Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island – Visitor’s Guide

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Horseshoe Bay is located on the breathtaking Magnetic Island. Boasting 3km of beautiful beaches, partnered with taverns, cafes, restaurants, and a vast range of outdoor activities, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island really is a slice of heaven!

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know including how to get there, the best things to do, where to stay, and much more!

I guarantee by the end of this blog post, you’ll feel like you have no other choice than to book a trip to Magnetic Island – it’s quite simply perfect!

horseshoe bay magnetic island, magnetic island horseshoe bay

WHERE IS HORSESHOE BAY MAGNETIC ISLAND

Horseshoe Bay is located on the north side of Magnetic Island, sandwiched between Balding Bay and Lover’s Bay.

Click here to see the Google maps pin location.

The best way to reach the island from Townsville is with the Magnetic Island Ferry, which takes just 25-minutes on the passenger ferry or 45-minutes on the car ferry.

GET YOUR TICKET → MAGNETIC ISLAND FERRY

Since the ferry ride from Townsville is only 25-minutes long, you could technically visit Maggie just for a day. However, I highly recommend spending at least 3 – 7 days here as there are so many awesome things to do on Magnetic Island that you don’t want to miss!

FULL BLOG POST → HOW TO GET TO MAGNETIC ISLAND

magnetic island, things to do on magnetic island, things to do in magnetic island, magnetic island australia, magnetic island queensland, horseshoe bay, horseshoe bay magnetic islandThe beautiful bay

magnetic island ferry, ferry to magnetic island, magnetic island ferries, magnetic island car ferryMagnetic Island Ferry

 

HOW TO GET TO HERE

To get around the island, you can easily hire a car, jump on the public bus, book a tour, rent a bike, or use your own vehicle.

RELATED ARTICLE: MAGNETIC ISLAND CAR HIRE

There is easy road access to Horsehoe Bay, making it suitable to drive directly to the shorefront and park your car in any of the free parking spaces along the beach.

Fun Fact: Magnetic Island is home to 23 beaches and bays, each one more beautiful than the other. Two-thirds of the island is a protected national park, and part of the World-heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

magnetic island, things to do on magnetic island, things to do in magnetic island, magnetic island australia, magnetic island queensland, magnetic island car hireCruising around Magnetic Island

 

BEST TIME TO VISIT HORSESHOE BAY

Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island really is a great all-rounder. It’s great to visit at any time of the day but is particularly perfect for capturing an epic sunset.

The first ferry to the island from Townsville is 5:30 am and the last one back at night is 10:00 pm, so you really do have a wide variety of options when it comes to planning what time of day to visit Magnetic Island Horseshoe Bay.

There is so much to see and do, I would suggest getting there early in the morning and setting aside an entire day to explore Magnetic Island and more specifically, Horseshoe Bay.

RELATED ARTICLE → 30 THINGS TO DO ON MAGNETIC ISLAND

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horseshoe bay magnetic island, magnetic island horseshoe baySunset over the bay

 

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FACILITIES AT HORSESHOE BAY

There really is so much to do on Magnetic Island but Horseshoe Bay, in particular, has it all. You could easily head straight here and spend the entire day enjoying everything that this bay has to offer!

See below for a list of facilities you can expect to find:

Public Toilets & Showers

  • Perfect for if you are darting on and off the beach, you’ve got all the essential amenities to get changed, freshen up, and even take a shower before heading into the town to explore the shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Picnic Areas

  • If you’ve come prepared with your own food, which is a super cost-effective way of traveling, then you really won’t be short of space. With open, clean, and comfortable picnic areas you have somewhere to sit yourself down and enjoy a spot of lunch.

Close To Shops

  • The great thing about Horseshoe Bay is that it’s so close to all the shops and cafes. If you have forgotten something like sunscreen or need to go grab some food or drink, you haven’t got far to travel at all. This is what makes the bay so popular.

Bars, Restaurants & Cafes

  • Talking of it being close to everything, Horseshoe Bay offers a great range of cafes, bars, and restaurants. Whether you just want to grab yourself an iced coffee to cool yourself down and give you some energy, park yourself up at one of the restaurants for lunch, or perhaps you want to wind down at a bar with your friends and your favorite Beer. All of this is just a stone’s throw away from Magnetic Island Horseshoe Bay.

Horseshoe Bay Accommodation Magnetic Island

  • Had a little too much to drink? A little too exhausted from the sun? Or are you just having too much fun you don’t want to leave the island? Whatever it may be, Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island is home to some great accommodation options, meaning there is no need to leave and rush back home. Book yourselves a stay in one of the hotels or AirBnB’s and extend your trip to give you more time to explore.

horseshoe bay magnetic island, magnetic island horseshoe bayThe beautiful shoreline

horseshoe bay magnetic island, magnetic island horseshoe bayThe main street at Horseshoe Bay

horseshoe bay magnetic island, magnetic island horseshoe bayPristine beaches at Horseshoe Bay

 

THINGS TO DO AT HORSESHOE BAY

Whether you’re here for a beach day or an adventure, to shop in the markets, or to eat in the restaurants, there is something here for everyone.

Please see below for a list of 7 Awesome Things To Do At Horsehoe Bay Magnetic Island:

 

HORSESHOE BAY MARKETS

Every second and last Sunday of the month, from 9 am – 2 pm, you can visit the Magnetic Island Horseshoe Bay markets.

Spend the morning looking around the markets, buying gifts for yourself or your loved ones, and chatting away with local stall owners. This is a really great way of getting involved with the community and supporting local businesses.

RELATED ARTICLE → 7 BEST MAGNETIC ISLAND TOURS

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WATER SPORTS

Looking for something a little more wild? Horseshoe Bay is the home to some of the best water sports on Magnetic Island.

From kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to sailing and jet skiing, there are plenty of water sports to try!

Chill out on a paddleboard taking in the epic views of the bay or get your adrenaline pumping and throw it around on a jet ski for the afternoon. The possibilities are endless!

Just like me, I’d recommend taking your GoPro to take some awesome shots on the jetski

hamilton island, things to do in hamilton island, hamilton island things to do, hamilton island activities, what to do on hamilton islandJetskiing tour

 

MARLIN BAR TAVERN

Looking for live music and a chill vibe paired with generous portions of delicious food and great views? Marlin Bar Tavern in Horsehoe Bay Magnetic Island is where you’ll want to go!

The variety of meals is excellent and so is their drink menu. Whether you fancy a cold beer, a glass of wine, or a tropical cocktail, the bartender at Marlin Bar has got you covered.

Try their juicy burgers, served on a toasted brioche bun with hot, crunchy chips, and recharge your batteries before you continue your adventures.

You can enjoy their tasty meals and good vibes Monday to Friday from 10:00 am – Late, and  Saturday to Sunday from 8:00 am – Late.

Just make sure you call ahead and book a table as it can get very busy, especially on the weekends. Marlin Bar Tavern is also pet friendly, so if you’re traveling with your pup, bring them along for fun too.

941d405e 069e 4563 a2ab f6fdc74c0593Marlin Bar Tavern Horseshoe Bay

 

KOALA VILLAGE

One for the animal lovers. Koala Village is home to the famous Koala Bear.

Koala Village is an eco-accredited site where you can take a guided tour, learn all about the Koalas, and get an up-close encounter with one of the bears.

Not only does this make for a great tourist spot, but you can also spend the night here and wake up in the morning to enjoy your breakfast right next to the Koalas. What a way to wake up and be sure to bring your camera gear to capture the moment!

magnetic island, things to do on magnetic island, things to do in magnetic island, magnetic island australia, magnetic island queenslandMagnetic Island Koala

 

MAGNETIC ISLAND TIME CRUISE

If you’ve got a day spare on the island, I would highly recommend the Magnetic Island Time Cruise, stopping at a few of the different bays with a heavy focus on Horseshoe Bay.

Spend the day on board with a heap of different activities. These activities will include fishing, snorkeling, sightseeing, and learning the history of the island and the bays, then finishing it off with sunset drinks.

This is a great, unique way to spend the day, and don’t forget to bring your quick-dry towel to dry off after a snorkel.

The Whitsundays 4Cruising around Magnetic Island

 

SLACKLINING AT HORSESHOE BAY

Have you ever tried slacklining? If not, you most definitely should give it a crack!

During my visit to Magnetic Island, my friends and I found a permanently installed slackline down on the shorefront at Horseshoe Bay that’s available for anyone to use.  

Balancing on a line tied between two palm trees is a lot harder than it looks, but makes up for a very fun activity and the advantage of doing it at the beach – when you fall off you land in the sand.

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magnetic island, things to do on magnetic island, things to do in magnetic island, magnetic island australia, magnetic island queensland, horseshoe bay, horseshoe bay magnetic islandSlacklining at Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island

 

HORSE RIDING AT HORSESHOE BAY

Enjoy the scenic beauty of Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island, its abundant wildlife, beautiful beach, and lush hinterland, followed by a thrilling bareback ride with your horse in the cool clear waters of the Coral Sea.

Horseshoe Bay Ranch offers tours for riders of all abilities. There are plenty of opportunities to trot and canter for intermediate and advanced riders, but not to worry if you are a beginner.

It’s an amazing experience to ride along the tracks through the eucalyptus forest on a paradise island while spying on koalas and wallabies in the wild. There’s nothing quite like it.

There are two tours available every day, one at 9 am and the other at 3 pm. Bookings are essential, and it’s mentioned on their website that weight restrictions apply to ensure the health and happiness of the horses.

The price for a 2-hour Magnetic Island horse riding experience is $120 per person.

Maggie Island 2Horse riding on Magnetic Island

 

WHERE TO STAY ON MAGNETIC ISLAND

There are dozens of accommodation options to choose from on Maggie Island, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.

See the list of Magnetic Island accommodations below that I personally recommend:

LUXURY: PEPPERS BLUE ON BLUE

CHECK PRICES ON BOOKING.COM

CHECK PRICES ON AGODA

96348 14112112500023524378
 

MID RANGE: DANDALOO GARDENS

CHECK PRICES ON BOOKING.COM

CHECK PRICES ON AGODA

330258239

 

BUDGET: BUNGALOW BAY KOALA VILLAGE YHA

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CHECK PRICES ON AGODA

400317 17040208060052087094 

FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN MAGNETIC ISLAND, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM

 

MAP OF MAGNETIC ISLAND

magnetic island map

 

WHAT TO PACK FOR MAGNETIC ISLAND

When visiting Magnetic Island, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you;

  • Sunscreen – the Australian sun is very strong, so make sure to pack some high-quality sunscreen.
  • Quick-dry travel towel – a must for drying off after a dip in the ocean or lying out on the sand.
  • Reusable water bottle – stay hydrated by bringing along a reusable water bottle.
  • Dry bag – protect your gadgets from any water damage while you’re at the beach.

If you’re interested in taking awesome photos and videos on your travels, this is the camera gear that I use and recommend;

  • GoPro HERO10 – the most popular camera on the planet for action-packed adventures.
  • Canon EOS R – perfect for traveling, this is the most affordable, compact camera on the market.
  • DJI Mini 3 Pro – take your photos and videos to new heights with this user-friendly drone camera.

 

MORE AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDES

The east coast of Australia boast countless beaches, lakes, waterfalls, hikes, and many more fun-fuelled adventures waiting to be had!

This is what Australia is all about and what I love to share with you in my detailed destination guides.

Click on the links below to see more related posts:

 

TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!

  • BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
  • SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
  • VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
  • BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
  • RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
  • GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
  • TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free

Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I can’t talk highly enough of this beautiful bay and I hope from this guide you will have all the information you need to have an epic adventure during your time on the island.

Whether you’re a solo backpacker, traveling as a couple, or whether you’re taking a trip with the entire family, you know you’re never going to be short of things to see and do here in the bay.

If you have any questions at all about Magnetic Island Horseshoe Bay, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can! For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.

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THANKS FOR READING

Hey friend, thanks for reading this guide!

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