Magnetic by name. Magnetic by nature. The lure of this tropical island paradise may not be historically how it came to land upon its legendary name, but the relevance is rather uncanny. Tropical weather, breathtaking scenery, captivating history, and a few furry friends headline proceedings at a place jam-packed with outdoor adventures. A magnet for avid travellers and holidaymakers, escape the rigours of the 9 to 5 with a short trip to this enchanting island. Join us as we run you through how to spend the day being blown away at some of the best spots on your next trip to Magnetic Island.
The Forts Walk is the island’s most popular hiking trail, offering a unique insight into the natural beauty of this truly fascinating place. A gateway to another world, the walk transcends through verdant forestry, past historic World War II relics and presents an up-close experience with the island’s local celebrities – the koalas. Often seen dozing in the treetops, hiking during the early morning when it’s cooler will increase the likelihood of spotting a few furry friends. On your journey through the hills, spy the incredible World War II fortifications uncovering the tales of the past with an interpretive display on hand to help bring their eerie stories to life. The views are enhanced the higher you climb, with numerous vantage points offering different perspectives along the way. Soak up the scenery on your way to the top, where you will experience sweeping views of Palm Island Group, Bowling Green Bay National Park, and the sparkling waters of the Coral Sea.
Horseshoe Bay is the island’s largest bay and one of the premier spots for a day in the sun. A seaside town lined with various cafes, bars, and restaurants, grab a bite to eat before drifting down the shore for a date with mother nature. Boasting 4 kilometres of epic coastline, this north-facing bay is sheltered from 95% of the elements, making it the ideal place for swimming, fishing, and other water-based activities. Get a little wild with jet skiing, kayaking, snorkelling or stand-up paddle board options available or just kick back and relax on the bay’s tranquil shoreline. Nets are deployed during the summer months to help curve the impact of stingers creating a safer and more enjoyable water experience. Green turtles are often spotted cruising through the shallow weeds, along with large schools of fish seeking refuge in the bay’s sheltered waters. Every second Sunday, between 9 am – 2 pm the beachfront transforms into the local markets, offering a wide variety of fresh produce, fashion, arts and crafts and much more, with live music creating a festive style atmosphere. With so much to do and see, you could easily spend all day purely at Horseshoe Bay.
Often featured in the lists of top snorkelling locations across Queensland, the snorkel experience out at Geoffrey Bay is as informative as it is entertaining. The bay is home to various sections of the Great Barrier Reef, teeming with marine life and home to the ever-popular Geoffrey Bay snorkel trail. Fishing is prohibited within the bay to help safeguard the local ecosystem, providing the ultimate setting for a day of underwater exploration. The trail begins roughly 390 metres offshore, with white floats doubling as directional markers providing a safe place to pause for a much-needed rest. Swim cards for the trail are available from many of the island’s local retail outlets detailing fascinating information about the coral and local marine life residing in the area. Some of the best stops along the trail include the incredible underwater coral gardens, the Moltke shipwreck, and a WWII aeroplane engine block & propeller. This fun-filled interactive experience is one of the must-do activities on the island and a great place to spend a few hours exploring. Geoffrey Bay is also famous for its rock wallaby population, so keep your eyes peeled for these cuddly critters living within the rocky outcrops.
Home to over 1,500 koalas, Magnetic Island acts as one of Australia’s largest remaining refuges for our cuddly little marsupials. Dispersed throughout the island, it’s not uncommon to see a resident koala lounging in the treetops on an early morning stroll through the lush eucalypt forests. Bungalow Bay Koala Park in the island’s northeast doubles as both a resort and wildlife sanctuary, offering a unique encounter with our furry friends. Join the team for a ‘bush tucker’ inspired buffet breakfast with special guest Pebbles on hand for plenty of pats and scratches. You will also get the chance to meet numerous other native animals including wombats, turtles, lizards, pythons, and even a freshwater crocodile. Grab a few happy snaps and a bite to eat on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to chow down with an Australian icon.
Australia is synonymous with a breathtaking evening sunset and the view from Magnetic Island may just rival some of the best. As dusk starts to settle in on a beautiful day at this tropical island paradise, the sky transforms into a sea of blazing red and orange hues. Mooring boats paint silhouettes over the tranquil ocean seascape, gently floating across the horizon. The best spot to view this glorious spectacle is Horseshoe Bay to the island’s north. Spy the evening sun setting over the bay’s sheltered waters and the verdant rocky headlands that border this magical island. The view is just as impressive from the lookout at Cockle Bay in the island’s south and the upper fort on t\he Forts hiking trail. Sunset tours are also available from local tour groups on the island. Either glide by kayak along the tranquil waters of Horseshoe Bay or board a sunset cruise around the island’s premier locations. One thing is for certain though, no matter which section of the island you reside in, you will be treated to something very special. A magnificent way to end an action-packed day on this truly wondrous island.
To check out Magnetic Island and wider Townsville, hire a car from Townsville Airport today!