Three hours of dirt roads in the ute took us from home to Bowen. From Bowen we boarded the ‘Brisbane to Cairns’ Greyhound bus which took us a further 3 hours North to the major coastal town of (unimaginatively named) Townsville. We disembarked at the ferry port and jumped aboard moments before the half-hourly ferry departed for Magnetic Island. We had a beautiful, all be it very windy, 20 minute sail before docking at Nelly bay.
Though we didn’t spend much time in Nelly Bay, it seems to be the busiest bay on the island. There is a big apartment complex and it has the island’s only IGA supermarket. From Nelly Bay we immediately boarded another bus which gave us a 5 minute glimpse of the beautiful scenery before dropping us directly outside our hostel. We stayed at the amazing Bungalow Bay Koala Sanctuary which I have written about in a separate post. The hostel is located on the north side of the island in Horseshoe bay, just a 3 minute walk from the beach
Horseshoe Bay – Horseshoe bay it’s self is quite sweet. It’s a beautiful medium sized bay with a protected stinger-safe swimming area and a handful of unique restaurants and shops. There is a small FoodWorks in Horseshoe bay that sells basic food supplies but is almost twice the price of the IGA in Nelly Bay. I did cave and buy some watermelon as you can see by the mad frenzied expression on my face.
Barefoot art gallery & restaurant is home to the world famous Barefoot wines. Rich and I aren’t really wine drinkers (our budget doesn’t allow it!) but we liked the sophisticated outdoor feel of the restaurant and wanted to try something new. As it happened, the menu offered a medium or large plate of Morton Bay Bugs. Having only been told about these delicious prawn like creatures just days before we were dying to try them. They were a little pricey for us so we ordered a large plate of bugs with Mornay sauce, a side of chips and aioli to share between us. The bugs were everything they promised to be and there was more than enough food to satisfy us both for an evening meal.