Monday, 17 September 2018

Magnetic Island - Radical Bay

A mere 8kms off the Townsville coastline lies the picturesque Magnetic Island. A place where, according to Captain Cook, one's compass may fail. Regardless of the allegation, modern technology, along with the iconic view of Castle Hill, obliterate any navigational issues.

The island herself, nicknamed Maggie, is a top holiday destination for both tourists and Townsville locals. For this trip we had a couple of locals—old schoolmates of mine, Ben and Jake—come along for a day trip.

A day to Maggie begins with a comfortable ferry ride. You can purchase a coffee, or a clean pack of chips, while indulging in various tidbits of information that tease the coming day.

Once you reach the island, you can catch a bus, plan a walk, or rent a car. Given we had but a day to cram in as much as possible, we opted for a beastly Kia to transport us across the island.

After some top-tier IGA breakfast and a leisurely cruise around the island, we decided to go for a snorkel at Radical Bay. I mean, with a name like that, how can one resist the venture? Ironically, the roads in were 4WD only, and our little bubble wasn't up for the task. Instead, we parked up in Horseshoe Bay, slung our gear over our shoulders, and climbed the overland track to get our Radical on!

The bay, which was quite radical, was well worth the trip. Jeni and I also decided, that if we were ever to bring Rocky to the island, we would camp here next time. Crystal clear waters lapped up against clean sand. Great, grey boulders lined the sides of the bay. The water was more than inviting.

On with fins and snorkel! The first thing we found were a school of good-sized dart fish. They were well curious of our splashing about! We weaved in and out of the old reef. Sadly, much of the coral was past its expiry. However, there were still plenty of healthy marine life living in the bay.

We swam up and down each side of the bay, really enjoying all it had to offer. After a quick rest on the beach, we gazed at the hill that separated us from our car—and a refreshing ale—then started our return climb.

After another cruise around the western side of Maggie Island, it was Picnic Bay we decided as our next destination. Not for a picnic, as its name may suggest, but for a beer. The Sports Bar was a welcome location after our morning's exertions. With bellies rumbling, we found ourselves ordering some tucker too.

The wind picked up, so did the waves. As we sat at the bar, we decided against embarking on another watery adventure. Choosing instead a couple more sneaky beverages.

Despite not getting back in the water, our refreshments gave us an extra wind of energy. We embarked upon one final stroll around the coastline before returning the rental Kia and jumping back on the ferry.

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