Location - Magnetic Island National Park, North Queensland, Australia
Duration - Allow 4 hours return
Distance - Approximately 6 kilometers return
Grade - 4, moderate to difficult
Mount Paluma rises to an elevation of 322 metres on Magnetic Island. It's only rival there is Mount Cook (493 metres), and together, these two peaks are the only official mountains on the entire island. Many did not even know this peak – Mount Paluma – existed, let alone that it was on Magnetic Island, but it is well worth exploring!
There was once a track that followed the ridgeline, passing grass trees and gums, before ascending to the summit, but that track has since been long lost. While this historic track is now, indeed, overgrown, it is still easy to make out the stacked stones walls and rock steps that were placed there decades ago and make your way to the summit. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service do not have plans to reopen this track in the foreseeable future.
Even though this seemingly untouched summit may not have been visited for a while, it most certainly provides some spectacular views across the landscape. You can enjoy views out to Alma Bay and Horseshoe Bay and take in the turquoise waters of the Coral Sea. Take a lunch, and relax in the shade and the breeze while taking in these phenomenal views.
While at the summit, you may also notice that some of the iron bark trees have cut, perhaps decades ago, but this is normal for summits in North Queensland. Often times, trees were cut to provide better views/access to trig points that were key for navigation back in the day.
Look for the rock cairn that marks the true summit, but also take a moment to look around for a sufficient boulder for better views and perhaps a good spot for a picnic as well.
What you need
- Water (2-3 litres recommended per person)
- Food and snacks
- Long pants and long-sleeve shirt to protect from sun and vegetation
- Hat and sunscreen
- Insect repellent
- GPS and navigation tools
- First Aid Kit and PLB (or equivalent)
- Camera and/or phone
As these areas around Townsville become increasingly popular, we will need to be more diligent in practicing our Leave No Trace philosophy. Be mindful of disturbing the flora and fauna and keep your impact to a minimum. Please take everything back home with you. If you find rubbish, please pick it up and hike it out. Let's take only photos (and other people's rubbish) and leave only light footprints... and, of course, a cleaner environment.