Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, or Maggie Island as the locals call it, is just 8km of the coast of Townsville.  Townsville is about 6 hours south of Cairns.  Maggie is a great getaway for locals and is a common backpacker destination along the coast.  I read that it has great weather for 340 days of the year on Maggie.  Well, I am in one of those 25 days with bad weather, just my luck but something to be expected since it is right in the middle of monsoon season. The bus driver told me today it is the first time it has rained since March.

Day 1

I departed Airlie Beach at 7am and arrived in Townsville around 1030.  I then took a quick 20 minute ferry ride to Magnetic Island.  It may have been quick but it was not pleasant.  This ferry ride put what I experiences just a day earlier on the whitsundays to shame.  It is a speed ferry and it sure didn't slow down with these massive waves coming towards us. It was a roller coaster with some huge drops, some that may rival the big dipper drops towards the end of the ride. It was quite fun actually, it was like an amusement ride and had the customers cheering.  I did not get too sick thankfully, but definitely felt it a bit.

Anyhow it was raining all day long and did not do much. My hostel was Base Backpackers, right on the beach.  Met some people from my dorm and had a chat with them.  I then took a bit of a nap as I still was not fully recovered from the sailing trip the day before and the recent bumpy ferry ride.

Later in the day I did a bit more trip planning for NZ before a simple self cooked dinner of soup and salad.  In the night I had a drink at the island bar and called it a night.  The rain seems to make everyone pretty lazy and its tough to do much when it is constantly pouring.

Day 2

This day had originally been planned way back when as the day I would rent a scooter(vespa) and traverse the island on it.  Maggie is ideal for scooters as it just has 9km of roads and plenty of bays and walking tracks along the way to stop off at.

Anyhow I woke up to some hard hitting rain in the morning, the scooter rental was unfortunately out of the picture.  I took advantage of my free breakfast at the cafe in the hostel, it was great.  Ham, bacon, 2 eggs, toast and baked beans, a traditional aussie brekky.

Anyhow with the heaps of great walking tracks along the island I did not want to completely waste the 2 days I had on Maggie.  Having a scooter and doing every walking track and visiting every part of the island would have been ideal, but I made the most of it.

I headed out in the rain to supposedly the best bushwalk on the island, The Forts Walk.  Maggie is home to the highest population of wild koalas, around 200.  The walk was supposed to be a great place to spot one.  Also, as the name suggests, showcases old world war forts, that were used to protect Townsville on the mainland, a big military base back then.

The walk started out nice and quiet, and then all of a sudden the rain hit, pouring non stop for around 30 minutes.  It was a true bush walk, I was have a gay old time going thru the wilderness.

Had some pretty stellar views on the hike up, I'de immagine better in clear skys but Ill take what I can get.

Found this little guy on the walk up

Gun emplacement


At the top, embracing the rain

Anyhow is was a great walk, glad I did it and wished I had time to do the 3 or 4 other bushwalks around the island.

Anyhow, here is a sneak peak of the filming of my adventure video of my trip. This clip is from the Maggie Island Forts Walk pictured above, enjoy cuz there's heaps more of footage

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