Magnetic Island, QLD
Just a 20 minute ferry ride off the coast from Townsville, Magnetic Island's relaxed tropical lifestyle, quiet secluded beaches, unspoilt nature, abundant wildlife and easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, make it an ideal place for a day trip or longer stay.
Magnetic Island sits within the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, but the landscape here is different to the usual tropical rainforest found on many of the Great Barrier Reef islands.
Around 275 million years ago, nature's forces created an extraordinary landscape of rocky terrain and giant boulders. Magnetic Island has less rainfall than the Wet Tropics to the north and the Whitsunday Islands to the south. Its climate is typical of the dry tropics and it is covered with eucalypt woodlands.
The traditional owners of Magnetic Island, the Wulgurukaba Aboriginal people, have inhabited the island for thousands of years. They called the island ‘Yunbenun'. Stone tools and cave drawings are some of the reminders of their ancient presence. Magnetic Island was named by Captain James Cook in 1770 when the island appeared to affect the magnetic compass on his ship.
The main areas of Magnetic Island are Horseshoe Bay, Arcadia Bay, Nelly Bay, Picnic Bay and West Point.