the author

Magnetic Island

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a sleeping koala staking out his territory
a sleeping koala staking out his territory

Earlier this year I took off for a weeks R&R with extended family to Magnetic Island, an island off Queensland’s north coast. Over half the island is National Park. Being separated from the mainland (it sits 8 ks or 5 miles offshore) has enabled the island to become a rich haven for local wildlife, including the koala who is under threat in so many other locations due to environmental destruction, disease and non-native predators.

Arthur Bay
Arthur Bay

The scenery is spectacular. The island itself is fringed with isolated coves for the sun-lover, and while the water is gloriously clear and warm there are ‘stingers’ at certain times of year that require caution and/or nylon ‘onesies’ to protect swimmers. In some locations you can find bottles of vinegar on hand, an old remedy for stingers that can alleviate some of the pain until further help arrives.

granite 'totem' outcrops are common on the island
granite ‘totem’ outcrops are common on the island

There are many walking trails on the island, most meander past gigantic granite boulders and tall Hoop pines, through eucalypt forest or a patch of rainforest. Some take you on a steady climb up to old World War 2 forts where troops kept watch over Cleveland Bay, an important anchorage and assembly point for convoys operating in the South Pacific.

The author, taking in the spectacular view from a WW2 fort
The author, taking in the spectacular view from a WW2 fort

One of the highlights of our visit was to hire a four wheel drive and drive up to the western extremity of the island to watch the sun set over the water. A lovely finish to another perfect day of balmy weather and natural scenery.

the author

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Out and about at the Coffs Harbour Botanical Gardens in my walking/photo gear enjoying the mangrove boardwalk running through the snorkel forest.

1963

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At the bubbler with my older sister and our next-door neighbour in 1963
At the bubbler with my older sister and our next-door neighbour in 1963

1967

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Pulled this photo out a little while ago from my archive when looking for a suitable photograph to submit with a creative story to a literary magazine where the theme was the sea. I grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches and my father is one of the few people in the world bestowed with the title Master Sail Maker, he made sails for a long list of World Championship boats, amoung them Moths, Herons and VJ’s and we spent nearly every weekend around the harbour either watching or participating in the races. This photo was taken on a rare day when my dad and I went out on the starter boat, it was pretty blowy with a lot of spray so I put his waterproof jacket on. It was 1967 and I was ten years old … and yes my story has been published 😀

just a bit of fun

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Took this photo while having breakfast on the deck at my mother’s place in Sydney. I love the way it captures the essence of the place, retro furniture mixed with bohemian in the house, the sunny open deck, the top of dad’s workshop reflected in the glass with some of the many trees from the garden and my dog scratching away in the morning sun.