How To Get There

Magnetic Island is located 8 kilometres off the coast of Townsville, Queensland, a vibrant city of over 180,000 residents. Transport options to reach Townsville from other areas of Australia are wide and varied. Whether you choose to fly, drive or travel by train, there is sure to be an option to suit your needs.

Travelling to Townsville

By Air – Qantas Airways, Jetstar and Virgin Australia offer direct flights to Townsville from Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney as well as connecting flights from other cities and some regional areas. Other smaller air operators such as Alliance Airlines, Airnorth and Rex also service Townsville from Mount Isa and regional centres. For more information on flights and operators, visit

By Road – Townsville is located approximately halfway between Mackay and Cairns on the Queensland coast. Following the Bruce Highway, drive north from Brisbane approximately 1350km, or south from Cairns, approximately 350km to reach Townsville. Greyhound Australia operates daily bus services from Brisbane and Cairns, with their Townsville stop located at the Sealink Ferry Terminal, making it easy to travel to Magnetic Island. Visit for timetable and pricing information.

By Train – Queensland Rail’s Spirit of Queensland provides regular services to Townsville, travelling between Brisbane and Cairns five times a week. Travelling from the west? The Inlander travels between Townsville and Mount Isa twice a week, with stops including Charters Towers, Hughenden and Cloncurry. For more information on travel times and routes, visit

Getting to Magnetic Island

Passenger ferries leave regularly from the Sealink Terminal, Townsville and take approximately 20 minutes to Nelly Bay. Sealink Ferry Terminal is only a 10 minute drive from Townsville Airport and there are taxis and shuttle bus available at the arrivals area of the airport. Timetables and prices for the passenger ferries are available on You cannot prepay or order ferry passes and you just purchase tickets at the counter or on the ferries if travelling after 6pm.

Car ferries also depart regularly from Townsville if you are travelling by vehicle to the island. Magnetic Island Ferries depart from Ross Street, South Townsville. Bookings are required. Their phone number for bookings is 4796 9300 or you can visit their website for on-line bookings, pricing and ferry times. It is recommended to book the barge in advance, especially during busy seasons.

Arriving at Nelly Bay

Taxis and maxi cabs are available when you arrive to the Nelly Bay Terminal. You can pre-arrange taxi pick up by telephoning 131924. Sunbus Magnetic Island have buses departing the terminal soon after each ferry’s arrival. Buses are parked at the front of the Terminal when you disembark the ferry – one heading to Picnic Bay via Nelly Bay and one going to Horseshoe Bay via Arcadia. Buses operate until the last ferry arrives. A timetable for daily services can be found at