Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive
23rd October 2019
Ditch the burpees and forget the fad diets, here are some active adventures that you (and your fitness tracker) will actually enjoy. From spotting koalas to scaling mountains and everything in between, you’ll be clocking up the steps and taking in the best that nature has to offer with these holiday activities.
CONQUER THE CASTLE
Hike: Castle Hill, Townsville
Active Level: Medium
Distance: 5.2km return
Approx Step Count: 6,864
Why? The views!
Top Tips: Tackle Castle Hill in the early morning or late afternoon to beat the heat. Take water and don’t forget the camera – you’ll want photos from the top.
When more than 2,500 locals venture up Castle Hill daily, you know the view at the top will be worth the climb. Start from Gregory Street, near Townsville City and walk along the road to the top or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, explore one of the many dirt trails. Either way once you get to the peak you’ll be rewarded with 360° views of Townsville and across to Magnetic Island.
I SPY KOALAS
Hike: Forts Walk, Magnetic Island
Active Level: Medium
Distance: 4km (2 hours return)
Approximate Step Count: 5,280
Why? Koala spotting, spectacular ocean outlooks and WWII history.
Top Tips: If you see sticks on the ground in the shape of an arrow, chances are it’ll be pointing in the direction of a recently sighted koala. Locals leave these markers to make koala sighting easy for everyone.
What do you get when you combine WWII history with stunning ocean vistas and regular sightings of koalas? The Forts Walk on Magnetic Island! Magnetic Island has the largest colony of koalas in Northern Australia and the best location to spot these resident locals is on the spectacular Forts Walk. On this walk you’ll also be awarded with some of Magnetic Island’s best views and fascinating WWII fortifications, this is one not to miss!
MOVE OVER JURASSIC PARK - HINCHINBROOK IS HERE
Hike: Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island
Active Level: Very High
Distance: 32km (allow 4 days and 3 nights)
Approximate Step Count: 42,240
Why? Described as the ‘holy grail for walkers’ (Lonely Planet).
Top Tips: Catch a transfer from Lucinda and be prepared to live completely self-sufficient for four days. This is a grade 5 hike, so make sure you’re well trained to tackle this one!
Hinchinbrook Island will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back into a prehistoric time! With epic mountainous terrain, meandering creeks and stunning waterfalls, it’s no wonder the Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island is considered world-class, and the best hiking experience in Queensland (as voted by the people who know best – Queensland Parks and Wildlife). So, lace up the hiking boots and prepare for four days of exploring the spectacular wilderness of Hinchinbrook Island. With only 40 permits allowed at any one time, you’ll most likely have the entire place to yourself.
RIDE THE ROAD
Mountain Biking: Pallarenda
Distance: Under the Radar – 17km and add on Smedley’s for an additional 7km.
Active Level: Medium
Why? Mountain bike trail with coastal views – you don’t get to see this often!
If you want a scenic ride then Pallarenda is for you, offering some of the best views of the Coral Sea. The Under the Radar (UTR) trail – a 17km single track loop – will take you through woodlands, past mangroves and alongside WWII fortifications. This trail requires a good base level of fitness but isn’t too technically challenging and you will be rewarded with stunning scenery and spectacular ocean views. For a more difficult, intermediate grade trail try the Smedley’s Hill Track, a 7km loop off UTR that continues to offer unbeatable views with a great flowing downhill run.
Mountain Biking: Douglas Reserve
Distance: 30km of trails purpose built for mountain bikers.
Active Level: Trails to suit all levels.
Why? Something for everyone!
Boasting approximately 30km of cross country trails, the Douglas Mountain Bike Reserve offers 18 individual trails ranging from smooth surfaces ideal for beginners through to rocky, steep and technical climbs and descents.
JUST KEEP SWIMMING
If hikes and bikes aren’t your style than why not dive into one of the many swimming options in the region:
50m Olympic Pools:
- Tobruk Memorial Baths, The Strand
- Long Tan Memorial Pool
- Northern Beaches Leisure Centre
- Hinchinbrook Aquatic Centre - Ingham
- Kennedy Regiment Memorial Pool – Charters Towers
Open Water Swims:
- Riverway Lagoon
- The Rock Pool
- The Strand (Stinger Nets available from Nov to May)
- Alma Bay and Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island