Before getting the ferry over to Magnetic Island from Townsville we had a morning to visit the Billabong Sanctuary. This was one of the places Nick had visited on his trip to Australia when he was younger so it was really nice to take some time to go.
It’s well worth the trip if you are in Townsville, there are opportunities to hold different animals (I held a snake and nearly passed out) as well as feed kangaroos, turtles and Cassowary’s.
To get to Magnetic Island we took a ferry using Fantasea. It was 26 AUD each way for two people and there was also somewhere to park your car, so isn’t too expensive and we’d recommend using it.
We stayed in an Airbnb in Nelly Bay for the two nights we were there which was fine. I do think Nelly Bay is probably one of the quieter parts of the island so it’s definitely worth renting a car whilst over there. We were on the island for one full day so the morning of our full day we headed over to Isle Hire and got ourselves one. It was 99 AUD overnight and we dropped it off the next morning, they were really lovely and even dropped us off at the ferry terminal before we were due to leave. I had my heart set on a barbie pink car, but in order to go to West Point and Radical Bay you need a 4 wheel drive, which is how my dream didn’t become a reality.
Regardless of the fact I wasn’t living my barbie-car best life I really enjoyed exploring the island. We drove down some very questionable roads with pot holes bigger than the car, but some of the beaches were incredible. I’d 100% recommend hiring a 4 wheel drive so you can go everywhere, as these were where the nicest (and less crowded) beach areas were.
In between exploring and stopping to take in the views we needed food. Nobody wants to see me hangry – it isn’t pretty. There are loads of places to eat on the island, we really enjoyed Man Friday which is a Mexican that was only a 5 minute walk from our Airbnb. It does say online you have to book, but we went at 6pm when it opened and got a table no problem. Considering we were on an island, the food was pretty reasonably priced and if you are into Mexican food, it’s worth going. We also got some pizza from a place in Nelly Bay which was OK but the fish and chips we had at Horseshoe Bay for lunch were soooo good.
On our second night we went to find some rock wallabies as Nick had read online that they will eat out of your hand. We bought some food from a small shop nearby and armed with the bag went in search of the little creatures. It took a while but we got so close to a few and it was one of my favourite things!
Overall, we enjoyed Magnetic Island and if you have the opportunity to go, make sure you do. My main recommendation is to hire and car and prepare to spend the whole time exploring.