Legend has it that the compass of Captain Cook's ship experienced a magnetic effect during his sailing expedition to this island in the 18th century. Apart from the rather interesting name though Townville locals prefer a more personal "Maggie".
Magnetic Island is also a popular holiday spot. Located eight kilometres off Townsville's coast, Magnetic Island's untouched natural beauty and thriving wildlife make it a destination worth visiting. There is much to see and experience here, with quick and convenient access to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Much of the island is a protected park with lush landscape comprising of eucalyptus trees, bushland and rainforests.
Nestled amongst the rich forestland are native animals and birds that have made the island their home.Just as you admire the scenic landscape around you, you will be delighted to spot cute koalas, rock wallabies and perky brushtail possums.
To observe koala colonies in their natural habitat, a visit to Forts Walk is highly recommended. This area has a rich history going back to World War II, when it was an important defence base. It also offers spectacular views of the island and the Coral Sea.Birdwatchers will find plenty to look forward to, as the island's birdlife is one of its major attractions.
From kookaburras and red tailed cockatoos to lorikeets and eastern curlews, the diverse bird species will amaze you. The walking tracks of the island cover 25 km in total, with each trail leading you to new and exciting discoveries.
Organized trips to the reef, jet skiing, kayaking, sailing and swimming are some of the water activities that you can enjoy on the island. Horseshoe Bay, is a water sports hub, offering jet ski hires, fishing trips and parasailing. Avid snorkelling fans will find some great opportunities at the more secluded Arthur, Florence and Radical Bays.
If fishing is more your cup of tea, you can hire all the gear you need and set off on a chartered fishing trip with an expert to guide you. Spanish mackerels and coral trouts are some great catches that you may bag at fishing spots like Picnic Bay Jetty, Middle Reef and Palmosa.
Passenger ferries and water taxis carry visitors from the Townville mainland to Magnetic Island in quick 15-minute rides. Car ferries transport your vehicles as well, and once on the island, you can get around in public buses or hire scooters.
Backpackers and families on vacation have umpteen accommodation options, ranging from motels, B&Bs and camping facilities to self-contained holiday homes, apartments and luxury resorts.
As far as dining goes, a good mix of restaurants and bars offering a variety of cuisines, await you. You can take a break from bushwalks and water sports by visiting some of Magnetic Island's art galleries that display artwork by the local talent. And it gets better - Magnetic Island also has a bustling nightlife, with DJs, parties and comedy nights.
Magnetic Island 'pulls in' lots of visitors each year; you can safely say that there really is something magnetic and alluring about this stunning getaway.
Hamilton Island church
SurfSkiing, Hamilton Island
HAYMAN Island Resort
Hamilton Island resort bridg...
Sand sculpture on Airlie Beach
"If at some point you don't ask yourself, 'What have I gotten myself into?' then you're not doing it right" - Roland Gau