I boarded the ferry to Magnetic Island without know what to expect. I promised myself to study a place a bit before exploring it but hey! Where’s the fun in that!
Magnetic Island is named after its apparent magnetic affect on the ship’s compass of Captain Cook as he passed the island sailing his way up the Coast.
The Island is only a short 12 kilometres from Townsville on the mainland.I chose the Arcadia beach hostel to stay which didn’t disappoint and made a nice change having a real bed instead of the normal the bunks in hostels. I really recommend this place to stay especially if you’re on a budget.
The majority of the island is accessible by bus and bike but I decided to rent a 4×4 to get to some of the places that aren’t so easy to reach. The price of the rental which was from my hostel was a bit of a rip off but it is an island so expect to pay island prices here.
My first day exploring left me overwhelmed how much it reminded me of the Island Virgin Gorda in the BVI. Pristine beaches with huge rock boulders and steep roads.Just along from the hostel in Arcadia you can find the local rock wallabies which generally come out at night but it’s possible to see them hiding amongst the gigantic rock formations during the day.
They are pretty tame and easy to get close to.There are so many beaches to explore here, including horseshoe bay, radical bay, picnic bay just to name a few.
The Forts walk is one of many walking tracks here. Situated above radical bay, it gives great views over the island and a fascinating look into how the military here set up base to protect any unwanted invasion from the Japanese during the war. The walking trek is close to a three kilometre loop with the chance to see wild Koalas.When I started the walk I was stopped by a local lady who asked me if I was there to see the Koalas and told me that she had seen one with a baby in its pouch just a few meters up the track and she had put down branches in the shape of an arrow pointing to the tree they were in.
I found the marker and after about five minute of looking frantically trough the tree she had pointed out and the surrounding ones, without one Kuala in sight I began to have a vision of this lovely kind old lady laughing her head off on the way back to her car saying “bloody stupid tourist”
After a hot and humid walk at the forts I decided to to head down to horseshoe Bay for. swim. Horseshoe bay as well as a couple other beaches here, you can swim swimming between stinger nets offering safety from the poisonous jelly fish that gather up the east coast especially during the summer months.
After returning to the hostel for some dinner I headed out to West Point beach which was recommended as the best place to watch the sunset. Unfortunately the sky was slightly overcast that night, but nonetheless it was still a beautiful place to sit and relax while looking out to the sea.
Magnetic island is easily explorable in one day, but having a couple days allows you to relax and enjoy the laid back Island lifestyle of this little piece of paradise just off the Australian coast.
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