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!