Island Magnetism

When I consider that it wasn’t until the age of 20 that I was able to enjoy my first flight on an aeroplane, it must be said that the joys of seeing somewhere new (even in ones own country) still very much remains.

A wedding in late 2009 presented me with my first visit to Townsville (Sarah had been several times) on Queensland’s north-east coast. Whilst the wedding was interesting to say the least, it allowed us a spare day afterwards in which we chose to take a ferry out to Magnetic Island.

Ferry time!

Ferry time!

About 8km’s off the coast of mainland Australia, this place has about 2000 permanent residents, a National Park (54% of the island) and bird sanctuary and served a strategic purpose during World War II.

After briefly exploring the rocky shore on arrival, we hired a Mini Moke and did our own small tour of the island.

A view of the rocky coast

A view of the rocky coast

Channeling my inner child with some exploration

Channeling my inner child with some exploration

We took time out for lunch at the picturesque Horseshoe Bay where we were also able to indulge in a bit of relaxation on the foreshore.

Although officially within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage site, Magnetic Island is a tourist mecca, so concerns about what impact any further development may have on the reef proper do seem to carry some weight (there is great interest in building bigger resorts on the island).

Lunching at Horseshoe Bay

Lunching at Horseshoe Bay

From there it was on to the rocky granite heights of the island where I was able to indulge in a bit of military history.

During the Second World War, Townsville was an important military location for Australian and US forces (General Macarthur even had his headquarters there for some time), so the elevated regions of Magnetic Island served as great lookout posts as well as a good site for both naval and anti-aircraft defensive batteries.

Taking the ‘Fort Walk’ gave us spectacular views, and the chance to see the old fortifications up close for ourselves. As part of its service, it also housed signals tower, enabling it to relay information from the Coral Sea and further afield in the Pacific theatre of the war.

The old gun pit

The old gun pit

Commanding views from the old Signals Tower

Commanding views from the old Signals Tower

It was a beautiful place to spend a day, and although I complain about its touristy nature, it really wasn’t that bad.

If for no other reason, come for the views!

Magnetic views

Magnetic views

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Australia and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s