I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Australia twice and on both my trips Magnetic Island has been my favourite place! Nicknamed by locals as Maggie Island, it really has got it all. There are golden beaches, coral reefs, water sports, not to mention an abundance of wild koalas & rock wallabies! It is a short trip across to the island via the SeaLink Ferry in Townsville, Queensland (super easy to do). It makes for the perfect island escape during a busy Aussie Road trip.
Once on the island there is a range of accommodation to choose from. There are two great hostels ‘Base Backpackers’ and ‘Bungalow Bay’, the former has beautiful views across to the mainland and the latter is set in a wildlife park! A few locals also rent out airbnbs (we were fortunate to use this option for a couple of nights thanks to family friends on the island) and for a luxury option Peppers Blue on Blue Resort is fantastic with a gorgeous wrap-around pool! I would say you need two to three days to fully explore the island, but you could very easily stay for longer!
Here are some of the best things to do on Maggie Island…
Visit Bungalow Bay Koala Village
One of the best places in Australia to cuddle a koala! You also get a guided tour and hands on experience with lots of other Aussie wildlife including pythons and lizards. Tours are led by enthusiastic rangers and there is even an option to have breakfast with the animals. During Australia’s Winter months you can also see hundreds of Blue Monarch Butterflies in this area, it is an amazing thing to experience.
Feed the rock wallabies at Geoffrey Bay
Nestled in the rocks between Alma and Geoffrey Bay, you may be lucky enough to spot and feed some adorable wild rock wallabies! The best time to see them is early morning or late afternoon. If you choose to bring them a snack, please do your research as to what is safe – we brought a carrot which was fine for them to eat!
A beautiful golden sand beach lined with palm trees. Horseshoe Bay is a great place to do water sports, we went on a kayak tour at sunset and were surrounded by turtles popping their heads out of the water! There is also a regular market along the beachfront and a great ice-cream shop! It is a fantastic beach to pass the time.
The Forts Walk
This is a lovely walking trail up in the hills of the island. It is named The Fort’s Walk as it leads to ruins of World War Two fortifications. Not only can you learn about Magnetic Island’s history on this trail, but you are also met with breath-taking views down to the beaches and you may be lucky enough to spot some wild koalas high up in the trees!
Take a stroll along the long, white jetty and do some wildlife spotting, eat at a waterfront restaurant or hike up to Hawking’s Lookout to watch the sun come down over the island.
Hire a topless car
We actually didn’t do this, but I know from lots of others that one of their favourite ways to discover the island, especially if you only have a day or two, was by hiring a car. Maggie Island is famous for having open-top pink Barbie cars!
Thank you for reading – now it is time to start planning your trip to Magnetic Island!