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Magnetic Island National Park

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area

Rocky granite headlands and towering hoop pines stand sentinel over tranquil sandy bays on this rugged, mountainous island covered with open eucalypt woodlands and surrounded by coral reefs. The island is easily accessible from Townsville and is noted for its abundant wildlife and varied history. It lies within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Explore Magnetic Island's most picturesque spots via a 36 kilometre network of walking tracks. Look for koalas, rock-wallabies, possums and a variety of birds. Swim or snorkel in secluded sandy bays and explore diverse reef and fish life. Discover the island's rich cultural heritage. Learn about the Wulgurukaba Aboriginal people's strong island connections. Visit historic sites linked to World War II. Look out to sea and imagine what it must have been like for those who watched the sea in less peaceful times.

Facilities

  • Car park

Other Information

Family Friendly:

Family friendly – please refer to operator's website for services and facilities.
8 kilometres north-east of Townsville
Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Queensland
Australia

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Townsville Town Common Conservation Park

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
The park's wildlife viewing areas and walking and mountain bike trails offer a range of nature-based recreation activities close to the centre of Townsville. The park features deep-water lagoons and seasonal wetlands, coastal woodlands and vine thickets, and sheltered beaches fringed by rocky headlands. Summer rains transform the area into an immense wetland, attracting large flocks of waterbirds. Hike across Many Peak Range, enjoy expansive island views while riding the Under the radar mountain bike trail or walk the trail to enjoy a picnic in beautiful secluded Shelley Beach. For birdwatchers, the park is a paradise! From bird hides and observation points, watch flocks of magpie geese, brolgas, finches, wrens and cisticolas; up to 280 species have been recorded here.

Magnetic Island National Park

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Rocky granite headlands and towering hoop pines stand sentinel over tranquil sandy bays on this rugged, mountainous island covered with open eucalypt woodlands and surrounded by coral reefs. The island is easily accessible from Townsville and is noted for its abundant wildlife and varied history. It lies within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Explore Magnetic Island's most picturesque spots via a 36 kilometre network of walking tracks. Look for koalas, rock-wallabies, possums and a variety of birds. Swim or snorkel in secluded sandy bays and explore diverse reef and fish life. Discover the island's rich cultural heritage. Learn about the Wulgurukaba Aboriginal people's strong island connections. Visit historic sites linked to World War II. Look out to sea and imagine what it must have been like for those who watched the sea in less peaceful times.

Fishing at Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Magnetic Island is an angler's dream with a catch virtually guaranteed! Sit back, throw in a line and enjoy the rush of reeling in your latest bite. What a catch it can be; 22-pound Coral Trout and 44-pound Spanish Mackerel are among the trophies happy fishermen have taken home. If you want to gain some local insight, take a fishing tour. This is also a great option to explore areas only accessible by boat. Alternatively, head to one of the local stores and grab some fresh bait to try your luck at one of the beaches, rocky points and inshore waters. In these spots you are likely to discover bream, flathead, whiting, queen fish and trevally; not to mention the incredible beach views and rocky settings the environment offers. Head to Nobby Head, the rocks of Bright Point or the Picnic Bay Jetty for some of the best fishing locations. If you have a boat some of the best fishing spots around Magnetic Island include Middle Reef, West Point, Orchard Rocks and Palmosa and Argonant wrecks near Horseshoe Bay. Boats are available for hire if required and boat ramps are located in Picnic, Nelly and Horseshoe Bays.

Picnic Bay

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
With a sweeping beach, tranquil setting and the iconic jetty, Picnic Bay on Magnetic Island is a spectacular location to enjoy a relaxing swim, beachside dining or a spot of fishing on the jetty. Snorkel and explore the abundant marine life of Picnic Bay or see what you can spot from above while taking a stroll along the jetty. If you are lucky, you might spot a turtle or a shy dugong. With a number of shopping, dining and accommodation options, Picnic Bay is well suited to meet everyone's holiday desires and budgets. Enjoy a meal along the beachfront at one of the dining outlets or pack a picnic and find a shady spot to take in the picturesque views! Picnic Bay is also home to Magnetic Island's only golf course. With breathtaking views and curious wildlife including koalas, wallabies and birdlife, a game of golf on Magnetic Island will be one you never forget. The two bays either side of Picnic Bay are well worth visiting. Cockle Bay is where you will find the wrecked City Of Adelaide, and Rocky Bay is a local hot spot for sun-lovers and one of the Island's top beaches for swimming and snorkelling.

Queens Gardens

North Ward, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Established in 1870, Queens Gardens are the oldest botanic gardens in Townsville. Covering four hectares, the gardens are a lush green oasis set against the dramatic pink granite monolith of Castle Hill, offering a quiet, cool retreat from the nearby city centre. The garden is divided into quadrants, each with a central fountain. Special areas include a formal rose garden, the Herb Society's garden, the annuals garden beds, the two small hedge mazes, a rainforest walk and the black bean (also known as Moreton Bay chestnuts) avenue. There is also a small aviary featuring peacocks, lorikeets and sulfur-crested cockatoos.

Pelorus Island

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Pelorus Island, located 800 metres north of Orpheus Island in the Palms Island group is an untouched, pristine environment accessible by private boat or on a dive tour. Pelorus Island offers spectacular fringing reefs accessible straight off the beach, which make for a remarkable snorkel or dive experience. For outdoor explorers camping is permitted on Pelorus Island, however all equipment must be carried with you as there is no access to fresh water and camping facilities are not available. No permit is required.

Arcadia at Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Arcadia is the smallest of the four main bays around Magnetic Island and is surrounded by the prominent Alma Bay and Geoffrey Bay. Geoffrey Bay is a Marine National Park Zone - which means no fishing or collecting - but is great for exploring during low tide. The old barge jetty, is a great spot for feeding rock wallabies at dusk. Alma Bay is a very popular swimming spot for local and visitors alike. The Arcadian Life Saving Club patrols the beach on weekends and public holidays. Public amenities include a gas barbecue, picnic tables, shaded children's playground, changing areas and toilets. Alma Bay is famous for its ANZAC Day Commemorations. Real-life soldiers from the Thirty-Fifth Field Squadron (Reservist Engineers) annually re-enact the events that took place and make a dawn landing right on the beach.

Wreck Diving at Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Located within the waters of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Magnetic Island has a wealth of interesting dive sites. Some of the best places to dive are found in Geoffrey, Alma, Arthur and Florence Bays and the reef in Nelly Bay. The Moltke wreck, a German barque in Geoffrey Bay is an excellent dive, especially at night, with a large variety of coral in a concentrated area and teeming with fish life. The wreck is marked by a post near the Arcadia wharf. The wreck of the Platypus an old dredge boat, is in Arthur Bay, on the left hand side out towards the point in a rocky cove and is encrusted with hard corals. Most ships were sunk as shelters to moorings or jetties. But the Island's rocks have also claimed the schooner Lavina in Rocky Bay, and the ketch Lallah Rookh was wrecked on Bremner Point in 1896. The Bee, a steam launch, was the first regular ferry service to the mainland. It came to grief on Knobby Point near Picnic Bay in 1901. The wrecks are relatively shallow, so are perfect for novices or for relaxed enjoyable diving.

Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Set in a scenic coastal location amongst open woodland and vine thickets, this park features an historic quarantine station, established in 1915. The station was initially used to quarantine passengers on incoming ships. During World War II the area was a strategic defence location. American and Australian armies set up camps on nearby beaches and used the Quarantine Station as a hospital. Walk or mountain bike the shared trails throughout the park to see the World War II structures on the Cape Pallarenda headland and explore the beaches and forested slopes of Many Peak Range. Enjoy a picnic on the foreshore. Look for wallabies, lizards and many kinds of birds in the woodland. Find out more about the quarantine days at the station's historic display.

Castle Hill

Townsville, Townsville Area
  • Free WiFi
Free Entry
Just metres short of a mountain, Castle Hill is the giant pink granite monolith that stands proud in the centre of Townsville - a perfect place for visitors to orientate themselves. As well as offering vehicle access, Castle Hill provides a number of popular walking tracks, which are frequented by more than 2,500 locals a day! The 360-degree views of Townsville at the top are well worth the journey. Be sure to have a camera on hand, particularly for sunrise or sunset as these are photo opportunities which shouldn't be missed. As well as offering an iconic centre piece for the city and spectacular scenic views, Castle Hill has a significant history. The Hill's vantage was used by visiting American soldiers during World War II. According to local legend, the visitors famously offered to demolish the hill and use the rock to build a bridge to Magnetic Island. A World War II observation bunker sits on one corner of the Hill reminding visitors of Castle Hill's military history. Castle Hill facilities include car parking, public amenities, drink fountains and shaded seating to enjoy while taking in some of the best views of the city and across to Magnetic Island.
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