Magnetic Island a favorite spot for backpackers
Magnetic Island is directly off the coast of Townsville, over half the land area of the island is a National Park, which is roughly 7km by 5km, with 25km of walking tracks and several beaches and little bays.
Magnetic Island has about 3000 residents and has four small towns, it is popular with tourists and backpackers because it has a laid back feel to it. The towns run up the east coast of the island, with the western part consisting of national park. The villages from south to north are Picnic Bay, Nelly Bay, Arcadia and Horseshoe Bay. Nelly Bay is currently in the middle of a large redevelopment involving high-end residential and tourism facilities right on the water. Most budget travellers stay in Arcadia and Horseshoe Bay, which mainly cater to the pub-going and jetskiing tourists.
The Island is only accessible by boat from Townsville, which is 8 kilometers away and which has a well served airport. There are two ferry services one is a car / passanger service and the other a passanger fast cat operating till around 11pm, both arriving at the Nelly Bay Ferry Terminal:
These are listed below.
Sunferries, Breakwater Terminal:
Sir Leslie Theiss Drive, Townsville,
PH: (07) 4771-3855.
Sunferries operate eleven or more passenger ferry services between Townsville and the Island daily. Adult passengers are $13 ($25 return), children and pensioners $6.30 ($12.50 return).
Passenger & Car Ferry
Ross Street, South Townsville.
PH: (07) 4772-5422.
The ferry transports both cars and passengers from Townsville with seven or eight departures between 7am and 7pm every day. It leaves from the wharf in Ross Street, South Townsville. Trailers and caravans can be transported. Adult passengers are $12.50, students $8.25 and children and pensioners $6.50. Transport of cars starts at $69.
Ferries take approximately half an hour to reach the Island. Some airlines can arrange transfers from the airport to the Island in a package including the flight to Townsville.
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