magnetic island ferry, ferry to magnetic island, magnetic island ferries, magnetic island car ferry

Everything you need to know about the Magnetic Island Ferry!

Magnetic Island is an isolated island located 8km offshore from the coastal town of Townsville in Queensland, Australia.

The best way to reach the island from Townsville is with the Magnetic Island Ferry which takes just 25-minutes on the passenger ferry or 45-minutes on the car ferry.

This 52km² rocky island with only 2000 residents really has it all, and you’ll certainly enjoy yourself there. If you’re looking for a tropical holiday with lots of amazing things to do, Magnetic Island is the right place for you when visiting the Townsville Region.

In this guide, I have included all the information you need to know about where to book the Magnetic Island ferry, a breakdown of ticket prices, Magnetic Island ferry timetables, and much more!


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Please see below for a brief overview of what you will find in this Magnetic Island Ferry blog post:

  • How to get to Magnetic Island
  • Where to book the ferry to Magnetic Island
  • Magnetic Island Ferry prices 
  • Magnetic Island Ferry timetable
  • Magnetic Island Ferry terminal location


Magnetic Island 120Maggie Island



A common question for most visitors is, ‘How to get to Magnetic Island?’

Reaching the island is certainly not a challenge, and it’s as simple as jumping on either the passenger ferry or the Magnetic Island car ferry to make the trip over to this tropical paradise.

If you’re coming from any city in Australia, the closest airport to Magnetic Island is Townsville (TSV).

From the airport, you can reach the Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal in Breakwater, Townsville by taking a taxi which will cost you around $20 to $22, or you can book a shuttle which will cost you $10 to $20 depending on the number of people.

Another option is to rent a car from Townsville Airport and take the car ferry to Magnetic Island.

Click here to see the exact location of the Breakwater Ferry Terminal on Google Maps.

magnetic island ferry, ferry to magnetic island, magnetic island ferries, magnetic island car ferryFerry Magnetic Island



The best place to book a Magnetic Island Ferry ticket is online from one of two different ferry companies which are Sealink and Magnetic Island Ferries.

While you can book your tickets at Breakwater Ferry Terminal in Townsville upon arrival, you can also check the Magnetic Island ferry prices online and book in advance which, in my opinion, is far more convenient.

The Magnetic Island ferry companies offer either passenger travel or car travel.

Magnetic Island Ferries is the best pick if you’re planning on taking your vehicle over to the island, and Sealink is the best pick if you’re traveling to Maggie Island as a passenger.

It’s important to note that return trip tickets are open-ended up until 30 days from the purchase date. This is super convenient if you fall in love with the place and want to stay longer on Magnetic Island. Just make sure to ring the ferry office a day or two in advance to book your return ticket as spots on the ferry fill up quite quickly. 

If you’re traveling as a passenger to Magnetic Island, you can park your car at the Breakwater Ferry Terminal for only $7.50 for 24 hours. Needless to say, that’s quite an affordable price to pay so you enjoy paradise for a few more days.



The most popular Magnetic Island ferry company is Sealink QLD, offering regular ferry service throughout the day (read till the end to learn more). Sealink QLD is a passenger-only service and offers different types of tickets such as family tickets, student tickets, and other packages.

Sealink is the better Magnetic Island ferry than its competitor, specifically for passenger tickets. The booking process on their website is easy, user-friendly, and straight-forward. They accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express to please everyone. On the other hand, you can also buy your ticket at the terminal upon arrival.

The journey from Townsville to Magnetic Island with Sealink takes approximately 25 minutes and a return trip ticket will cost you $30.




Magnetic Island Ferries also has a very easy booking process, however, prices are more expensive if you’re planning on taking a vehicle over to the island (more on this below).

Just like Sealink, it’s best to book your Magnetic Island ferry tickets online in advance as it saves you cash and certainly some precious time.

To book your ticket with Magnetic Island Ferries, simply visit their website, select your dates of travel, choose your type of vehicle including length, and make a payment.

Magnetic Island 10Alma Bay, Magnetic Island



There are different Magnetic Island ferry prices available that you need to be aware of that will ultimately save you money, and can be better spent on a hotel or other island experiences.

As mentioned before, the two companies that sell Magnetic Island ferry tickets are Sealink QLD and Magnetic Island Ferries.

Sealink gives you the option to travel from Townsville to Magnetic Island as a passenger and simply leave your car on the mainland at Breakwater Ferry Terminal in Townsville.

Magnetic Island Ferries gives you the option to take your car over to the island by purchasing a Magnetic Island car ferry ticket. This allows you convenient access to the island and to explore with your own set of wheels.

In addition, if you’re looking to purchase a ticket with Magnetic Island Ferries, the process is simple. Just select your dates, the type of vehicle (car, motorbike), and make a payment.


Magnetic Island Ferry Prices – For Passengers:

  • Adult (return) $30
  • Concession (return) $17
  • Child 5-14 years (return) $17
  • Student (return) $22.50
  • Family (return) $76


Magnetic Island Ferry Prices – For Cars:

  • Standard Car up to 5.5m (return) $108
  • Motorbike with rider and passenger (return) $64
  • Walk-on passengers (return) $30


Magnetic IslandBreakwater Ferry Terminal in Townsville



I mentioned the Magnetic Island Ferry timetable above, but let’s now dig a little deeper into it.



Let’s start with the timetable for the Sealink Ferry Magnetic Island.

Sealink offers endless options to get from Townsville to Magnetic Island from 5:30 am until 9:15 pm from Monday to Friday.

However, on Saturdays and Sundays, their schedule is a little more limited but still has over 10 trips available. 

On the other hand, if you’re planning a return trip from Magnetic Island to Townsville, the timetable will be just as flexible with over 10 trips available 7 days a week.

See the full Sealink Magnetic Island Ferry timetable here.



The other popular Magnetic Island Ferry company is Magnetic Island Ferries which is just as convenient. They offer ferries from as early as 5.00 am and until 7.00 pm. 

See the full Magnetic Island Ferries timetable here.



Nelly Bay is not only the tourism hub but it’s also home to Magnetic Island’s Ferry Terminal which connects visitors from Townsville. Nelly Bay is also the main residential area which is a great spot to spend some time wandering around or snorkeling the reef before heading off to explore more of the island.

The first departure from Nelly Bay back to Townsville is at 6:00 am with Sealink and 6:05 am with Magnetic Island Ferries.

The last departure is at 10.00 pm with Sealink and at 8.00 pm with Magnetic Island Ferries. Make sure to check out their respective timetable before as some days might be unavailable or even sold out.

Additionally, there are single access keyed lockers available at the Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal in Nelly Bay from 8 am till 6 pm. That’s certainly something to keep in mind if you’re planning to take the ferry to Magnetic Island early in the morning and traveling back to Townsville later in the evening.

Other than that, it’s good for you to know that there are plenty of things to do around Nelly Bay. For instance, go on a boat cruise around Magnetic Island, enjoy authentic and delicious seafood from one of the seaside restaurants, or simply tan at the beach.

If you’re spending a few days on Maggie Island, I’d recommend booking a night here to enjoy the amazing activities before heading back to Townsville the day after.


Magnetic Island 45Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island



This was the full guide and everything you need to know about the different Magnetic Island ferry options, with the convenience and the multiple trips of Sealink QLD, to the car ferry to Magnetic Island.

In summary, taking a Magnetic Island ferry with one of these two companies is both easy and affordable. 

I hope this guide has answered all of your questions and enjoy your trip to Magnetic Island!





The coastline and hinterland areas along the east coast of Australia boast countless beaches, lakes, waterfalls, hikes and many more fun-fuelled adventures waiting to be had!

This is what Australia is all about and what I love to share with you in my detailed destination guides.

Click on the links below to see more related posts:



One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Australia Travel Guide!


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Jonny Melon
Jonny Melon

Hey, I’m Jonny – surfer, skater, photographer, and coffee-lover from Australia!

With a burning passion for travel and the outdoors, I launched this Adventure Travel Blog in 2017, and I’ve been exploring the world ever since!

My little corner of the interwebs is a space where I love to share all of my epic adventures, cultural experiences, and captivating photos from around the globe with the ultimate goal to inspire and motivate other like-minded travelers to explore this wonderful earth too!

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