Magnetic Island's Best Bus tour

Magnetic Island's Best Bus tour

Our flagship tour! This is a 5 hour fully guided bus tour with 1 hour free time at the popular lunch and swimming spot, Horseshoe Bay. You’ll visit all the major sights including one or two secret spots some locals don’t even know about. Throughout the day you’ll learn about history, geography, flora, fauna and what life it is like to live on an island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. All this, with the spectacular scenery of Magnetic Island as your backdrop.

Magnetic island is a wildlife lovers paradise. There are about 800 wild Koalas to find, and you’ll probably see some wallabies lazing in the sun. We have over 180 identified bird species and 141 fish species locally for you to discover.  Throw in some sightings of whales in Cleveland Bay during the winter months and you are unlikely to be disappointed, though we can never guarantee sightings.

  • $45 AUD for Seniors
  • $50 AUD for Adults
  • $25 AUD for Children (5-14)
  • Children under 5 free
  • Australian Companion Card Holder accepted
  • Group Discounts Available


  • Depart Nelly Bay Ferry Terminal 10:05 am daily except Thursdays (check for availability)
  • Return: Nelly Bay Ferry Terminal 2:45pm in time for the 3pm Sealink depature
  • Includes 1 hour free time at Horseshoe Bay


  • Transport in an air conditioned coach.
  • One awesome Tour Guide!

Not included:

  • Lunch and morning tea
  • Entry to Aquasearch Aquarium – $3 per person. Cash only

Group Size:

  • 21 Maximum
  • Our bus can also accommodate 18 + 1 or 2 wheelchairs (prior notification required)

What to bring:

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Spending money (some venues are cash only)
  • Drinking water during the warmer months
  • A sense of fun
Tour Itinerary (subject to change depending on weather and season)
1 – Nelly Bay Ferry Terminal
After boarding the bus at Nelly Bay terminal you will meet your friendly local guide who will escort you throughout the day. Our guides are all locals, with a depth of knowledge about life on the island. After a brief introduction you will make your way through Nelly Bay to the western side of the island. On the way you’ll get some background facts on the island and an introduction to the geography and fauna.
2 – Cockle Bay and Picnic Bay
Having climbed the hill past Rocky Bay Beach lookout (with an excellent photo opportunity) you will descend into Picnic Bay, the oldest neighbourhood on the island to learn about the early settlers and some of the stories from its history. You will stop at the Picnic Bay museum and craft shop (closed during wet season) to delve deeper into some of the main characters of the island, and learn about our heritage listed Picnic Bay Jetty.
3 – Nelly Bay
Leaving the early settlers behind we retrace our steps back to Nelly Bay where there will be an opportunity for a short toilet and coffee break. The bus will make its way over Arcadia hill where you will be rewarded with stunning views across Cleveland Bay towards the Coral sea
4 – Arcadia / Geoffrey Bay
No visit to the Maggie would be complete without a stop at Geoffrey Bay to see if you can find some of our extremely cute Allied Rock Wallabies. These wallabies are found only in Northern Queensland between Townsville and the Burdekin River. Geoffrey Bay is also an opportunity to get out of the bus and get up close and personal with our incredible rock formations.
5 – Horseshoe Bay
Climbing the long steep hill towards Horseshoe Bay you will get some breathtaking views across the island. You will then head down the other side into the old farming precinct before we stop for an hour’s free time in Horseshoe Bay where a variety of food is available. During the winter when the butterflies are around we will definitely visit the Butterfly forest for a short bush walk. Its an experience not to be missed and great balm for the soul. Horseshoe Bay also offers year round swimming with a safe swimming enclosure in place during the summer months. An excellent place to cool off if you bring your swimmers.
5 – Aquasearch / Return to the Ferry
After lunch you will return to the Ferry, giving you the chance to catch those incredible views once more. This time though we will head through the back of Arcadia, along pretty Hayles avenue with a short stop at Aquasearch Aquarium ($3 entry fee, cash only) before meeting the 3pm depature to Townsville.

*Prices are subject to change from 1st April 2019

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