Magnetic Island National Park Townsville

Photo credit: © Queensland Government

Walking trails summary

    Walks on Magnetic Island

    One of the best ways to explore Magnetic Island is on foot. A network of walking tracks and trails allows you to appreciate the island's natural environment through leisurely coastal walks or more or more physically challenging hikes in the hills. The walking trail network traverses both protected area and council land to provide a seamless walking experience.

    Key destinations around the island are linked by different walking trail routes, allowing visitors to choose their own adventure when exploring the island. Key destinations provide a cool place to prepare for a walk or rest during the walking adventure. Toilets, water, shelter and busses as well as commercial centres can be found at these locations.

    Walking tracks within Magnetic Island National Park range from short walks to longer tracks, all with a moderate level of difficulty due to the hilly terrain. Know your limits—choose tracks that suit your level of fitness or that of the slowest member of your group.

    What to expect

    The Magnetic Island trail network features a range of different walking conditions. When traversing the routes between key destinations visitors can expect to walk on:

    • walking tracks (within the national park)
    • pathways (concrete footpaths within the road reserve)
    • nature strips (adjacent to traffic lanes on sealed and unsealed roads).

    Be aware of traffic when walking on or near roads and streets.

    Walking from Nelly Bay

    Nelly Bay is the arrival and departure point for Magnetic Island. Visitors often start their walking journey from this location. From the Nelly Bay ferry terminal there is the option to take three walking routes to different locations.

    Trails heading south
    Key destination via Route Distance one way Walking time one way Highest level of difficulty
    Picnic Bay 6 4km 1hr 30min Council pathway
    West Point 6–7 13km 4hr Council pathway
    Trails heading north
    Key destination via Route Distance one way Walking time one way Highest level of difficulty
    Arcadia 4 6.3km 1hr 40min Grade 4
    5 2km 40min Council pathway
    Forts Junction 4 6.4km 2hr 20min Grade 4
    5–4 5km 2hr Grade 4
    Horseshoe Bay 5–4–3 7.3km 2hr 30min Grade 4
    4–2 7.5km 3hr 40min Grade 4
    4–1–2 8.2km 3hr Grade 4
    4–3 8.7km 3hr Grade 4
    5–4–2 9.6km 3hr 40min Grade 4
    5–4–1–2 10.3km 4hrs Grade 4

    Walking from Forts Junction

    The Forts Junction provides the easiest access to Magnetic Island National Park. Learn more about the island and World Heritage protected areas at this location and embark on the popular Forts Walk from here. From the Forts Junction there is the option to take four walking routes to different locations around the island.

    Trails heading south
    Key destination via Route Distance one way Walking time one way Highest level of difficulty
    Horseshoe Bay 3 2.3km 50min Grade 3
    2 4.6km 2hr Grade 4
    1–2 5.4km 2hr Grade 4
    Trails heading north
    Key destination via Route Distance one way Walking time one way Highest level of difficulty
    Arcadia 4 3km 1hr 20min Grade 4
    Nelly Bay 4 6.4km 2hr 20min Grade 4
    4–5 5km 2hr Grade 4
    Picnic Bay 4–5–6 9km 3hr 30min Grade 4
    4–6 10.4km 4hr Grade 4
    West Point 4–5–6–7 17.6km 6hr Grade 4
    4–6–7 19km 6hr 30min Grade 4

    Walking tracks on National Park

    RouteTrack/destinationDistance Walking time Highest level of difficulty
    - Forts Junction 400m (return) 15min (return) Grade 1
    1 Forts Walk 4km (return) 2hrs (return) Grade 3
    1 Forts Walk – Florence Bay 3km (one way) 1hr 20min (one way) Grade 3
    2 Arthur Bay (from Forts Junction) 1km (one way) 20min (one way) Grade 2
    2 Searchlight Tower (from Forts Junction) 2km (one way) 40min (one way) Grade 3
    2 Florence Bay (from Forts Junction) 1.8km (one way) 35min (one way) Grade 3
    2 Radical Bay (from Horseshoe Bay) 1.5km (one way) 50min (one way) Grade 4
    2 Balding Bay (from Horseshoe Bay) 1.4km (one way) 40min (one way) Grade 4
    3 Horseshoe Bay Lagoon Conservation Park (from Horseshoe Bay) 500m (one way) 10min (one way) Grade 2
    4 Nelly-Arcadia-Junction track (from Forts Junction) 3km (one way to Arcadia) 1hr 20min (one way to Arcadia) Grade 4
    6.4km (one way to Nelly Bay) 2hr 20min (one way to Nelly Bay) Grade 4
    6 Hawkings Point (from Picnic Bay) 1.2km (one way) 30min (one way) Grade 4

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.