Magnetic IslandAustralia

Image for Magnetic Island National Park showing rocky coastline and general coastal views

Visit Magnetic Island

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
AU$191
per night
Jan 28 - Jan 29

Situated near the bay, this luxury hotel is 2.5 mi (4 km) from Magnetic Island Golf Course and within 6 miles (10 km) of Magnetic Island National Park and Radical ...

4.4/5Excellent! (580 reviews)

"After 4 nights in a hotel superior room we moved to a superior studio room for out final night as we were not able to book the room for our whole stay. We were happy when told as we were 'in house' we should be able to check in to our new room before the 2pm check in time. We were given 11am as the ..."…"

Reviewed on 19 Jan. 2020

Peppers Blue on Blue
Arcadia Village Motel
Arcadia Village Motel
3 out of 5
7 Marine Parade, Arcadia Bay, Arcadia, QLD
AU$140
per night
Jan 27 - Jan 28

This Arcadia hotel is on the beach, 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Horseshoe Bay Beach, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Radical Bay and Magnetic Island Golf Course. Magnetic ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (300 reviews)

"It was close to stage door teather restaurant big sizeroom pillows were a bit flat"…"

Reviewed on 3 Sep. 2019

Arcadia Village Motel
Island Leisure Resort
Island Leisure Resort
4 out of 5
6 Kelly Street, Nelly Bay, QLD
AU$199
per night
Jan 26 - Jan 27

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 Magnetic Island National Park and ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (298 reviews)

"Convenient location, close to ferry, grocery store, bus. You can rent a car right from front desk pretty convenient. Has a nice snack bar, with good coffee."…"

Reviewed on 7 Nov. 2019

Island Leisure Resort

Popular things to do in Magnetic Island

Horseshoe Bay Beach
Image for Horseshoe Bay Beach

Horseshoe Bay Beach

4.5/5(179 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 National Park
Image for Magnetic Island National Park

Magnetic Island National Park

4.5/5(128 reviews)

Take in panoramic views, spot koalas in eucalyptus trees, clamber over granite boulders and stroll along a golden-sand beach in this idyllic nature reserve.

Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal
Image for Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal

Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal

4.5/5(222 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.

Castle Hill
Image for Castle Hill

Castle Hill

4.5/5(320 reviews)

Catch the sea breezes on this pink granite landmark in the city’s heart and enjoy 360-degree views of the city’s harbor and across to Magnetic Island.

Billabong Sanctuary
Image for Billabong Sanctuary

Billabong Sanctuary

4.5/5(72 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.

Museum of Tropical Queensland
Image for Museum of Tropical Queensland

Museum of Tropical Queensland

4.5/5(105 reviews)

Set out on a discovery tour of the cultural and natural heritage of North Queensland in this interactive waterfront museum with ever-changing exhibits.

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

Enjoy the secluded paradise of Magnetic Island, a tropical destination known for its quiet beaches, rugged landscape, and abundant wildlife. Easily accessible via the ferry from Townsville City, Magnetic Island is an idyllic place to get away even if just for a day.

30-Minute Magnetic Island Scenic Flight
Image for 30-Minute Magnetic Island Scenic Flight

30-Minute Magnetic Island Scenic Flight

AU$399

Soar over the crystal waters of the Coral Sea to take in the sights of Cleveland Bay and Magnetic Island, sights only truly appreciable from the air. Relax as your experienced and knowledgeable pilot provides insight to Australia from the seat of a state-of-the-art helicopter.

Aquascene Magnetic Island Discovery Tour
Image for Aquascene Magnetic Island Discovery Tour

Aquascene Magnetic Island Discovery Tour

AU$112

Itinerary Our Discovery Tour is a combination of snorkelling and exploring beautiful Magnetic Island. Activities, wildlife interactions, stories and history all in the one tour.

Reef HQ - The Great Barrier Reef Aquarium
Image for Reef HQ - The Great Barrier Reef Aquarium

Reef HQ - The Great Barrier Reef Aquarium

AU$28

Experience the world's largest living coral reef aquarium at Reef HQ Aquarium, the National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef. This is your chance to explore the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet.

Palm Island Scenic Helicopter Flight
Image for Palm Island Scenic Helicopter Flight

Palm Island Scenic Helicopter Flight

AU$699

Take to the sky and admire the Great Barrier Reef with a helicopter flight over the Palm Island archipelago. This collection of islands forms a natural jewel amid the reef, and experiencing it from the air is the only way to gain a true appreciation for the scope of its wonder and beauty.

Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Townsville or Magnetic Island
Image for Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Townsville or Magnetic Island

Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Townsville or Magnetic Island

AU$249

Itinerary Experience the Central Section of the Great Barrier Reef for yourself. Our preferred reef for day trips is Lodestone Reef, chosen for its diversity of sites, great coral cover, fish life and reasonable protection.