This was a really enjoyable 3 night getaway for some R&R. Townsville is a big regional town, but the main street was quite quiet when I was there. Possibly due to it being the cusp of the hot, humid and rainy season, but Uber drivers also spoke of them going through an economic downturn. 1 night felt plenty to cover Townsville.
Magnetic Island can be done as a day trip and it’s a very small island, but really beautiful. There were lots of longer hikes that I didn’t do and bays that can be accessed only by 4WD which I didn’t have, but I felt like I covered it quite well. 2 nights would be the max I’d want to stay there, particularly as the food really wasn’t that good.
Day 1 – Sydney to Townsville
Sydney to Townsville Flight – Virgin – Depart 10:30am Friday, Arrive 12:15pm (2hr 45min fight time, but gained an hour due to no daylight savings in QLD, $390 return).
Received complimentary upgrade to an exit row.
Taxi from Airport to the Ville Casino Resort ($24). Check in to Executive King Ocean Room for one night ($193).
Walk into town (1.7kms) for graffiti street art self-guided walking tour.
Light lunch at Shaw & Co Char & Bar at City Lane on Flinders St in the centre of town.
Uber back to hotel ($9)
Afternoon at the hotel pool, with swim up bar…
Dinner at Seasoned Restaurant on Palmer St. Uber there and back ($10 each way).
Day 2 – Townsville to Magnetic Island
Uber to Palmer St ($8) for Breakfast at Jam.
Walk back to hotel, check out and walk to wharf.
Ferry to Magnetic Island ($33 return) Depart 8:45am, 25min journey https://www.sealinkqld.com.au/timetables/magnetic-island.
Drop bags at hotel – Peppers Blue on Blue in Nelly Bay. ‘Superior Hotel’ room $328 on offer from Hotels.com for 2 nights.
Pick up hire car from Tropical Topless Car Rental in Nelly Bay. Barbie Car $90 per 24 hour rental.
Drive around island exploring.
Lunch at Picnic Bay Hotel.
Visit IGA for snacks.
Swim in Hotel Lagoon Pool.
Dinner at hotel restaurant, Boardwalk.
Day 3 – Magnetic Island
Early start to arrive at the Forts Walk at 7am as apparently the Koalas are most active early morning and at dusk….but only see one Koala sleeping.
Return to hotel for buffet breakfast.
Return Barbie Car. Hire Mini Moke ($120 for 24 hours).
Explore island in Moke.
Get gelato from Adele’s cafe. I think 2 very generous scoops in a waffle cone was $9.
Return to Hotel for swim in smaller hotel pool.
Drive to Horseshoe Bay for swim protected by stinger nets (stinger season is Nov to April).
Fish & chips on the beach from Horseshoe Bay Fish & Chips.
Return to hotel for a night swim in smaller pool (open until 10:30pm).
Day 4 – Magnetic Island to Townsville, to Sydney
Breakfast by the beach at The Early Bird.
10:15am Ferry back to Townsville.
Taxi to airport ($20).
Townsville to Sydney Flight – Virgin – Depart 12:35pm Monday, Arrive 4:15pm (2hr 40min flight time, but lost an hour due to daylight savings in NSW).
Received complimentary upgrade to EconomyX (premium economy).