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Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

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Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

I know a place has a bit of magic in it when I feel a sense of sadness about leaving. And I felt that sense of sadness when I left Magnetic Island. It’s just got something about it.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to a few of the islands in Queensland {but have so many more yet to visit!}, but Maggie, as the locals call it, is different. The islands I’ve visited are more resorts, but this one is an island with a community. It has 2000 residents on the island, with 75% of them being retirees. The people on the island were one of my favourite parts of the experience. You’d think with so many tourists passing through that they’d be sick of us, and not want to be friendly {or is that just me?}, but they’re not. They were SO friendly. From the moment we stepped on the Ferry to the moment we got off, the locals smiled and chatted the whole trip. I think it just goes to show what an awesome place it is.

Access to the island is by Ferry. They go pretty regularly from Townsville. To give you an idea of costs, a return trip for a family is $74.

Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

As soon as we got off the Ferry at Nelly Bay, our accommodation was right there waiting for us. We stayed at the Peppers Blue on Blue for three nights. It’s home to modern self-contained apartments that are pretty much brand new. We stayed in a three bedroom apartment that overlooked the marina. If I stayed again, I’d be so tempted to stay there again because it was so beautiful and perfect for us, but if you travel around the island you can find various places to stay, including lots of houses to rent. It would just depend on your group size and what you plan on doing. I noticed this real estate had lots of great houses if you’re ever looking!

Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

We then picked up a Topless Car for our trip. It was super pink, yet Lulu called it Blue for some reason. Just to be different I guess. If you do hire yourself one of these cars, you have to promise me that you’ll make an effort to enthusiastically wave to anyone else driving one on the island. It’s a thing, and I hope that you do!

Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

The car was such a fun way to travel the island. They’re small, but they zip around perfectly. And they’re fun. Wind in your hair kinda fun. I’m not sure how they’d go in the summer months, because they could be a little hot during the middle of the day. With the Topless Cars and Mokes, they can’t go down any unsealed roads, so if you’re thinking of visiting any of the secret beaches which are down some bumpy dirt roads, you’ll have to hire a 4WD. We did that for a day and it cost us $85 {I picked Tropical Palms to hire from, because I wanted an easy-to-drive, modern automatic car but you can get cheaper around the island}. It’s definitely worth doing.

Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

You can find maps of the island at many places, so we decided from checking out the map to visit two of the hidden beaches in the afternoon that we had the car. We picked Radical Bay and Florence Bay. They’re off the beaten track, and some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. Florence Bay is my favourite, particularly if you’ve got kids.

Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

As far as food goes, we were pretty spoilt for choice. We loved our apartment so much, and loved the quiet of the evening that we opted to have room service a little bit {because that never grows old, does it?}. Boardwalk Restaurant and Bar, the restaurant inside Peppers, has a beautiful restaurant on the water, so you can eat out on the deck, inside the restaurant or back in your room. We sat out on the deck and also did room service. The food is beautiful and fresh, and they have a great kids menu too.

If you want to eat out, we tried Barefoot Art Food Wine is my pick of the whole island. Talk about fresh and flavoursome. I had fish of the day with seasonal vegetables, as well as dumplings of the day {get those!} and Ma had bugs with mornay. So much of the menu looked good, plus they had great toys for the kids and a great back deck that the kids can go crazy on.

We also tried Nan’s Tea Room at Horseshoe Bay for morning tea, where ‘Nan’ served scones and herbal tea and delivered so many toys for the girls to play with. They wanted to go back every single day. Cafe Dell Isola in Arcadia has the best pizza I’ve had in a lifetime. It’s light, and not too cheesy, and just how pizza should be. It’s made by real Italians, so don’t even think about asking for pineapple on your pizza. They also make their own gelato, which you can buy from Cafe Dell Isola, or at Adele’s Gelato over on the beach at Horseshoe Bay. It’s light and creamy and so worth every single calorie! All of them. On our last day we stopped at Gilligan’s Cafe & Bar for a juice, but I wish we had room for food because the menu looked fresh and inviting, and the decor was kitsch, just how I like it.

Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

If you want to cook your own meals, you can do that too. There’s an IGA and a FoodWorks on the island, but if you’re staying for a week you can get home delivery from Coles every day. Coles puts their truck on a boat and ferries it across to deliver groceries each day. That’s pretty cool!

One last place to eat, and I just want to tell you that I hope you try this once in your lifetime. We went and had a bush tucker breakfast at Bungalow Bay. The location is more geared towards backpackers, and I thought that I was going to be put off by that… but turns out backpackers are awesome. Ha! The bushtucker breakfast is just that… think an open fire where you can cook your own toast, toad in a hole {eggs in toast}, jaffles made over the fire, pancakes, bacon, fruit… everything you could dream of. All that breakfast-y goodness is eaten while being surrounded by birds and lizards and snakes. You can finish off your breakfast with a real cuddle from a real koala. It’s kinda just really awesome, and something everyone should experience. I think the Ranger running it just made the whole experience even more fun, because he’s the most Aussie guy I’ve ever met. True Blue!

Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}
Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

If I was to travel again to Magnetic Island, I’d definitely take walking gear. There are so many great tracks to experience, so don’t miss out on those. Also the peak time to travel there is during the Australian winter. I found the weather perfect {end of May} and not too hot. The water was perfect to swim too, although the locals say it is much too cold for them to be considering taking a dip!

Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

Another experience worth doing is heading to the north end of Geoffrey Bay at around 4:30pm in the afternoon, just before sunset. You’ll find loads of Rock Wallabies who are keen to meet you. We did this two afternoons because the girls loved it so much. You can pick up a bag of wallaby food from the little store nearby for $2.50, or take cut up apple for them to munch on. If you hold out your food and let them come to you, they will… and they’re so sweet and friendly.

Magnetic Island, Queensland {our trip!}

While Magnetic Island gives backpackers the perfect Aussie experience, I think Maggie is the perfect playground for families. I know we’ll be back, because it just needs to be done. It’s laid-back, and easy, and is perfect for water babies like my girls {and the Hubby!}.

Where’s your favourite place to escape to with the family?

I traveled as a guest of Tourism Queensland. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

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  • Fleur @ Our Urban Box

    I love Maggie! I’ve only been once. I’m heading to Townsville this week but unfortunately no time to pop over to the island. We love escaping to Batemans Bay for a couple of days. It has such a relaxed vibe about it. X

  • Wow. What an awesome place to head with the family to relax and absorb and experience a bit of Aussie magic. I loved learning more about the Island through you Chantelle. Hand feeding those little rock wallabies – so so cool!

  • It looks like you had an amazing time, what a stunning location! I loved the little topless pink car!

  • Row Parker

    It sounds perfect I want to go

  • Jenni from styling curvy

    Oh man, I need a holiday!! Looks stunning Chantelle. Is lulu colour blind? My husband is and picks certain shades of pink for blue. He also sees reds and greens as grey/brown shades.

  • Our fav Island holiday so far has been Moreton Island, it was beautiful and there’s the whole dolphin feeding thing that was truly awesome!

  • It looks truly magical – so much awesome here in Queensland!

  • Awww this brought back the best childhood memories! We had relatives in Townsville and we visited Queensland when I was 7. Even though I was so young, I remember so much – it had such an impression on me! We took a day trip to Magnetic Island and my brother and I LOVED the yellow Moke our parents hired. It was called Daisy Duck. We went to the beach and we had an absolute ball (except for the part where my brother got stung by a blue bottle)! I’d love to go back as an adult one day 🙂

  • Stop it! That looks amazing. I’m craving a Queensland getaway. Need some sunshine and warmth. x

  • Sounds amazing! My sister in law had her honeymoon there. The water and wildlife sounds so good!

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook