A complete travel guide to Geoffrey Bay Magnetic Island. Check out the underwater wrecks and meet the resident rock wallabies!
Geoffrey Bay on Magnetic Island is one of the best places near Townsville for snorkeling and checking out the unique Aussie wildlife. In this quick guide, I’ll outline everything you need to know about Geoffrey Bay, including how to get here and what to do once you arrive.
I’ve also written a comprehensive travel guide to Magnetic Island, so make sure to check that out too if you’re chasing more adventure ideas and inspiration on Maggie.
First: How to Get to Magnetic Island
Getting to Magnetic Island is as easy as a 40-minute ferry ride from Townsville.
The best ferry company is SeaLink, which has ferries operating roughly every hour from Townsville to Nelly Bay ferry terminal on Magnetic Island.
The cheapest SeaLink ticket can be booked online in advance on GetYourGuide, which gives you a scannable QR code to use on your phone when you board.
The cost of the return trip to Magnetic Island on SeaLink is $39 per adult with several concession options also available.
How to Get to Geoffrey Bay, Magnetic Island
Getting to Geoffrey Bay is only a short hop from the Nelly Bay Ferry Terminal. It'll only take around 20 minutes to walk, following the reef-speckled shoreline on Magnetic Island Road.
However, there are also regular buses that run around the island, usually on a one-hour schedule.
Those coming from Horseshoe Bay might need to consider a bus as the easiest way to get to Geoffrey Bay.
The cost of the bus ticket will be $2.80 for a single ride. However, I'd recommend buying a day pass for $7.60 which lets you take unlimited transport around Magnetic Island for the cost of less than three tickets.
Read about our sailing adventures to Maggie: Sailing Log Week 7
Snorkeling and Freediving at the Moltke Wreck in Geoffrey Bay
Looking to get into the water at Geoffrey Bay Magnetic Island? Fortunately for you, this is one of the best places to check out the underwater world.
The Moltke Wreck
Geoffrey Bay is the resting place of a large 50-meter wreck known as Moltke. This was a three-masted barque that came all the way from Hamburg in Germany. It sunk on the Australian East Coast in 1889 and was relocated to Geoffrey Bay, joining the many other wrecks on Magnetic Island.
It is now home to an abundance of sea life and coral. It's also very easy to get to for divers and snorkelers alike. The wreck sits in only five to eight meters of water, making it a novice site suitable to even beginner divers.
To get to the Moltke Wreck in Geoffrey Bay, you'll need to head to the small carpark at the end of Amand Way. Coincidentally, this is also the place where you'll be able to spot the rock wallabies.
Once there, enter the water at the boat ramp and swim approximately 50 meters offshore. The wreck is marked by floating buoys and is easy to find.
Where to Spot Rock Wallabies at Geoffrey Bay Magnetic Island
If you read the above, you'll know that the snorkeling entry point is also the best place to spot rock wallabies at Geoffrey Bay Magnetic Island.
If you don't immediately spot any, you can walk further around the rocks, passing a balancing rock tunnel. These rock wallabies are much smaller than other wallabies and kangaroos that you might be used to seeing, so keep a sharp eye out.
They are quite used to human interaction, but it's best to not feed them in order to prevent them from becoming reliant on human feeding.
Don't Miss Florence Bay
If you've got a bit of time on Magnetic Island, then make sure to also visit Florence Bay. It's best to take the bus from Geoffrey Bay and stop at the Forts Walk bus stop. You can then take the scenic hike past Arthur Bay and into Florence Bay.
There is plenty of good snorkeling in both Florence and Arthur Bays.
Where to Stay on Magnetic Island
Below I've summarised the three best places to stay on Magnetic Island for various budgets. The links go to Booking.com, which is what I personally always use to book the best deals on accommodation.
- Stay at the Koala Sanctuary: Bungalow Bay Koala Village - This hostel is one of the best-rated budget accommodation options on Magnetic Island. It has a good chill-out area, pool and of course, the on-site koalas.
- Best Hostel With a View: Base Backpackers - Base Backpackers is a name synonymous with budget travel in Australia. This hostel has shared rooms for under $35 a night. Rooms are actually small cottages and overlook the reef right on the water's edge in Nelly Bay.
- Best Guest House for Couples: CStay in Picnic Bay - One of the best value accommodation options for couples is Cstays in Picnic Bay. There are several twin rooms for less than $65 per night.
Beyond Geoffrey Bay: More Things to do On Magnetic Island
I hope that you found this quick guide to visiting the rock wallabies and snorkelling on the wrecks at Geoffrey Bay, Magnetic Island. If you're after more adventure inspiration for Maggie, make sure to check out some of my other travel guides below too.
Tuesday 18th of May 2021
Thank you for all the info and great photos We are heading to magnetic next month and not been for over 30 years, we went whilst back pan king many moons ago. It’s really helped me work out what to do and where to spend time. Cheers and happy travels.
Tuesday 18th of May 2021
Awesome Jen have a great time on Maggie!