With beautiful apartments looking over the water and the coast, charming cottages and spacious condos, Magnetic Island offers something for every holidaymaker, regardless of expectation. This destination in the Townsville area has a year-round residency of only around 2,500 people, which makes Magnetic Island the perfect place for a relaxing, undemanding getaway. The island is set within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and boasts a tropical climate; however, the look of the island is not something you would expect from a tropical destination, as Magnetic Island features rocky landscapes, huge boulders and formations and a vast eucalyptus forest.
Magnetic island offers bountiful, high-quality guided tours. Sit back in a stretch Jeep Wrangler and take in the sights, wildlife and scenery of the island while taking a tour with Tropicana Guided Adventure. Head out on the water, and take a tour of the water surrounding Magnetic Island using one of the many boating companies. For a fun twist, try a jet ski tour around the island. If you are feeling particularly energetic, look up Reef Eco-Tours and dive while learning about the species that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef.
No worries if you do not have your own water gear to bring along—there are many rental shops set up in Magnetic Island. Hire a jet ski and spend the day flying over the waves. For a serene way to see the bays of Magnetic Island, hop in a sea kayak and paddle your way through the water. Snorkelling and diving are also popular in the Magnetic Island waters, thanks to the beautiful underwater scenery and the underwater wreckage of the HMAS Yongala. Fishermen are at home both on the bays and out in the open ocean of Magnetic Island, and they have the opportunity to snag big-game catches that are highly sought after for eating and for trophy.
Visit Magnetic Island National Park, which covers over half of the island, to hike along walking trails, spot native birds and wildlife, see sea turtles nesting on the beach and more. The Aquasearch Aquarium introduces visitors to giant clams and other marine life without having to set foot in the water. If you are eager to learn more about Australia's military history and to see old military ruins, check out the Magnetic Island Forts Walk. For a unique way to see the island, check out horse rides from Horseshoe Bay Ranch that take you through the bush and down into the shallow waters of the bay.
When visiting Magnetic Island, there are a range of activities to keep even the most finicky traveller happy. For a unique dinner experience that is complete with delicious food and an entertaining cabaret show, try Stage Door Theatre Restaurant. There are numerous other restaurants scattered through Magnetic Island, and some of them offer takeout menus that allow you to grab dinner and picnic in a location of your choice. Retail outlets make it possible to buy sundries throughout your stay. Finally, massages are offered at some of the luxurious spas on Magnetic Island, to ensure you are fully relaxed and pampered during your holiday.
With a location that is just a short ferry ride from Townsville proper, Magnetic Island is easily accessible. Besides the numerous activities, tours and attractions at this holiday destination, there are numerous festivals and events throughout the year.
My beloved and I needed a break, it had been a long couple of months filled with work, stress and cold weather. A quick look on HomeAway and I was pretty certain I had found the perfect tonic for winter blues. A week staying in our own private cottage on magnetic island in tropical North Queensland. The pictures online looked so perfect, I was pretty sure it could not live up to expectations, but would still be nice enough.
We left a cold and rainy Sydney at 12 degrees and stepped off the plane to 24 degrees and clear skies. That in itself would have been enough. When we arrived at our cottage we could not believe our luck, it was so welcoming and comfortable, it really felt like home. On the first afternoon he stretched out on the bed and declared "I have never felt so relaxed so quickly in my life, we should move here!!"
And the more we explored the more we loved it. Stunning beaches surrounded by beautiful and accessible national park. A permanent residential population that gives the island a homey feel that so many tourist locations lack. Curlew birds, geckos, possums, wallabies and frogs all visited our little cottage during the stay. On our last morning my beloved returned from a milk and bread run with a few property pamphlets to look over after breakfast, "just out of curiosity" he declared.
And now 3 months later we have found our selves the proud owners of a vacant block of land on Magnetic Island, our own piece of paradise where we hope to build a home in the future. Who knew that an impulsive look at holiday rentals on HomeAway would leave to our dream home and a new life in paradise!