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Introductory to Moderate
  • 3 days guided cycle
  • 1 day self guided cycle
  • 5 nights motel accomodation


6 daysfrom


Trip Code: TMI

Townsville and Magnetic Island Cycle Trip highlights

  • Enjoy the tropical climate of North Queensland and escape the winter chills
  • Head off from your accommodation for guided cycles of Townsville and Magnetic Island
  • Cycle a loop route along the north and south bank of the Ross River and Riverside Lagoons
  • View the relics of gunner forts and discuss the WW2 history of Townsville and Magnetic Island
  • Explore Magnetic Island on foot, bike or boat with many options available
  • Cycle along the stunning coast north of Townsville with morning tea at Pallendara Wetlands

The beauty of the North Queensland coast and nearby Magnetic Island is captured on this interactive cycling holiday combining Townsville with the Great Barrier Reef. On a series of guided cycles, explore the wetlands, river systems and coastal landscapes of the Townsville surrounds. From the Hervey Range below Pepper Pot Mountain, the Ross River flows through Townsville before meeting the Coral Sea. Cycling along dedicated cycle ways which hug the river, there will be opportunities to spot birdlife, visit gardens and swim in the landmark Riverside Lagoons. Other cycle days take in WW2 sites, the Pallarenda wetlands and the trails and tracks of Magnetic Island. Arriving at the port at Magnetic Island which is accessed via a short ferry ride from the mainland, cyclists will be immediately transported into a tropical paradise of palm tree lined sandy beaches fringed by coral reefs. Together with the planned biking routes there will be time to walk on trails to scenic vantage points and the opportunity to join a snorkelling trip to explore the undersea wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Sample the growing culinary scene in Townsville's Palmer Street and take in the balmy evenings on the coast while based in hand picked accommodation. This cycle trip will appeal to those seeking a combination of active exploring, relaxation and swimming.


The North Queensland coastal metropolis of Townsville is in an enviable position. In the heart of the tropics its access to bountiful seafood on one side and the rich farmland further inland, makes it a great place to explore a thriving regional cuisine. If your trip coincides with a Sunday, make your way to the weekly Cotters Market or take a walk down the Strand, a 2.2km long waterfront parkway where many of Townsville's cafes are located and Palmer Street, considered the eating strip with international flavours represented and a local favourite for a special meal, Jam restaurant. The pier, water park and Reef HQ Aquarium are also great spots to visit. Being a tropical city there is plenty of opportunity to explore this city even when the sun goes down. Overnight: Townsville

Meals:  Nil

Explore Townsville’s Ross River area with your cycle guide along a loop ride of 35km heading out on the southern side and returning on the northern side of this river, a defining aspect of Townsville itself shadowed by Castle Hill the dominant rock formation rising out of an otherwise flat surrounds. The ride is a scenic shady sealed trail with plenty of freshwater wildlife and an abundance of natural beauty. You’ll stop for morning tea at the Palmetum Gardens Café with a walk around the gardens if you chose. As you head back towards Townsville you take a break at the landmark Riverway Lagoons with the option of a quick dip. Your guide will get you back into Palmer Street restaurant precinct around 1-2pm and you’ll have the afternoon to explore Townsville independently. Overnight: Townsville Ascent: 62m; descent: -63m

Meals:  Nil

Start the day cycling north along the coast to Pallarenda and detour via the wetlands area as well as the ‘Town Common’. This is a great morning of cycling with stunning coastline, WW2 history, bird watching and all the wetlands has to offer. You’ll stop for morning tea at the Pallarenda Wetlands and be back in the city for lunch before continuing your journey with a short cycle to Townsville’s ferry terminal then off to Magnetic Island. You will catch the ferry that departs Townsville at 2.15pm. You’ll spend three great tropical days on this unique island with opportunities to cycle and explore the shops, cafes, restaurants and the unique island natural environment or just sit on a beach and listen to the gentle waves and breath the fresh air from the ocean. Overnight: Magnetic Island Ascent: 64m; descent: -69m

Meals:  Nil

Explore the island with a morning cycle and scenic bushwalk along the Forts Walk. This walk takes you to the highest point on the 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. Then take off on a short ride to the northern part of the island stopping for lunch at Horseshoe Bay. After lunch your guide will discuss options for the afternoon which range from a butterfly walk, snorkelling, or a stop at Alma or Radical Bay. Overnight: Magnetic Island Ascent: 391m; descent: -391m

Meals:  Nil

More cycling or a reef/island boat tour? Today you have a choice to either take off on a self guided ride along the west coast to West Point or head out on the water on the ‘Aquascene Discovery Tour’(fees apply). Either option gives you plenty of time in the afternoon for more self discovery and exploration and it possible to do both if you want to spend your last day on the island being active. The boat tour includes morning tea, snorkelling, visits to a number of bays and comprehensive commentary. The west coast cycle is a great way to meander on a self guided cycle along this tropical island’s coastline at your own pace, pack a picnic lunch and take the time to reflect on the many aspects of this unique location. Overnight: Magnetic Island Ascent: 172m; descent: -172m

Meals:  Nil

This morning you’ll return back to the Townsville Wharf on a morning ferry from Nelly Bay. The ferry that we usually book departs from Magnetic Island at 9.30am. It is a short but pleasant trip back to the mainland as Townsville in the distance slowly comes into view leaving the peaks of Magnetic Island behind you. On arrival you’ll say goodbye to your bikes and head to the airport or your next destination.

Meals:  Nil



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


  • 5 nights accommodation in motels on a twin share basis with private facilities
  • 5 day mountain bike hire including a helmet and bike lock (on request), Hand pump, repair kit (electric bikes can be hired for an additional supplement)
  • Route notes & maps provided with a navigational App
  • GPS information
  • Return ferry transfer Townsville to Magnetic Island
  • Bike return on last day

  • Travel to/from Townsville
  • Accommodation before or after the trip
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals
  • Phone handlebar mount

Bike information

Trail Surface



Introductory to Moderate  

The trip is graded introductory. The areas around Townsville along the Ross River and north along the coast are fairly flat and make for easy cycling. There are three days of guided cycling that range from 20km to 35km yet your guide works with the groups interest and desire and has ride extensions available on each day if you wish to extend your ride. You’ll cycle along roads and cycle paths and ebikes are available at a supplement price.

Departure dates

Weekly departures on Fridays


Prices are based on standard category rooms. Supplements may apply where the standard category is not available or an upgraded room is required.
Please note, when we book your accommodation some hotels may request a deposit/full payment to secure your booking. This amount will be payable, in addition to the Australian Cycle Tours deposit. Any extra payments, along with the $400 deposit, are non-refundable.
Departures on Fridays and Saturdays available on request.

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events or just tailoring a trip to suit your own needs - learn how you can tailor your own Customised Tour.

Total Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • E-Bike supplementAUD$80
  • Island Boat and Reef TourAUD$170
  • Single supplementAUD$420
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Townsville and Magnetic Island Cycle trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Flight: Townsville has a international airport with all major Australian Airlines and a number of regional airlines flying to this destination The airport has online shuttle service booking to transfer you directly to your motel.

Train: There are five services a week from Brisbane to Townsville on the 'Spirit of Queensland' tilt train making the epic journey in just over 18 hours and five services a week south from Cairns

completing the journey in around 6.5 hours Heading to the tropics out of Brisbane on the Spirit of Queensland tilt train is a great option if you have the time and passion for train travel.

Coach/Bus: Greyhound Australia have an extensive east coast coach network as well as services to north, west and to central regions of Australia. Long journeys may be gruelling for some but to join a tour from a regional town or region along the east coast this may be a viable option. Greyhound also have some great travel passes which can be great value if you have ongoing travel plans.

Your cycle tour finishes on day 6 when you arrive back at Townsville Wharf from Magnetic Island. Local shuttle buses and taxis can transfer you from here to the airport, train station, bus station and other city destinations.

You need to have some level of fitness yet much of the cycling on the first two days is around Townsville which is fairly flat. Magnetic Island has a few climbs but the distances are fairly short. We provide hard tail mountain bikes, or you can pay a supplement for an e-bike.

Yes, you can use your own bike if you prefer. Let us know at the time of booking and a small discount will be applied.

Townsville and Magnetic Island Cycle Videos

Aquascene - Magnetic Island

Townsville and Magnetic Island Cycle Trip reviews

Why cycle with us


As the pioneers of self guided active travel in Australia you can expect a seamless experience. Our quality tour notes and logistical expertise sets us apart and ensures a quality experience for you.


Our team is passionate about cycling and their extensive knowledge and experience means you get the very best advice - every time. We will help you tailor the right cycling itinerary for you.

Quality services

Expect first-class and flexible support both on and off the trail. We've sourced the highest quality bikes and most authentic accommodations so you can enjoy a stress free cycling trip.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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