The western portion of Magnetic Island is dominated by Magnetic Island National Park which covers over half of the island’s land area. The Aboriginal Wulgurukaba people, ‘canoe people’, have lived here for thousands of years, naming the island ‘Yunbenun’. Evidence of their presence can be found in the form of shell middens, stone tools, and art sites.
Magnetic Island was connected to the mainland until 7,500 years ago when ocean levels rose to separate the island, which lies only 8km offshore from Townsville in Northern Queensland. Granite is the predominate rock found here, with headlands forming 23 beaches and bays, some of which can only be reached by boat or on foot.
The park contains extensive and varied forests of hoop pines and eucalypt woodlands and is home to rock-wallabies, koalas, and many species of birdlife. Turtles nest on sandy beaches and dugongs make use of the park’s seagrass beds. Other natural features of the park include mangrove communities and a fringing coral reef.