Magnetic Island

sign Magnetic Island map

A 10 minute ferry ride from Townsville takes one to a magical place, where free koalas sit in the trees, lorikeets eat out of your hands, and rock wallabies pose in the rocks.  Each character has its own place.  There is an air conditioned bus that will take one within reach of everything.  The air conditioned part was very important most places were not air conditioned and even in the fall of March, the heat was sometimes overpowering to tourists accustomed to March being winter or very early spring just occasionally above freezing.  Here most days were 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit and the locals seemed happy with it.

We were greeted at the ferry by our hosts at the AirB&B where we were staying on Picnic Bay.  The kitchen and dining area had no air conditioning.  There was a small unit that could be turned on in the bedroom.  During the heat of the day we often retreated to that small space, but usually we were out exploring.


Right after we arrived we walked down to Picnic Bay about 5 blocks from our AirB&B.  There we met Sheila, Sheila had lived on Magnetic Island for 20 years.  We met her through her dog, and talked a long time.  We agreed to stop by for tea the next morning and we asked her to come along with us and be our guide.  She knew how to dress for the heat.


We caught the bus and proceeded on our way.  That day we found out where everything was so the next day we left even earlier, to get to Horseshoe Bay before it got too hot.  That was where they promised that we could see Koalas in the bush.

Not far up the trail we asked a family coming the other way, “Have you see a koala?” They pointed above our heads, and there he was wide awake, he turned his head to stare at a little girl.  We continued up the trail searching for more koalas, heading ever higher and higher.

When we got to the top we were rewarded by a lovely view:

Florence Bay view

We were told where at 4:00 the Lorikeets came, and one could feed them out of your hand.  We went to base camp and waited, there were only campers around and no birds.  But as 4:00 approached the trees filled with squawking birds and a ranger came with food for us to feed them.  Then holding food in an outstretched arm we were covered in Lorikeets:

We went to another place to see rock Wallabies.  It was during the heat of the day, we were told to return in the early morning or the evening.  We decided to come back in the evening, and we were rewarded:

Rock Wallaby

They were adorable little creatures.  We missed seeing the sea turtles as the heat was too much for us to explore the far beaches.  I’d love to return again in the winter (June, July or August). I hurried out to get a few more pictures of Picnic Bay.

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