One of the last trips I did in Australia was go to Townsville and Magnetic Island. Townsville is the town (obviously) on mainland Australia, where many people stay and use as a base before taking the ferry to Magnetic Island. Townsville was just your stereotypical backpacker city, but we did have a lot of fun drinking in the park (our hostel was lame and wouldn’t let us pregame there) and checking out backpacker bars!
What to do:
I mentioned the backpacker bars above and honestly, we ended up having so much fun. I don’t think the bars were anything special, and I attribute my fun time to friends and booze and that’s typically what makes the best bar experience! They are all located on one street, Flinders, so you can just bar hop your hearts desire!
Townsville is full of museums and aquariums and other places that cost money that were not in my backpackers budget, so if you are interested, I have no idea if they were good. Sticking to my free activities, we did hike Castle Hill Lookout which was amazing! You got a view of the entire city and the hike wasn’t particularly hard, which is nice for if you are hungover haha.
Leave at least 1 day to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. This was my second scuba diving experience and second time on the GBR (I snorkeled the first time) and I must say, scuba diving the reef is so much better! It was so cool and one of my friends even saw a little shark! I am so glad I didn’t because I probably would have peed my wetsuit lol.
Now, lets get into the real reason you go to Townsville, to visit the beach and go to Magnetic Island! We stayed in Townsville, but I recommend if you can get a group of friends and stay at an AirBnb on the island, that would be amazing! Also, you absolutely must rent these little Barbie Jeeps to get around the island! Thank god one of my friends knew how to drive a stick because I had no idea. The island is also extremely small, so you can just spend the day hoping around different beaches and fun spots! You can also visit the Rock Wallabies! OMG these babies were so cute! Bring some nuts and vegetables!
Obviously, being on an island you have to check out some of the beaches and bays. You can literally just keep hopping around them. You can check out Magnetic Island National Park, Geoffery Bay, Radical Bay, Balding Bay, and honestly just get in your car and stop when you see fit. There are not a lot of commercial spots away from the ferry port so I do recommend bringing your own food and drinks and having a picnic.
Thanks for reading! If you guys ever have a chance to stop by Townsville and Magnetic Island, I highly recommend it. You don’t need a whole lot of time, but it will be a fun few days!