If you ever find yourself on Australian East Coast, it would be a crime not to visit Magnetic Island. Although it might look small on the map, you’ll probably be amazed by what this lovely island has to offer. With plenty of stunning beaches, adorable animals and interesting bars, you definitely won’t be bored. Plus, the proximity of the Great Barrier Reef doesn’t hurt either. If you’re interested in spending your holiday on Magnetic Island, here are some fine activity suggestions for you to pick from.
Diving at the SS Yongala Wreck Site
In 1911, in a disastrous event, the SS Yongala sank due to a tropical cyclone, along with its over 120 passengers. The shipwreck was located in 1958 and has since become a huge tourist attraction. In fact, some consider it the best diving location in the world. Not only will you get to hear about the history of this famous passenger and freight steamer, but you’ll also get to explore it, as well as witness the extraordinary diversity of the marine life surrounding the wreck. However, if you want to see the dolphins, whales and the sea snakes living there, you’ll have to be a certified diver. Therefore, if you’re not one already, know that this particular experience is worth becoming one, so consider that option before heading to Magnetic Island.
Visit the Museum of Underwater Art
When you’re done with SS Yongala, you’ll think you’ve seen it all, but that’s certainly not the case. If you’ve heard of Jason deCaires Taylor, you probably already know what’s in store for you. If not, what you should know is that he’s the world’s top underwater sculptor, whose underwater art museum is a unique demonstration of his artistic skills, but also his determination in preserving and restoring the reef, while educating people about its importance. His artworks are meant to support the underwater life and, more particularly, coral planting. Whether you’re a keen diver, or you prefer to stick to snorkeling, you can enjoy this one-of-a-kind museum and see the way the marvelous artwork transforms into something new and wondrous as the marine life touches it and adds its own touch to already incredible pieces of art.
Get a Furry Hug
Even if you’re Australian, but living in an urban area, there’s a good chance that you haven’t seen a koala in person. Logically, these chances drop significantly if you’re not Australian. So, when you hear that Magnetic Island’s Bungalow Bay Koala Village is the home of these cute, furry animals and that you can actually cuddle them there, perhaps you’ll be able to comprehend the enormous appeal of this phenomenal island. Add some wombats into the equation and you’ll most likely be in cuteness overload for a while. Plus, you can hold a lizard or a snake, if that’s something you’ve always wanted to do. There’s accommodation available there, in case you want to stay at the Village and gain some deeper insight into Australian animals. The place is remarkably eco-friendly. They rescue and nurture native animals which are hurt, ill or orphaned, and they go out of their way to do so while lowering the energy consumption as much as humanly possible.
Spend a Day in Horseshoe Bay
The northern end of Magnetic Island is a truly special place, especially if you’re into watersports. It’s where Horseshoe Bay is, and if you visit it, you’ll definitely be in for a treat, as you’re bound to have an exciting and fulfilled day there. In case you’re a kayak or jet-ski lover, you can find a whole range of rental places there, so that you can get that adrenaline rush you’re longing for. Those who prefer some lighter watersports can always go fishing, sailing or rent a paddle board. Finally, you can also spend some time swimming in the clear blue waters and sunbathing on the shady beaches there. Those who like riding can get a horseback ride, leading from the bush straight to the beach. After all of that, you can have a drink at one of the cafés or bars there, or have a meal at one of the restaurants, as everything’s more delicious with an ocean view.
Take Long Walks
Another great thing about Maggie are its walking tracks. The majority of the island is a national park and is protected as such, which means that its 36-kilometre of walking tracks will leave you breathless with the plethora of plants, animals and paths you can wander on. This is probably the most efficient way to take in all of the magic of the island. One of the most popular walks is the Forts walk, which allows you to see koalas roaming free in nature, but also some remnants from the Second World War, in case you’re interested in history. Next, there’s the walk that leads from the Forts to Horseshoe Bay, leading you through Balding Bay. You should wear your hiking shoes or at least your sneakers here, as there are some hills to master and the walk is a long one, but well worthwhile taking. You’ll get to make some Insta-worthy photos in such spots as the Arthur Bay lookout, Radical Bay or Balding Bay. If nothing else, you can take the climb up to the Hawkings Point Lookout, which will only take about half an hour. Getting to see the sunrise from there might just become one of your favorite memories, so don’t miss it.
See the Rock Wallabies
If you really like animals and you simply melt when faced with their innocent charm, you’ll be more than happy when faced with the gorgeous rock wallabies at Geoffrey’s Bay. You can expect to see them in the late afternoon or around sunset, since that’s when they like to come out and play. They live in the granite boulders at Geoffrey’s Bay and that’s where you’ll see them if you’re curious and patient enough to look for them. They are neither aggressive nor generally disturbed by human presence, but it would be smart to remember that they’re wild animals after all, and that you shouldn’t do anything to provoke them. Avoid feeding them, so as not to give them something that could make them sick. You should even restrain yourself from petting them, although they normally don’t mind it. In order to keep them and yourself safe, the best you can do is just observe them and revel in the sight of them for a while, before moving on. You can take a walk there, or you can drive and park in the very proximity of the place they frequent.
Whether you’re hoping for an active vacation, or you just want to spend your days sunbathing and your nights partying, Magnetic Island won’t disappoint. Just make sure you book your accommodation and your transport in time and you’ll love every minute you spend on this remarkable island.