Reef Lodge Backpackers Townsville

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Making a booking and securing it with "Credit Card" details.

SOOOOOO!!! your making a booking, yes you will probably need a credit card.

As a business we try to secure bookings, as with out this we really have no idea if people are in fact going to turn up. As usual its the minority that make it hard for the majority. CC = Credit Card

So the following are a few pointers to would be travelers / booking / CC details.

  1. If you ring our business and we require "CC" please don't take it as in insult that we don't believe you will turn up. We are just trying to cover our selves.
  2. Since you called us to make the booking you should have a good idea that your talking to a legitimate business and not someone about to sell your "CC" details online or go shopping for a new sandwich maker and steak knives.
  3. Yes we are tracked by our banks  and a legitimate business owner would be "STUPID" to go shopping with your "CC"
  4. Your in Australia, not in the back streets of some off beat town in a country no one has heard of.
  5. Most businesses in Australia are safe from "CC" fraud. Not saying it doesn't happen so be diligent. 
  6. If by chance it was proven that a business has defrauded you, that business may be bought up on criminal charges.
  7. If your card has been charged for something you did not purchase you should bring it to your banks attention. That's their job to protect you money.
  8. If you make a booking and do not turn up. Don't be surprised when you find you have been charged for the night. Most times the "Bank" will side with the business if a legitimate booking has been made and not canceled within the guideline of the booking. E.G. 24 hour cancellation Policy.
  9. As a business it would soon get out that they were ripping peoples cards off and would in turn destroy that business.
  10. Our aim is to ensure we look after our customers and make them happy. Not rip them off. We want people to want to come back and recommend us. Not run away and call us "RIPOFF BASTARDS." :0(
That said. I would like people who use "CC" over the phone, you could make our life so much easier by doing the following or simply answer the questions as asked.

No! "VISA" is not your name.

  1. When asked for the name on the card try this, tell them the name on your card. "Your Name" as it's written on "C.C"
  2. Your name is "Trudy" that's funny cause you sound like a "Tom" Not your card Hey it's your  girlfriends. It's fraud when you are trying to give details of a card that is not your.
  3. The number! Happily its divided up into 4 groups of 4 digits. Try just reading the first 4 numbers and wait, then second 4 and so on. Makes life SOOO much easier than the guy who runs off his mouth like a Olympic runner. We can only write so fast. 
  4. I'll make a cup of TEA! On the FLIP side of that, it doesn't take 30 seconds to write down 1 number, move it along a little.
  5. The "DATE." Read as its written 10 / 19 not November of two thousand and nineteen. As you should notice its WRONG! It's OCTOBER!! This happens quite often :O(   1. 0. 1. 9. is good also! And we are going to be in the 20th century for a little while longer I hope.
  6.  GET X-ray VISION!!!! Many businesses do ask for the C.V.V. or security number. Depending on company policy.
Just had to get that off my chest and thank you for reading.................

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

271 people drowned in Australia 2016

Australia has more than 30,000 kilometers of coastline, leaving travelers spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches!
Each year, more than 10,000 people are rescued from life-threatening situations. To make sure that you’re not one of those people, always stay between the red and yellow flags located on each beach in Australia that is patrolled.
Even when swimming between the flags you have to remember that there may still be large waves, uneven water depths and other natural hazards that you may not be aware of. Rip tides are one of the biggest dangers faced by swimmers. if you get caught in a rip, stay calm, conserve your energy and consider the following options:
  • Raise your arm and try to make it clear that you are signalling for help, call out loudly while you are doing this.
  • Float with the current, it may take you back to a shallow sandbank.
  • Try and swim parallel to the beach, this may help you to break out of the rip current.
How to identify a rip current 
There are five common ways to identify a rip current which are as follows:
  • Deeper, darker-colored water.
  • Fewer breaking waves.
  • Ripples on the water surrounded by smoother water.
  • Debris or seaweed floating seaward.
  • Foamy or discolored sandy water extending beyond the waves.
It’s important to bear in mind that a rip may not display all of these signs, it might just be one or two!
It’s important to read the beach safety signs as they will also let you know if there are any permanent or occasional hazards that you should be aware of.
Beaches aren’t the only places where you should read and obey the warning signs. Rivers, freshwater lagoons, rock pools, lakes and creeks all present their own dangers. if you are unsure of the depth of the water, don’t dive in, its mainly common sense! In northern Australia, be especially careful of crocodiles. Always look for the warning signs!

If you are looking for a place to stay in Townsville  you should definitely check out Reef Lodge Backpackers!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Last of the "Wild Fronteer" Chillago a real outback Australian experience. Only 215 klms west of Cairns.

Once Chillagoe was a thriving mining town but is now reduced to a zinc mine and  marble a quarry.  Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park is just outside of Chillagoe and it is thought to be between 600 to 1000 limestone caves in the area.
Marble outcrop Chillagoe
One of the residence of the caves

Hello Mr. Frill Neck.
Marble quarry Chillagoe

Up until 1943 the smelter had operated for 40+ years and 1025 million tons or or had passed through the plant. During this time some 5 tons of gold, 181 tons of silver, 181 tons of lead and 60,000 tons of copper had been pulled out of the region.

Chillagoe smelter

During this flourishing period the mines, smelter and railway employed some 1000 people with the   Mining Company and Chillagoe Railway were equipped with the most up-to-date machinery of its time.

A relic from the past an abandoned Ore-cart

In 1950 the state owned smelter was sold off with the the equipment and buildings being auctioned off.

Locomotive no. 3 of the Chillagoe Railway was the first engine on the Etheridge line.

Chillago is also remembered for the royal commission of 1922. When two state politicians who had 25% stakes each in the mine and it was sold to the Queensland state government at grossly inflated prices. This was to be known as "The Mungana Affair.

Town of Chillagoe

Today Cillago is still home to approximately 200+ people and is more well know these days for the lime stone caverns and 600+ caves in the Chillagoe Mungana National park. One interesting fact was it has been stated by Professor Ian Plimer that the region boasts the worlds most geologically diverse region in the world.

Beautiful Limestone creations.

Departs Cairns at 6.30am every Wednesday is a classic 1960’s Rail-motor Savannahlander

Chillagoe Savannahlander
Thank you to "Chillagoe Cabins" for allowing permission to use some of their images in this Blog. For more information on Chillgoe and what to do go to

Might be worth a look. For more about the caves got to:

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

"Jesus" is not there but you will see the "12 Apostles" on "Great Ocean Road"

Bay of Islands

One of the most spectacular places to see, the most amazing coastline in the world would have to be the "The Great Ocean Road!" Situated in Victoria on Australia's southeastern coast. From the surfing town of Torquay to Warrembool. With attractions such as the "Loch Ard Gorge" "The Arch" "London Bridge" and not to forget the magnificent "Twelve Apostles" With the fantastically sculpted coast and cliffs that make up the shore line from millions of years of wind, rain and waves, this is a must if you are visiting the southern reaches of Australia.

Undoubtedly the most spectacular way to see these in all their glory would have to be by air, as can be seen in some of the pictures shared by Apollo Bay Aviation.

Other points of interest include the resort town of Lorne as well Otway National park for lovers of hiking trails beautiful rain forests stunning eucalyptus forest as well waterfalls.

Apollo Bay Local

Apollo bay


Flight Time: approx 10 Minutes
Cost: $80.00 per person (minimum two passengers)

Twelve Apostles and Bay of Islands

The "Twelve Apostles" by Apollo Bay Aviation.


Flight Time: approx. 70 Minutes
Cost: $595.00 per person (minimum two passengers)

If you are interested in taking a trip to the "Great Ocean Road" check out these guys and budget for at least the $80-00 flight.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Just a little taste of Broome and why you should visit W.A. on your Australian adventure.

Broome is a booming tourist town in the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. With its endless white sands and beautiful turquoise ocean along Cable Beach, which was named after  laying the Java- to-Australia telegraph. Cablw beach now boasts Camel rides as one of its major attractions. The beach is also home to Australia’s most famous nudist beach.

Cable Beach Broome W.A.

Broome was once the pearl capital of the world and its pearling industry was started in the 1880’s using “Black birded slaves. In the beginning these were generally Aboriginal and islanders with the preference for pregnant females, as it was thought they had better lung capacity and could stay down longer. 

If your into Pearls then Broome will not disappoint.

After the abolition of slavery many Asian and Islanders were paid to dive the oyster beds and the advent of diving suits was bought in. Many people lost their lives diving on the oyster beds and as an indication, the Japanese cemetery is the final resting place for well over 900 Japanese divers.

Early Pearl Divers in Broome

Today Broome is home to approximately 14000+ people and has Australia 20th busiest airport. Some of the things you can do while in Broome are take a look at the Dinosaur footprints, dated back to the early Cretaceous period some 130 million years ago. Check out “Pearl Luggers” and “learn about the hazards of the sea, find out why the pearl diver’s life was so perilous.

Dinosaur footprints tour.

For more information on Broome try Pearl Luggers website @

 and Thank you to Wikipedia where you can find some interesting information on the region.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Just off Townsville is Magnetic Island.

 When Traveling through Townsville it a great idea to check out "Magnetic Island" sadly too many people travel from all parts of the world and forget to have a look at "Magnetic Island" Great holiday idea for a day trip or a few days. For more information you can ask at the Reef Lodge Backpackers reception. Or, checkout some other idea on our website

Most days you will see Wild Koalas on the Forts Walk.
This little guy was just a checking out everyone.

"One of the baby Koalas at the Forts"

One of the great view you will see from the Forts trail.

  • Great idea and photo opportunity while on "Magnetic Island" is take a walk to "The Forts" this has a beautiful view of the  Cape Cleveland, Palm Island and the Coral Sea!You'll also get the chance to see "Koala's" in the wild. Best times around 5pm.
  • Check out  the rock wallabies in Geoffrey Bay in Arcadia. Don't forget your camera these little guys aren't shy.
  • There are self guided snorkel trails in Nelly Bay and Geoffrey Bay, not to mention you can snorkel the island's fringing reefs off Arthur and Florence Bays.
  • There are a number of ship wreck off "Magnetic Island" you can get self guided tours of these or even a trip to the Yongala for the more adventurist with diving certification.
  • The island is home to over 180 species of birds that call the "Magnetic Island" home.
  • Drive around the island by road, you can hire cars,bikes and scooters on the island or learn more about island life with a guided tour.
    One of the many beautiful beach you can experience.
  • There are many walking tracks on the island which will give a chance to explore the island’s National Parks
  • You could go to "Bungalow Bay Koala Village" to cuddle a koala or kiss a croc  and get a photo to remember the experience.
  • "Magnetic Island" has an array of live music. Kick back with a few freinds and a quiet drink.
  •  Get fired up for alfresco dining with a BBQ, grab your friends (+ food + drinks) and enjoy a great selection of grassy foreshores on the island and take advantage of  Picnic Bay, Nelly Bay, Alma Bay and Horseshoe Bay which all have picnic tables and FREE BBQ’s
  • Full Moon Down Under Parties at Base Magnetic Island - the biggest on the East Coast of Oz!
  • There are many local artists as well art galleries on the island.  You may just find some to take home.
  • Picnic Bay Jetty is heritage listed site and is a great vantage point for the budding angler. Don't forget your fishing gear.
    Magnetic Island and Picnic Bay jetty
  • There are a number of masseurs on the island which can certainly get you into holiday mode.
  • Take the 4WD road and picnic at secluded West Point and try and find the geocache
  • There are 23 hidden bays around the "Magnetic Island" if you get a chance and have access to a boat.
  • Step into Magnetic Island’s" colourful past when you visit the Magnetic Island History and Craft Center.
  • Fun and fitness at "Horseshoe Bay"which  has a great selection of water sports at
  • Take a trip to the Great Barrier Reef with one of the charter boats to snorkel, dive or fish.
  • Catch a brilliant sunset overlooking "Townsville and "Castle Hill"at Horseshoe Bay, West Point or at  the end of Picnic Bay Jetty .
  • Climb to the island’s  peak "Mt Cook" at 497 m (1,631 ft) above sea level or some of the many rocky outcrops.
    One of the many views from some of the vantage points on Magnetic Island.
  • In the wet season for a great refresher! Check out the many waterfalls on the island.
  • Stage Door Theater cabaret Restaurant is a great night out and a good laugh- the best in NQ! (Don't be shy!)
  • At the Picnic Bay Country Club you can play a round of  golf.
  • Magnetic Island Bowls Club will give you a chance to test your skills at bowls. (It's not a easy as it looks in the Olympics)
  • Go horse back ridding and go for a ride from the bush and into the Coral Sea.
  • Check out the islands Friday night markets from 5pm till 8pm at the R.S.L. and Arcadia hotel.
  • Although based in Townsville you can see the island from the air in the Red Baron a sea plane the flies out of Townsville.
    The Red Barron at Magnetic Island.
  • Accommodation on "Magnetic Island" includes anythings from a shared backpacker dormitory to an apartment.
  • At Bungalow Bay Koala Village try something a little different and have a bush tucker breakfast.
  • Try an exquisite cocktail over lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants and bars while you take in the ocean views
  • Enjoy the largest jet ski area available on the east cost of OZ, you can hire these at "Horseshoe bay"
  • There are 23 individual bays and beaches so grab a book and kich back or just sit back, relax and take a load off.
  • Check out our weekly 'What's On' calendar for the latest Magnetic Island listings of activities and events.
    Remember to come and have a look at Magnetic Island.
 If your traveling to Townsville  and magnetic island just ask us and we can put you in contact with people who know what they talking about and will leave you with the best possible experience when you visit North Queensland.

Reef lodge Backpackers hostel Townsville



Always keep an eye out for specials posted on our website:

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Why tourists should visit "Townsville" and "Magnetic Island" May you be bitten by the "adventure travel bug" not the predictable common "travel bug!"

Seems many people  pass through Townsville to get to "Magnetic Island" or on their way to "Cairns" in the north or "Arlie Beach" to the south. Sadly "Townsville" is often an after thought, and many people say "Oh, I wish we had more time, but they told us in #destinationwithheld# not to bother staying in Townsville as there is nothing there unless you really wanted to see "Magnetic Island."

Seems this is a catch cry of many other destinations in and around "North Queensland" and sadly damages not only "Townsvilles" reputation as a destination by baring false witness to the region, but also is causing resentment from the tourist when they realise that the person or businesses who told them this was absolutely wrong.

The way I see it is, the regions outside of Townsville have only one reason to say such things, they want the almighty dollar to stay with them, and by telling them not to bother to go to "Townsville" or "Magnetic Island" then they will probably stay an extra night in their current town or city. Problem with this is you end up with customers making comments about these people like:

Customer Quote "That asshole in #destinationwithheld# told me not to stay Townsville, and that Magnetic Island was only worth a 1 or 2 night stay at most. Now I can't rearrange my flights, bus,  or accommodation. I wish I could have stayed longer."

Here at the Reef Lodge backpackers in Townsville we try to get tourists the best possible experience of "North Queensland" and "Australia" in as many places they wish to stay and encourage people to even look off the beaten track, to explore towns and regions outside the norm. From the western towns like "Charters Towers" with its rich gold mining history or the ghost-town of "Ravenswood." People traveling from the other side of the world should want to experience Australia not be led by the nose or the money in their pocket to see only what will turn the mighty dollar in their wallets. We can give you ideas and put you touch with the people who know, but we believe that the best memories of your holiday in Australia are going to be the ones you didn't plan.

May all of your holidays be memorable, both good and bad and may you be bitten by the "ADVENTURE TRAVEL BUG!" not the predictable and now common "travel bug."

If your looking to stay in Townsville please free to contact us below: