The day after Australia Day, we decided to take our motor boat from Townsville North Queensland to Magnetic Island. Locals use the term The Island or Maggie, but not it’s proper name Magnetic Island. First stop of the day was Picnic Bay, the first bay to be settled on the island.
What You Will Find in This Post
- How to get to Picnic Bay Magnetic Island
- Magnetic Island Things to Do
- Magnetic Island Fishing
- Magnetic Island Food
- Magnetic Island Swimming
- Where to stay in Picnic Bay Magnetic Island
- Views from Magnetic Island to Townsville
How to get to Picnic Bay Magnetic Island
Just 8km from Townsville, depending on where you depart from, The Island is a commuter suburb of Townsville, but most importantly it is a relaxing holiday getaway. A good option for families on holidays is to take the family car over on the Magnetic Island barge Fantasea.
Although Picnic Bay Magnetic Island is the closest Bay to Townsville, the Magnetic Island Ferry or Barge, docks at Magnetic Island Marina Nelly Bay. From there you could drive your own car/hire car, or taxi/bus to Picnic Bay.
Magnetic Island Things to Do
Magnetic Island Beaches
Magnetic Island beaches, especially Picnic Bay are free of man made rubbish. When there has been extremely rough weather coral sometimes washes up from the fringing reef, making beach walks particularly interesting. Coral is bleached white by the sun but you can see by how this coral still has colour that it has only recently arrived on the beach.
There is nothing more interesting than looking for natural treasures on the beach.
Magnetic Island Fishing
Picnic Bay Jetty
Picnic Bay Jetty is an excellent place for some Magnetic Island fishing. It is quite often deserted and it is long enough that you can try lots of different fishing spots. Smaller fish tend to stay around the pylons while the biggies are most likely to be found off the end of the jetty in deeper water. Floating baits from a balloon is a good way to attract larger pelagic species like mackerel, tuna and queen fish.
Magnetic Island Food
Picnic Bay Hotel
The picnic bay hotel has a lovely outdoor eating area beneath shade sails. We always have good meals here and our vegetarian daughter claims she had one of the best salads ever here.
Magnetic Island Swimming
Picnic Bay Stinger Enclosure
During the stinger season it is not safe to swim in the ocean, but Picnic Bay has a stinger enclosure at the front of the Picnic Bay Surf Life Savers Club house.
The beach is great for the kids and the water is usually calm. Always swim in a stinger enclosure or wear a stinger suit if swimming outside of an enclosure during the stinger season.
Officially the stinger season in Townsville is from NOVEMBER TO MAY.
Recovery Day was very relaxed at Picnic Bay Magnetic Island. There were about ten people in the mall area and everyone else was cooling off in the Stinger Enclosure and relaxing on the beach.
Where to stay in Picnic Bay Magnetic Island
I love staying at a Magnetic Island beach house. If your beach house backs on to natural bushland there is always the chance that some inquisitive rock wallabies will visit you in the afternoon. If not you can still feed rock wallabies on Magnetic Island. Read about it here. Airbnb has cost effective holiday homes. If you do decide to go with Airbnb and are a first time user you will receive a discount by using the link in our sidebar.
Views from Magnetic Island to Townsville
There is something comforting about being on a beautiful tropical island in Australia and looking back to the mainland. Even though it is close, it seems so wonderfully far away.
The above photo taken from Picnic Bay foreshore shows Townsville in the background. Mount Stuart, with a blue tinge, is the furthest mountain while Castle Hill’s red rock face is in the foreground and Townsville Port on the left of screen.
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