Exploring Magnetic Island

Explore Magnetic Island

Dansk version nederst på siden.

During December last year, my best friends from Denmark and I went on a three-week road trip along Australia’s East Coast from Cairns to Byron Bay. One of our destinations was Magnetic Island, and this post is all about the highlights from our amazing time on Maggie (as the Aussies tend to call it) that can hopefully serve as inspiration for you to visit this little paradise island.

Before our trip, I had done a lot of research of what destinations on Australia’s East Coast that could be nice to visit, and when I read about Magnetic Island, I was completely sure that we had to go there.

Magnetic Island is a paradise island located in Northern Queensland outside of Townsville. It’s 52km² and has only 2000 permanent residents. However, not only people populate the island. Maggie is among others famous for its large population of koalas, and as my friends had never seen them in the wild before, the koalas were our main reason to go. Later, we figured out that the island offers so much more than koalas, and we could easily have spent more than a full day there.

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Getting there and getting around

Getting to Magnetic Island is quite simple, as there are only two ferry companies that go there, and they both leave from Townsville. The Sealink ferry is the fastest and runs 18 times per day. However, it doesn’t bring vehicles, so if you plan to bring your car or campervan, which I highly recommend you do, then you have to catch the Fantasea ferry that runs eight times per day. We had decided to bring our campervan (that we named Lars) and caught the ferry at around 7 am. 40 minutes later, we arrived at Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island.

When we got to Maggie, we were so happy that we had taken Lars with us. There are quite long between the different spots, and even though public transport runs on the island, it doesn’t run very often. So the total cost of 220 AUD to bring your vehicle back and forth is money well spent.

Where to stay

We had booked a campground for the night at Bungalow Bay Koala Village at Horseshoe Bay that is a combined hostel, campsite and koala park. Apparently, it’s the only campsite on the island, but it turned out to be great and highly recommendable. Their facilities were good, they had a little pool and a bar area with different events every night. In addition, there was a nice vibe and everyone seemed to enjoy their time. And so did we, even though we ended up not spending much time there.

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The Forts Walk

Magnetic Island is most famous for its many koalas. And the best spot to watch them is on the 2,8 kilometre long Forts Walk. As our main reason to go to Magnetic Island was to see wild koalas, taking this walk was a no-brainer. So after unpacking our stuff at the campground and grabbing a quick bite, we drove to the starting point of the Forts Walk a few hours before the sun was at its highest. However, it was still hot that day, and we were happy that we had brought lots of water with us.

During the around 1,5 hours the walk takes, you see a lot. In the beginning, we were blown away by the many spectacular coastal views – the many bays and clear blue waters are just stunning! However, we forgot all about the scenery, that also includes historic remnants from World War II, when we saw the first dozing koala in a tree right above our heads. It was almost awake and started moving a little bit, and we spent a while just spectating and taking photos of it, and cheered for it to fully awake. It didn’t. So we continued our walk and were all the time looking up in search of other koalas. We were lucky enough to spot another one that also had its fair share of photos taken before we decided to head back to the campsite.

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Feeding rock-wallabies

Even though Magnetic Island is mostly known for its many koalas, other animals also live there. And a must visit is the rock-wallabies’ rocks. Right before sunset, rock-wallabies usually come to the rocks between Geoffrey Bay and Alma Bay and some of them are so used to humans that you can hand-feed them.

We really wanted to experience that, so in the afternoon we drove to Arcadia where we parked Lars. We walked to the local newsstand Arcadia Newsagency where you can get the exact location and buy kangaroo food. However, the latter is probably not necessary, as there will most likely be some leftovers from others that you can grab. We didn’t know that and bought two big bags of kangaroo food…

The rock-wallabies’ rocks are beautiful and offer a nice view. We agreed that the view itself would be worth the trip if we didn’t see any animals but luckily, we did. First, we saw a group of people gathered around a rock-wallaby and hand-fed it with an apple. We became even more eager to find and feed some ourselves, but the first few we saw weren’t interested in being fed. It all made sense when we saw all the kangaroo food that was spread everywhere that place. Luckily, we found another spot where there wasn’t left any kangaroo food, and we were able to hand-feed two jumping fellas. Let me just say that it was magical!

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Sunset at Picnic Bay

There aren’t many great sunset spots on the East Coast so it’s about taking advantage of the few ones there are. Picnic Bay is one of them. So when the sun is about to set, you should head to Picnic Bay and watch the sunset from the end of the long jetty. We watched the most spectacular sunset together with a few busy fishermen and some locals, and it was the perfect way of ending a beautiful day.

If you’re a nature-lover who among others have a soft spot for cute animals and stunning coastal views, you will love Magnetic Island. We had an amazing time, and I’m completely sure I will come back one day and explore more of this little paradise island.

Read more posts from Australia here.

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I december sidste år var jeg på et tre-ugers roadtrip langs Australiens østkyst fra Cairns til Byron Bay med mine bedste danske veninder. En af vores destinationer var Magnetic Island, og dette indlæg handler om vores fantastiske tid på Maggie (som australierne kalder den), der forhåbentlig kan inspirere dig til at besøge denne lille paradis-ø. 

Før turen havde jeg lavet en masse research af, hvilket destinationer på Australiens østkyst, der kunne være interessante at besøge, og da jeg læste om Magnetic Island, var jeg ikke i tvivl om, at vi skulle dertil.   

Magnetic Island er en paradis-ø, der er placeret i den nordlige del af Queensland ud for Townsville. Den er 52 km² og har kun 2000 faste indbyggere. Det er dog ikke kun mennesker, der bor på øen. Maggie er blandt andet kendt for sin store bestand af koalaer, og da mine veninder aldrig havde set dem i naturen før, var de vores hovedårsag til, at vi tog derhen. Vi fandt dog senere ud af, at øen har så meget mere at byde på end koalaer, og vi kunne nemt have brugt mere end en hel dag der.

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Sådan kommer du dertil og rejser rundt

At komme til Magnetic Island er ret simpelt, da der kun er to færgeudbydere, der sejler dertil, og de afgår begge fra Townsville. Sealink-færgen er den hurtigste og den afgår 18 gange om dagen. Den tager dog ikke køretøjer med, så hvis du planlægger at medbringe din bil eller campervan, hvilket jeg kan anbefale på det varmeste, så skal du tage Fantasea-færgen, der afgår otte gange om dagen. Vi havde besluttet at tage vores campervan (som vi gav navnet Lars) med og tog færgen omkring klokken 7 om morgenen fra Townsville. 40 minutter senere var vi i Nelly Bay på Magnetic Island.  

Da vi ankom til Maggie, blev vi enormt glade for at have taget Lars med derover. Der er ret langt mellem de forskellige spots, og selvom der går offentlig transport på øen, så går det ikke ofte. Så de 220 AUD ≈ 1100 kr det i alt koster at medbringe sit køretøj frem og tilbage, er penge godt givet ud.

Her skal du bo

Vi havde booket en campingplads for natten på Bungalow Bay Koala Village ved Horseshoe Bay, der er et kombineret hostel, campingplads og koalapark. Det er tilsyneladende den eneste campingplads på øen, men den viste sig at være rigtig fin og meget anbefalelsesværdig. Deres faciliteter var gode, de havde en lille pool og et barområde, hvor der blev afholdt forskellige events hver aften. Der var en god stemning, og alle så ud som om, de hyggede sig. Inklusiv os, selvom vi endte med ikke at bruge så meget tid der. 

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Gåturen ved the Forts

Magnetic Island er mest kendt for sine mange koalaer. Og det bedste sted at spotte dem er på den 2,8 kilometer lange Forts Walk. Da vores hovedårsag til at besøge Magnetic Island var at se vilde koalaer, var denne tur en no-brainer. Så efter at vi havde pakket lidt ud ved campingpladsen og fået os en hurtig bid mad, kørte vi til startpunktet for the Forts Walk et par timer før, at solen stod på sit højeste. Det var dog stadig en varm dag, og vi var meget glade for alt det vand, vi havde medbragt. 

I løbet af den halvanden time, som turen tager, ser du en masse. I begyndelsen var vi betagede af de mange smukke kystudsigter – de mange bugter og det krystalklare vand er små smukt! Vi glemte dog alt om landskabet, der også inkluderer historiske rester fra Anden Verdenskrig, da vi så den første hvilende koala i et træ lige over hovederne på os. Den var næsten vågen og begyndte at bevæge sig, og vi brugte lidt tid på at betragte den og tage billeder og håbe på, at den ville vågne helt. Det gjorde den ikke. Så vi besluttede at fortsætte gåturen og kiggede konstant op i søgen efter flere koalaer. Vi var heldige at se en mere, som vi også fik taget en masse billeder af, før vi besluttede at tage tilbage til campingpladsen.  

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Fodring af klippe-wallabies

Selvom Magnetic Island er mest kendt for sine mange koalaer, bor der også andre dyr der. Og et sted, der er et must at besøge er stenene med klippe-wallabies. Lige før solnedgang kommer klippe-wallabies typisk ned til stenene mellem Geoffrey Bay og Alma Bay og nogle af dem er så vant til mennesker, at de kan håndfodres.

Det ville vi gerne opleve, så om eftermiddagen kørte vi til Arcadia og parkerede Lars. Derefter gik vi til den lokale aviskiosk Arcadia Newsagency, hvor du kan få den nøjagtige placering og købe dyrefoder. Sidstnævnte er dog ikke en nødvendighed, da der højst sansynligt vil være nogle rester fra andre, som du kan samle op. Det vidste vi ikke, og vi købte to store poser med dyrefoder…

Stenene med klippe-wallabies er smukke og byder på en fin udsigt. Vi blev enige om, at denne udsigt ville være turen værd, hvis vi ikke så nogen dyr, men det gjorde vi heldigvis. Først så vi en lille gruppe mennesker, der var samlet om en klippe-wallaby og fodrede den med et æble. Vi blev derefter endnu mere ivrige efter at finde og fodre nogle, men de første par stykker vi så, var ikke interesserede i at blive fodret. Det gav dog mening, da vi så alle resterne af dyrefoder, der lå spredt over det hele på det sted. Heldigvis fandt vi et andet spot, hvor der ikke lå noget foder, og vi fik mulighed for at håndfodre to hoppende venner. Lad mig bare sige, at det var magisk!

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Solnedgang ved Picnic Bay

Der er ikke mange solnedgangsspots på østkysten, så det er med at udnytte de få, der er. Picnic Bay er et af dem. Så når solen er ved at gå ned, bør du tage til Picnic Bay og se solnedgang fra enden af den lange mole. Vi så den mest spektakulære solnedgang i selskab med nogle få travle fiskere og nogle lokale, og det var den perfekte afslutning på en skøn dag.

Hvis du er en naturelskende person, der blandt andet har et blødt punkt for søde dyr og fantastiske kystudsigter, vil du elske Magnetic Island. Jeg er overbevist om, at jeg kommer tilbage en dag og oplevelser mere af denne lille paradis-ø. 

Læs flere indlæg fra Australien her.

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