Since 2002

Your guide about Travel, Work, Live or Study in Australia


Home  Site map   Advertise

Australia Cities Study Travel Work Lodging Visas Diverse
Topics Cities:
  Byron Bay
  Capricorn Coast
  Fraser Island
  Gold Coast
  Hervey Coast
  Northern Territory
  Sunshine Coast



Sponsored Link

Townsville & Maggie

Click for Cairns, Queensland Forecast

 The Tropical Coast covers a large part of north-eastern Australia. The further north you go, the smaller the cities will be. The Tropical Coast begins at Townsville, and includes Cairns and Port Douglas. They are some of the most popular tourists areas in Australia, because of their beauty. On this page we will talk about Townsville and the island in front of the city called Magnetic Island. Townsville is a plain city, despite the fact that it is surrounded by one of the most spectacular forests in Australia. The City is small, easy to get about, and has a very friendly population. The first thing you will note is the lack of large trees to provide shade, because Townsville is flat with a hill in the middle. 

The city has very good restaurants catering to all tastes, especially seafood dishes. The beer is cold and refreshing during the hot days of summer. One of the attractions of Townsville is the Salt Water Aquarium which reproduces a reef environment, with a large amount of tropical fish and exotic species that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef. Another great place to visit, is the top of Castle Hill which has great panoramic views (free). From there, you can see fabulous Magnetic Island. The Yes Australia team unfortunately don't remember the place in Townsville where we tried a spectacular Crocodile Pie, but if you go there, ask the locals and they can point you in the right direction.. It was really yummy! The pies are made from farmed crocs, not wild ones. Townsville has a good commercial centre, with sophisticated shops, night clubs and entertainment. A large parcel of the population, work in the mining industry nearby or in the outback. 


Getting to Magnetic Island is very easy and fast. The island is right in front of Townsville and by fast boat it only takes 20 minutes. You can also take your car to the island on a Barge that leaves from a different station to the ferry. Magnetic Island received its name when Captain Cook noted a magnetic change on his ship's compass. He believed the island had some kind of mineral that was altering his direction. Later, studies proved that the Island has no magnetic powers except for its beauty. Sorry, I said it wrong, in reality the island is too beautiful to be described. It causes a magnetism in your eyes because you can't stop contemplating its panoramic views. The contrasting hills, vegetation and blue seas, are strong enough to alter any compass. 


Note: When we arrived at the island (photo above) we found out that under the jetty, there's plenty of fish, including huge schools of Herring. We tried a line with 3 hooks and we were catching one fish after another. It was a very fun time, and we got more than enough to fry them for our lunch! We put the excess fish back into the ocean. 


 Magnetic Island attracts thousands of tourists every year; mostly people interested in walking trails and nature. 2/3 of the island is National Park, and you will definitely see koalas in trees by late afternoon. Not only koalas but also thousands of colorful lorikeets, possums, iguanas and many other native animals. The feeling on the Island is that of an endless holiday, and the beaches are superb, and very inviting. During your time on the island, you will have 99% of your trips travelling by foot. There is a bus that does a short circuit of 10 to 12 km, or you can hire a Moke (like a small jeep) or a Scooter. Finding places to stay is not a problem either. There are many Backpacker Hostels as well as hotels, rooms, houses and everything else. Geoff's Place is a cross between a Backpacker, camping, Caravan Park and Cabins. It has a community kitchen and also a bar that serves meals. Some nights of the week it has a party, with music and entertainment. Perfectly cold beer is also served to anyone who wishes to kill the thirst, after a day on trails. 


"Maggie" as it is called by the locals, has great places for those who like photography, The landscape, beaches, and forests are not crowded. Beaches are also very good for snorkeling with fringe reefs full of colorful fish. Horseshoe Bay is one of the most famous beaches, hosting a large number of aquatic sports during weekends. Also this beach has many places to stay, Cafes and Restaurants. You can hire boats, jet skis, or have a horse ride on the beach. Walking is also a very popular activity to do on the early hours of the morning, with beaches full of marine birds and fish schools. A Jet Ski Tour leaves from Horseshoe Bay (photo), that circles the Island in a couple of hours. And the view of the island from that close to short is very beautiful. This beach is also the starting point for many magnificent walking trails such as to Alma Bay, where a secluded and spectacular beach awaits you.


 Other trails, take you to the ruins of a fortress built during the Second World War to defend Australia from Japanese attacks. Diving courses on Magnetic Island are considered amongst the cheapest in Australia. Fishing on Magnetic Island is a very productive activity. There are plenty of fish of all species that are easy to catch. In reality, you can almost catch them with bare hands if you throw bait from a boat. The water is crystal clear and warm. Unfortunately, Maggie is affected by Box Jellyfish during the season, and there are also sharks, but none of them have ever attacked a human (Well not yet!). They are called reef sharks; small and not aggressive. During the Box Jellyfish season, the Townsville Council places nets in Horseshoe Bay to protect swimmers. The season is between November and March. Snorkeling is also a great pick, with an abundance of fish everywhere.


Catamarans depart from Townsville, for the Great Barrier Reef (weather permitting) and the trip takes about one hour and fifteen minutes. This part of the Barrier Reef is very beautiful and not too crowded with tourists. The Coral is magnificent and there's a variety of unusual marine life to see. If you prefer to stay on shore, Townsville has one of the best reef aquariums in the world.


More about Townsville & Magnetic Island...

Searching for Koalas A paradise waiting for you

"Mokes" to hire

Snorkelling in Maggie

Google Web Portal





 | Terms of Use Privacy | Who are we Advertise | Contacts |

© Portal - All rights reserved - The reproduction of texts and photos without authorization is prohibited.