10 Awesome Experiences in Townsville & Magnetic Island

View of Magnetic Island from Castle Hill
View of Magnetic Island from Castle Hill

10 Awesome Experiences on the Townsville & Magnetic Island Cycle

Do you need some convincing to explore North Queensland by bike? From native Australian animals to incomparable experiences that you won't find anywhere else, here are 10 incredible highlights of a cycling trip in Townsville and Magnetic Island.

1. Spot koalas sleeping in trees

Find koalas on Magnetic Island
Koalas don't sleep for 20 hours a day because they're lazy - they sleep because there's little nutrition in eucalyptus leaves, which are their main source of food. Koalas were introduced to Magnetic Island in the 1930s.

2. Head out to the waters of Magnetic Island by boat

Snorkelling with sea turtles in the warm waters of Magnetic Island |  <i>Tourism and Events Queensland</i>
We recommend taking the optional boat trip for a day of underwater discovery: picture marine life, snorkelling, swimming and visiting secluded bays on this guided tour.

3. Enjoy glorious views from Castle Hill

View of Magnetic Island from Castle Hill
From the top of Castle Hill you can soak up the panoramic views over Townsville and Magnetic Island, where you'll soon be exploring.

4. Explore the Paluma Range National Park

Exploring the natural beauty of Paluma National Park
Cycle to the Paluma Range National Park, which is a gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Within the national park you'll encounter unspoilt wilderness, including waterfalls, stunning viewpoints, quiet beaches and refreshing swimming holes.
Visit the Paluma Range National Park on the Reef and Rainforest Cycle, which extends the Townsville and Magnetic Island Cycle by a day.

5. Cycle the Ross River

Sunbathing turtle in the Ross River
Explore the Ross River area by cycling a 35km loop ride. The ride is a scenic shady sealed trail with plenty of freshwater wildlife and an abundance of natural beauty, such as turtles basking in the sunshine. Plus, cool off afterwards with a dip in the Riverway Lagoons. These shady lagoons are about the size of 3 pools and sit beside the Ross River. 

6. Say 'awwww' at the Allied Rock Wallabies

Rock wallaby on Magnetic Island Cute rock wallaby joey on Magnetic Island |  <i>Tourism & Events Queensland/Budd Photography</i> Cute rock wallaby joey hiding in a pouch on Magnetic Island
These nimble wallabies like to hide in the rugged vegetation and rocks of Magnetic Island - and their dark fur helps them camouflage even more, so you'll have to keep your eyes peeled to spot them. The best time of day to see the rock wallabies is during the late afternoon or early morning when they're feeding.

7. Admire the botanicals at Townsville's Palmetum

The Palmetum is a botanical garden featuring one family of plants, the palms. Approximately 60 species of palms are native to Australia; most are represented. The collection contains about 300 species; many rare and threatened in their natural habitat. There's a nice cafe where you can unwind at too.

8. Hike through history along the scenic Forts Walk


A post shared by Jasmine Zhu (@jasminejzhu)

This walk takes you to the highest point on Magnetic Island, with stunning views around the entire island and all the way back to Townsville. You’ll pass WW2 Forts that were constructed as early warning and defence facilities when the possibility of Japanese bombers where a real threat to northern parts of Australia with Townsville actually bombed on two separate occasions.

9. Pallarenda Wetlands


A post shared by Mel Nicolson (@mellenic)

Cycle north of Townsville to the Pallarenda Wetlands, which is a haven for active travellers to North Queensland. In this region, you'll find rugged mountain tops, remote beaches, and lush wetland gardens. 

10. Wander the Strand in Townsville

Beautiful street art around Townsville |  <i>Tourism and Events Queensland</i> Cycle the Strand in Townsville |  <i>Tourism and Events Queensland</i> Discover The Strand in Townsville |  <i>Tourism and Events Queensland</i>

The Strand is a 2.2km long foreshore in Townsville that is the cosmopolitan centre of the city. In the Strand you'll discover pools, restaurants, cafes, a recreational park and the jetty for Magnetic Island ferries. Whether walking or cycling the Strand, it's a must-see in North Queensland.


Do you have any other highlights of Townsville and Magnetic Island to add to our list? Share your must-do activities in the comments section below.


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