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Our most recommended things to do in Townsville

Return Ferry Transfer Townsville to Magnetic Island

1. Return Ferry Transfer Townsville to Magnetic Island

With this return ferry transfer, you can make the most of a trip to Magnetic Island, located just 8km off the coast of Townsville. It is a charming holiday destination that truly has a magnetic attraction for visitors. From nature encounters, on-water adventures to relaxation, Magnetic Island has something for everyone. Nature enthusiast should visit the island’s koala sanctuary, explore the 25km of hiking trails and discover the snorkel trails at Nelly Bay and Geoffrey Bay. Head to Nelly or Horseshoe Bay for a water adventure with amazing jet-ski, sea kayaking or a snorkeling or fishing charter. The best way to experience North Queensland is on the water. If you’re after relaxation, Magnetic Island is the perfect destination. Just a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville, it feels a world away once you step onto this island. Dine at one of the many island restaurants overlooking the tropical waters of North Queensland. Relax at a day spa and enjoy beachfront accommodation.

Museum Of Underwater Art & Great Barrier Reef Day Trip

2. Museum Of Underwater Art & Great Barrier Reef Day Trip

Begin your journey from the Townsville Breakwater Marina, or from Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island. Please advise at booking your departure from Townsville or Magnetic Island! Sail to the Central Section of the Great Barrier Reef on a custom-built day vessel. First, visit the Museum of Underwater Art (MoUA) located offshore on the John Brewer Reef. Surrounded by the beautiful and colorful coral reefs, explore this underwater site which is the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Learn more about conservation, restoration, and education about the issues affecting the reefs, with a strong emphasis placed on indigenous culture and history. See The Coral Greenhouse, the first submerged building design by artist Jason deCaires Taylor and the most recent addition, the Ocean Sentinel submerged in only 2 to 7m of water for a perfect snorkel trail. After exploring the MoUA, explore other sections of the reef with dives ranging from a depth of 1 to 20 meters suitable for snorkelers, beginner, and experienced divers. See schools of baitfish as well as an abundance of colorful reef fish including Parrotfish, Maori wrasse, Clownfish, Angelfish. Keep a lookout for turtles, stingrays, White Tip Reef Sharks, and Black Tip Reef Sharks which can often be spotted. Discover how the Great Barrier Reef is managed and what work is being done to protect it. With a friendly crew, learn more about how you protect the reef and its creatures for future generations to come. After the dives, be returned by boat to Nelly Bay, or Townsville Breakwater Marina.

Townsville: Sunset Sailing Tour Boat Cruise Townsville

3. Townsville: Sunset Sailing Tour Boat Cruise Townsville

Set sail from Townsville Yacht club on a sunset cruise and watch the last rays of the day descend over Townsville. Sit back and relax on this exclusive small group sunset sail escape. With the views of the Great Barrier Reef, enjoy beautiful sights of Strand beach, Cleveland Bay, and also the famous Magnetic Island. Watch the amber sun descend over Magnetic Island or Townsville with some complimentary drinks onboard.

Australia: eSIM Mobile Data Plan with New Zealand Coverage

4. Australia: eSIM Mobile Data Plan with New Zealand Coverage

Make your trip to Oceania hassle-free with your convenient eSIM. Stay connected on your travels with high-speed coverage in Australia and New Zealand. Purchase and install your eSIM anytime and anywhere, and choose from a variety of data packages, validity options, and coverage in additional countries. Simply scan the eSIM QR code to access 4G or 5G networks and all your essential apps on your trip. Avoid the trouble of managing multiple SIMs with this zero-waste solution. Get one eSIM per device and top up by simply buying and activating additional eSIM plans as you go. Once activated, your coverage will begin according to your selected duration. Most devices released after 2019 are compatible with eSIM (e.g. iPhone XR, XS of models beyond, Google Pixel 4 and beyond). If you are unsure, please check the compatibility guideline photo to confirm eligibility. If you can not connect to the internet after install this eSIM, please follow the Self Help Troubleshooting Guide in your GYG voucher. Carriers to use: Australia- Vodafone/ New Zealand- One NZ(Vodafone)

From Townsville or Magnetic Island: Yongala Wreck Dive Trip

5. From Townsville or Magnetic Island: Yongala Wreck Dive Trip

Enjoy a friendly welcome by a professional crew at the meeting point that will check you in, get your rental gear, and after the safety, you are ready to start the journey.  Relax in shaded or sunny spots on the vessel while traveling to the fascinating Yongala wreck. Spot dolphins, whales (seasonable, and sea snakes while enjoying your morning tea and listening to great stories from the skipper. Just before you reach the wreck it is time for dive briefings. You have the option to dive with your old or new dive buddies or follow a dive leader to discover the best spots on the wreck.  During the surface interval, listen to the Yongala history talk of the passionate crew before diving back in. Once back on board the crew will pack up and leave this amazing dive spot behind to head back to the shore while you can exchange your experiences with your new-found dive buddies and friends. Back at the shore the crew will wave goodbye while you make everlasting memories and images home with you.

Magnetic Island: Behind the Scenes Tour

6. Magnetic Island: Behind the Scenes Tour

Experience the enchanting allure of Magnetic Island like never before on this exclusive “Magnetic Island – Behind the Scenes” tour. As you embark on this extraordinary journey, you’ll uncover the island’s well-kept secrets and treasures. Soak in the breathtaking scenery and capture memorable moments. The tour promises an insight into life on this island paradise led by a long term local. Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking relaxation amidst natural beauty, this tour offers an unforgettable experience. The tour includes a relaxing hour at Horseshoe Bay for lunch, giving you plenty of time to savor the island’s delights at your own pace. 10 am: Start at Nelly Bay Terminal or from an Island accommodation pickup. Sorry we can't pick you up from Townsville. Call in at the Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve, nature's little oasis right here in our backyard. Set up in 1996, this gem is all about preserving our native wildlife and plants, especially the Native Pigeon and Stone Curlew. Take in the incredible views and grab an instaworthy shot of Cleveland Bay and Hawkins point from the Rocky Bay lookout. Head over to explore the Picnic Bay Jetty, a picturesque landmark nestled in the heart of Picnic Bay. Offering stunning views of the Coral Sea and Magnetic Island's coastline. Stretching gracefully into the azure waters, the jetty beckons visitors to stroll along its wooden planks, soak up the sunshine. Turtles and sometimes Dugongs are often spotted in the water at the end of the Jetty. Visit heritage-listed Picnic Bay Schoolhouse, a Craft Centre, selling quality local craft and historical publications. The Museum itself is housed in the historic Butler Hut, named after the original pioneering family of the island. Closed January- Easter. The tour then heads to Geoffrey Bay, a designated Marine National Park Zone. The region's unique rock wallabies are often seen here flitting through the rocks. Or simply take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. Visit Alma Bay with its crystal-clear waters, it's the perfect destination for beach lovers and families alike. Surrounded by lush vegetation and rocky outcrops, Alma Bay provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Stop for lunch at Horseshoe Bay. Its a perfect space for the tour to stop for its lunch break (BYO). With its crescent-shaped coastline and turquoise waters, it's perfect for swimming. With its laid-back atmosphere and stunning views, Horseshoe Bay promises an unforgettable coastal escape, complete with culinary delights to satisfy every palate. After lunch head back to meet an afternoon ferry via the Forts Walk. Take a short walk to the first look out on the Forts Trail. Learn of our WW2, history and gaze down into Arthur Bay. Groups can choose to leave the tour here to do the Forts Walk. The best spot to find wild Koalas on the island. This is unsupervised and guests will need to make their own way back.

Magnetic Island: Comprehensive Tour with morning tea

7. Magnetic Island: Comprehensive Tour with morning tea

Embark on an unforgettable journey as your adventure commences at Nelly Bay terminal, where your friendly guide eagerly awaits your arrival. Alternatively you can request a pickup from your island accommodation. Sorry, we can't collect you from hotels in Townsville. Begin your exploration with a visit to Rocky Bay lookout, offering stunning panoramic views of the island's beauty. Hear how the island was formed and its place in modern Australia. Next, delve into the rich history and geography of Magnetic Island as you explore Cockle Bay and Picnic Bay where the tour stops for a light morning tea. Take a leisurely stroll along the heritage Picnic Bay Jetty and immerse yourself in the island's past at the local museum. Continue your scenic adventure with a return to Nelly Bay before ascending Arcadia Hill. Marvel at the breathtaking vistas of Cleveland Bay and the Coral Sea as the bus ascends, with occasional whale sightings adding to the magic. Discover the unique rock formations of Geoffrey Bay and learn about reef research while spotting our unique Allied Rock Wallabies in their natural habitat. Arrive at Horseshoe Bay and indulge in leisure time, soaking in the serene atmosphere and enjoying delicious cuisine. Take a refreshing swim in the bay, though swimming is at your own risk. Opt for an optional adventure with a Butterfly Forest Walk, available from June to September, offering a delightful bushwalk through the island's lush forests. Visit the Aquasearch Aquarium, where a $3 cash entry fee grants you access to learn more about our local marine life, including Dr. Rick Braley's groundbreaking work with Giant Clams. Conclude your tour with a return to the Ferry or choose to extend your stay and explore more of the wonders that Magnetic Island has to offer. The choice is yours as you bid farewell to this captivating island paradise.

Tour of Magnetic Island (2 hours)

8. Tour of Magnetic Island (2 hours)

Other then an experience of a lifetime, you will see some of the most beautiful scenery the North Queensland has to offer. On our tours you’d expect to see our thriving marine life which include: Turtles, dolphins, dugongs and whales. Our Tours are catered to the customers needs and wants. If you wanna take the tour slower and really take it in we can take many stops and take a lot of photos of the journey. Enjoying the natural wildlife and stunning beaches situated around Magnetic Island. If you wanna go quick, let the guides know and we won’t hold back! All Tours depart and finish in the same location.

Townsville: Lunchtime or Morning Sailing Private Charter

9. Townsville: Lunchtime or Morning Sailing Private Charter

Skip crowded sailing tours and relax on a small-group lunchtime cruise from Townsville. Sailing with a group of no more than six people, enjoy a comfortable scenic cruise, where you can also bring your own food and drink on board. Set sail from Townsville Yacht Club in the morning or just before lunchtime, depending on the option selected. Head west or east of Townsville into Cleveland Bay, where you can enjoy spectacular views of Magnetic Island and the surrounding coastline. Sit back, relax, and take in the sights as you are accompanied by an experienced local crew, who will point out points of interest and provide more information on the area.

Cape Cleveland Tour

10. Cape Cleveland Tour

What to expect: Other than an experience of a lifetime, you will see some of the most picturesque scenery that North Queensland has on offer. Whilst on tour you could expect to see the unique marine life that inhabits The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which include some of the following species: Turtles, dolphins, dugongs, whales and many other forms of aquatic marine life. Begin your journey by departing the Townsville Breakwater Marina and transiting across Platypus Channel that is entrance to the port of Townsville that is host to many import ands export operations such as, cattle, sugar, cargo vessels, international cruise ships and naval movements. Once back in the open ocean you can discover the estuary meeting the ranges of the Cape, this picturesque in its scenery is home to private dwelling, sandy beaches, underwater reef structure and this stretch of coastline is only accessible by water. Whilst experiencing Cape Cleveland you can discover your own private secluded sandy beach with turquoise waters that surround the Cape. This location is ideal for swimming, snorkeling and taking in views of the underwater reef structure. Upon reaching Lighthouse beach we ascend to Cape Cleveland Lighthouse where we pause to take in the breath taking views of the pristine waters and rugged coastline of Cape Bowling Green. Once at the top you can get up close and personal with the Cape Cleveland Lighthouse and all it has to offer while discovering large quantities of sea turtles from the viewing platform. Refresh and replenish after a fulfilling morning or afternoon of Jet Skiing and sightseeing and enjoy a well deserved rest in the comfort of the original homestead, chatting about the voyage while enjoying a cold beverage, morning tea, brunch, or afternoon tea. Take a step back in time and explore the museum that houses many artifacts that have been collected from the immediate area over many years. Also, you can discover and read memoirs from local families that caretook the Cape Cleveland Lighthouse over the centuries, concluding with a photo and time spent in the thinking chair, once you have thought your thinking away we descend to the original location of the secluded sandy beach where your own personal Jet Ski awaits your departure where you then Jet Ski across Cleveland Bay, taking in views of Magnetic Island on your return voyage Townsville. Our tours cater to our guests personal needs and requirements. If you wish to pace you're tour at a slower rate and take it all in, we can arrange multiple stops and capture photographs of the voyage. If you wish to travel quickly, advise the guide and they will adjust and monitor the pace of the voyage to match the experience level of the participants.

Frequently asked questions about Townsville

What top attractions are a must-see in Townsville?

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Townsville?

The best day trips and excursions from Townsville are:

Magnetic Island

Other Sightseeing Options in Townsville

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What people are saying about Townsville

Overall rating

(74 reviews)

Easy to get the tickets!! But if you have more plan to use ferry then you better check the websites as well!

Hatvalles was great with the ferry. 1 day on Magnetic is definitely worth it, 2 are even better.

fast, cheap. for special rates (students, children, etc.) prefer to purchase on site.

I had the most wonderful day exploring Magnetic Island!!

Magnificent, the super attentive staff, at the top