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I actually started editing these photos and then discovered that this month’s travel linkup was home. Very apt timing, I must say!
In Hawaii, the saying goes that locals run on island time. Well, I think the sentiment can translate to most islands, including Magnetic Island. As soon as you get off the ferry, you relax. Maggie’s size means there isn’t a lot to do on the island, except deciding where you are going to swim, eat, drink and sleep. Fortunately for me, my mum, dad and grandad are 3 of the 2000 residents who call the island home year-round. I love coming back here and truly rebooting. It is the perfect city escape, even if it is a three-hour flight from Melbourne.
Here is what I got up to on my latest visit to Magnetic Island. Maggie is a seriously photogenic place.
How to spend a weekend on Magnetic Island
Enjoy morning tea at Horseshoe Bay
Horseshoe Bay is definitely the best bay to visit on the island. The street beside the beach has many food options, including gelato, Mexican and the quintessential fish and chips. Mum and dad bought coffee and homemade biscuits from home, while I snapped a couple of photos.
For those unaware of who Blinky Bill is, he was the main koala cartoon character in this awesome Aussie show when I was a kid. Spotting koalas is seriously my favourite thing to do when going home. They are just the cutest, if you ignore their claws. On this quest we actually spotted 7, which may be our best spy session ever!
Here are the best places to go koala spotting on the island
Take the rocky road to Radical Bay
Radical Bay is a beautiful, secluded part of the island. But the road to get there is absolutely full of holes, so it is a rocky mission. Fortunately, the view is totally worth it. You can also walk down the road, or there are walking tracks from Radical to Horseshoe Bay too.
I had also heard and seen photos of an abandoned piano at Radical Bay, but I never knew where it was. Well, I finally found it this time. It is totally ruined and I have no idea the story behind it, but it is to the right of the road on the beach, and it is even on a stage with a couple of dilapidated chairs.
Concerts on the beach should be a regular thing, don’t you think? Radical Bay is definitely a good spot for relaxing on Magnetic Island, as it is never busy so you may even have the beach to yourself.
Experience golden hour at Florence Bay
Florence is another often quiet bay, on the same road you take to Radical Bay. I wanted to get there around golden hour, and I succeeded. The way the light is hitting the rocks is pretty darn perfect for photos. Florence is also kind of the only bay you might be able to surf at on occasion, if that’s your thing.
For more Maggie Island info, here’s my local’s guide
Look out for the lookouts
Magnetic Island is a hilly place, which means excellent lookouts and views are everywhere. On the same road to Radical, you will find a couple of different places you can pull over and snap some awesome shots of the island. If you head to the other side of the island, there are designated areas to pull into to photograph the view towards Picnic Bay and the Townsville skyline. Hopefully you get there on a good day and the water looks this colour.
There is a house down there that is rented out for weddings. I mean, there are worse places to be married than on that beach.
Have a Mexican feast at Noodies
Finally, it isn’t a visit to Magnetic Island without eating out at Noodies, the resident Mexican restaurant. Although it is quite pricey, the food is good. Plus they currently do 2 for 1 burritos on Monday nights. If you buy a cocktail jug, they will also gift you a sombrero. It makes for fun photos, that is for sure. We headed to Noodies on this occasion for my Mum’s birthday.
Going home to Magnetic Island
I think you can have more than one home, because I feel just at home in Vancouver as I do on Magnetic Island. Personally, Maggie will always feel like home because of my family, but it is not where I want to live (I’m still a city girl right now). Yet I will always love going home to Magnetic Island and hitting reset. Even if I have to travel some 18 hours from overseas. The koalas and the familiarity are worth it.