Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

December 31st 2009
Take the right fork at Duck Creek

A Duck Creek do not do Magnetic Islanders woke this morning beneath a deluge which had bucketed down all night. Varying reports put the total overnight precipitation at over a foot on the old scale with West Point resident, Mr Bill Timms, recording 303mm.

With the likelihood that more is on the way locals will no doubt be reassessing their New Years Eve celebrations and anybody planning to visit West Point or any destination beyond the pump station on the West Point track should take lots of caution as conditions are hazardous.

One visitor, Bill from Brisbane, (no surnames today - was a bit embarrassing) got wetter than most this morning after he drove his four wheel drive into the wrong (left) side of the Duck Creek crossing and became immediately stuck with water filling his cabin. It was easy enough to escape for Bill and his friend but his car may not be so lucky.

Magnetic Times happened to be on the spot as we were out documenting the flooded creeks of the Island's west coast.

Eventually Bill returned to his flooded car and was dragged out of the swiftly flowing creek by the Island's RACQ with Magnetic Island Bus Service's Dave Isley winching Bill through the creek and away on the flat top truck.

Dave Isley prepares to winch the submerged vehicle

A bit more Duck to go

Ducked out

We encountered another visitor who had driven out from West Point and only just made it through Retreat Creek where the water went up to his windscreen. He claimed that the vehicle had just begun to drift downstream when he was able to gain traction and escape.

The longest stretch under water we encountered was around the Chinamans Gully Creek crossing where the creek extends well along the track and a large submerged sand bank dropped steeply onto the cement causeway, a little over one metre beneath the surface this morning.

Looking along the track at Chinamans Gully Creek

As the creeks dropped through the day access improved but should not be contemplated by anybody who is not in a four wheel drive.

For anybody intent on trying out the track today, one clear lesson has been learn't: that when approaching Duck Creek from Picnic Bay, do not take the left side fork! There is no cement causeway beneath as exists on the right side only sand and deep water.

Better still is a boat.

Story & photos: George Hirst

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Take the right fork at Duck Creek
December 31st 2009
Have a look at the Bureau of Meteorology (, go to Queensland thenTownsville, click on Observations and look specifically for the Rainfall Map of the Townsville Area. Click on it.
You can see the two recording stations on Magnetic Island (Nelly Bay harbour - past the helipad on Presto Island and at Picnic Bay) at hourly intervals. Too much information!

What do you think? Send us your comments.

Readers comments
Syl Hayes In reply to Fair raises $15,000 for school
What a wonderful outcome for the school! I had a great time face-painting with Luke and Sasha, met lots of kids and parents,scored some great books at the Trash n Treasure stall, and even remembered to vote. Everywhere you looked people were enjoying themselves...such a tribute to the organisers. Well done!
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