Magnetic Island is very beautiful and is only twenty minutes by ferry from Townsville but we only get over there a couple of times per year. Here are some souvenirs, with minimal commentary, from our visit last weekend.
Two walking tracks lead up from the Eastern end of Picnic St, Picnic Bay – one towards the Recreation Camp and the other, new us, to a lookout on top of Hawkings Point.
That’s the one we took, early on Saturday morning. It’s a short walk – less than an hour going up, even with stops for photography – and is rewarded by expansive views across Cleveland Bay to Cape Cleveland and along the coast in both directions.
This was one of the two different sand wasps we watched making their holes near the beach. Like the Glasswing butterfly (old pic) and the colourfully spotted grasshopper (Greyacris profundesulcata) below (more photos and information here), they are common enough on the Island but not in town. In fact, I’ve never seen the grasshopper anywhere except on the island, although I have seen the other two on the Town Common, beside the mouth of Ross River or even on top of Mount Stuart.
The bird life on the island is similarly a little different from what we see in town. Bush Stone-Curlews (old pic), Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Red-tailed Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii), for instance, are all much more common. They are all big birds, and the black cockatoos constantly announced their presence with raucous screeches.