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Townsville - Magnetic Island National Park
Rocky granite headlands dotted with towering hoop pines and sandy bays contribute to the picturesque scenery of beautiful Magnetic Island off Townsville. Just over half this large continental island is protected in Magnetic Island National Park. The island was named by Cook during his 1770 voyage when he believed the island’s landmass was affecting his compass.
Open eucalypt woodland of bloodwoods, stringybarks and grey ironbarks cover most of the island. Hoop pine rainforest dots the headlands and small pockets of rainforest grow in sheltered valleys. The littoral rainforest at Nelly Bay is the most accessible rainforest on the island. Mangroves grow on the sheltered side of the island between West Point and Cockle Bay.
The Wulgurukaba people, the “canoe people”, lived on the island and nearby mainland for thousands of years. Shell middens, stone tools and art sites are physical reminders of their strong connection with the island.
The island’s interesting past has included hoop pine logging, a quarantine station for the port of Townsville, early tourism in the 19th century and coastal defences during World War II. The island’s forts are listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.
Magnetic Island is surrounded by marine park waters and fringing reefs
Magnetic Island lies 8km north-east of Townsville and can be reached by fast ferry services and vehicle barge from Townsville. The passenger ferry takes about half an hour. Bicycles, motor bikes and mini vehicles can be hired on the island.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
13 QGOV (13 74 68)