Magnetic Island makes an unforgettable day trip. Walking trails offer stunning views and give you the chance of seeing Magnetic Island’s resident koalas snoozing up a tree.
Board a Sealink Ferry from Townsville (departs hourly $30 - $35 adult round trip). Pick up some free maps on board and, upon arrival on Magnetic Island, catch the Sunbus to one of the 23 stunning bays and beaches Magnetic Island is famous for. The Sunbus travels to all the key locations, but if you’d like more mobility, hire a bike, car or scooter for the day or take a Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour.
Magnetic Island has a WWII history. Forts and bunkers can be reached via the Forts Walking Trial.
Magnetic Island. Photo: dupont_thomas via Instagram
137 km (1.5 hr drive) west of Townsville, Charters Towers enjoyed a rich and heady hey day during the gold rush. Victorian mansions with iron-lacework verandas and imposing public buildings still stand as a reminder.
Many tours leave Townsville daily for the Great Barrier Reef and underwater shipwrecks where you can snorkel, scuba dive, or enjoy the reef through the comfort of a glass bottom boat. Tours range from a single day trip to four days where you sleep on the boat and visit different dive sites.
Visit local a travel agent for Great Barrier Reef trips.
Shipwreck off Townsville. Photo: sim.diver via Instagram
78 km (1 hr 40 min drive) north on the Bruce Highway. Explore Jaurama falls, Big Crystal Creek floodplain, the lookouts and the many rainforest walks. There is budget national park camping with showers, picnic tables and BBQs here.
Paluma Range National Park. Photo: Overlandersway via Instagram
165 km (2 hrs drive) north and on the coast. Park your campervan and catch a ferry to Hinchinbrook Island to spend a day hiking through its pristine forests, mangroves, streams and beaches. The Visitor Information Centre at Cardwell can give you ferry information.
Hinchinbrook Island. Photo: Steven Nowakowski
235 km (3 hr drive) north of Townsville Mission Beach Long empty beaches, islands, cafes, and coastal walks. The Kennedy Walk is a personal favorite. There is a Visitor Information Centre and lots of beach camping and caravan parks to choose from.
Camping at Mission Beach, between Cairns and Townsville.
Heart of Reef Shuttles, 48-50 Carlo Drive, Cannonvale, Queensland 4802 Phone: 1800 216 223
490 Nudgee Road, Hendra, Queensland 4011
Phone: 1800 216 223
440 Sheridan Street, Cairns,
Queensland 4870 Phone: 1800 216 223
273 Elizabeth Street, Coburg,
Victoria 3058 Phone: 1800 216 223
23-25 Erskine Rd, Caringbah,
Sydney, NSW 2229 Phone: 1800 216 223