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Discover the Best Beaches on Magnetic Island

Updated: May 30

Just off the coast of Queensland, Magnetic Island is a beautiful tropical paradise with some of the most pristine beaches and the best natural beauty of the top area of Queensland. Located on the Great Barrier Reef, the 23 incredible bays and beaches across the island offer the opportunity to snorkel, partake in some water activities or just relax for an afternoon. Here’s a guide to some of the best beaches on Magnetic Island that you won’t want to miss.

Horseshoe Bay

One of the largest bays on Magnetic Island, Horseshoe Bay is the most popular beach on Magnetic Island. It's size offers the ability to enjoy lots of water sports including jet skiing, kayaking, and sailing to start. If you would like to enjoy something other than water sports, the bay has lots of waterfront cafes, restaurants and shops to visit across the day. If you are interested in joining in a boat tour, most depart from Horseshoe Bay take a look at some of the best boat tours here! The calm waters make it ideal for swimming, while the expansive sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing and picnicking.

Alma Bay

Alma Bay is a family favourite, due to its safe swimming ability with shallower waters and beautiful surrounding rocks. Located in the little village of Arcadia, the beach has lifeguards, perfect for when little ones are wanting to go swimming. Alma bay has lots of grassed areas with public BBQ facilities around the beach perfect for a family picnic. The waters are crystal-clear ready for incredible snorkling with marine life close to the shore. The beautiful scenery offers a fun and relaxing day out for the whole family.

Radical Bay

Accessible by a hiking trail or 4WD vehicle, Radical Bay is one of the more secluded beaches on the island. This beach offers a relaxing and calm day for all of those adventure seekers who enjoy the journey through the island to this quiet beach. Offering beautiful lush greenery and big rock formations around the bay, the serene beach is the perfect option if you are looking to escape the crowds on the island. The clear waters are ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Florence Bay

Florence Bay is a favorite among snorkelers and divers, thanks to its vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine life. This picturesque bay is accessible via a walking track, providing a sense of seclusion and adventure. The beach itself is a stunning stretch of golden sand, framed by rocky outcrops and dense vegetation. Underwater, you’ll find a variety of marine life including colorful fish, making it a snorkeler’s paradise. Whether you’re exploring the reefs or simply relaxing on the shore, Florence Bay offers an unforgettable beach experience.

Geoffrey Bay

Geoffrey Bay is not just a beautiful beach, but also a hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts. This bay is famous for its population of rock wallabies, which can often be seen grazing near the rocky headlands at dusk. Geoffrey Bay’s calm waters are perfect for snorkeling, with plenty of coral and marine life to discover just off the shore. The bay is also home to the Moltke Wreck, a sunken ship that provides an interesting snorkeling and diving site. For those interested in marine biology, Geoffrey Bay offers a fascinating glimpse into the underwater world.

Balding Bay

Balding Bay is one of Magnetic Island’s most secluded beaches, known for its pristine natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere. Accessible only by foot via a hiking trail from Horseshoe Bay, this hidden cove is a haven for those seeking solitude. The hike to Balding Bay is a rewarding experience in itself, offering stunning views and a chance to immerse yourself in the island’s lush landscape. Upon arrival, you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach surrounded by granite boulders and crystal-clear waters. Balding Bay’s remote location ensures a peaceful and intimate beach experience.

Picnic Bay

Picnic Bay is a charming beach with lots of history, once serving as the main arrival point for visitors to Magnetic Island. Today, is a great beach if jetty fishing is on the cards for your visit. The beach is ideal for swimming, with calm waters and a gentle slope. Picnic Bay also has a number of dining options and amenities nearby, making it a convenient and enjoyable spot for a day at the beach. The picturesque setting and historical charm of Picnic Bay make it a must-visit on Magnetic Island.

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