Off the coast of Townsville in Far North Queensland, Magnetic Island is so called because of a magnetic anomaly in his compass as Captain Cook sailed by. It has quaintness, charm and retains that backpacker feel that is lacking in some of the more southerly islands where tourism is sleek and shiny.
The island is a rugged continental island of weathered granite. Wildlife is abundant with wallabies, koalas, kookaburras, curlew and all our favourite colourful parrots. Hoop pine and xxx grown up between the rocks. The beaches are yellow sand and the water sparkling turquoise. During WWII, Magnetic was fortified and was home to several gun displacements. The remains of these can be hiked to and clambered around.
We rented a house that was an oasis. A swimming pool tucked away in a gorgeous tropical setting. Big sliding doors, open decks and even an open bathroom looking over rainforest and the pool.
Race Week is a big deal on the island with 75 yachts competing, many having come from as far away as Melbourne. Despite the light winds, it is a beautiful place to sail. Popeye, with all her 13 tonnes of French furniture, came second in our division and picked up four of five line honour guns. The usual regatta parties went on each night and a picnic on the beach on lay day.
Great racing but much more laid back than Hamo. We will be back!
|The oasis we rented|