Bushwalking enthusiasts will find that Magnetic Island is blessed by a full 25km of hiking paths. Walking tracks connect many of the island’s bays and communities and offer unsurpassed views from vantage points high upon ridges and headlands. There’s simply no better way to spend a few hours in paradise than to trek through dense eucalypt thickets and tropical rainforests to discover hidden lookouts, panoramic views of the island’s bays and beaches, and even occasional koala colonies. Walking tracks are well maintained and marked and most are suitable for anyone in moderate physical condition.
The most popular bushwalk on Magnetic Island is the Forts Walk, a 2km hike to the ruins of a World War II defensive base complete with gun emplacements, a command post, and an observation tower that provides 360 degree views over the island and the Coral Sea.
The Horseshoe, Balding, Radical, Florence and Arthur Bays Walk is longer and more strenuous than The Forts Walk, but provides for a wealth of scenic bay views as well as abundant flora and fauna. You may also hike down to the bays where swimming and snorkeling can be enjoyed.
The Nelly Bay to Arcadia Walk passes through a pocket of rainforest and as you ascend the saddle between Nelly and Horseshoe Bay, delivers views of Palm Island and Hinchinbrook Island. You may wish to dip your toes in the water at Endeavour Falls at the Arcadia end of the walk.
Hawking’s Point Walk is an easy walk of an hour with views across Cape Cleveland back to Townsville.
For a truly brisk and challenging bushwalk, we suggest the West Point Walk from Picnic Bay which showcases the western side of the island which is home to small creeks, tidal wetlands, mangroves, paper bark swamps, and savanna grasslands.