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The natural beauty of the Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia is magnetic in its quality beyond doubts, but that’s not what made Captain Cook bestow upon the island and its name. He noticed an apparent magnetic effect that deflected the compass’ needle while his ship was passing by, en route towards the Australian East Coast. The name held on since 1770 despite numerous magnetic tests later affirming no such magnetic field to be present in that particular area. The island, however, inspired quite a few many tales so far, with the speculative fiction novel 'A Tango with the Dragon' in 2015 being the latest. If you find the name Magnetic Island a mouthful, go by Maggie Isle or Maggie Island or simply, The Island; the way the locals refer to it.
Take the walking tracks between the populated bays and visit the forts from the World War II era. The records shall also take you to a large number of other tourist destinations.
Visit the wreckage of the ship SS City of Adelaide, located very near to the shore.
Wildlife lovers are in for a feast at the Magnetic Island National Park on the rugged, north-western side of the Island, on its steep, hilly interior.
Climb Mount Cook and rise 1,631 ft above the sea level.
Go fishing! Magnetic Island brings you an ocean of angling opportunities. You can catch blue and black marlins, sailfishes, tunas, mackerels, trout and also a few more varieties.
Watch the sunset from Hawkings Point at Picnic Bay! All you have to do is walk for 30 minutes. It also brings you over the Nelly Bay, from where you can get a view of Townsville. Another similar point in this region is Tom Thumb or the Sails Rock.
How to Get Tickets?
There are flights to Townsville from where you can take a ferry for AUD 33.00. Flight prices will vary according to where you are catching it. The SeaLink ferry service offers 18 daily services and takes just 20 minutes in a high-speed catamaran to reach the Island from Townsville. You can buy a ticket for the same right at the ferry terminal; onboard the ferry boat if the terminal is closed. Or, buy them online.
How To Get Around?
Bicycles to explore around the island. Hire a car, a scooter or a motorcycle (4WD, moke, budget cars, limousines, and Harley motorcycles). Walk along the walking tracks and bushwalks to enjoy the view of the Coral Sea and the great selection of flora and fauna from a distance. Buses and Taxis.
What Should I Wear?
There are no restrictions on dress codes that apply. However, if you are planning to spend most of your time outdoors, then appropriate swimwear and adventure-wear are musts.
Best Time to Visit
Visit the Magnetic Island during the winters if you want to get the best weather with the temperature at around 27 degrees throughout the day. The water temperature proves to be suitable for every sporting activity.
Will I Need a Guide?
Only if you are visiting the Koala Sanctuary, there are three guided tours every day at 10 AM, noon and 2.30pm, and each trip lasts for 2 hours. You may also join the local rangers to experience the Magnetic Island wildlife at its best. Pet a saltwater crocodile or hold a snake and get set on a soft, adventure bushwalk for the remaining time.
How To Get There?
The Townsville Airport is 8km from the Breakwater Terminal, where your Magnetic Island Ferry shall be waiting. There will be taxis available all the time at the airport, and it will cost you around $20. Avail the SeaLink ferry terminal from Townsville Breakwater to arrive at the Nelly Bay Harbour.
Don’t forget to experience a bush tucker breakfast with dusted lamb, lemon myrtle and reef fishes with bacon, eggs, and pancakes. Offered three days (Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays) a week between 8.30 and 10 am at the Koala Sanctuary.