Florence Bay Magnetic Island has a tropical sandy beach, fringed by She Oak trees whose needle like leaves filter the sun and let the ocean breezes through.
On week-ends Florence Bay is sprinkled with yachts and power boats, an indication of it’s safe anchorage and inshore coral reef. On week days you could well be the only person on the beach. Buoys mark the extent of the reef, where boats are not allowed to anchor.
The pot holed road that leads to Florence helps keeps the crowds away.
Occasionally we venture over from Townsville in our faithful old boat and anchor for an hour of snorkelling and beach walks or climb the rocks for a different perspective. This week we are so lucky to be house-sitting on the Island, which means we get to visit Florence several times – these photos are actually taken on two different days.
Years ago before they closed the final stretch of access road, we would drive our hire Moke onto the foreshore and park in the shade of the she oak or Coastal Casuarina trees. The cushion of fallen flowers posing as pine needles was and is, the perfect place for a picnic.
The brown balls that litter the beach are the fallen fruits of the Casuarinas.
Today, we drove our 4 wheel drive (transported over to the island on the vehicle barge) to the parking area, a short walk from the beach. As with the rest of Magnetic Island, the parking area has fact boards about the history of the bay.
We are well away from traffic and crowds at Florence, the only noise being the birds, waves and wind.
The Island has been pounded by strong south easterlies for days and we know without checking that visibility on the reef will be poor.
We opt instead for a beach walk, but not before I photograph the view through the She Oaks… repeatedly.
Nothing says North Queensland Beach more than the wispy swaying of graceful She Oaks.
Obsession is a good thing, right?
This post is linked to TUESDAY AROUND THE WORLD at Communal Global.
Budget Travel Tips.
The Public Bus stops at the Forts Walk Parking Area on the Horseshoe Bay Road, from where it is a 3.6km return trip to Florence Bay.
Check to see what roads your Hire Car is allowed on. The road although paved has many large potholes.
There is a basic toilet amenity block at Florence Bay, but there are no shops at Florence or the other two bays on this road (Arthur and Radical).
Magnetic Island, 8km offshore from Townsville, was named by Captain Cook when his compass malfunctioned, leading him to believe the Island had Magnetic properties.
Read about fun things to do in Townsville here.
Read about koalas on Magnetic Island here.