If you want to hold and cuddle a Koala then just visit Bungalow Bay Koala Village located at 40 Horseshoe Bay. This is a fab place to take the kids or if you have never experienced holding a Koala or snake, then hop into the Koala Village. Its very touristy but well worth a visit for some serious fun.
There are 3 daily shows 10am-12noon, 12-2pm, 2:30pm - 4.30pm
This island would be fabulous to sail around as most of the island is inaccessible by car. I would imagine you would get to see the BEST of the island by sailing around it.
Jazz Sailing Tours operate a days journey around the island. - Ph: 4758 1887
Blue Parrot Sunset Cruise - departs from Horseshoe Bay 5pm. Costs AUD$60.00 - 3hrs.
Tel :47 581 336
Providence - www.providencesailing.com.au (which to me looked fab).
You happen to enjoy a little fishing there are some excellent fishing tours available on Magnetic Island.
Please not fishing is not ALLOWED in Floence, Alma, Geoffrey, Radical or Balding Bays as these beaches are classified as Marine National Parks.
For getting the best advice about where to fish check out these tours.
All around Magnetic - 0413 697 820
Barnacle Bill - 4758 1837
For hire of fishing gear - Fish'n N Fuel'N - in Nelly Bay has all the gear required.
There are so many wonderful snorkeling and diving spots on Magnetic Island, you could say your in snorkel ling heaven !
The most popular spot being at Geoffrey Bay, for diving fans one can seek out the wreck of Moltke which sank in the 1900's. It's located approx 100metres off shore, I'm sure any of the locals will point the spot out to you.
Most water sport equipment can be hired at Alma Bay or at Coral Sea Sports in Nelly Bay.
Reef Ecotours - with local marine Biologist Dr Andy lewis. www.reefecotours.com
Pleasure Divers - Arkies Resort Alma Bay.
Ocean Dive Australia - at Nelly Bay.
There are numerous walking tracks throughout Magnetic Island. One could spend a week just walking the tracks !
Just pick up your walking maps from any tourist information centre in Townsville or Magnetic Island.
Here are a few walks worth mentioning.
Picnic Bay to West Point - 5hrs
Horseshoe Bay to the Lagoon - short 30mins
Horseshoe Bay to Balding Bay - 1hr return.
There are a huge variety of birds of Magnetic Island to keep any keen Bird Watcher happy. The best way to spot the birds is to do some of the wonderful walks through the National Park.
The Horseshoe Lagoon Walk - starts from the beach and leads onto the lagoon where you can spot a variety of waterbirds.
There are over 100 species of bird-life on Magnetic Island, so just bring your camera and binoculars. Pick-up your walking map from the tourist information centre at Nelly Bay or at Townsville.
Morning and sunset tours are available with SeaKayak Tours.
www.seakayak.com.au For Bookings 4778 5424
The morning tour starts at 8am returning at 12.30pm
The Sunset tour takes 2hrs.
Tours start from Horseshoe Bay.
For those who are looking for a different type of adventure ! The Red Baron Seaplane is unique and has featured in some major movies. Its rumoured that Catherine Zeta Jones even flew in it !
It's the only open cock-pit plane in the world and takes 2 passengers only. I never had the opportunity to fly but it sure looked seriously cute !
(07) 4758 1556
Alma Bay is everyone's favourite beach as its very safe and is patrolled by the Arcadian Surf Club.
Its most famous for the Wednesday night Toad Races held at Arkies Resort which starts approx 8pm.
Most water sport equipment can be hired at Alma Bay and for diving fans one can seek out the wreck of Moltke which sank in the 1900's. It's located approx 100metres off shore, i'm sure any of the locals will point the spot out to you.
Radical Bay is tucked neatly next door to Horseshoe Bay. Its a gorgeous beach which is excellent for swimming and snorkeling (out of stinger season). There is a divine walk across the headland to Balding Bay and onwards to Horseshoe Bay.
To reach Radical Bay you have to use a dirt road which is not suited to mokes.
Picnic Bay is located at the opposite end of the island just south of Nelly Bay Wharf. Its a gorgeous bay offering safe patrolled swimming spots with stinger nets. There is a lovely walk- through street mall which offers some excellent cafes and shops.
Picnic Bay also has a nine hole golf course which has fantastic views. The Picnic to West Point Walk starts from the end of Picnic Street along a dirt road. The walk return takes approx 5hrs, so be prepared before you start to wander off, water, sunscreen and hat are a MUST have for this long but easy walk.
If travelling around Magnetic then visiting Horseshoe bay is a must do on your list. The beach has a spacious stinger net which is safe for swimming and the beach is very sheltered and extremely pretty.
Horseshoe Bay is also the biggest bay on Magnetic Island and is the locals favourite.
There is heaps of water activities to enjoy and offers tourists some unique activities like horse riding on the beach and catching sight of the local Koalas which are popular within this region.
There is a excellent tavern (pub) and lots of little cafes and restaurants across the road from the beach, accommodation is also easy to find at Horseshoebay.
I worked for room and board for three weeks out at Bluey's Horseshoe Rance on Magnetic Island. The trail ride accomodates for all types of people from kids to adults, and novices to experienced riders. They spend an hour trekking through the bush were you'll see plenty of wallabies and cockatoos, through a lagoon, and finally out onto the beach. The "perfect day" for this would be warm but slightly overcast as super high temperatues can be smothering. After a few minutes walk down the beach the guides will be taking off the horses' saddles and your horse will get to take you for a 'skinny dip' into the Coral Sea.
They offer two hour bush and beach rides twice daily and usually have space available right up until the tour trotts off (however prior notice is preferred, just call the night before). They also offer a half day (3.5 hour) ride. This is the same ride as the 2 hour with more time spent in the water and more walking instead of trotting to fill time. I recommend the 2 hour morning ride.
Tips: Bring a waterbottle, especially if it's going to be a hot day. Wear sunscreen!!! There are some great photo opportunities, but you'll need to carry your own camera on the trail so be sure to have a secure pouch for it that won't bounce around too much as you trott and canter. Wear pants (something airy that you can move in, but close-fitting) and enclosed shoes. Long pants keep the saddle from rubbing holes in your legs. Remember to bring your swimsuit, as you will be going into the ocean on your horse.
We were totaly unprepared for the rock wallabies at the old ferry terminal at Arcadia. They are so cute and friendly. Its best to go after lunch as they seem to love playing on the warm rocks. If you take some fruit they will come down and eat out of you hand.
After that, head back up towards Horseshoe Bay and at the top of the hill park you car and follow the fort walk signs. We saw two Koalas on our walk which was late afternoon.
Do your PADI course here as it's extremely cheap!! You do it with Pleasure Divers which is PADI, and they will make sure you pass!!!
We paid $249 booking through Maggies Beachouse Backpackers. The price included the 3 day course, 3 nights accommodation, 3 evening meals, and the return ferry crossing.
Unfortunately the weather wasn't the best and so the sea visibility was very poor, but i guess if you were luckier than us, the sea experience would be a lot better. Though with the money you save you can easily pay out again for a reef diving trip - which we did from Airlie Beach.