Visiting Magnetic Island safely
Magnetic Island can be reached by passenger and car ferry services from Townsville. The 11.5km trip to the Nelly Bay Marina takes about 30 minutes. The island can also be reached by private boat.
On the island bicycles, motorbikes and small cars can be hired and a local bus service operates. The national park, which covers more than half of the island, can be accessed via a network of walking tracks from various parts of the island.
See the tourism information links for details of ferry and bus services, and vehicle rentals.
Vehicles are prohibited on tidal lands from West Point to Cockle Bay to protect the intertidal marine environment.
There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities or tracks in the park.
- Walk safely, carry drinking water, rest often and avoid the heat of the midday sun.
- Stay on the walking tracks.Take care on loose or uneven surfaces and around boulders, steep slopes, and rock faces.
- Avoid disturbing snakes.
- Wear sunscreen, a hat and sturdy footwear.
- Dangerous stinging jellyfish (‘stingers’) may be present in coastal waters at any time but occur more frequently in the warmer months. A full-body Lycra suit, or equivalent, provides a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. See marine stingers for more information.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Our precious Great Barrier Reef World Heritage islands are among the most pest-free islands in the world. They need your help to stay this way. Please Be pest-free! before your visit.
Essentials to bring
Remember to pack:
- sunscreen, hat, suitable clothing and sturdy footwear
- drinking water—most walks do not have water available
- insect repellent.
The national park is open all year round. Visitors should check weather conditions as the island may be inaccessible if strong wind warnings, gales or cyclonic activity prevent ferries from operating.
Permits and fees
Domestic animals are not permitted in Magnetic Island National Park or on tidal land, including sand dunes, beaches, mangroves and rocky headlands, within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park adjacent to Magnetic Island National Park.
Climate and weather
Magnetic Island has a tropical climate with a wet season usually from December to April. The dry season, from May to November, is the best time to visit. Magnetic Island is within the dry tropics, an area that has a wet season similar to other parts of the tropics but is characterised by a dry season with very little rain and lots of sunshine. Daytime temperatures vary between 25 and 32°C throughout the year. The high humidity, especially during summer months, can be very tiring for visitors unaccustomed to the tropics. For more information see the tourism information links.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available on Magnetic Island and in Townsville. For more information see the tourism information links.
- Forts Junction Hub upgrade construction 1 March to 31 May 2021
- Reconstruction works on Nelly-Arcadia track 27 April to 21 May 2021
- Magnetic Island National Park walking track upgrades 9 February to 30 June 2021