(20 minute ferry from Townsville)
Discover a tropical island paradise surrounded by secluded bays, golden beaches and activities to excite everyone. Just a short ferry ride from Townsville, Magnetic Island offers the natural beauty and serenity of an untouched paradise within a thriving community. With approximately 2,500 locals residing on Magnetic Island, this is the only place on the Great Barrier Reef where visitors can truly experience the Australian island lifestyle. Magnetic Island is home to Northern Australia’s largest colony of koalas in the wild, incredible fringing coral reefs and is set amongst a stunning national park.
The Burdekin Shire
(Ayr is 1 hour or 82km south-east of Townsville)
The Burdekin district is nestled in the delta of the Burdekin River, with two main townships – Ayr and Home Hill – linked by the iconic Burdekin Bridge. Well known as the sugar capital of Australia, the Burdekin is the biggest and sweetest sugar cane producer in the country and is one of the few cane growing regions left in Australia where cane is burnt before harvesting. The magnificent cane fires frequently light up the evening skies between June and December. The bountiful Burdekin region is well known for offering fantastic fishing, incredible boutique shopping, world renowned diving, magnificent wetlands, beautiful birdlife and miles of unspoilt beaches to explore.
The Charters Towers Region
(1.5 hours or 136km south-west of Townsville)
Step back in time and discover the authentic charm and elegance of Charters Towers, a living montage of Australian history and heritage. When gold was first discovered in Charters Towers in 1871, the town became a gold rush town and quickly grew to become the second largest in the state. Today, you can really feel the history through the magnificent heritage buildings which are testament to the prosperity of years past. Visit the drive-in cinema to experience a movie under the stars, pan for gold at the Miner’s Cottage, take in the views of the vast and stunning landscape from Towers Hill Lookout, enjoy a true outback encounter at Texas Longhorn Wagon Safaris.
The Hinchinbrook Shire
(Ingham is 1.5 hours or 112km north-west of Townsville)
If tropical rainforests, eco-adventures, cultural heritage and beautiful beaches are on your list for the perfect holiday, Hinchinbrook is an itinerary must. This scenic region is just 1.5 hour’s drive north of Townsville and is a wonderland of nature-based attractions in a vibrant cultural setting. As the southern gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage listed rainforests, you can chase waterfalls, experience unique fishing sites, conquer uninhabited Jurassic islands and witness the Southern Hemisphere’s largest single drop waterfall, Wallaman Falls. The town centre of Ingham is known for its large Italian community, a testament to the unique dining, shopping and events within the town.
The Palm Island Group
Charter a boat, take your own, or touch down via helicopter to discover Orpheus Island, offering 1,300 hectares of untouched National Park, unique wildlife and amazing reef experiences at every turn. Book into the Island’s luxury resort, capped to indulge just 28 guests at a time, and experience endless adventure with all-inclusive meals, watersports equipment and more – perfect for the lovers of exclusive and tranquil holidays.
Located 65km north-west of Townsville, Palm Island is the traditional country of the Manbarra people and, more recently, home of the Bwgcolman tribal people. Palm Island offers Indigenous heritage, rich cultural history and unspoilt natural landscapes. Palm Island is accessible via SeaLink Queensland ferry or by air.
Just north of Orpheus Island lies the pristine Pelorus Island, offering snorkel and dive experiences on fringing reefs accessible right off the beach. Reach Pelorus island by private boat or dive tour with Remote Area Dive, with self-sufficient camping also permitted.