by James Porter
Magnetic Island has probably never quite outlived Captain Cook’s original rather derogatory remarks, made when he first sighted the great hunk of granite-rock and bush sprawled across the mouth of Cleveland Bay. It was June 6th, 1770 when he recorded in his Endeavour journal:
“This bay which I named Cleveland Bay appeared to be about 5 or 6 miles in extent every way; the East point I named Cape Cleveland and the West Magnetical Head or Isle as it had much the appearance of an Island and the Compass would not travis well when near it. They are both tolerable high and so is the Mainland within them and the whole appeared to have the most rugged, rocky and barrenest Surface of any we have yet seen.”
The major part of Magnetic Island is a National Park, controlled by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service. Visitors should recognise that the Island’s future well being is very much in their hands, dependent upon their individual caring attitude towards it. The Island also lies wholly within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and this requires additional care by a visitor while yet enjoying all the environment’ has to offer.