Many lookouts provide views of sandy beaches and coral-fringed bays separated by boulder-strewn headlands. The island is home to koalas, rock wallabies, brush-tail possums and an abundance of birds.
Magnetic Island has the unique distinction of being a suburb of the City of Townsville and set in tropical North Queensland.
The permanent population of the four towns that service the island - Picnic Bay, Nelly Bay, Arcadia and Horseshoe Bay - are usually around 2,500 and would be, after the Great Barrier Reef, the most visited island national park in tropical North Queensland.
Magnetic Island Facts File
Land Size: 5,184 hectares
Population: 2,500 (Approx.)
Highest Point: Mt Cook 497 metres
Distance to closest city (Townsville): 8km (25 minutes by ferry)
Distance to the Great Barrier Reef: Magnetic Island is set in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Fishing, sailing or charter cruises are all available from the island, and vary depending on which particular reef or neighbouring island you decide to visit.
Average Days Of Sunshine Per Year: 320
Although it is near the Wet Tropics, the Townsville/Magnetic Island area is in a rain shadow which makes it the sunniest area on the Queensland coast. The area in which Magnetic Island and Townsville are located, (between Ayr and just south of Tully) is known as the Dry Tropics.
• Average maximum temperature: 28.7C
• Average minimum temperature: 19.5C
Dry Season: April to November
Wet Season: November to April
Stinger Season: November to April (Wet season). Magnetic Island has the perfect temperature water for swimming throughout the year. Stinger nets are available at Picnic Bay and Horseshoe Bay. If you are swimming outside the nets during the season it is adviseable to wear a stinger suit which you can either buy or hire from outlets on the island. If you are venturing to remote beaches, it is also adviseable to take vinegar with you to treat any possible stings.
NB: The stinger season may vary each year depending on sea temperatures. Ask the local Surf Life Saving Club or check with local media reports if stingers have been seen recently, if you're swimming close to the start or the end of the season.
• World Heritage Marine Park
• Nearly 70% of the island is untouched National Park (52km2)
Number of Bays and Beachs: 23
Walking Tracks: 25km
Landscape: The contrasting landscape of this World Heritage listed island makes it truly distinctive.
Magnetic Island's unspoilt natural beauty is a unique combination of granite boulders combined with tall Hoop pines, eucalypt forests and small areas of rainforest.
Rocky headlands create secluded beaches, which are some of the best in North Queensland. Some beaches are easily accessible by road, other more secluded beaches are only accessible by sea or by foot.
Wildlife: Magnetic Island is a haven for the Bush Stone Curlew, koalas, rock wallabies, echidnas, possums and over 187 birds. See Flora and Fauna, Birdwatching and Bushwalkingand Active Recreation for more information.
Lifestyle: Magnetic Island has a very relaxed and welcoming tropical lifestyle. Set in the dry tropics of North Queensland, you can feel comfortable to have a chat with a local, drop in and visit many of the art galleries and eateries, or simply enjoy your choice of 23 spectacular beaches.
Accommodation: To really enjoy all the pleasures of Magnetic Island you need to stay a good week in any of the budget to luxury accommodation options which are available to you.
To find out more about Magnetic Island, simply check out our Handy Info menu.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
(Photos courtesy of Claudia Gaber)