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    How to Get to Magnetic Island by Car Hire

    Island travel in magnetic island AU banner

    Magnetic Island is an island on the North Queensland Coast with over 20 stunning beaches. The island has a resident population of approximately 2,500 people and a beautiful collection of holiday resorts. More than half of the Island is designated national park, with Mt. Cook in the centre. The park serves as a perfect sanctuary for wildlife, including koalas, rock wallabies and a broad range of bird-life. There are also 24 kilometres of walking track through the park with many breathtaking lookouts.

    Getting to Magnetic Island With a Rental Car

    Magnetic Island is just 8 kilometres offshore of Townsville. Access is via a car or passenger ferry. The vehicle ferry is operated by Fantasea Cruising. It operates from 6am to 6pm on weekdays, and 6am to 4pm on weekends. This is the only car ferry connecting Magnetic Island to the mainland.

    You may hire a car in Townsville and travel on the Fantasea vehicle ferry. However, note that only Europcar and Thrifty permit travel to Magnetic Island on the ferry - any insurances are null and void whilst vehicles are being loaded on or off the ferries, or while on the ferry. Renters travel on the ferry service at their own risk. Note also that these two ferry services depart from opposite sides of the river. Both services arrive on Magnetic Island at the Nelly Bay Ferry Terminal.

    Getting Around the Island

    From Nelly Bay, you will be able to follow Horseshoe Bay Road to the north side of the island. Parts of West Point Road are unsealed, so you will not be able to take your rental car to the western side of Magnetic Island. You'll find plenty of accommodation options available on the island, as well as hiking and cycling trails so you can explore the area in more depth.

    Magnetic Island Top 3

    map pin iconDiving: Magnetic Island is home to some fantastic diving sights, including the SS Yongala shipwreck. It is rated among the best sites of its kind in the world.
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    map pin iconMagnetic Island National Park: More than half of the island is a protected national park. Visitors can explore the park on foot along one of the walking tracks. The Forts Walk is one of the best introductory walks, offering great coastal views.
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    map pin iconHorseshoe Bay: If it is water sports you are after, there is no better place on the island than Horseshoe Bay. Visitors can hire equipment such as jet skis, canoes and kayaks.

     Important Information:

    To reach Magnetic Island . . . 

    Certain car rental companies will allow you to take their vehicles to Magnetic Island, with prior authorisation. The best place to collect your rental car is Townsville, as Magnetic Island is located just offshore. 

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