Most Recent Magnetic Island Jobs
I have 3 tourist guest houses on 1/2acre garden.Looking for someone with high cleaning standards with 10 hours work for accomodation. I have a self contained caravan...
Hi Au Pairs!I am looking for someone to start ASAP.The important facts:- We are a family of 4 females. (Mum and 3 daughters aged 1, 3 and 6)- Our home...
Chef/Cook wanted for Restaurant on Magnetic Island.Starting ASAP40 hours per weekWork eligible to sign off the second year for Working Holiday Visa...
Hello I’m Marguerite, Looking for a friendly person with high cleaning skills to help with my 3 guest houses , 12 hours per week . I offer free rent in return. I...
We are currently looking for an experienced Restaurant Supervisor to help our Manager run the day to day operations of the business. You will be expected to manage the...
Located what seems like a stone’s throw (but is actually a few kilometres) from the shoreline of the North Queensland city of Townsville, Magnetic Island has been attracting visitors from the Australian mainland for millennia – pre-European settlement the Wulgurukaba people would swing by the island regularly.
It’s a tradition that continues to this day, albeit with a modern twist, with thousands of travellers seeking a slice of this truly unique tropical paradise. In good news for working holidaymakers, this strong tourist industry opens the door to a longer stay.
Should you do it? To find out, let’s find out all you need to know about Magnetic Island.
Where is Magnetic Island?
Magnetic Island is found just off the coast of Townsville, which itself is found a 15-hour, 1350km drive north of Brisbane. It lies on the east coast backpacker trail that stretches from Far North Queensland to Melbourne, Victoria. Like neighbouring Townsville, Magnetic Island has a tropical savannah climate, which is drier than most in North Queensland, and delivers average highs of 25-32C depending on the time of year.
Beyond its location on the Great Barrier Reef, Magnetic Island is known for its distinctive landscape – this isn’t your traditional white sand, palm tree situation (although you’ll find healthy servings of both around the island). Instead the scenery is dominated by large granite boulders, some as big as houses, and many precariously perched in the most Insta-worthy of ways.
The towns of Magnetic Island
The 2000-odd residents of Magnetic Island are spread across five small settlements.
The arrival point for the ferry, Nelly Bay is home to around half of the island’s residents, and is where you’ll find the most amenity. The island is small and relatively easy to get around, so Nelly Bay forms the ideal home base for both short-term and long-term visitors.
The island’s second largest town (population: ~500) lies on the northern part of the island. The namesake bay is stunning, all golden sand and turquoise water.
Next door neighbour to Nelly Bay, Arcadia encompasses Geoffrey Bay and Alma Bay, Magnetic Island’s two most famous beaches. Swim out from the sand at Geoffrey Bay and you’ll find yourself hovering over Magnetic Island Reef.
Go as far south as you can on Magnetic Island and you’ll arrive at Picnic Bay, a town as cute as the name suggests. This is an ideal spot for active types – there’s plenty of nature to explore, and it’s home to the island’s only golf course.
You’ll never guess where West Point is, unless of course you guessed the westernmost point of the island. While it’s a bold move to call this town of 32 people a town, this remote community is ideal for people who want to properly get away during their island stay.
Getting to and around Magnetic Island
In order to get to Magnetic Island you must first get to Townsville, which can be done by road (4.5 hours from Cairns, 15.5 hours from Brisbane) or by air (a direct flight from most Australian capitals).
From Townsville it’s a simple 10km/40 minute ferry ride from Breakwater Terminal in Townsville to Nelly Bay Terminal on Magnetic Island. The service is regular, with dozens of trips made every day. Head to the SeaLink website for the schedule.
Once on the island, you can get around by hire car, bus or taxi, though the last two options may not be as regular as a short-term visitor needs for an action-packed stay.
5 things to see and do on Magnetic Island
- The Forts: Such is its beauty and tranquillity that it’s hard to imagine Magnetic Island as a World War II command hub. The short hike to these ruins can bring some real perspective.
- Magnetic Island National Park: This park is hard to miss, as it occupies 70% of the island’s landmass. Littered with hiking trails and filled to the brim with stunning flora and fauna, a day’s hiking may not do the pristine nature justice.
- Hawkings Point Lookout: The southernmost point of the island offers one of its most stunning vistas, accessible by a gentle hike from Picnic Bay.
- 5-star snorkelling: Located within the Great Barrier Reef, no trip to Magnetic Island is complete without strapping on the snorkel. The island makes things easy for visitors by offering two self-guided underwater trails: one at Nelly Bay, the other at Geoffrey Bay.
- Geoffrey Bay rock wallabies: Prepare to overdose on cuteness when you arrive at the start of the Geoffrey Bay Snorkel Trail, home to rock wallabies who never say no to a tourist offering a carrot.
4 in-demand jobs on Magnetic Island
With the majority of the land set aside as national park, and the remainder split amongst the five communities, there is no farming, logging or heavy industry on Magnetic Island – the economy is entirely dependent on tourism. Working holidaymakers can find work in an array of traveller-focused businesses, from hotels to tour companies to car hire businesses.
Food and beverage
An industry that goes hand-in-hand with tourism, hospitality is big business on Magnetic Island, with local restaurants, bars and cafes forever on the hunt for cooks, waitstaff, bartenders and cleaners.
With so much area dedicated to preserving local ecosystems, Magnetic Island’s park rangers are set no small task in ensuring flora and fauna are kept safe and visitors follow all the rules. At certain times of year the local authorities will be on the hunt for extra help. Then there are the private sanctuaries, like Bungalow Bay Koala Village, which may also need an extra set of hands from time to time.
Magnetic Bay is proving a popular seachange for a range of people, from retirees to those who just want a fresh start in an exotic setting. A number of developments are currently under construction, so if you’re willing to pop on the hard hat and push some wheelbarrows, you may well find work. Those who boast a trade will find themselves particularly in-demand.