Sojourn at Magnetic Island

For those of you wondering what is magnetic about Magnetic Island, here is the lowdown. Only 8 kms offshore from Townsville, it was so named by Captain Cook because of the apparent magnetic effect it had on the ship’s compass as he was sailing up the coast in 1770. This effect was never replicated, but having spent a few days here, we can vouch for magnetism of a different kind!

Approaching Magnetic Island

I will be honest and say I personally was not looking forward to Magnetic Island… close to the mainland, an extremely popular holiday destination with hordes of tourists descending on the island from the local ferry day in day out, and lots of yachties congregating there! But after the initial shock of the masses, we found it a lovely spot to come to and ended up staying there for three nights.

We spent most of our time based at Horseshoe Bay.

Anchoring at Horseshoe Bay
Horseshoe Bay Panoramic

The largest bay on the island, protected from the trade winds, it seems to be a winter home for many cruisers. We counted some 30 boats anchored, and even Take It Easy joined us there! There is a small settlement which attracts tourists of all nationalities. There are a few water sports businesses with the dreaded jet skis and tubes of death zooming around the bay, so you definitely don’t go there for peace and quiet. But the eateries along its foreshore were nice for a couple of restaurant meals, and the beautiful long beach was great for Bengie too who could walk safely in the morning.

TIE & Anui together!
Morning walk at Horseshoe Bay
Bengie ready to go back to the dinghy

We had been starved of exercise for the last couple of weeks so we took the opportunity to explore the many walking tracks on the island. It is scenic, with granite outcrops, rainforest, interesting vegetation such as hoop pines, kapok trees, even bougainvillea, and the tracks lead through bushland to beautiful palm fringed aqua bays and stunning lookouts. We followed a historical track to the old World War II fort and gun emplacement, did a long loop walk that linked the southern bays and afforded stunning views towards the mainland and the nearby islands, and we took Anui to a couple of quieter coves outside of the favoured Horseshoe Bay for a less crowded interlude and a snorkel. Here is a slide show of some of the lovely sights we enjoyed. Just swipe to move to the next image.

  • Balding Bay, Magnetic Island
  • Cleveland Bay
  • Arthur Bay, Magnetic Island
  • Radical Bay, Magnetic Island
  • Palm Island
  • The Lagoon at Horseshoe Bay
  • Gun Emplacement, Magnetic Is
  • Sighting post at the fort, Magnetic Is
  • Arthur Bay
  • Six-band Angelfish
  • Leafy coral at Florence Bay

We sailed back to Townsville on Wednesday afternoon.

Sailing to Townsville
Sunset over Maggie

We are now doing the usual chores (provisioning and laundry), ready for the continuation of our trek north. Our next destinations: Orpheus Island with its giant clams, and majestic Hinchinbrook Island. More on this over the next few posts.

8 thoughts on “Sojourn at Magnetic Island

  1. The island is really gorgeous! What beach! Is that golden sand? I love it. I think the name should read Attractive Island instead of “magnetic”. Thank you, Chris. 🙂

  2. Dear Wade and Chris, I have been a bit slack for a while…. some weeks ago Frank had a fall In the garage & at others’ request an ambulance was called to take him to hospital to have his knee stitched….thankfully nothing was broken and after a good rest in there he came out about 3 weeks ago with no “ labels” of anything else on him and a new lease of Life. So dear ones I have not been a good email reader and have lots to catch up on. We have never been to Magnetic Is so have enjoyed your trip. Thanks. Lovely…..we always headed to the bush….not the sea. Much love from us both Pam

    • Hi Pam, we missed you. Not so good about Frank falling and hurting his knee, but good to hear he is on the mend. Glad you liked your virtual trip to Magnetic!

  3. I’m sure you will love Hinchinbrook. Tuck into Nth Zoe bay & do the walk to the waterfall at the head of Sth Zoe. Walks a plenty. Our favourite spot.

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