This week we packed away the tools and set sail. We spent the week sailing Magnetic Island and anchored at Horseshoe Bay, which granted us the ability to explore the entire island.
Sailing Magnetic Island From Townsville
The sail from Townsville to Magnetic Island was a short one. We decided to take the quicker route around the eastern headlands en route to Horseshoe Bay.
On the way, we got our first glimpse of the many secluded snorkeling bays and walking tracks.
We noticed that there were several white reef buoys around most of the bays preventing boats from anchoring too close to the reef.
Magnetic Island Anchorage – Horseshoe Bay
The best anchorage on Magnetic Island is Horseshoe Bay to the north. There are several permanent mooring buoys closer to shore, with plenty of space to anchor just outside.
Horseshoe Bay has all of the facilities a yachty could want; freshwater, showers, connecting buses, and even some waterfront bars and restaurants.
We positioned Malaika a little further out from the commotion of jet skiers and laid out plenty of anchor for a long, well-deserved rest.
Exploring Magnetic Island
Soon after laying anchor, we didn’t hesitate in taking the opportunity to explore tropical Magnetic Island.
We knew that there was plenty of adventures to be had on the island, and were keen to get in the water after living in a boatyard for a week.
Magnetic Island Hikes and Viewpoints
Magnetic Island has plenty of opportunity for bushwalks and hikes. There are several viewpoints and tracks that lead to secluded bays lined with a pristine reef.
Koalas on the Forts Track
The Forts has to be the most popular bushwalks on the island. The track leads up to some critical World War II fortifications and infrastructure. These buildings and facilities were used to defend Townsville and the surrounding coastline from Japanese invasion.
Now, they remain an excellent spot to catch some spectacular views over the island and to explore abandoned bunkers and communications towers.
We were also fortunate enough to spot several wild Koalas who live natively on Magnetic Island.
FULL BLOG POST: SPOTTING WILD KOALAS ON THE FORTS TRACK, MAGNETIC ISLAND
The Bay Tracks
Another highlight track on the island is the trail that runs from Horseshoe Bay to the surrounding Balding, Radical and Florence Bays.
We hardly saw any people on the track or in the bays, which surprised me considering how popular the island can get. Once we arrived, we spent time swimming and exploring the bays. We were even able to find a secluded beach far along the rocks on Florence Bay.
FULL BLOG POST: HOW TO GET TO FLORENCE BAY MAGNETIC ISLAND
Snorkeling on Magnetic Island
If you’re into snorkeling and freediving, then Magnetic Island is probably the best place for it close to Townsville. Most of the bays and beaches are protected habitat zones, meaning they’re full of marine life.
The best snorkeling spot on the island is on Florence Bay, where we explored the submerged shipwreck. Apparently, this wreck used to be 50 meters, however, it seems that most of that has now become part of the sea.
Magnetic Island Wreck
You might have seen the iconic photo of a shipwreck covered in green mangrove trees. This is the SS City of Adelaide, which sunk in 1916 when it ran aground in Cockle Bay.
Due to the flat and low seafloor in the bay, it was decided that taking the ship apart would be too difficult. Instead, it was left as a wreck. It’s now home to a flock of cockatoos who live in the mangroves growing out of the wrecked hull.
SEE MORE CLICKS: EPIC PHOTOS OF THE MAGNETIC ISLAND WRECK AND WHERE TO FIND IT
Sailing Magnetic Island – Sunsets
As we found out, Maggie has some of the best sunset opportunities to date. Check out some of the beauties we were able to capture.
FULL BLOG POST: MAGNETIC ISLAND SUNSET LOCATIONS YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS
Onwards to Orpheus Island
A week of snorkeling, swimming and hiking around Magnetic Island was well deserved after a tough week of boat repairs. It felt a little sad hoisting anchor, as we had grown quite fond of Maggie.
Either way, our destination is North, and we were ready for our next stop in the Palm Islands on our voyage to the Daintree.