Magnetic island is defintiely one of my favourite destinations in Queensland. I wasn’t sure if we would have time to fit in a worthwhile visit, and to make it work, it did involve a 1am bus from Cairns arriving at a painful 540am in Townsville. The plus side being the Greyhound bus stop in Townsville is right at the ferry terminal which takes you to Magnetic Island, so no painful long walks with oversized backpacks required!
Bigger plus, this was the view from the ferry at sunrise!
It was the location of a World War II fort as the name suggests, and military camp. A steady incline takes you through the semi-rainforest environment with a view which progressively develops of the beautiful blue sea framed by the trees.
About half way up the track we spotted a wild Koala, which took me completely by surprise. I was expecting to need a fully zoomed lens to spot a grey blur in the distance, but no, there he was 10ft off the track and 20ft in the tree, an impressively large male seemingly amused by our presence, he followed us with his eyes as we stared up at him taking photos.
Suitably fufilled we continued on our walk as the heat rose and the incline started to feel steeper. Top tip, do this walk early in the morning, we started at 730am and by 830am we were sweating buckets – I pitied anyone who ventured up later in the day! We got nearer the peak and had the option of venturing left and right to explore the ruins of the old WWII camp, but being a bit too hot and uncomfortable, we pushed on to the top of the fort.
The view is amazing, you get a 360 degree view of the island from the fixed point of the Fort. Its pretty magical. On the way down make sure to take pictures at the various gaps in the trees as well, becaus these were some of my favourite view points to. We were also able to spot a whale in the far far distance, as being whale season at the moment (August), the humpbacks are on their migration from Antarctica.
All in all, this is a great walk, and even if your not a fan of Koala’s (can’t understand why not!), the view is not to be missed. It takes about 1hr45 mins at a gentle pace top to bottom, and the local bus will drop you off at the starting point.
So what are you waiting for, hit up Magnetic Island soon and get yourself on the Forts walk!
As always any questions or suggestions feel free to message me!