Nelly Bay

Beautiful, Scenic and Perfect for Outdoor Lovers

The beautiful Nelly Bay is located on Magnetic Island, just off Townsville, in northeastern Queensland.

Perfect for a tropical getaway, there are generally extra ferry services on public holidays too, which makes it ideal for a day trip.

In 2011 there was a population of 1055 in the bay. It is conveniently located too – right by the Ferry terminal.

Most of the Magnetic Island’s shopping and amenities are located in Nelly Bay

A tourism hub on the island, it is especially significant as the site of the ferry terminal, which links it to Townsville.

Nelly Bay plays host to some amazing restaurants, cafes and resorts.

This is the place to start your exploration of the island with bus depots, car rentals and facilities all within a 5 minutes of the Ferry Terminal.

Nelly Bay offers great snorkelling over the reefs at high tide, with wading only possible at low tide. There’s a large stretch of quiet, uninterrupted beach just south of the Ferry Terminal.



Nelly Bay

How To Get To Nelly Bay

  • Ferry
  • Drive – Nelly Bay has a few car hire companies in the area
  • Buses
  • Walk – everything is so close by!


Bicycle Hire

Hire a car or bike from Nelly Bay and tour Magnetic Island. Nelly Bay is the place on the Island to organise all your car hire and bicycle rental.

Nelly Bay is the largest development on Magnetic Harbour, which is also known as Nelly Bay Harbour. There is a helipad for emergency services, some great little shops and retail outlets as well as a marina.


Nelly Bay is the perfect spot for windsurfing, swimming, and sailing. It is right on the reef and is great for snorkeling too.

Family Picnics

At North Nelly Bay you will find fantastic picnic facilities, coin operated barbeques and a children’s play area.

Dining Out

There are a host of places to go to for meals and snacks at all times of the day at Nelly’s Bay. Check out Scallywags Café, Restaurant Le Paradis Brasserie & Take Away, and Stuffed On Seafood for great dining.  

Plan Your Perfect Trip With Us

Beachside Magnetic Harbour Apartments

Peppers Blue on Blue Resort

Amaroo Resort

Island Leisure Resort

Grand Mercure Apartments

Mitre 10

More than just your average hardware store – this Mitre 10 not only has the most amazing service but the range of goods caters to almost everyone. Locals, tourists or passers by – this is your first stop!

FNF Outdoor Adventure and Hire Centre

FNF Outdoor Adventure and Hire Centre is your one-stop shop for all the adventure you can handle on your Magnetic Island holiday.

Amaroo On Mandalay

Located on over 10 acres of beautiful lush tropical garden setting offering resort style accommodation and facilities. Also perfect  for corporate functions and weddings  – Amaroo On Mandalay is 2,550 feet from Magnetic Island National Park.

Featured Attraction or Business

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Dive Site

It is a fantastic spot to go swimming or snorkelling on the fringing coral reef.

Why do they call it Magnetic Island?

The name of the island came about because of the apparent "magnetic" effect it had on the ship's compass of Captain Cook as he passed the island when sailing up the east coast of Australia in 1770.


What is the phone and internet reception like at Nelly Bay ?

Great reception in the main party of Nelly Bay - some residential areas struggle still to reiceve 4G

Is there a public toilet here ?

At the Ferry terminal

What Our Visitors Say


One of the most beautiful places I've ever visited in my life. I truly discovered the meaning of happiness, beauty and waking up every day with a smile in this little island.

Ale Allievi


Beautiful part of the world to go visit. Walk around the island, take your time. It’s well worth it.


Mega nice island worth a visit to explore the diverse nature and very chillaxing island

Nelly Bay News

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