Magnetic Island, just offshore from the city of Townsville, Queensland, Australia in Cleveland Bay is a 52 km² mountainous island which has effectively become a suburb of Townsville having well over 2000 permanent residents. It is accessible from Townsville by ferry. Ferries arrive at Nelly Bay. There is a large 27 km² national park and bird sanctuary and excellent walking tracks can be taken between the populated bays and to a number of tourist destinations such as the World War II Forts.
The island has long become established as a holiday destination with many hotels and several resorts in operation to cater for all levels of service.
The Island is a haven for wildlife and is 54% National Park which is mostly located on the steep hilly interior and rugged north western side.
One of the most distinctive features of Magnetic Island is the native Bush Stone-curlews - a bird with a piercing cry which has awakened many a visitor in the night when they are most active.
Koalas are relatively common on the Island and can easily be found on the famous Forts Walk.
The pressure of coastal development has, in recent years, begun to make a significant impact on this Island that lies in the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. At present many millons of dollars in development are planned for the Island and the impact of these has led to considerable opposition from some residents who fear the effects this development will have on the environmental values of Magnetic's lowlands which are not protected by the national park, these areas represent only 20 percent of the whole Island, and of this 20 percent, most is freehold land and is already developed.
The name of the island came about because of the apparent "magnetic" effect it had on the ship's compass of Captain Cook as he passed the island when sailing up the east coast of Australia in 1770. People have since explored the general area of Magnetic Island with various instruments to discover whatever it was magnetic like Cook experienced, but nothing has been discovered.
The Public facilities and Infrastructure on the island are managed by the Townsville City Council. The Island is part of the Electoral district of Townsville (represented by Mike Renolyds) in the Queensland Legislative Assembly. The Island is also part of the Federal seat of Herbert which is represented by Peter Lindsay.
It's a fantastic place, just off the northern coast of Queensland, Australia. Known locally as Maggie Island.
Experience Magnetic Island
Lose yourself for a day, a week, or forever on Magnetic Island. You will notice that it’s like no other island getaway. The contrasting landscape of this World Heritage listed island makes this natural destination truly distinctive. The rocky granite headlands fuse with the 23 bays and beaches studded with magnificent Hoop pine trees, creating a dramatic coastline. Visible from the sea, Mount Cook hovers above the eucalypt woods and green vine forests. The island provides the perfect setting for a unique escape.
Wake up each morning in the pristine ambience of Magnetic Island. Over two-thirds of the island is protected National Park providing a haven for the native wildlife, like rock wallabies, possums, and over 100 species of birdlife. Magnetic Island is home to Northern Australia’s largest colony of koalas living in the wild. Tropical fish and marine life live in the surrounding coral reefs and tranquil waters. Explore the land or the waters and discover the island’s unique surrounds.
Escaping to Magnetic Island is easy. Fly, drive or enjoy a rail experience to the Tropics. Then it’s just a leisurely 25-minute cruise across the bay from Townsville to the island.
When Captain Cook discovered the island in 1770 he believed that the island had a magnetic force that caused interference with his compass. Tests later on proved Captain Cook wrong, but the name Magnetic Island remains with visitors still abandoning their compass and losing themselves to this captivating island.
Magnetic Island is eight kilometres off the coast of Townsville, the largest city in North Queensland, Australia.
Named for its suspected interference to the ship’s compass by Captain Cook in 1770, it’s a tropical island where you visit a community not just a resort.
Visitors have been coming since the 1800s and it was a strategic military post during World War 2, the ruins now a popular tourist walk. The island’s rich and diverse history also included rock and coral mining for mainland constructions and as a pineapple growing area.
Magnetic Island has over 22 bays with some accessed only by boat or walking track. Over half of the Island is National Park, with huge boulders tumbling like giant marbles into the corner of every bay and a green mountainous backdrop that is home for a variety of wildlife.
As the tropical jewel in the crown of the Townsville tourist area, it’s easily accessible by ferry or car barge and is great for a holiday or to live fulltime.
There are four village-like residential bays all enjoying a relaxed and friendly lifestyle, characterised by the local term ‘island-time’. It’s a nature lover’s paradise and a great place to do as little or as much as you like.
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