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Magnetic Island

Explore the outdoors on foot

Magnetic Island National Park covers more than half the island and has 24 kilometres (15 miles) of walking tracks. The 1½ hour Forts Walk includes World War II forts, incredible views and sometimes even a koala or two. Mount Cook is the island's highest point and marks the centre. During the summer months (December to February) sea turtles nest on the beaches. Explore the beautiful bays on a tranquil guided sea kayak tour or exhilarating jetski tour. Go horseriding along the beach or play golf at the Country Club in Picnic Bay. West Point is a great spot to watch the sun go down. You can walk there from Picnic Point. It’s graded as easy but does take about five hours return, so you might want to pack a head torch.

Check out the events and festivals

Each September the Magnetic Island Festival kicks into gear with a month of workshops, music, art, fairs and food. There are plenty of sporting events, such as the annual Magnetic Island Swim, an eight kilometre (five mile) open water swim from the island to Townsville surf life saving club, and the Adventurethon, in which participants paddle, mountain bike and run across the island. Magnetic Island is also the place to party. Every month Magnetic Island hosts the Full Moon Down Under party, at which up to 3000 people, including the young and young at heart, gather to dance on a beach until sunrise.

 

Enjoy an ocean adventure

Magnetic Island has many excellent dive sites, including the shipwreck of the SS Yongala, one of the best wreck dives in Australia and one of the top five in the world. The warm, shallow waters around the island are also ideal for beginners. You can snorkel right off the beach at Alma, Arthur and Florence bays or follow one of the fascinating Snorkel Trails at Nelly Bay and Geoffrey Bay. Magnetic Island is also famous for its big game fishing. Join a fishing charter or just hire some gear and drop in a line at West Point or from the jetty in Picnic Bay.

Relax in a beachside villa

Magnetic Island has a good range of accommodation, from backpackers and apartment-style living to luxury beachfront houses. Most accommodation is around Horseshoe Bay, Picnic Bay and the marina. Check in to Lotus House, a private three-bedroom villa with beach access, swimming pool and uninterrupted beach views, or Maggies Beachfront Apartments for well appointed apartments with beach or garden views. Peppers Blue on Blue, at the marina, has resort-style studios and apartments. There's also a great range of beachside restaurants, cafés and pubs as well as a supermarket and markets.

Learn about the island's military history

Because of its proximity to the military base of Townsville, Magnetic Island played an important role in Australia's military history as a lookout point. Soldiers loved Picnic Bay as a place to relax. The Forts Walk at Horseshoe Bay is one of the most popular on the island, taking you past old forts and lookouts. Take a look at Magnetic Battery, the artillery battery and observation post in the hinterland of Florence, Horseshoe and Arthur bays.

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