In mid January we left the mission office for Townsville. We drove for three days staying with senior couples in Gladstone and Rockhampton. Townsville is a city of 172,000 on the east coast of Australia, north of Brisbane. It is in the dry tropics region, but believe us it is humid! The Ross River flows through the city. The coastline features beaches, mangrove estuaries, salt pans and coastal swamps. A lot of beautiful flora and fauna and a large number of reptiles and amphibians. There are at least 365 bird species, we are always amazed by the birds and the trees and flowers. We try to avoid seeing snakes, but we have seen a lot of frogs and we have house geckos, who we like because they eat spiders!
Our first Sunday, this is the chapel. The branch is large. Elder Montague is in the District Presidency.
This is our home, we have three bedrooms and a study room, it is lovely and we are very comfortable. It is well air conditioned, which we are soooooo thankful for.
Another view, study room is to the left. The start of the kitchen can be seen along with the living room which is called the lounge.
Our subdivision is called Mount Louisa. This hill is Mount Louisa as seen from Castle Hill. We live at the base of this hill.
From Castle Hill, but toward the water, the sandy area is Pallerenda Beach. It looks beautiful but you have to be brave to swim there. Stingers (jelly fish) sharks and even crocodiles swim here. There are a couple of netted areas where people get in the water.
We did venture onto the beach for some beach art. To celebrate our anniversary we also had a gelato!
These colourful birds are lorikeets, love the birds here
And the trees!
This is sugar cane country, miles and miles of sugar cane. The harvest starts in June.
We went to a koala sanctuary here named Bilabong with Elder and Sister Mizukawa who were in Townsville before us. They are now in Brisbane. Townsville has a reputation for senior missionaries with last names starting with M, In recent history it has been the Matthews, Miles, Millers, Mizukawas and now the Montagues. We are doing MLS work, visiting and teaching less actives and what ever needs to be done. Lately we have had speaking assignments. There are four branches in the area and we have been attending branch conferences.
At the Bilabong they had a feeding of the crocodiles, never smile at a crocodile!
Aboriginal art, beautiful and fascinating
Elder Montague with Elder Luki and Elder Kioa, our zone leaders who are stationed in Cairns (about five hour drive to the north) we love these men.