Just off the Coast of Townsville, Queensland sits Magnetic Island, the first port of call on my East Coast adventure.
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.
The island itself is beautiful and the views from our hostel were incredible both during sunrise and sunset. Talking of the hostel, we stayed at Base, which was located on the East side of the Island, literally right on the beach.
It’s definitely the livliest place on the island with various nightly activities to keep backpackers entertained. I took part in the interactive pub quiz and bingo whilst I was there. Both I failed to win, but managed a free drink from both competitions, which was a little bonus!
In terms of things to do on Magnetic Island, there isn’t a great deal. I was there specifically for my SSI dive course, which I’ll talk about in my next post, but I’d say you could comfortably see all the sights on Magnetic Island over the course of a couple of days. However it isn’t a bad place to stay if you just fancy relaxing for a while!
As mentioned, I spent the majority of my time on the Island doing my Scuba course, but here’s a few things worth mentioning if you ever find yourself heading across the waters to Maggie Island.
Barbie Cars – Probably the #1 backpacker thing to do on Magnetic Island. These 4 seater monstrosities are available to rent so you and your mates can cruise around the island at your leisure. I didn’t get the chance to drive one as I was busy but I did manage to jump in one on my way back from a walk to the Forts and to be fair they are pretty fun.
Koala Sanctuary – A bit pricey considering you can do the same thing down the coast at Brisbane (probably more worthwhile) but if you so wish you can go and visit some of the islands Koala inhabitants and after paying for a tour, you can pay to get your photo taken with one.
The Forts – If you’re into war history or just like a bit of a walk, the Forts are worth a visit. Or if you’re not interested in all that, the views alone from the Forts are worth the walk!
As beautiful as it is, Magnetic Island’s main selling point for me was the chance to learn how to Scuba Dive without breaking the bank…