In this event guide you will find all the information you need to have an awesome Trek
- Discount passenger ferry with Sealink
- Magnetic Island Ferry - car barge
- Pre-event registration
- Chartered Buses
- Saturday registration and Trek briefing
- Compulsory equipment
- Heat and hiking in North Queensland
- Volunteers, sweepers and on course professional photography
- Food at the start line
- Course Maps
- Time cut-offs
- In case of emergency
- Remoteness, the last 5km
- Bag drop at the start line
- Water and electrolyte stations
- Food on-course
- Toilet and shower facilities
- Plastic and Pest free event
- HOKA giveaways
- Event T-shirt and pre-ordered cap collection
- After party
Discount passenger ferry
Our partners at SeaLink are offering a discounted return ticket deal for The Great Island Trek.
Use the promo code you will receive in your email (you will receive this email approximately two weeks before the event) when either purchasing tickets online, or quote the promo code when purchasing directly from the sales team. This promo code is valid for guest travel taken to the Island from Thursday the 7th until Saturday 9th of September. You can use the return ticket off the island on any date you like. Check here for the ferry timetable.
With the volume of travellers expected on Trek Day we suggest you pick up your ferry ticket from the SeaLink terminal PRIOR to the Saturday of the Trek to save any potential delays on the morning.
If you plan on travelling the morning of the Trek
The Breakwater ferry terminal will be open from 5:00am. Please allow yourself plenty of time for car parking. All trekkers, both 15km and 25km, will need to board the 5.30am ferry on Saturday to allow time to register prior to the event starts.
If you’d like to take your car to the Island, our partners at Magnetic Island Ferries are the team for you. Book online at www.magneticislandferries.com.au or call 07 4796 9300.
This year there are two opportunities to pre-register, to collect your race number, and save time Saturday morning before the race.
Wednesday 6th September
The Athletes Foot
Friday 8th September
5:00pm until 6:45pm
Peppers Blue on Blue Deck
Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island.
Join us for a sundowner and cocktails on the deck at Peppers, with music from 4.30pm
Saturday 9th September
Picnic Bay Jetty
5:45am until 6:45am
This year we have two chartered buses from Detour taking all trekkers from Nelly Bay ferry terminal to the start line at Picnic Bay jetty.
The buses will do shuttles between Nelly Bay and Picnic Bay with the first departure 5:55am from Nelly Bay ferry terminal
To help ensure a smooth registration process, can we please ask that the 25km trekkers catch the first buses departing Nelly Bay ferry terminal. Those doing the 15km will have plenty of time to catch the second buses.
The Presto Coffee van and Maggie Lee's Cafe will be open at the Nelly Bay ferry terminal so you can grab a cuppa while you wait.
At the end of the event
The chartered buses will depart from Pacific Drive, Horseshoe Bay at the following times
and will stop at the ferry terminal at Nelly Bay. As there is limited seating on the buses it is first in, best dressed.
Note that the regular Translink buses will be running as usual providing additional transport options. The public bus fare is $2.40 and is cash only.
Staying in Horseshoe Bay or Arcadia?
To get to the Chartered Bus in Nelly Bay you will need to jump on the first Translink public bus which departs Pacific Drive, Horseshoe Bay at 5:40am. The public bus fare is $2.40 and cash only
Public bus timetable click here
Trek number and trek briefing
Your Trek number must be attached to the FRONT of your shirt for the duration of the event.
You will need to check-in at the finish line for your Trek number to be checked off - otherwise we will send out a rescue party! Once checked-in at the finish line you will receive your awesome The Great Island Trek event tee.
Pre-Trek briefing for the 25km event will be at 6:25am. The 25km event starts on the jetty at 6:30am.
Pre-Trek briefing for the 15km event will be at 6:35am. The 15km event wave starts are at 6:40am, 6:50am & 7:00am and all start on the jetty .
Capacity to carry 1.5L (1500ml) is mandatory for all participants. You will not be able to start the event without a 1.5 litre capacity water system.
Water stations are available on the course but it can be several kilometres between water stations. For your own safety, you can't rely on these as your only source of water.
A Camelbak-style hydration pack is best as it leaves your hands free to take some spectacular, scenic Maggie Island photos with your phone.
2 x compression bandages
As we are using the National Park, we need to be mindful of snakes and as a precaution require everyone to bring along with them 2 compression bandages.
To learn how to use a compression bandage correctly in case of a snake bite check out this great video:
Heat and hiking in North Queensland
It can be hot and humid in September in North Queensland. We suggest you get to the start line well hydrated. You will sweat a lot in order to regulate you body temperature and significant dehydration in a hot environment is a real concern.
Drink more water than usual on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the lead up to the trek; we suggest an extra 500 mls to a litre water per day.
During the trek you MUST carry at least 1.5 litres of fluids.
Wear light and loose fitting clothing to allow air flow. Avoid compression garments, high socks, tight clothes.
Volunteers, sweepers and photographers
Out on the trails we will have a team of volunteers to help keep you safe. Give them a wave, a smile or even an elbow bump, they are there for you. Let them know if you are experiencing any difficulties.
Sweepers will be deployed on the Trek, at the back of the field, with the aim of ensuring there is no one left on the course unaccounted for.
If you leave the trail at any time, please leave your pack in the middle of the trail so the sweeper doesn't go past you.
There will be professional photographers on course taking amazing photos of all the appropriately socially distanced, smiling trekkers. So make sure to give them a wave 😊 and keep an eye out on Facebook for all the happy snaps!
Cat and Lachaln from NQ Physio will be there at the start line of The Great Island Trek. They will be available from 5:45am - 7:00am to strap up any joints that might need some help to get you through the trek for just $5
Post Trek recovery massage from 10am until 2pm, 10 min $10 .
There will be no EFTPOS facilities so please pack your cash and kick start your recovery, with all proceeds donated to BEYOND BLUE
Food at the start line
Picnic Bay RnR bar will be open at the start line, with fantastic brekkie options, and great coffee to make sure you are well fed and properly caffeinated for the Trek.
Check out the course maps here
Even though The Great Island Trek is a not a race, and is an awesome adventure, you still need to be moving at a reasonable pace.
You have until 11.30am to get to the fruit stall and hydration station at approximately the 9km mark of the 15km course, and at the 12km mark for the 25km course.
This is 4.5 hours after the last wave start. If you arrive after that time you will be redirected by our volunteers to a shorter course for your safety. The 25km trekkers will be redirected down Radical Bay Rd (missing the Forts loop), and the 15km trekkers down Horseshoe Bay Rd to the finish line at Horseshoe Bay Foreshore (missing the Radical Bay section).
If for any reason, after starting the Trek, you decide not to finish, please let one of the volunteers know or send a message to 0425 796 042 notifying us that you have withdrawn from the event. Otherwise we will send out a search party to find you.
In case of emergency
Please ensure you all have a fully charged mobile phone with you. There are parts of the Trek course with limited or no mobile reception, but you will be able to get coverage for most of the course. If you have any difficulty on course please notify the nearest volunteer, or call 000 in the case of an emergency, or Daina on 0425 796 042.
Remoteness and the last 5km
There are areas of the Trek that are quite remote. The last 5km of the trek is an area with little, to no mobile reception and no vehicle access on the badly deteriorated Radical Bay Rd.
The climb out from Radical Bay to Horseshoe Bay has little mobile reception and is a long, steep, rocky track with lots of stairs. Our suggestion is that if you are feeling very tired, have soreness, especially in your knees, or are generally unsure if you will be able to complete the last 5kms (which could take over 2 hours to complete), that you shortcut the course from the Forts car park straight down Horseshoe Bay Rd to the finish line at Horseshoe Bay Foreshore and enjoy a well earned drink!
Bag drop is available at the Picnic Bay registration area prior to the start of the Trek. Bag tags will be provided to put your name on your bag and then you can place them on the Destination Adventure utes. We will take your bags from Picnic Bay to the finish line at Horseshoe Bay.
Water stations and electrolytes
The Great Island Trek will not be providing any cups as it is a plastic-free event. Please ensure you have a hydration system with you that can be refilled at the water stations. It’s likely to be a hot day, so please hydrate yourself well so you can enjoy the Trek experience.
Due to COVID regulations, the volunteers at the water stations will turn the tap to fill your hydration system, whilst you hold it underneath the tap.
Please, at no stage touch the water containers. Hand sanitiser will be available at all hydration stations.
There will be hydration stations at the:
You must have a hydration with the capacity to carry AT LEAST 1.5 litres of water.
We also suggest packing some food to nibble on along the way – fresh fruit, sandwiches, dried fruit and nut mix are great options.
Food on course
Scallywags Cafe is at the 5km mark if you feel like a cuppa or a snack, otherwise pack what you need. Our volunteers will have a little treat there for you from us!
Our volunteers will also be handing out snacks at our fruit stall at roughly the halfway point of the Trek in line with our COVID safe plan. Please do not touch the food on the table and comply with the volunteers’ instructions.
There are limited toilets located at the start line at Picnic Bay - we suggest making use of the toilets on board SeaLink, Magnetic Island Ferries or at the ferry terminal. On course there are toilets at Sooning St near Mandalay Ave, Scallywags Cafe, The Forts carpark, Florence Bay and Horseshoe Bay foreshore
Take a photo of your epic adventure, post to your favourite social media channel with the hashtags #thegreatislandtrek and #hoka to go in to the draw to a HOKA prize. We have $2000 worth of goodies to giveaway!
Be pest free
Let’s keep our trails magic and protect Magnetic Island’s National Park biosecurity.
Pests can easily hitch a ride with people. They can hide on your clothes and shoes, so make sure your clothes are seed free before you arrive on the Island. Don’t forget to check your socks, pockets and velcro on your backpacks for any seeds.
Make sure to always remain on the marked tracks to avoid spreading weeds across the island.
Leave no trace, remove all rubbish with you
Plastic free event
There will be no plastic bottles or cups at The Great Island Trek. Make sure to bring your own hydration pack which can be filled at the water stations along the track.
Event tee and cap collection
You can pick up your pre-ordered trekking caps at registration.
The event tees will be available for collection at the finish line of the Trek at Horseshoe Bay. You will receive the t-shirt size you pre-ordered. Unfortunately there can be no size changes on the day.
Live music at the foreshore on Horseshoe Bay from 11:00am
When do I get my event tee?
It will be waiting for you at the finish line as a reward for making it! Plus what's not to love about having a brand spanking fresh t-shirt to pop on post event!!
Can I change my t-shirt size if it doesn't fit me?
Where does it start and finish?
Both the 15 and 25km trek start in Picnic Bay and finish at Horseshoe Bay foreshore- see the course maps for more info.
Will there be checkpoints and water stops along the way?
There will be water and checkpoints approximately every 5km along the trek. There is also a water tap on The Forts walk for the 25km trekkers.
What is the cut off times for the 25km trek?
You must be at The Forts carpark by 11:30am
Are there toilets on course?
There are toilets at Picnic Bay, Nelly Bay near the corner of Sooning st and Mandalay ave, at Scallywags Cafe, and at Florence Bay.
Is there food along the way?
Yes we will provide fruit - check the maps for locations
Scallywags Cafe is at the 5km mark if you feel like a cuppa.
Is there a bag drop?
Yes. There will be a truck at Picnic Bay for you to load your bags into. We will have bag tags for you to pop your name on. We will then take your bags from Picnic Bay to Horseshoe Bay Foreshore for you. All you need carry is what you will need for the trek. There are shower facilities at Horseshoe Bay.
What fitness level do I need to have?
The 15km trek has a combination of flat walking, trails, rocky stairs and hills. You will need to be able to tackle stairs, both climbing and descending. A general level of fitness is required and a sense of adventure.
The 25km trek is to be completed within the 7 hour cut off so you will need to be moving at a steady 3-4 km per hour. We expect most people to complete the 25km trek within 3.5 hours if running and between 5.5 - 6 hours if walking. Therefore you need to be fit enough to be on your feet for 5-6 hours if you are going to walk it.
Can the kids do the 25km?
No, children are encouraged to do the 15km trek and must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
What shoes should I wear?
As the trek has a mixture of trails, roads and beach we suggest using a trail running shoe. Our partners The Athletes Foot have a great range to choose from.
What about electrolytes?
Hydralyte eletrolytes will be available at water stations.
Leave no trace - take all rubbish with you.
Will there be sweepers?
Sweepers will be deployed with the aim of ensuring there's no one left on the course, or unaccounted for. If you leave the trail at any time, please leave your pack in the middle of the trail so the sweeper doesn't go pass you!!
What's the weather that time of year on Magnetic Island?
September can be hot and humid, with an average 31 degrees max day temperature, and an overnight low of 22 degrees. It can also be wet!
Are there snakes on the island?
Although rarely seen, there are snakes on the Island so all trekkers will need to carry compression bandages - just in case!
Any other questions? Contact us and we are more than happy to help out