Magnetic Island Visitor Information

Magnetic Island's relaxed tropical lifestyle, quiet, secluded beaches, rugged nature, abundant wildlife and easy access to the Great Barrier Reef make it a wonderful place to relax and unwind.


Pre-European settlement, it was known as ‘Yunbenun’ by the Island’s traditional inhabitants. When Captain Cook discovered the Island in 1770, he believed it had a magnetic force causing interference with his compass, hence the name Magnetic Island. Subsequent tests disproved his theory but the name remains.

Fun fact - A continental island composed mostly of granite; it was once part of the mainland before the sea level rose about 7500 years ago.


A few things you might not have known about Magnetic Island:

  • Just 8km from Townsville in Tropical North Queensland
  • Boasts 23 beautiful bays and beaches
  • The Island is two thirds protected National Park and is situated in the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  • The highest point on the Island is Mount Cook at 497m (1,631 ft.) above sea level
  • The only fully self-contained Island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  • Magnetic Island has a resident population of over 2,500
  • Home to Northern Australia’s largest colony of Koalas living in the wild


With an average of 320 sunny days a year, Magnetic Island is the perfect destination to visit all year round!