July 2nd 2012
Sunbus sightseeing tours to end on Magnetic
Sightseeing tours of Magnetic Island by bus are to end with current bookings only to be honoured.
Transit Australia Group who own Sunbus confirmed the news today.
General Manager, Ms Megan Harkin, told Magnetic Times, "The Magnetic Island Tours have also felt the downturn in tourism despite a significant marketing effort. The Tours have not been commercially viable for some time now.
Transit Australia Group bought out the, formerly-known, Magnetic Island Bus Service in 2008.
"We will continue to monitor the market and demand for this product and will happily consider introducing it in the future should a sustainable demand exist."
The disappearance of Sunbus from the scenic tours ends a long history of Magnetic Island buses conducting informative sightseeing tours of the Island dating back at least forty years to the days when, as James Porter notes in his excellent book, 'Discovering Magnetic Island', described "a series of old chevrolet truck chassis with seats fitted on the tray under a shade canopy, which gave full 'air-conditioned' comfort in this climate. The buses named, Galloping Gertie', 'Nippie Nell', 'Flighty Flow' with later additions such as 'Modern Millie', added character to the Island roads as they chugged around the steep pinches, giving unrestricted view of an eye-catching coastline."
The departure by Sunbus is yet another indicator of the very tough economic conditions facing Magnetic Island's tourist operators who have been hit by the double whammy of declining overseas visitors following the world financial crisis and Australians who are travelling overseas instead of to Magnetic to spend their highly valued Australian dollars.
Carrying on the baton with an excellent scenic tour service, honed over 12 years on Magnetic, is Tropicana Guided Adventure Company whose stretch-jeeps have become a more modern day Magnetic Island icon of their own. Readers who may want to take a tour can contact Tropicana (HERE).
Sunbus will, however, continue to provide a bus service between the populated bays of Magnetic Island.
Story and photo: George Hirst
To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below