Monday, September 10, 2012

Picnic Bay, Magnetic Island

Our last stop of the day was at Picnic Bay. One of the advantages of
travelling by bus is that the route wandered through the residential areas
of Magnetic Island. The central area of Magnetic Island is a national park
which very little access and no camping. Apparently there is a reasonably
large (around 200) koala population in the park. In addition there is a
small koala park at Horseshoe Bay which is one of the remaining parks where
guests can have their photo taken holding a koala - very cheap too at $15 a
photo. So if you want to have your photo taken with a koala make your way
to Magnetic Island.

There is a resident population of around 2,500 and this is swelled by the
holiday makers and day trippers. There is a state primary school in Nelly
Bay but beyond that the students travel to Townsville daily on the ferry.
We saw the after school ferry arrive in at Nelly Bay and there were a good
number of students in their school uniforms arriving back on the island. An
interesting way to travel to school.

Picnic Bay seemed to be the older established area with the housing being
mostly small holiday homes (as a kiwi I would call them a bach!). There
were no high rise buildings but we noticed that there was quite a bit of
building activity on the hillside so perhaps they were on the way.

The only business open at Picnic Bay was the pub - it was late in the day on
Friday and the only occupants were a couple of tourists and a group of
workmen who are repairing the historic jetty close by. Our visit was out of
the normal tourist season although apparently the week-ends are very busy
all year round.

We wandered the length of the bay, and just loved the trees growing along
the esplanade. We have seen these trees in a number of places now but they
never cease to amaze me. Again Townsville could be seen in the distance
across the bay.

Back to Nelly Bay on the bus then we tried to meet up with Jordan again. We
wandered down to check that the yacht was still in the mooring, which it
was, but no Jordan. We tried calling him but as we couldn't contact him we
caught the ferry that was just about to depart back to Townsville. Jordan
was off visiting with other yachties which is much more interesting for him.

We really enjoyed our day out at Magnetic Island - we can understand why so
many people enjoy their holidays enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the

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