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A complete guide to exploring magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is a Tropical Island located of the coast of Townsville in North Queensland. Its a popular destination for people to stay or just for day trips.


Table of Contents

Getting There

Once you have arrived in Townville you can get to Magnetic Island on a ferry. You can either go on a passenger ferry or take your car. We went with Sealink ferries, we booked through Cheap Az travel. Use code ANA at the checkout to score yourself a cheeky discount on ferry tickets.

Getting Around

There is a couple of ways to travel around Magnetic Island. By bus or by car, I have done both so let’s dive deeper into which one you should choose.


If you’re heading over on a budget then naturally this will be the best choice. You get the bus from just outside the ferry terminal, it cost $5 for a day pass (make sure to have cash with you). This will get you around the Island to explore all the hotspots.

My biggest con with the bus was waiting around – you will be on the buses time which can take away from your time exploring.

With that being said it is definitely the best option if you are on a budget or have a couple of days on the island.


On the other hand having a car will definitely burn a bigger hole in the travel fund. It has become an iconic instagram moment to drive Magnetic Island with a top down car.

You can explore the Island in greater depths with a car. We personally preferred having a car to get around and explore on our own time. We felt we got to see a lot more of the island and weren’t so drained from all the walking while carrying our bags.

In conclusion, if you are doing a quick east coast trip or if you are visiting from Townsville on a day trip I would recommend hiring a car. If its not in your budget, then don’t get stressed out. You will still be able to explore the island using the bus.

Things to do

There is plenty of things to do on Magnetic Island – lots of them don’t even require you to spend any money. Let’s have a look at some of the things you can do while exploring this beautiful tropical island.

1. Forts walk

A popular walk on magnetic Island, a great spot for finding wild koalas nestled in the trees. Keep your eyes out on your way up as they blend in perfectly with their surroundings. At the top of the hill you’ll find WW2 on giant granite boulders. You will get the best views of the Island up here.

2. Geoffrey Bay

Capture a photo of the rock wallabies that hang around in the right rock formations here or explore the snorkel trail of the magnetic reef.

3. SS City of Adelaide

With more than 20 shipwrecks located around Magnetic Island- take part in the snorkel trail or wait for low tide to walk out to the sunken SS City if Adelaide from Cockle Bay.


4. Horseshoe Bay

Visit Horseshoe bay on the opposite side of the Island and swim in the sea or stop into one of the bars and cafes for a bit of lunch.

5. Nelly Bay Helipad

Take a walk over to the Nelly Bay helipad area around sunset and feed the rock wallabies up close. Make sure to bring some carrots or sweet potato with you. They are used to people and will come right up to you.

There are plenty of other things to do on Magnetic Island but these were our top 10 experiences that won’t cost anything.

Regional Work

In addition to all that, you can complete your regional work on Magnetic Island. This is above the Tropic of Capricorn so working in hospitality will count. There is a lot of cafe, hostels, hotels, restaurants and car rental companies on the island that need staff.


Hi Im Ana, I’ve created the blog to share all my travel experiences. Im currently in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. 

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