Even though Magnetic Island is only 8km off the coast from Townsville on the east coast of Australia, it feels like a whole other world. With hardly any roads, a ton of natural wonders and a chilled out vibe, I really loved Magnetic Island and highly recommend a visit if you’re in the region. We had 2 nights and 1 full day on this wonderful little island. I could easily have spent another couple of days, but unfortunately Cyclone Debbie was brewing and we were advised to evacuate the island as soon as possible. Its a good job we did as ferries stopped running to and from the island the day after we left and a lot of the area was devastated by the cyclone.
What did we get up to on Magnetic Island?
Zipped around in a mini moke
Magnetic Island is well-known for its mini mokes that tourists cruise all over the island- little brightly coloured, topless cars that are so much fun to drive. We of course hired one for the day (it cost $80, which split between four of us was reasonable enough) and used it to tour the island and see everything we could in the short time we had. It was a novelty in itself to drive the moke, but was also a very practical way of getting about. There aren’t many roads and its pretty difficult to get lost as the island is so small. Plus, with a population of just over 2000 people, the roads are fairly quiet. We rented ours from a company called Tropical Topless Car Rentals- they pick you up from your hostel/hotel and drive you to the rental place.
The Forts Walk
This 4km walk takes you to the ruins of an old WWII Forts complex, as well as lookouts providing stunning views of Palm Island Group to the north and Bowling Green Bay National Park to the south. Not only this, Magnetic Island has the highest number of wild koalas in Australia and so this walking route pretty much guarantees you’ll see one (we saw two!) Other hikers drew arrows in the ground to point out where the koalas were, so it was pretty easy to spot them.
Horseshoe Bay is the most western point of Magnetic Island that can be accessed without a 4WD. Its also one of the prettiest bays on the island so we spent an hour or two chilling out by the beach here. There is a row of restaurants, bars and cafes here if you’re after refreshments; we definitely needed a cold drink by this point in the day. The bay was surprisingly pretty quiet so it was a great place to relax.
Feed the Rock Wallabies at Geoffrey Bay
At Geoffrey Bay, you’ll find dozens of rock wallabies hanging out eager for food. They enjoy carrots, sweet potato, apples and melon, and you can also buy special wallaby pellets from the newsagent in Arcadia, which is close to Geoffrey Bay. The wallabies were pretty tame and happily took the carrot from our hands- we saw maybe a dozen wallabies, including a couple of babies.
I wish we could have had more time on the island, but we had a great couple of nights here and it was one of my highlights of our time in Australia. I hope Cyclone Debbie didn’t cause too much irreparable damage as its such a beautiful little island.