Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
1 million Australian readers every month      list your event

A Walk in Magnetic Island, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Trails

Home > Townsville > Fun for Children | Family | Cafes | Animals and Wildlife | Walks
by Cris (subscribe)
I am an Organiser of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More on Meetup. Visit the website at https://www.meetup.com/HikingInSEQLDandMore/ is free to join all the activities posted on the hiking group.
Published June 16th 2021
Diverse and beautiful island to explore by walking
Magnetic Island is magnificent and unique just 8 kilometres offshore from Townsville, North Queensland.

Magnetic Island offers unspoilt nature and transparent waters. This island has unique flora and fauna. In particular, there are pockets of true rainforest and remnants of earlier Gondwana flora. The island is rich in marine life and it is part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island,
Radical Bay's beautiful beach and pristine waters in the north east part of Magnetic Island. Photo by Author.


The passenger ferry departs every 20 minutes from Townsville. A SeaLink passenger ferry runs 14 daily return services between Townsville and Magnetic Island. The ferry transfer is $34 return - the price differs for child, concession, student and family.

The ferry is air-conditioned and you can relax with a drink at the bar. Here is the link: www.sealinkqld.com.au/ferry/timetables/magnetic-island

Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island,
Magnetic Island seen from the sea. Magnetic Island looks green and unspoilt. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island,
Sunny day on the island. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay,
Arriving at Nelly Bay. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay,
Arriving at Nelly Bay Ferry terminal. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island has secluded beaches, turquoise waters where to swim and snorkel. There are granite boulders, sandy beaches and there are hiking and walking trails in Magnetic Island National Park.

The National Park protects eucalypt forest, hoop pines, waterfalls, beautiful beaches and a large population of koala.

I visited Magnetic Island with my family in autumn, a perfect season with warm, sunny and beautiful days. Once on the island, arriving by ferry to Nelly Bay, we caught the bus. The ferry services are perfectly timed with the bus services.

Sunbus is the trusted transport partner of TransLink, the Route 250 service connects Picnic Bay and Horseshoe Bay at both ends of the island with the Magnetic Island Ferry at Nelly Bay.

Here the link: www.sunbus.com.au/magnetic-island

The bus took us to Horseshoe Bay, on the northern part of Magnetic Island.

Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island,
We travelled by bus to the North East part of the island, Horseshoe Bay. Horseshoe Bay has a swimming enclosure for safe swimming at Horseshoe Bay beach. Photo by Author.


, Horseshoe Bay has a swimming enclosure for safe swimming at Horseshoe Bay beach, Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming.
In Horseshoe Bay you can rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards. Photo by Author.


The walking trail starts just behind Cafe Nourish, in 3/6 Pacific Dr, Magnetic Island QLD 4819. There is a bridge over a creek, cross the bridge and follow a dirt trail.

Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming.
The bridge over the creek. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming.
There is a sign indicating the distances to Balding Bay and to Radical Bay. Photo by Author.


The walk to Balding Bay and Radical Bay return is about 6km. The walk is really beautiful with giant boulders and views over the sea. The trail has steps, otherwise is relatively easy.

Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming.
From the trail it is possible to catch glimpses of the blue sea and sky. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island,
A nest made by the green ants. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island,
There are well-defined steps on the trail. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island,
The trail is well signposted. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island,
An aspect of the trail. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passionflower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia,
Orange-petaled passionflower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured along the trail. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passionflower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia,
Views of the rocky hills from the trail. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passionflower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia,
Radical Bay beach with boulders and pristine waters. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passionflower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia,
An aspect of the Radical Bay beach. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passionflower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia,
Radical Bay beach is a stunning secluded beach, It is ideal for swimming, bear in mind there is no lifesaver. It is also a good spot for snorkelling. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passionflower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia,
A sort of balancing rock on the huge boulders. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passionflower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia,
Could not have coconut palms to complete the picture of this dream island. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passionflower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia,
Beautiful butterfly. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passion flower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia,
Snorkelers in the clear waters. It would be easy to see marine life in these conditions. Photo by Author.


What to bring
A hiking medium backpack, long trousers and shirt with long sleeve, hiking ankle supportive boots or hiking shoes, first aid kit, insect repellent, give preference to cream or roll-on, sunscreen, walking poles if you like to use them, pack your swimmers and a towel.

For this hike, consider carrying a map or download a good app on your smartphone that can help you to navigate.

Bring lots of water, especially if it's a hot day, 1.5 litres of water and snacks. During summer, you can bring electrolytes to dissolve in water to compensate for the loss through perspiration. You may consider packing sandwiches, fresh fruit, dry fruit, energy bars and small meals.

Walk with family, friends or in a group. Never alone!

The days prior to the hike make sure to check:

Weather Website: www.bom.gov.au

https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/magnetic-island

After the walk, we returned to Horseshoe Bay town to have refreshments.

Cafe Nourish heart & soul food Horseshoe Bay overlooks the lush beach of Horseshoe bay. A place to relax, watching the beach and indulge in freshly prepared gourmet delights.

Locally owned, Nourish heart & soul offers deliciously nutritious wraps, rolls, and mouth-watering cakes, tarts and treats. Rich creamy Fair Trade Organic coffee, beautiful teas and chai. Smoothies and freshly squeezed juices.

There are also gluten-free food, dairy-free, vegan & vegetarian items. Coffee, desserts/ice cream, sandwiches, outdoor dining, waterfront.

Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passion flower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, Cafe Nourish heart & soul food Horseshoe Bay,
Lots of decadent cakes on display at Cafe Nourish heart & soul. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passion flower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, Cafe Nourish heart & soul food Horseshoe Bay,
An aspect of the Cafe Nourish Heart and Soul. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passion flower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, Cafe Nourish heart & soul food Horseshoe Bay,
There are biscuits and slices. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passion flower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, Cafe Nourish heart & soul food Horseshoe Bay,
Sweets that go well with coffee. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passion flower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, Cafe Nourish heart & soul food Horseshoe Bay,
The coffee shop has also interesting gifts and items to take home as souvenirs. Photo by Author.


In the afternoon, we caught the bus back to Nelly Bay to board the ferry back to Townsville.

Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passion flower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, Cafe Nourish heart & soul food Horseshoe Bay,
The ferry ready to go back to Townsville. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passion flower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, Cafe Nourish heart & soul food Horseshoe Bay,
The ferry leaves Nelly Bay. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passion flower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, Cafe Nourish heart & soul food Horseshoe Bay,
The port of Townsville. Photo by Author.


Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island National Park, Townsville, SeaLink passengers ferry, Secluded beaches, Boulders, Forest, Koala Population, Balding Bay and Radical Bay Magnetic Island, Hiking Magnetic Island, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, , Horseshoe Bay enclosure for swimming, green ants on Magnetic Island, Orange-petaled passion flower (Passiflora aurantia), two-coloured, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, Cafe Nourish heart & soul food Horseshoe Bay, Mount Castle in Townsville,
The dominant shape of Mount Castle in Townsville advises us we are back on the mainland. Photo by Author.


Reference

www.parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/magnetic-island
www.sealinkqld.com.au/ferry/timetables/magnetic-island
www.queensland.com/au/en/places-to-see/destinations/townsville/magnetic-island.html
www.sunbus.com.au/magnetic-island
www.alamy.com/orange-petaled-passion-flower-passiflora-aurantia-two-coloured-magnetic-island-queensland-australia-image278912783.html
www.facebook.com/cafenourishhsb

More articles by the Author

Queens Gardens
www.weekendnotes.com/queens-gardens-townsville

Castle Hill, Townsville
www.weekendnotes.com/castle-hill-townsville/

Little Crystal Creek and Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma Area
www.weekendnotes.com/little-crystal-creek

McClellands Lookout, Cloudy Creek Track, Witt's Lookout, Paluma Village
www.weekendnotes.com/paluma-range-national-park-townsville

A Journey in Paluma Village
www.weekendnotes.com/a-journey-to-paluma-village

Andree Griffin Hike, Paluma Village
www.weekendnotes.com/andree-griffin-hike-paluma-village

Birthday Creek Falls Hike, Paluma National Park
www.weekendnotes.com/birthday-creek-falls-hike-paluma-national-park

Jourama Falls Trail, Paluma National Park
www.weekendnotes.com/jourama-falls-trail-paluma-national-park

Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park
www.weekendnotes.com/wallaman-falls-girringun-national-park

TYTO Wetlands
www.weekendnotes.com/tyto-wetlands

JK's Delicatessen: Italian Deli and Cafe
www.weekendnotes.com/jks-delicatessen-ingham

Mercer Lane Mosaic
www.weekendnotes.com/mercer-lane-ingham

A Trip to Ayr, North Queensland
www.weekendnotes.com/ayr-north-queensland/

A Trip to Mount Morgan
www.weekendnotes.com/mount-morgan-queensland/

Targo Street Bakehouse
www.weekendnotes.com/targo-street-bakehouse-bundaberg
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  33
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Where: Magnetic Island
Your Comment
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists