Travelling to Magnetic Island off the coast of Townsville
After 4 weeks of extensive travelling, Cairns in North Tropical Queensland signed the last destination of the first part of my trip. I really needed a break, a peaceful place where I could relax, fully unwind and finally keep travelling alone across Australia for more weeks.
For the second part of my trip, I wanted to try out something new, after weeks of flying and driving I was pretty exhausted and therefore decided to travel to Australia by train.
So after checking all viable train travel options, I grabbed one of the fantastic offers AustraliaRail had launched and got a bought an AUS-RailPass for 3 months. Looking closer on the map Magnetic Island was a perfect destination heading south of Cairns.
How to get to Magnetic Island
The best way to travel to Magnetic Island is to catch the ferry from Townsville. The service rides every 30 minutes. Once you reach the island a public bus takes you from the ferry terminal through the island stopping at several resorts and main places. I had booked my accommodation on Magnetic Island close to Horseshoe Bay in the northeast part of the island. Unless you have your own vehicle, you must use either the bus which rides every hour. The alternative was hiring a mini moke car, one of that funny topless car or if you prefer a scooter, which is really good fun.
When I arrived I soon realized that travelling around Magnetic Island was not going to be as relaxing as I had imagined. The island offers too much to do you cannot just lay around all day at the beach. From a variety of water sports to snorkelling and reef tours, to walking in the national park. Especially the walks on Magnetic Island make it into a paradise for hiking and wildlife lovers. 3/4 of the island is a national park with rich wildlife, so, if you are lucky, you can spot Koalas in the wild on the Forts Walk or feed rock wallabies at Arcadia Beach, or see Kookaburras, lots of them.
Walking is the best way to discover Magnetic Island. There are 9 main walking trails to choose from or if you can do all of them! They take you to secluded little bays or to a beautiful lookout with stunning views over the coastal cliffs and the blue ocean.
On 2 days I could see much of the island. This walking trail sign shows one of the many [do action=”bold-blue”]Walks on Magnetic Island[/do] winding through the dry forest of the national park to secluded little bays and to lookouts with stunning views over the coast.
Here below just a few photos to give you an idea of what you see on Magnetic Island. This is Balding Bay, a beautiful secluded tiny little bay.
My favourite beach on Magnetic Island is Radical Bay, where I went for a swim. I felt comfortable on a large beach shore, with some sign of life around me. In the photos below you can see Radical Bay and on the right-hand side a gorgeous view over Rocky Beach.
This is me enjoying the beach almost by myself at Radical Bay on Magnetic Island.
Enjoy the Wildlife on Magnetic Island
I was not lucky to spot either a koala nor a rock wallaby in the wild, but as I stayed in the bungalow bay koala village I was literally surrounded by fruit bats, kookaburras, geese, possums, lorikeets. Within the Bungalow Bay Koala Village, you can take a tour through the Australian wildlife sanctuary, where you can hold snakes, echidna, lizards, a baby croc or cuddle a koala.
In the picture below you can see who I was cuddling.
On such a beautiful island you cannot miss out on a lovely sunset. This picture below was taken at Geoffrey Bay, close to Alma Bay.
The best tips for visiting Magnetic Island
Finally my best tips for visiting Magnetic Island. Plan at least 3 full days, the best time is April-May before it gets very busy in the winter months. Hire a car or a scooter to make the most of it. Otherwise buy a daily bus pass to navigate the island. Bring your own food, there are a few little food shops on only one major IGA at the Ferry Terminal but extremely expensive. Best place to stay I would say Arcadia, it is very central and close to anything else, has gorgeous beaches like Alma Beach and from there you can start some of the beautiful walks too.