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Best snorkelling spots on Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is home to beautiful fringing coral reefs, easily accessible right from some of the most popular beaches: Florence, Arthur, Alma, Geoffrey & Nelly Bays. This means you can snorkel from the beach, at your own pace and be on "Island Time", the perfect way to enjoy your holiday on a tropical paradise.

There are two marked snorkel trails on Magnetic Island: Nelly Bay & Geoffrey Bay. Both have surface floats with handles, to help you finding the special points of interest, designed so you can learn about a variety of fish species and historic shipwreck sites along the way. Giant Clams have taken up residence (8 in Nelly Bay & 6 in Geoffrey Bay) on the trails with some being up to 30 years old and weighing 100kg plus.


1. Nelly Bay Snorkel Trail

The snorkel trail commences close to the Base Magnetic Island in Nelly Bay. The trail starts 100m off the beach and offers easy access for beginners. The corals you will find along this trail are Lettuce Coral, Cauliflower Coral, Boulder Coral and Staghorn Coral. Follow the white surface floats!

Nelly Bay Trail


2. Geoffrey Bay Snorkel Trail

This snorkel trail commences 390m off the beach of Geoffrey Bay at the end of the bay closest to the Arcadia Hotel. This trail offers an array of marine life around the Moltke wreck, a German passenger and cargo ship which was deliberately sunk (scuttled) off Magnetic Island in 1911.

Geoffrey Bay Trail


Where can I hire snorkel gear?

You can hire mask, snorkel, fins and stinger suit or wetsuit from different places on Magnetic Island, like Pleasure Divers which is conveniently located at Geoffrey Bay.

Is there a snorkel trail map?

Yes, there is! Grab a snorkel trail swim card from numerous outlets across various location of Magnetic Island or at the SeaLink Travel Desk in exchange for a small donation of $5. Your $5 donation of the cards support the costs and maintenance of the trails. Cards can be recycled after, so please leave the cards in the drop box at the start of each trail.

Self-guided not for you?

Don't worry, Magnetic Island has got you covered! You can join Aquascene Charters, Big Mama Sailing, Island Time Cruises or Pilgrim Sailing on one of their tours and experience some of the best snorkelling sites, accessible only by boat.

Aquascene Charters
Take a snorkelling tour with Aquascene Charters

Marine Stinger Season

It is vital to remember while marine stingers may be present throughout the entire year in tropical Queensland, the risks associated with potentially dangerous jellyfish (Box Jellyfish & Irukandji) are higher during the ‘marine stinger season’ that typically runs from November through to May. During stinger season swimmers must wear protective swimwear to provide adequate protection. For further guidance in relation to marine stinger season and adequate swimwear visit Surf Lifesaving Queensland.

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