Magnetic Island was booked on a complete whim whilst we were staying in Townsville. After the first full day of exploring, we soon discovered that there wasn’t too much to do here and ended up booking a day trip to Magnetic Island on our second day. Yet this experience ended up being one of our most memorable and quite easily became one of our favourite locations in Australia. We booked our ferry with Sealink via email who also booked our rented 4x4 open top car for us with Arcadia Beach Guest House, and left on a quiet Sunday morning from Townsville’s harbour.
The ferry took around 10 minutes to get to Magnetic Island, where we were picked up by the owner of Arcadia Beach Guest House and taken for a quick safety briefing at the accommodation before we were on our way to the several beaches and wildlife spots on the island.
Radical Bay | Arthur’s Bay Lookout | Horseshoe Bay
Our first stop was Radical Bay - luckily enough the car hire company we chose are the only company who allow their cars down to this point due to rough roads. We spent around half an hour sunbathing and swimming, playing the beach piano and taking several photographs before we made our way back up the windy roads to the next stop off, Arthur’s Bay Lookout. Whilst only small, we were the only people there at that point which made the view of Arthur’s Bay even more gorgeous.
We then made our way to Horseshoe Bay which was a lot busier than the other beaches we’d been to. All cars are allowed here and we chose to visit on the day of their Sunday markets. There were plenty of small stalls offering all kinds of souvenirs, accompanied with live music and gorgeous views of the sea.
Where To Find Koalas and Rock Wallabies
In order to get the most out of somewhere, I like to do my research beforehand. The wildlife on Magnetic Island was what stood out to me the most; it is home to the largest wild colony of koalas in Queensland. After around half an hour of searching, we found several koalas chilling in the trees near Wallaby Way and Gifford Street. We were lucky enough to find two baby koalas - one of which became featured on Queensland’s official Instagram account. Although harder to spot, we also came across several more during the half an hour walk to The Forts.
Our last couple of hours encountered sunbathing, listening to music on Arthur Bay and searching for yet more wildlife. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped off at Geoffrey Bay to feed the rock wallabies. It was suggested to us that we visited from 16:30 onwards as this was the best time to spot them. Although we only managed to see one, it was completely worth it.
Magnetic Island for me, is an absolute must visit if you’re travelling around Queensland or staying in Townsville. The beaches are absolutely gorgeous, it was so much fun driving around in an open top 4x4 and having the opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat is something I’ll always cherish. I’ve put together a few of my favourite photos from this trip below.