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TOP 5 Things To Do On Magnetic Island, QLD

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

I have been meaning to write down my experience on the Magnetic Island or "Maggie" as local call it, during our two-month road trip up along the East Coast last year and here it is! The tropical paradise eight kilometres from Townsville is a special place. With a unique blend of national park, holiday accommodation and a small residential population of about 2000 people, all of this makes it a beautiful place to visit. Some of the best beaches and most picturesque bays in Queensland are found on the island, with the more secluded ones accessible only by a hike or by boat.

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.
Photo from http://www.magneticinformer.com.au

1. Do Not Skip Hiking


A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

When we visited on a hot, humid winter (!) day, I wasn’t massively into hiking, but did some in my thongs (flip-flops) anyway. Hiking on Magnetic Island is so great because of the 25 kilometres of tracks through the hills of the park that provide an opportunity to see wildlife in its natural habitat and also to enjoy the many spectacular views. More than half of the island with its huge granite boulders and towering hoop pines dominate the mountainous skyline. Needless to say, after only six km of walking basically barefoot, I was feeling the soreness in my legs.

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

The most popular Forts Walk (2,8 km) promises spectacular views from the Observation Tower once belonging to a historic WWII fortifications including infrastructure and gun emplacements among a slight chance to see koalas in the wildLookouts along the way afford excellent views to the Palm Island Group in the north and Bowling Green Bay National Park in the south. The walk culminates in 360 degree views from the top of the fortifications.


A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

"Magnetic Island is home to Northern Australia’s largest colony of koalas living in the wild. Between the late 1800s and the 1930s, the koala population suffered huge declines due to events and pressures such as bushfires, disease, habitat loss and hunting, with millions of koalas being killed for the international fur trade. Taking action against this many naturalists took koalas to island sanctuaries where their population could improve and at the same time develop a tourist venture. On Magnetic Island, the District Inspector of Stock relocated 18 koalas from Bowen to the Island in 1932." 

"It is unknown whether koalas occurred naturally on the island before 1932, and hence the issues of koala conservation on Magnetic Island has become a rather controversial issue. The Magnetic Island koala population now comprises several hundred individuals and there is some concern as to whether this small island can sustain such a large population, or whether the koalas may indeed create severe environmental degradation on this sensitive island ecosystem. Regardless, they are an Australian icon and their conservation is necessary. Perhaps this isolated island koala population may offer another opportunity for some valuable research." Lyndall Harvey, Environmental Scientist on Wildlife Conservation on Magnetic Island.

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

We must be one of the unlucky ones as we didn’t spot any koalas during our hike, but then again we never actually hiked up the tower. Other popular walks include Horseshoe Bay via Radical Bay (7,5km one way), tracks to Arthur Bay (2km return), Florence Bay (3,6km return), Searchlight Tower (3,7km return) and many more. We hiked a great combination of these walks on a hot, humid day with no prior preparation and did well. I might suggest sturdy shoes instead of thongs (flip-flops) though! As mentioned earlier, some of the spectacular beaches and bays are only accessible by walking or by a boat and some of them are known for being great spots for snorkelling.

2. You Must Go Snorkelling


A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

We took a shuttle bus from the ferry terminal to the start of the Forts Walk and continued on foot towards the secluded Florence Bay that was tipped by a local dive shop to be a great place for snorkelling. Even greater than the two famous underwater snorkel trails in Nelly Bay and Geoffrey Bay. The trails were established in mid-2012 and are self-guided trails using surface floats with handles to mark out the trails and sub-surface floats with large acrylic letters designating points of interest. The trails point out shipwrecks, a WWII propeller, and an engine block along with different corals including 100 kg giant clams. The $5 donations for the use of these cards that can be picked up from several businesses on the island and go towards supporting the on-going costs of insurance and maintaining of the trails. The cards can be recycled after using by leaving them in the drop box at the start of each trail. 

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

However, I started this story with a promise of an even better, free and secluded snorkelling spot, in Florence Bay, remember? The water was a bit brisk, it was winter after all. We had been carrying our snorkel gear all day and were excited to finally put the stuff on. Some of you may already be aware of the marine stingers present in the tropical waters of North Queensland and while some may argue (we did!) that there is no need to rent a wetsuit as it was the low season (meaning less jellyfish as they like warmer waters), knowing what I know now, I strongly recommend hiring one anyway! I had to cancel my underwater exploration due to the constant stinging and according to Michael who miraculously didn’t get stung at all; I missed out on a lot. When I said it was better snorkelling in Sydney, he just stated “you didn’t see what I saw”. I guess I am left to imagine what he could have seen.

3.Try Scuba Diving


A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

Some of the best places to dive on the Island are found in Geoffrey, Alma, Arthur and Florence Bays, also off Bright Point and the reef in Nelly Bay. Apart from viewing the coral of the fringing reefs around the island there are many shipwrecks to explore. The Moltke wreck, a German barque (sailing ship) in Geoffrey Bay (Marine Park) is an excellent dive, especially at night, with a large variety of coral in a concentrated area and teeming with fish-life. The wreck is marked by a buoy near the old Arcadia jetty. This dive is suitable for novice divers. 

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

The wreck of the Platypus an old dredge, is in Arthur Bay, on the left hand side out towards the point in a rocky cove and is encrusted with hard corals. Most ships were sunk as shelters to moorings or jetties. However, the island’s rocks have also claimed the schooner Lavina in Rocky Bay, and the ketch Lallah Rookh was wrecked on Bremmer Point, in 1896. The most famous wreck in this area is of course the Yongala off Cape Bowling Green, quoted as the best wreck dive in Australia. It sank during a cyclone in 1911 with 120 passengers on board. It is 90 metres long and lies in about 30 meters of water. A fantastic variety of coral and marine life lives in the protected shelter. Dive boats visit daily.

4. Go Cruising


A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

One of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to explore the Island is to take a sail or cruise. Many of the bays and beaches as mentioned, are only accessible by boat and their calm waters provide some of the best swimming, snorkelling and dive sites around the island. Often while sailing or cruising around the island you will see turtles, dolphins and even whales at the right time of the year. A significant dugong population is supported by Magnetic Island's seagrass bed.

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

When anchored in one of the islands secluded bays, don’t be surprised if fish appear around the boat looking for a free handout or a sea eagle or kite looking for some extra lunch.  Some of the cruise boats seem to have their own wildlife “pets” that always come for a visit. Most day cruises include lunch served while anchored in a quiet bay and also morning and afternoon tea. All you need to take is your swimming gear, sunglasses, a hat and don’t forget your camera. 

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

It is advisable to book your cruise during the early part of your stay as all cruises have limited numbers and late bookings may not be available. Tours around the island are for half day, full day or sunset tours. Trips to the Outer Barrier Reef or Orpheus Island are full day and some boats are available for charter or make regular trips to the other secluded tropical islands

5. An Island Of Things To Do


A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

Being in a naturally beautiful place, with such good weather, it is not surprising to find an abundance of outdoor activities, especially on the water. Apart from the ones already named, they range from exhilarating, like the Jetski tour around the island, to the absolutely relaxing, sea kayaking in a quiet bay. With a variety of activities such as marine life encounters, swimming, fishing or just lazing in the sun, with almost every kind of water sport activity available for hire, one will never get bored.

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

For fishing enthusiasts, there is a wide range of possibilities, with a multitude of great shore based sports around the Island, plus a variety of off-shore fishing trips. How about an exhilarating flight in the famous Red Baron Seaplane for fantastic views of Magnetic Island and Townsville or maybe skydiving on the beach? Experience horse riding on the beach, visit the wildlife park or take a bushwalk. For all golfing enthusiasts a round at the Country Club in Picnic Bay is a must, (it is said to be where Greg Norman first played golf). Hire a topless car or go to a full moon party in Base Backpackers in Nelly Bay held every month.

A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.

I have to admit, there is still a lot I would like to see and do on this beautiful Island and I am hoping to visit again in the future. Only 20 minutes on a ferry with Sealink (passenger) or Fantasea Cruising Magnetic Island (car and passenger) from Townsville, both operating seven days a week, it can't get any easier. OK, it is pretty hard living 2000 kilometres away, but once in Townsville, it's super easy! 

I had the best time and hope that if you ever make it there, you will too with the help of this little guide. Apart from my notes and memories, I used the help of "Magnetic Island Guide" by Island Impressions Magnetic Island to bring this to you. If you have already been to Magnetic Island, I would love to hear your stories in the comments! If you haven't, but would like to, I would love to hear why! Let's talk in the comments! If you enjoyed reading this, share it with your friends!

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A tropical paradise in North Queensland called Magnetic Island is waiting for you to enjoy all it has to offer. Scuba diving and Full Moon parties are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more from the article.
And also, please have a look at the link ups I'm participating in from #TheWeeklyPostcard by Two Traveling Texans, #FollowMeFriday by Feet Do Travel Community, #WeekendTravelInspiration by Albom Adventures and #WeekendWanderlust by Weekly Wanderlust Travel Community Feel free to click on the badges below to find other great posts about travelling. Thanks!


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