Thursday 6th September - Magnetic Island
Wild Carol does Australia
John and Fiona Fraser
Thu 6 Sep 2018 16:00
We caught the 7:45 ferry to Magnetic Island. Like almost every place on this coast Magnetic Island was named by Captain Cook because it played havoc with his compass as he was sailing past in 1770.
As we left the harbour we could see that a huge bush fire was burning on the land to the north of Townsville, seemingly not too far from our campsite.
As we approached the island we could see a squall approaching and just as we docked it arrived. We had a torrential dump of rain for about 5 minutes. This was the first rain of any consequence that we had encountered since the day we left Perth over two months ago.
We’d arranged a hire car, which was waiting for us at the ferry dock. After doing the paperwork we stopped for breakfast at a nice cafe, then drove round to the NE corner to the start of the ‘forts’ walk. This is about a 2-hour walk to the high point at the NE corner of the island where they built gun emplacements during WW2 to guard the approaches to the Townsville docks. It was a surprisingly interesting walk with the main structures still in place and lots of info boards which John had to read in detail - every one - allowing Fiona to get a long way ahead.
While inspecting one of the gun emplacements another snake appeared just in front of me and gave me a helluva fright causing me to stumble backwards into the gun emplacement. This was another brown or black one - I swear they are stalking me! But it gave the Germans something to smile at - yes, they were here too, also a very loud young American backpacker that you could hear two hundred metres away.
Fortunately Fi was waiting for me at the top control tower. She hadn’t seen the big Koala that I’d seen at the range tower, nor any of the snakes, so I’m winning the wildlife spotting contest at the moment! Back she went to see the koala while I took in the views.
We headed back to the car and drove the short distance to Horseshoe bay which seems to be the main beach area. Lots of anchored yachts and a few restaurants doing brisk lunchtime business.
We then drove right round to the other side of the island on the dirt road to West Point, but there wasn’t much of interest there so we drove back to Horseshoe Bay for a bucket of prawns and a beer.
By that time it was nearly time to catch the ferry back so we drove back and dropped off the car and were back in Townsville by 6pm.
Big bush fire near the town
Squall as we approach Magnetic Island
View SE from Magnetic Island
One of the gun emplacements
A koala - in the wild, not in a park!
The control tower at the top
View over the channel from the control tower
Another nice view
Skate park at Horseshoe Bay, complete with solar panel roof