Start the new year with a glorious beach getaway, and your wanderlust will whisk you away to natural discovery and unforgettable experiences. Voyageurs can also celebrate Australia Day on January 26 because for Aussies, the good times keep rolling after the holidays and new year celebrations. Whether you need post-holiday relaxation or a beachy escape from winter doldrums, travel to Australia’s Magnetic Island for island escapades and aquatic antics.

Aussie Paradise

Sparking crystal clear water. Cool shady spots underneath a canopy of palm trees. Pristine beaches and lush greenery. Magnetic Island is a dream destination for a free-spirited wanderer. Offshore from the city of Townsville in North Queensland, Australia, the mountainous island is full of splendor. As part of the Great Barrier Reef, Magnetic Island is an Aussie natural jewel and marine activity mecca, offering a perfect tropical climate, breathtaking seascapes and terrain conducive for a plethora of outdoor activity pursuits. Adventurers who journeyed to Magnetic Island as a wintry escape can take advantage of the oceanic opulence and forgo beach lounging for scenic hiking, awe-inspiring snorkeling and underwater diving adventures.

On-Foot Discoveries

Magnetic Island is a ferry-trip and 8 km away from Townsville. More than half of the island is covered by the Magnetic Island National Park where explorers can indulge in beautiful natural landscapes and pockets of island wonders. Uncover the hidden beauties of the island by hiking along the park’s walking tracks, naturally adorned with savanna grasslands, gorgeous lookouts and untouched bays.

Get closer to natural island life on the following trails:

  • Hawkings Point Track
  • Picnic Bay to West Point
  • Nelly Bay to Arcadia
  • Forts Walk

Tip: Wear study shoes and bring water. Cliff edges, defense ruins, and boulders can be unstable and hazardous.

Snorkeling

Magnetic Island’s breathtaking beauty extends from land to water, offering an under-the-sea paradise for snorkelers. As part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Magnetic Island is an aquatic heaven abundant with marine life and fringing coral reefs. Magnetic Island’s two snorkeling trails include Nelly Bay Snorkel Trail and Geoffrey Bay Snorkel Trail, according to WhatsOnMagneticIsland.com.au. Marvel at Cauliflower and Staghorn Coral while swimming around Nelly Bay. Snorkelers can investigate the Moltke wreck, and CW-22B Curtiss Falcon’s WWI aeropane propeller and engine block in Geoffrey Bay.

Tip: Ensure that your mask fits and seals properly, as the strap should be snug. Make sure you see clearly. If you are having trouble, defogging products can help. Acknowledge your limitations and pay attention to water temperature, currents, and visibility.

Diving

For underwater thrill seekers who lust after aquatic adventures beyond snorkeling, diving is an adventurist’s cure. Divers can cruise past incredible canyons, caves, gullies, and wall dives colored with tropical fish and vibrant coral reefs. Uncover underwater secrets on Shipwreck Trail at Nelly Bay or experience history by checking out the Yongala Wreck, considered to be one of the top wreck dive sites in the world.

Tip: Don’t exceed your own limitations, experience and training. Scuba dive with a buddy or pro in case of an emergency. International travelers should always plan for the unexpected. Your travel insurance may end up being a life saver for covering emergency medical treatment if anything dangerous happens on your diving adventure.