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 or Maggie as the locals tend to call it.

Magnetic Island is located in Northern Queensland outside Townsville. It’s a paradise island of 52 km², and around 2000 people live there. However, not only people populate the island; Maggie is among others famous for its large population of koalas, which was our main reason to go. We had one day and one night on the island, which was appropriate considering the total number of days we had on our trip. However, you could easily spend one or two more days there.

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Getting there and getting around

If you only have little time to explore Magnetic Island, it’s a good idea to catch a ferry early in the morning. There are two ferry providers; Sealink that goes 18 times per day and Fantasea that goes eight times per day. The differences between the two ferries are the time it takes to get to Magnetic Island and the ferry’s size; the Sealink ferry is a smaller catamaran that takes 25 minutes, and the Fantasea ferry is a bigger boat with the possibility of bringing your car/campervan that takes 40 minutes. We had decided to bring our campervan and caught the Fantasea ferry around 7 am from Townsville. 40 minutes later, we arrived in Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island.

The easiest way to get around the island is by car/campervan, and I can highly recommend taking a vehicle to the island even though the ferry ticket is quite expensive. We paid 110 AUD each way. However, it gives you a freedom to explore Magnetic Island as much as possible. And even though the island isn’t big, you will have to travel a bit to experience the most. However, there is also a public bus that you can get, but it doesn’t go frequently.

Where to stay

We had decided to book 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, however, it was great and highly recommendable. Their facilities were good, they had a nice pool and a bar area with different events every night. There was a nice vibe and everyone seemed to enjoy their time.

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What to see and do

The Forts Walk

Magnetic Island is most famous for its many koalas. And apparently, the best spot to watch them is on the Forts Walk that is a 2,8-kilometre long walk that takes around 1,5 hours. The walk takes you through lots of eucalyptus trees where you most likely will spot a koala or two. In addition, it also offers many spectacular coastal views and historic remnants from World War II. Not surprisingly, we were most excited about the two adorable koalas we saw, however, we were also pretty blown away by the stunning views.

This walk is a must do on Maggie, and I can highly recommend doing it early in the morning as it can get really hot during the day. In addition, it’s a good idea to bring lots of water. There is one place where you can fill your bottle on the trail, but the water doesn’t taste good!

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Feeding rock-wallabies

Right before sunset, rock-wallabies tend to come to the rocks between Geoffrey Bay and Alma Bay, and some of them aren’t too shy to be hand-fed. You can buy animal-food in the local newsstand Arcadia Newsagency opposite the little street that brings you to the rocks. Alternatively, you can just bring a piece of fruit/veggie and give them. We bought the animal-food at the newsstand and were pretty excited to feed them. We saw approximately five rock-wallabies and were able to hand-feed two of them, which was a great experience!

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Sunset at Picnic Bay

In the evening, you should go to the long jetty at Picnic Bay to see the sunset. When we visited, fishermen fished and locals gathered to watch the most spectacular sunset, and it was a perfect way of ending our amazing day on Magnetic Island.

We really enjoyed our time on Magnetic Island and see it as one of the highlights of our road trip. As mentioned, we were very happy with our decision of bringing our campervan, as it gave us the ultimate freedom to do whatever we wanted to do. And especially because we only had limited time on the island, we saved much time on transport.

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 eller Maggie som de lokale kalder den.

Magnetic Island er placeret i den nordlige del af Queensland ud for Townsville. Det er en lille paradis-ø på 52 km², hvor der er 2000 indbyggere. Det er dog ikke kun mennesker, der bor på øen; Maggie er blandt andet kendt for dens store bestand a koalaer, der var hovedårsag til vores besøg. Vi havde en dag og en nat på øen, hvilket var passende i forhold til det samlede antal dage vi havde på turen. Man kunne dog sagtens have brugt en dag eller to mere der. 

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Sådan kommer du dertil og rejser rundt

Hvis du kun har kort tid til at udforske Magnetic Island, er det en god ide at tage en tidlig færge. Der er to færgeudbydere; Sealink, der sejler 18 gange om dagen og Fantasea, der sejler otte gange om dagen. Forskellene på de to færger er tiden det tager at komme til Magnetic Island og færgens størrelse; Sealink-færgen er en mindre katamaran, der tager 25 minutter, mens Fantasea-færgen er en større båd, hvor det er muligt at medbringe bil/campervan, der tager 40 minutter. Vi havde besluttet at tage vores campervan med og tog Fantasea-færgen omkring klokken 7 fra Townsville. 40 minutter senere var vi i Nelly Bay på Magnetic Island.  

Den nemmeste måde at komme rundt på øen er i bil/campervan, og jeg kan varmt anbefale at tage sit køretøj med over på øen selvom færgebilletten er ret dyr. Vi betalte 110 AUD ≈ 550 kr hver vej. Det giver dog en frihed til at opleve Magnetic Island så meget som muligt. Og selvom øen ikke er stor, så skal der rejses lidt for at opleve det meste. Der er dog også en bus, som man kan tage, men den kører ikke så ofte.  

Her skal du bo

Vi havde besluttet af booke 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 det var dog rigtig fint og meget anbefalelsesværdigt. Deres faciliteter var gode, de havde en fin 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. 

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Hvad du skal se og opleve

Gåturen ved the Forts

Magnetic Island er mest kendt for sine mange koalaer. Og tilsyneladende er det bedste sted at spotte dem på den 2,8 kilometer lange Forts Walk, der tager omkring halvanden time. Ruten tager dig gennem en masse eukalyptustræer, hvor du med høj sandsynlighed vil spotte en koala eller to. Derudover byder den også på spektakulære udsigter over kysten og historiske rester fra Anden Verdenskrig. Ikke overraskende var vi mest begejstrede for de to uimodståelige koalaer, vi så, men vi var dog også ret betagede af den smukke udsigt.  

Denne gåtur er et must do på Maggie, og jeg kan varmt anbefale at tage den tidligt om morgenen, da det kan blive virkelig varmt i løbet af dagen. Derudover er det en god ide at medbringe en masse vand. Der er et sted på ruten, hvor man kan fylde sin flaske, men vandet smager absolut ikke godt!

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Fodring af rock-wallabies

Lige inden solnedgang har rock-wallabies en tendens til at komme ned til klipperne mellem Geoffrey Bay og Alma Bay, og nogle af dem er ikke bange for at blive håndfordret. Man kan købe dyremad i den lokale aviskiosk Arcadia Newsagency på modsatte side af den lille vej, der bringer dig til klipperne. Alternativt kan du også bare medbringe et stykke frugt/grønt og give dem. Vi købte dyremad i aviskiosken og var ivrige efter at fodre dem. Vi så omkring fem rock-wallabies og kunne håndfodre to af dem, hvilket var en ret vild oplevelse! 

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Solnedgang ved Picnic Bay

Om aftenen bør du tage til den lange mole ved Picnic Bay for at se solnedgang. Da vi var der, var der flere fiskere, der fiskede og lokale, der samledes og så den fantastiske solnedgang, og det var en perfekt måde at afslutte en skøn dag på Magnetic Island. 

Vi nød virkelig vores tid på Magnetic Island og ser den som et highlight på vores roadtrip. Som sagt var vi meget glade for beslutningen om at tage vores campervan derover, da det gav os den ultimative frihed til at gøre, hvad vi ville. Og især fordi vi kun havde begrænset tid på øen, kunne det spare os meget transporttid.

Læs flere indlæg fra Australien her.

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