Magnetic Island Informer

marine life

Off the shores of Cockle, Picnic, Nelly, Geoffrey, Arthur and Florence Bays fringing reefs of hard and soft corals support numerous small fish and invertebrates. The waters surrounding Magnetic Island also nourish extensive Sea grass meadows, essential as fish nurseries and providing habitat for the sea turtles and dugongs. During the summer months, sea turtles nest on the Island’s beaches. Magnetic Island is classified as an Inshore Fringing Reef, dominated by corals which are adapted to the turbid water conditions found close to the coast. Many of these reefs also have a substantial cover of the dark seaweed Sargassum.

The optimum areas of coral growth are found in the reef slopes where diverse and fascinating ecosystems thrive.  More than 150 species of fish inhabit the reefs around Magnetic Island, awarding snorkellers the opportunity for an intimate and exclusive reef encounter.

Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
As a part of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Magnetic Island has an impressive variety of dive sites and snorkelling opportunities to suit any style. The fringing coral reefs and profuse marine life are easy and comfortable to explore in the warm and moderately shallow waters. The beaches provide a simple entry point for a relaxed offshore snorkel or dive. Boat diving is just as straightforward with the various secluded bays providing ample anchorage points. For the more serious diver, the Island’s waters boast an extensive array of shipwrecks, begging to be explored.

A must see experience for the skilled and student diver while on Magnetic Island is a trip to the famous “Yongala” wreck off Cape Bowling Green. Cited as the best wreck dive site in Australia and one of the top five in the world, the site is 90 metres long and lies in approximately 30 metres of water. Visit an important part of Australia’s history while enjoying the incredible range of coral and marine life that inhabit the wreck.

Famous for its fishing, North Queensland really is an angler’s paradise. Magnetic Island only adds to this sterling reputation. There are various spots ideal for throwing in a line, including West Point, Middle Reef, Orchard Rocks, Nobby Headland, the Picnic Bay Jetty, Horseshoe Bay Beach and many more.

The friendly locals will provide handy hints when you purchase your fishing tackle and bait, or hire a boat from the various outlets on offer. To make a day of it, charter fishing trips are available with a professional guide to provide valuable local insight and ensure pleasing results. The inshore waters, beaches and rocky points are home to such species as mackerel, flathead, whiting and bream as well as a wealth of other species ideal for the sportsman or the hungry hunter. Be sure to keep up to date with the Marine National Park green zones, applicable to some of the bays around the Island.

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is undisputed as one of the world’s most important and beautiful natural assets. It is the largest natural feature on earth stretching more than 2,300km along the northeast coast of Australia from the northern tip of Queensland to just north of Bundaberg.

Best of all, this natural wonder is easily accessible from Magnetic Island. Several cruise companies do regular trips to various areas of the Great Barrier Reef with a hassle-free pick up and drop off service that will ensure a quality experience for all visitors. Don’t miss your opportunity to bear witness to the rich tapestry of brilliantly coloured coral, fish and other marine life inhabiting this majestic underwater landscape. Experience the breathtaking crystal clear waters while scuba diving or snorkelling over the reef and prepare yourself for the overwhelming beauty of the world’s largest living organism. Manta rays, octopus, crabs, shellfish, starfish, butterfly, angel and parrot fish, the list is almost as long as the reef itself.

If that isn’t enough, there are a plethora of pristine waterways that surround the famous reef not to be missed. One day may not be enough, but however long or short the experience, you will be enchanted by this natural phenomenon.