Magnetic Island, just off the coast of Townsville in upper Queensland, is a must-see on the East Coast Trip! It is the definition of a tropical paradise, with beaches so beautiful they want to make you cry! It doesn’t have to take up a whole lot of time, but it definitely needs an overnight stay to see all the gems this haven has to offer.
1) Stay in beautiful BASE hostel
For as little as $25 a night you can bag a bunk-bed in this slice of paradise. Situated right on the beach, with a pool overlooking the ocean, this place could pass for a 5 star resort just looking at the pictures!
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still a hostel, meaning eight to a room and very little privacy. But with so much to do on this island, you’d be mad to want to spend any time in your room! Grab a drink at the beach-side bar or chill in a palm tree hammock. This place is the ultimate chill zone (until Happy Hour arrives that is!).
2) Trek to see the koalas
The Forts trek on Magnetic Island is steep and long…is it worth it? Hell yes! Even with a blistering hangover in the 32 degree heat, we persevered up the hill through the forest. This area as used a military base in WWII and there is still evidence of the soldiers all around. At the very top still stands the fort where they looked out over the whole island. this is worth it alone for the killer view.
History’s cool n’all, but let’s get real, it ain’t the real reason so many people take this trek after a later night at the hostel bar! The Forts is famous for its population of koalas! Introduced back in the 1930s, 18 came to the island and now 800 of these fussy guys live in this forest!
Keep looking up, be patient, and you will see one! Here’s a tip, listen out for the loud snorting pig sounds. It may sound like there’s a huge wild boar in the area, but it’s actually just a koala snoring in the tree…Yes they’re that loud!
3) Visit the Rock Wallabies at Arcadia
Now that we’re on the topic of Maggie Island’s adorable wildlife, make sure to check out the rock wallabies! While the koalas may be hard to spot, the rock wallabies are the complete opposite, only too happy to bound up to see what little treats you have for them.
They live in the rocks over by Arcadia Beach and are too cute to handle! Buy a carrot or some sweet potato in the grocery store, chop it up into small pieces and sit with your palm outstretched. Within seconds you’ll have them wandering over for a nosy! Don’t forget though, these are wild animals and must APPROACH YOU! Never chase them or make them feel uncomfortable and ONLY feed them carrots or sweet potato, anything else may sicken them.
4) Spend an Afternoon in Paradise
The beaches on Magnetic Island are absolutely to die for! You know that beach you fantasize about when you’re stressed in work or want a moment to yourself? The one with the white sand, glistening waters, palm trees and not another person around for miles? That’s pretty much Maggie Island beaches…only better! Make sure to check out Horseshoe Bay and Radical Bay. Also watch the sunset while chilling on sand of Western Point, the most romantic spot I’ve ever been to!
5) Rent a Car
So now you know all the best places to hit on Maggie Island, how are you gong to reach them all?? There is a bus that does the circuit of the island every hour, but a lot of the great spots are off the beaten track and require a 4X4 to drive on them. There are a number of different options to rent on the island, but we opted for the open-top 4WD!
So much fun and so easy to get around in! Sixty dollars each got us the car and all the fuel we needed for our stay. There are cheaper options, talk to your hostel reception and they’ll point you in the right direction.
Here’s some more pics of our trip to Maggie, hopefully they inspire you to hop on the ferry and spend some time out hiking and seeing the wildlife!