Just a short 25-minute ferry ride from Townsville, you will find paradise in the form of Magnetic Island. With 300 days of sunshine a year, palm-fringed beaches, incredible wildlife, an assortment of hiking trails and snorkelling adventures, Magnetic Island boasts a relaxed and tropical lifestyle, making it a wonderful place to explore, relax and unwind.
The island was named by navigator Captain James Cook during his 1770 voyage onboard the HMB Endeavour. Believing the island possessed magnetic properties that were affecting his compass, he termed the island “Magnetical Isle.” While it has since been proven there is no magnetic forces within the granite landmass, there is some magnetic quality about the island, with many visitors returning each year and a community of 2,500 people calling the island home.
The Wulgurukaba Aboriginal people, the traditional owners of Magnetic Island, have inhabited the island for thousands of years and call the island Yunbenun. Shell middens, stone tools and art sites are physical reminders of their strong connection with the island.
Sitting within the World Heritage-Listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Magnetic Island’s landscape and climate differs to the usual tropical rainforests found on many of the Great Barrier Reef islands. Its climate is typical of the dry tropics, with the island receiving less rainfall than the Wet Tropics to the north, and the Whitsunday Islands to the south. The average temperature for Magnetic Island during the summer months is 28°C and 20°C in the winter months. January is the wettest month for the region, with an average of 200mm of rain.
Magnetic Island is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. With an extensive 25km network of walking trails snaking through the protected National Park of Magnetic Island, visitors can discover nature in all of its unspoiled splendour. The foliage covering the island is mostly Eucalypt woodlands, stringybarks and grey ironbarks, with native Kapok and Hoop Pines dotting the headlands. Many species of wildlife inhabit the island, such as rock wallabies, echidnas and over 180 species of bird life, including Rainbow Lorikeets, Curlews, Cockatoos and Galahs. The Eucalypts of Magnetic Island are home to northern Australia’s largest colony of wild koalas, giving visitors the opportunity to encounter these beautiful creatures in their natural environment.
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