Magnetic Island is a suburb off the coast of Townsville in northern Queensland. Located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, it’s a great day trip or weekend getaway from the tropical city. Here are the best places to stay on Magnetic Island, including holiday houses, Bali-style villas, backpacker resorts, and luxury hotels.
Bungalow Bay Koala Village is the only resort in Australia with an on-site wildlife park. It has several accommodation options available, including campsites, backpacker dorms, and double and twin A-frame bungalows. There’s a large tropical pool, a tour desk, and a large outdoor deck bar with relaxing hammocks and comfortable beanbags. The on-site Koala Park does three daily interactive wildlife presentations, and Breakfast with the Koalas three times a week.
Maggies Beachfront Apartments is an option on the Horseshoe Bay foreshore. The 4.5-star property has 12 apartments, free WiFi, complimentary parking, and an outdoor pool. But guests are also mere metres from Horseshoe Bay beach, which has a stinger net installed in the summer. All apartments come with ocean or garden views, decks or courtyards, three bedrooms, a living area, personal barbecue facilities, and gourmet kitchens with modern furnishings.
Peppers Blue on Blue is one of the most luxurious properties on Magnetic Island. The 4.5-star resort has hotel rooms, suites, as well as one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. All guest rooms include balconies, while some have private plunge pools. Facilities at Peppers Blue on Blue include two outdoor pools, Endota Spa, Boardwalk Restaurant and Bar, room service, and a tour desk. It’s also conveniently located opposite the ferry terminal, and close to the shops in Nelly Bay.
Lemonade is a quaint holiday house located in Arcadia. Within walking distance from Magnetic Island’s popular Alma Bay, Lemonade has two bedrooms and one bathroom. With two queen beds, a trundle bed, and a daybed, Lemonade can sleep up to six people. There’s also a large outdoor timber deck that overlooks the pool and gazebo, which is surrounded by lush, tropical landscaped gardens.
The luxurious Lotus House is remotely nestled among the trees at the end of Pacific Drive, and directly on the beach at the Horseshoe Bay. From $950 daily, Lotus House has several outdoor and indoor living areas, three bedrooms, four bathrooms, and sleeps up to six guests. The master bedroom suite is located on the third floor with panoramic ocean views as well. Lotus House is also home to a spa and gorgeous swimming pool.
Home to Australia’s only Full Moon Party, Base Backpackers Magnetic Island is another budget accommodation option. Base Backpackers has private rooms and backpacker dorms, and some of them are located directly on the rocks overlooking the ocean. There’s also The Island Bar, an on-site cafe, and nightly activities. Base Backpackers is the only hostel on Australia’s east coast “where the front yard is a magical white sandy beach”.
If townhouses are more your style, check out Waters Edge Townhouse in Nelly Bay. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom property is equipped with a stunning private swimming pool. The pool and deck overlook the marina, and guests who are also boat owners should enquire with Best of Magnetic about securing a marina berth at no extra cost.
Villa Kembali is located directly on beautiful Horseshoe Bay’s beach. Guests are steps from the sandy beach, and the many restaurants along the Horseshoe Bay foreshore. The Balinese-style villa has an open plan and can sleep up to 10 people. There are two separate living areas, a beachfront pool, a large outdoor deck, upstairs balcony, four bedrooms, and three bathrooms. Rates begin from $670 per night.
Pure Magnetic is home to several Balinese-inspired timber villas on the Nelly Bay foreshore. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom villas come with full kitchens, Balinese queen size beds, and private balconies and courtyards with outdoor tables and barbecue facilities. The villas at Pure Magnetic share a resort-style swimming pool, which is set at a perfect 28°C year-round.
The Beach House at Arthur Bay is a remote option on Magnetic Island, as it’s the only house located in Arthur Bay. Step from the patio and go straight to snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a boulder in the middle of one of the three living areas, three gas barbecues, plenty of entertaining areas both indoors and outdoors, a full kitchen and kitchenette, and a swimming pool that is heated in winter.