At the south end of Magnetic Island with views back to Townsville from the headlands lays the community of Picnic Bay. Cockle Bay is off to the west, and to the east lies Rocky Bay, one of the island’s top locations for swimming and snorkeling.

Picnic Bay’s centerpiece is the old jetty, once the arrival point for passenger ferries to the island, is now used for fishing, strolling, and picnicking. The open-air Picnic Bay Mall holds restaurants and a collection of local shops, most of which are open Monday through Saturday. Shaded garden areas within the Mall offer a place to sit and relax whilst children make use of two play areas.

Accommodation in Picnic Bay includes hostels and hotels and you can easily hire bikes, cars, and scooters from Picnic Bay to explore the island. The beach here is patrolled by lifesavers and there is a netted swimming enclosure for use during summer months. Picnic Bay is also home to Magnetic Island’s 9-hole golf course.