Can You Swim on Magnetic Island?
Magnetic Island is situated 8km offshore from Townsville, Queensland. Its beautiful beaches make it look like paradise, but can you swim on Magnetic Island?
Magnetic Island is, in fact, great for swimming all year round. Palms line the golden, sandy shores, with coral-fringed bays making for inviting sea temperatures throughout the year. If you’re wondering whether you can swim on Magnetic Island, the answer is yes! But where are the best places, and when is the best time of year?
Swimming, snorkeling, and diving on Magnetic Island are some of the island’s most popular activities. The best time to visit Magnetic Island for swimming and snorkeling is during the winter months, between June and August when you’ll still experience balmy temperatures of an average of 27 °C. You can snorkel right off the beach at family-friendly Alma Bay, where you’ll also find public amenities like toilets, barbeque areas, and picnic tables.
Florence Bay is home to arguably the best snorkeling on the island, which you can get to by either bus from Nelly Bay or by scenic hike from Horseshoe Bay. Take part in a fascinating dive at one of the best wreck sites in Australia (and the world) at the shipwreck of the SS Yongala.
For beautiful swimming spots, check out the small and secluded cove of Rocky Bay, and for velvety golden sand head to Radical Bay, or Balding Bay. The mild and pleasant temperatures of the winter months are also when there are no stingers in the water. While stinger season fluctuates each year, it is generally between November and May. But don’t fear, for those of us who still wouldn’t be able to say no to a dip in the ocean, there are stinger nets available at both Picnic and Horseshoe Bays.
If you wish to swim or snorkel during the stinger season and don’t want to be confined to the above beaches, it’s advised to take a bottle of vinegar with you and wear a stinger suit which can be bought or hired from outlets around the island.
As well as ideal swimming and snorkeling opportunities, Magnetic Island is home to an abundant array of wildlife, forested bushlands, and buzzing townships, with more than 2,500 permanent residents who make up the Magnetic Island community. This not only means that there are lots of activities and adventures to enjoy, but there are also plenty of options for accommodation; from hostels, to holiday homes for rent, to motels, and luxury resorts.
At just a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville, an exciting day trip or relaxed tropical holiday on Magnetic Island should be at the top of your list when visiting this magical region.
For everything you need while on the island, take a look at our Magnetic Island Online directory.