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18 June, 2021

Weekend Getaway: Magical Magnetic Island

CLOSE your eyes and imagine being close to koalas in the wild. Wallabies and kangaroos playing an arm’s length from you, or perhaps diving at one of the top 10 Dive Sites in the world. At the end of each day simply relaxing on the beach enjoying a picnic with an epic sunset before you.

By Berta Perez-Bermudez Candela

PHOTOS: Berta Perez-Bermudez Candela

Sounds like a dream holiday. The good news is this paradise exists and it’s closer than you think. Just 350 kilometres from Cairns and a short 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville and you find yourself on magical Magnetic Island.

Perfect for an extended weekend for 3 or more nights but if you can spare a week away, you will find there’s more than enough to do and see.

“Magical-Maggie” is the perfect combination of super relaxed vibe and adventure.

Picture perfect in every way. Abundant sunshine, relaxing or challenging walks and hikes, wildlife, restaurants along the beach and warm refreshing winter-water. It’s perfect whatever your budget. The Island has many options for accommodation, how much you spend on your vacation is completely up to you.

If you camp in five stars and not under them, opt for one of many resorts. There’s 4 and 5 star hotels with amazing rooms, views and facilities, ideal to help you relax.

If adventure is your style and you want to chill on a limited budget? Camping is the solution, van, tent or rooftop tents are are ideal for the Maggie weather.

Something in between? Hostels and bungalows and it’s your choice to share or go for the private ones.

You will never be bored on Maggie, there’s more to do and see than you can possibly fit into a couple of days.

If walks and wildlife are your passion, try the Forts and Rock Wallabies.

The Forts would have to be one of the top things to do. This track takes you through an incredible journey into the recent history of the island, thanks to the ruins and remains from World War II.

You will witness stunning panoramic views and don’t forget to ensure to keep an eye out for koalas, because this is the best place on the island to see them.

The Rock Wallabies at Geoffrey Bay are not to be missed. These cuties are super friendly. It’s easy to get close to them and if you head there at sunset, you are guaranteed see heaps. It’s an incredible experience, I never expected them to be so loving and gentle.

I get goose bumps when thinking about the sunsets of the Island. One of the best places to watch the sun set is West Point but also one of the trickiest ones. The drive is not the most comfortable but a 4WD could handle it, but if you can’t make it, don’t stress, you will see sunsets and combinations of red, orange, pink and purple crossing with the blue and turquoise waters on the whole island, so just enjoy it.

For divers, you need to check out the “Yongala Dive”. On March 23, 1911, the Yongala passenger steamship sank during a cyclone. Today it’s home for a huge number of different marine species, this is why it is considered one of the world top ten wrecks and one of the best ones in Australia.

If you prefer to snorkel, you will find a lot of spectacular spots, my tip would be Florence Bay. Bring your equipment or as an alternative, jump on a boat for a tour day with all included.

Don’t forget the walk along the Picnic Bay Jetty, explore over 22 beaches and bays, such as Horseshoe Bay or Arthur Bay, rent a motorbike or Barbie Car, try some cool water activities such a kayaking, canoeing, sailing or ride a jet ski and finish your day with a yummy barbecue in your cosy camp or choose one of the restaurants along the beach, plenty of variety and different kinds of food.

Lasting memories in a truly magical place. “Maggie” Island, it will not be long before we see each other again.

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