Snapshot/magnetic Island, Australia - The New Indian Express

Snapshot/magnetic Island, Australia

Published: 01st June 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 31st May 2014 12:43 PM

Sometime in the 1770, while captain Cook was sailing along the Australian east coast, off what is now Queensland, he noticed that his compass readings went berserk as he was passing an island. This led him to rename the mountainous island, originally named Yunbenum by the indigenous aboriginal population, ‘Magnetic Island’. For years, people have been coming here with compasses, which, but  have remained sedate, faithful to the poles. The aborigines who lived here have left behind cave drawings.

The legend goes that the Wulgurukaba, the aborgine inhabitants of the mainland found in Magnetic Island—or Maggie Island as the Australians call it—a refuge from head-hunters from Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait. Today, it’s part of the Oz tourist circuit. You can take your pick from activities like jet skiing, sea kayaking, extended jeep rides or just relaxing in the shade of the Magnetic Island Bowls Club with a cocktail. See the giant clams at the Aquasearch Aquarium. Bushwalk along the beaches, granite outcrops, thickly wooded bushland and forested valleys. Look for the 186 species of birds on the isalnd! Boomnet on the sea or go kneeboarding on the sea.

Cuddle a koala or kiss a croc at Bungalow Bay Koala Village on their interactive wildlife tours three times daily. Hire a bicycle to challenge the steep hills between the bays. Go rock climbing. Eco-minded? Choose a tour on the reef with local boat tour operators. The Magnetic Island Country Club has a nine-hole course in Picnic Bay. Horse rides take you from the bush to the Coral Sea. Maggie island has the largest jet ski area on the east coast of Australia. Either take a sail or fishing tours or fly around Magnetic Island on the Red Baron seaplane to look down upon coral reefs, rocky granite headlands and all of the island’s 23 beaches. Go scuba diving for ship wrecks.

To get there: Fly Virgin Blue from Brisbane to Townsville and take the ferry. Tourism Operators & Businesses

Magnetic Island (TOBMI) PO Box 206, Magnetic Island QLD 4819. Call Col Foley on 0403 574 500 for bookings.

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