Magnetic Island can be found just a short ferry ride to the east of the north Queensland city of Townsville. It is very close to the mailand and is a suburb of Townsville with around 2000 permanent residents. It is also a popular tourist attraction with many superb bays and beaches and a supply of high class holiday accommodation. The boat harbour has the ferry terminal, as well as a marina and its shores are lined with modern apartment resorts. Magnetic Island also has excellent local shopping and there is public transport betwen the main settlements of Nelly Bay and Horseshoe Bay.
As a tourist attraction, Magnetic Island has much to offer. Its scenery is quite spectacular. It is a hilly island with the topography dominated by outcrops of granite boulders and ridges covered with native pine trees. The bays are almost all headed by white sandy beaches fringed with pandanus and coconut palms which gives the island a very tropical atmosphere. The island is a wildlife haven. It is the home of Australia's largest koala population and several specials of kangaroo, echidna, wallabys and snakes inhabiting the island. The rental car industry on Magnetic Island has, over the years, aquired almost every mini moke ever sold in Australia and these provide the ideal transport for holiday makers on the island. The rental car agencies are close to the ferry terminal so it is only a short walk to pick up a vehicle for the day. You can also take your own car to the island on the regular ferry service from Townsville.
There are also many other activities for holiday makers on Magnetic Island. The local golf course is a small par three course but very well kept and challenging. Even some of the greats like Greg Norman have played here and complimented its difficultys. At the beach at Horseshoe Bay you can dine on the beachfront or hire a jet sji, paddle ski or sail boat. Diving and fishing around the local reefs is also a popular pastime. Sailing cruises aboard an old time sailing schooner are available almost every day from the boat harbour and offshore fishing charters can be arranged from the same location. Magnetic Island is popular among Australian's as a school holiday destination and at those times it is particularly busy so be prepared to book your accommodation well in advance.