Magnetic Island has a laid-back charm and beauty that makes it one of the great budget holiday destinations off the north Queensland coast.
Although the island is only eight kilometres and 20 minutes by fast ferry from Townsville, it is a world apart from the bustling north Queensland capital. About 2500 permanent residents live in secluded pockets on the 5184ha island, two-thirds of which is protected by National Park.
One of Australia’s largest populations of koalas roam free in the park, along with possums, rock wallabies, curlews, hawks, eagles and parrots. Magnificent white sand beaches make fishing and boating a way of life and comfortable climbs on the 21km of well-defined bush walking tracks present breath-taking views.
Magnetic Island is one of those places that allows you to set your own agenda both in choice of accommodation, which ranges from full-on luxury resort to hostel, and pace. It is an environment that appeals to walkers and 80kph-plus jet-skiers, to anglers and horsemen, to snorkellers and golfers, to nature-lovers and historians, to beachcombers and dedicated sun-worshippers.