So finally last Friday we headed out with a bunch of great people to enjoy a weekend on Maggie, as locals like to call Magnetic Island. We rented a house on the island at horseshoe bay via airbnb and spent the whole weekend exploring the island, relaxing and eating. In short: a great weekend. Three of them also have a blog, so read more about Australia and Townsville on Christina's Blog and Kirsten and Ricardo's Blog.
Maggie is just off Townsville's coast, making it the perfect weekend getaway.
As soon as I set foot on the island, for me, the holiday starts. Magnetic Island just has that relaxed, friendly atmosphere that gets to you. And even if your trip to the island is only for a day, it will feel like a holiday and you'll come back more at peace with the world - probably.
What to do
Magnetic Island is full of things to do and explore, especially if you love nature. There are plenty of hikes around the island that will take you to great lookouts and secluded bays. If you just want to hang out however, there are a variety of beaches available that you can access by car. So just bring a book and a towel and enjoy some beach time! However, the island's hikes are definitely worth the sore muscles the next day and should not be missed. One of the highlights is the Forts Walk where there is a high probability of spotting koalas! So this hike has all the koalafications, haha sorry. There is also a hike that takes you from horseshoe bay around to Balding Bay to Radical and then to Florence Bay. This hike guarantees some of the least crowded beautiful beaches. Snorkelling is another activity to keep you busy on Magnetic Island - if you don't have your own snorkelling gear you can borrow some on the island. Try Geoffrey and Florence Bay. Luen and me also went horseriding on the island before, the trail took us along the beach and we could even go swimming with the horses. There are also different dive companies and you can hire jet skis. Maggie even has its own small museum and art gallery which are worth a visit in my opinion.
How to get around
To get to the island the sealink ferry costs 22 dollars return for students and 32 for adults. It leaves several times a day and takes around 30 minutes.
There are a variety of choices when it comes to transport and getting around on the island that depend on your budget - and fitness. The cheapest way to get around is to take your bike on the ferry and cycle the island. However, the island is hilly - and those hills turn in to ginormous mountains when you try to ride your bike up. We have taken our bikes almost every time and at the end of the day I was usually so buggered that I did not want to speak anymore. Racing down the hills is very rewarding though.
Another cheap option is getting around by bus. The bus goes most places on the island and runs fairly regularly.
Another option is renting a scooter or a car. There are the iconic 'mini mokes' on the island - that look a bit like Barbie's car. They are topless and look like a lot of fun. I've always wanted to rent one and have envied them a lot of times when trying to get me and my bike up the ginormous mountains.
Where to sleep
Favorites for backpackers are the xBase between Picnic and Nelly Bay and the Bungalow Bay. Xbase also hosts the monthly full moon parties to which we went on Friday.
If you feel fancy there are also pricier resorts and guest houses with Peppers Blue being one of the classier options. I also find airbnb to always be a great option - especially if you are a larger group of people.
Where to go for a good coffee
So this is an important one for me. Drinking a good coffee, reading a good book and hanging out in a nice atmosphere is a essential for a good holiday in my opinion. My favorite place on the island is Cafe Nourish, serving good coffees and delicious treats as well as snacks.
What to bring
If you are on a budget it is a good idea to do your shopping on the mainland and bring it to the island. The food on the island is more expensive and you don't have as much choice. Bring snorkel gear if you have any and of course the usual beach/hiking essentials should not be missing.