Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, TownsvilleMaggie Island, as it’s known to the locals, is located 8 kilometres offshore from Townsville. The island is only accessible from Townsville Breakwater to Nelly Bay Harbour by ferry or to any part you like by private boat.

The Wulguru name for the island is Yunbenun and is the traditional land of the Wulgurukaba people. A transient population of Aboriginal people camped seasonally at several bays and travelled between the island and mainland using canoes.

Magnetic Island is a haven for wildlife with 76% of the island being the Magnetic Island National Park. You can literally walk or bus between the populated bays and to many great tourist destinations. Eucalypt forests, granite headlands, hoop pines, hidden waterfalls and secluded beaches laced with 25km of bush walks. These are some of the amazing sites and adventures you can look forward to exploring on the island.

The island has five main settlements; Arcadia, Horseshoe Bay, Nelly Bay, Picnic Bay, and West Point. Your adrenaline will soon be surging with jet-skiing, wakeboarding, or kayaking at Horseshoe Bay. The fabulous restaurants, cafes and gift shops will keep all non-water sport explorers occupied while staying completely dry.

From August to October Humpback whales can be spotted, while November to January has turtles being seen laying precious eggs.

History

In 1890 a resort had been started in Picnic Bay. In 1898 Robert Hayles Sr built a resort on the island and started a regular ferry service from the mainland. This ferry remained in service, taking passengers from the island to the mainland, and back again, until 1988.

During World War II, Magnetic Island became a significant anchorage and assembly point for large fleets and convoys operating in the south Pacific. The Magnetic Battery, (AKA The Forts) was built in the hinterland of Florence, Horseshoe and Arthur Bays and was an artillery battery and observation post. From Forts Walk, you can hike past the military base, explore the ruins and admire sweeping views across the island. In Northern Australia’s largest wild koala population (over 800 koalas), you may be lucky and glimpse one on the Forts walk.

The wreckage of SS City of Adelaide is located off the shore from Cockle Bay and is marine marvel to explore.

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