next few minutes were agonizingly gross as Jack and I continued on through Freckles’ floating poop. We had a good laugh about it and I took a long shower that night.
That night was more laid back and we all just hung out talking and laughing. I even met some French girls who lived in Newtown and we made plans to hang out once we all returned to Sydney. Great weekend getaway!