Only half an hour on the ferry from Townsville and bathed in warm sunshine all year round, Magnetic Island (or Maggie, as its 2,500 locals call it) averages over 320 days of sunshine every year.
With 23 beautiful bays and beaches and 25 kilometers of walking tracks, Maggie is a beach, nature and hiking lovers paradise - and if you’re partial to a cuddly bear or two, you're going to be in heaven here.
Magnetic's rugged landscape and eucalypt forests play host to northern Australia's largest colony of wild cuddly koalas, and we had great fun trying to spot them dopily sleeping in the trees.
MY TOP 5 MAGNETIC TIPS:
GO TOPLESS - you know you want to!
Call in to the topless car rental office opposite Nelly Bay Harbour and IGA Supermarket (ask for Tim) to explore the Island in style in a Tropical Topless convertible.
This really made our weekend and is hands down the BEST way to see the island.
THE FORTS WALK
This is a fantastic medium to challenging walk combining military history, panoramic views and lots of koala spotting opportunities..
It takes about 40 minutes to walk up to the two fully intact military forts, but put aside a whole morning to enjoy the interpretive centre at the second fort.
CUDDLE A KOALA
Find yourself something to cuddle at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village, Maggie’s own animal sanctuary. From the soft and furry to the leathery and slimy, Bungalow Bay will let you get close and personal with just about every creature in their habitat.
The crescent-shaped, golden-sand beach is easily the best of the island's accessible beaches. It has a stinger enclosure, water-sports equipment for hire, a row of cafes and a good pub. A monthly craft market sets up along the beachfront.
And finally, when you’re at Horseshoe Bay, make sure you try my favourite café The Early Bird, and give the chorizo baked eggs brekkie a whirl. You wont regret it!