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Magnetic Island
Travel Guide

Magnetic Island National Park which includes rugged coastline and general coastal views

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.

Peppers Blue on Blue
Peppers Blue on Blue
4.5 out of 5
123 Sooning Street, Nelly Bay, QLD
Free Cancellation
The price is $123 per night from May 3 to May 4
Situated on the waterfront, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Magnetic Island National Park, Nelly Bay Beach, and Nelly Bay Beach. Nelly Bay Habitat ...
4.4/5Excellent! (617 reviews)
"Thank you for a lovely stay! This was our second time at the Peppers Blue and we loved it once again ! Room, location and staff are amazing. One negative comment: Due to Covid-19 there was no Buffet breakfast. We completely understand this. However, we were only allowed to choose one breakfast option ..."

Reviewed on Apr 12, 2021

Peppers Blue on Blue
Arcadia Village Motel
Arcadia Village Motel
3 out of 5
7 Marine Parade, Arcadia Bay, Arcadia, QLD
The price is $99 per night from Apr 21 to Apr 22
Nestled on the beach, this Arcadia hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Magnetic Island National Park and Alma Bay. Nelly Bay Beach and Nelly Bay Beach are also ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (315 reviews)
"Staff were excellent, couldn't help enough, accommodation was OK"

Reviewed on Jan 19, 2021

Arcadia Village Motel
Tropical Palms
Tropical Palms
3.5 out of 5
34 Picnic Street, Magnetic Island, Picnic Bay, QLD
The price is $99 per night from Apr 20 to Apr 21
Situated in Picnic Bay, this motel is within a 5-minute walk of Magnetic Island National Park and Picnic Bay Beach. Magnetic Island Golf Course and Rocky Bay ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (92 reviews)
"Great location close to beqch and bus stop. Kitchen well set up, very clean. Owners very helpful too."

Reviewed on Feb 15, 2021

Tropical Palms
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Seaclusion - Picnic Bay, QLD
Seaclusion - Picnic Bay, QLD
Picnic Bay, QLD
Situated in Picnic Bay, this vacation home is within a 10-minute walk of Magnetic Island National Park, Picnic Bay Beach, and Rocky Bay. Nelly Bay Beach and ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (2 reviews)
Lovely place
"Lovely place"

Reviewed on Aug 28, 2020

Seaclusion - Picnic Bay, QLD
Blue on Blue Superior Studio Room 1271
Blue on Blue Superior Studio Room 1271
3 out of 5
123 Sooning St, 1271, Nelly Bay, QLD
Situated in Nelly Bay, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Magnetic Island National Park, Nelly Bay Beach, and Nelly Bay Beach. Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
Blue on blue bliss
"Second time I’ve stayed in the apartment. Great location, close to amenities, fantastic views and pool, wonderful balcony to relax on, though a little crowded with a big bbq. Close to terminal and shops with easy access to transport"

Reviewed on Mar 21, 2018

Blue on Blue Superior Studio Room 1271
Maggies Beachfront Apt. 8
Maggies Beachfront Apt. 8
4 out of 5
Maggies Beachfront Apt. 8, 1 Pacific Dr, Horseshoe Bay, QLD
Nestled on the beach, this Horseshoe Bay apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Horseshoe Bay Beach, Magnetic Island National Park, and Horseshoe Bay ...
Maggies Beachfront Apt. 8
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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