Magnetic Island National Park Townsville

Photo credit: © Queensland Government

Nelly-Arcadia-Junction track

Traverse a diversity of island landscapes from the dry rainforest to the grasslands and woodlands in the hills.

Journey type
Time suggested
Grade 4 walking track

Accessible by

  • Conventional vehicle
  • Bicycle
  • Walk-in

Journey facilities

  • Lookout (constructed)
  • Walking

Gubul – Route 4

Climb into the highlands of Magnetic Island to explore a diversity of plant and animal communities along this scenic natural stone walking track. Accessed from one of three locations—Nelly Bay, Arcadia or the Forts Junction—this walking track ascends steeply to the highlands from every direction.

Starting the walk in Nelly Bay, the track leads through a dry rainforest pocket nestled in a shaded gully up into onto the ridge above. Known as semi-evergreen vine thicket, this endangered plant community is cool and shady with a dense, green canopy intersperse with vines. During the wet season, the gully springs to life when rushing rainwater cascades over the boulder-strewn creeks.

From the Arcadia side, the walking track ascends steeply through open woodland to the ridgeline. Walking from the Forts Junction is a more gradual ascent through an open woodland basin full of grass trees and acacias. Visit the Sphinx Lookout, only 230m off the main track, for views of the surrounding hills over Alma Bay and across Cleveland Bay.

Explore the island’s open eucalypt woodland in the highlands—a mix of bloodwoods, stringybarks, ironbarks and poplar gums. These stunted, dry tropical woodlands growing on the poorer granite soils have a sparse mid-storey and grassy understory.  Fire—at the right time and intensity—is integral to maintain this landscape and keeping it healthy and vibrant.

Getting there and getting around

The Nelly-Arcadia-Junction track (Route 4) is accessed from three locations.

Access to all entry points is via a sealed road suitable for conventional 2WDs. Bus stops are close to all entry points—see Sunbus - Magnetic Island for more information.

Access the Nelly-Arcadia-Junction track via:

  • From Nelly Bay, the walking track starts from end of Mandalay Ave (2km from Ferry terminal).
  • From Arcadia, the walking track starts from the end of Endeavour Road. (600m from Alma Bay bus stop).
  • From the Forts Junction.

Distances between key destinations:

  • Forts Junction – Nelly Bay 6.4km Grade 4
  • Forts Junction – Arcadia 3km Grade 4
  • Nelly Bay - Arcadia 6.3km Grade 4.

Wheelchair access

There is no wheelchair-accessible facilities on this walk.

Before you visit

Opening hours

The Nelly-Arcadia-Junction walking track is open 24 hours a day.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Magnetic Island safely and Walk with care.

  • There are currently no park alerts for this park.