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Magnetic IslandAustralia

Stroll along a golden-sand beach, snorkel with a turtle, hike through a eucalypt forest and enjoy a drink beneath the palm trees on this enchanting hideaway just a short ferry ride from Townsville.

Magnetic Island is an attractive combination of national park and small coastal villages. This pleasant vacation spot is nestled in Cleveland Bay, just off the coast of bustling Townsville.

Magnetic Island, or “Maggie” to the locals, is 12,627 acres (5,110 hectares) in size with more than half of the island covered by national park. The hilly island dotted with boulders is home to some 2,500 people and a wide variety of wildlife.

Take the ferry over to the island and marvel at the scenery during the cruise. Once you reach Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal at Nelly Bay, go your own way by renting a car or let someone else do all the driving by joining a guided tour. Walkers are easily catered for as well with over 15 miles (24 kilometers) of walking tracks mapped out in Magnetic Island National Park. Koalas and rock wallabies are commonly seen among the eucalyptus trees and granite boulders.

Make the most of the warm tropical weather by trying some watersports. Many exciting options are available, but snorkeling among the fringing coral reefs never gets old. Let the sun warm your skin to dry off while lazing on one of the many golden beaches, including those at Picnic Bay.

Challenge yourself to the Forts Walk on Mt Cook, which marks the island’s highest point at 1,630 feet (497 meters). The forts date back to World War II and, along with an interesting history, provide panoramic views over the island and Queensland coast.

After a day of activities, relax with a meal and drink at one of the many bars and restaurants around the island. Enjoy fresh local seafood with vegetables sourced from the rich agricultural areas on the mainland.

Choose from the wide range of accommodations options if you are able to stay the night. After sunset, listen for the mournful call of the curlew and point a torch up in the tree canopy to spot a brushtail possum out on its nightly forage.

Magnetic Island was named by explorer James Cook, who said it affected his compass. No proof of any such magnetic interference was ever found, however everyone who comes to Townsville will feel the pull of this irresistible island.

Top hotels in Magnetic Island

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Peppers Blue on Blue
Peppers Blue on Blue
4.5 out of 5
123 Sooning Street, Nelly Bay, QLD
The price is AU$161 per night from 5 Oct. to 6 Oct.

Situated on the waterfront, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Nelly Bay Beach, Nelly Bay Beach and Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve. Alma Bay and Magnetic ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (598 reviews)

"Lovely spacious room Helpful staff The location was great beside Ferry Terminal, bus stop and IGA for supplies some cafes close by"…"

Reviewed on 4 Aug. 2020

Peppers Blue on Blue
Arcadia Village Motel
Arcadia Village Motel
3 out of 5
7 Marine Parade, Arcadia Bay, Arcadia, QLD
The price is AU$145 per night from 20 Sep. to 21 Sep.

Nestled on the beach, this Arcadia hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Alma Bay, Nelly Bay Beach and Nelly Bay Beach. Arthur Bay Beach and Florence Bay Beach are ...

4.4/5Excellent! (307 reviews)
Service with a smile

"Excellent location close to all amenities and great little beach nearby. Host was wonderful and went out of her way to welcome and provide information. Early arrival was met with an early checkin which made for a full and great day"…"

Reviewed on 18 Mar. 2020

Arcadia Village Motel
Island Leisure Resort
Island Leisure Resort
4 out of 5
6 Kelly Street, Nelly Bay, QLD
The price is AU$199 per night from 20 Sep. to 21 Sep.

Situated in Nelly Bay, this beach aparthotel is 2 mi (3.2 km) from Magnetic Island Golf Course, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Radical Bay and Horseshoe Bay Beach. ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (304 reviews)

"Clean, quiet & well equipped, friendly staff and great location"…"

Reviewed on 9 Aug. 2020

Island Leisure Resort

Popular places to visit in Magnetic Island

Horseshoe Bay Beach
Image for Horseshoe Bay Beach

Horseshoe Bay Beach

4.5/5(189 reviews)

There are plenty of ways to experience this spacious beach on Magnetic Island, including swimming, fishing, watersports, horseback riding and beachfront picnics.

Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal
Image for Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal

Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal

4.5/5(232 reviews)

This easy-to-navigate and very scenic transport hub is the gateway to the beaches, bush walks and wildlife of one of Queensland’s most idyllic islands.

Billabong Sanctuary
Image for Billabong Sanctuary

Billabong Sanctuary

4.5/5(73 reviews)

Cuddle a koala, hold a snake and hand-feed cassowaries and wallabies at this interactive sanctuary that protects native wildlife on the shores of the billabong.

Top activities in Magnetic Island

SeaLink Magnetic Island Ferry return trip from Townsville
Image for SeaLink Magnetic Island Ferry return trip from Townsville

SeaLink Magnetic Island Ferry return trip from Townsville

AU$34
Per adult
98% of travellers recommend
Lunchtime Sailing Cruise around Magnetic Island
Image for Lunchtime Sailing Cruise around Magnetic Island

Lunchtime Sailing Cruise around Magnetic Island

AU$179
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Sip & Sail Sunset Cruise
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Sip & Sail Sunset Cruise

AU$109
Per adult
30-Minute Magnetic Island Scenic Flight
Image for 30-Minute Magnetic Island Scenic Flight

30-Minute Magnetic Island Scenic Flight

AU$399
Per adult
Aquascene Magnetic Island Discovery Tour
Image for Aquascene Magnetic Island Discovery Tour

Aquascene Magnetic Island Discovery Tour

AU$122
Per adult
45-Minute Cape Cleveland & Bowling Green Bay Flight
Image for 45-Minute Cape Cleveland & Bowling Green Bay Flight

45-Minute Cape Cleveland & Bowling Green Bay Flight

AU$499
Per adult