Date: 3-5th May 2021
Travelled: 210 kilometres from Bowen to Magnetic Island
Visited: Magnetic Island, North Queensland.
Stayed: Bungalow Bay Koala Village, Horseshoe Bay, $50pn. All services. S19.12148, E146.86325
Budget: 25 days @ $143 per day.
We are packed and on the road by 0730am. We have really enjoyed Bowen it has a very relaxed feel about it. The pool being free was also a bonus.
We stop at a rest stop just north of Ayr for breakfast before continuing onto Townsville.
Map of Townsville, the icon showing the ferry terminal.
We arrive at the ferry terminal in Townsville at 1020am so there is plenty of time for our booking on the 1100am departure. They weigh the Jayco (4.85 tonne) and check measure. The return fare is expensive at $470 but we get a free overnight stop at Magnetic Island’s only campsite. The kids have told us to spend the lot and leave nothing so we feel comfortable with the extravagance.
Map of Magnetic Island, the icon on our campsite.
Our trip from Townsville to Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island takes 35 minutes. From Nelly Bay we drive north the 10 kms to Horseshoe Bay. We book ourselves into Bungalow Bay Koala Village (BBKV) without an issue. The venue is probably more focused on backpackers and travellers in small campers. The manager says park wherever you like. The complex has a nice pool and it’s 5 minutes from the beach.
There is only one other motorhome here and a couple of 4WDs with roof accomodation, so there’s plenty of space. BBKV offers daily bird feeding and koala spotting walks but I think we can manage with some bush walks, swimming and no driving for a few days. Once we’ve settled we secure a map and some advise on the local walks.
It’s a warm and humid afternoon as we head off on our first walk. The Forts Walk is only 8kms but its a steep uphill climb most of the way. The walk concludes at a series of abandoned concrete bunkers and gun emplacements constructed in 1942. The views are rewarding.
Panorama view from the Forts.
The Forts was a long hard walk only tempered by the breeze. Back at the campsite we have a long swim, then go to the pub for dinner. Which was reasonably priced but far from the best fish and chips we’ve experienced.
After a quiet night we get set for day two on the island. We go for an early walk along the beach before breakfast then get set to walk to Balding Bay. It looks a short walk, less than 3 kms.
Balding Bay walk is shorter but the climb steeper and no breeze today makes for a hot walk. The reward is beautiful Balding Bay and a refreshing swim. It’s the end of the stinger season here but we risk it.
Panorama of Balding Bay.
We enjoy Balding Bay for an hour or so knowing we have a long walk back to the Jayco. We have another swim in the pool on our return before spending the afternoon relaxing and perhaps a nap.
It’s another quite evening in the campsite and we wake to the Kookaburras once again at 10 to 6.
We decide on a day without a bush walk for day three, but Pams still keen for a walk, so we head off just to walk the neighbourhood instead. An hour later we return hot and sweaty, even though it‘s early, the humidity is high and the sun seems very hot. Back to the pool once again, we have certainly got some use out of the pool during our stay. Mind you, we are the only ones who seem to be using it.
After breakfast and another coffee we walk off to the bus stop. Whilst we could hire a small car or a scooter to explore Magnetic Island, a day pass for the bus is only $3.80 pp. The bus winds its way through Arcacia and Nelly Bay before terminating in Picnic Bay.
Panorama of Picnic Bay
We walk Picnic Bay, its jetty and waterfront parks for a time before deciding on the pub for lunch. After an excellent lunch, a drink or two taking in the waterfront views we find the #250 is waiting. We are soon making our way back north to Horseshoe Bay.
Our final night at BBVK was quiet and we ready the Jayco for the trip back to Nelly and the ferry at 9am. So that was our three days on Magnetic Island.
Michael + Pam