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Snorkelling around Magnetic Island

1 post
1 review
Snorkelling around Magnetic Island

I would like to do some snorkelling around shore reefs while on Maggie Is. Which are the best bays that have snorkelling gear to hire? What is the best way to get there from Nelly Bay? I dont plan to hire a car. I think there is a bus that that travels around the island all day picking and dropping off as required but am not sure is this is correct! Or perhaps I could walk there from Nelly Bay? Would really appreciate some advice on this....

Magnetic Island...
5 posts
1 review
2 helpful votes
1. Re: Snorkelling around Magnetic Island

There is some good coral just in front of the XBase backpackers at Nelly Bay (you can catch the bus if you don't feel like walking). You may be able to hire snorkelling gear from the dive shop there but not sure.

Alma Bay also has some good coral gardens on the right hand side of the bay but its quite deep, so go at low tide. You can get from Nelly Bay to Alma by bus and snorkelling gear is available for hire from Pleasure Divers in Arcadia.

The best snorkelling in my opinion is found in Florence Bay (in the non anchor zone to the left of the bay). Be warned though, without transport its a 3km walk from the Forts bus stop (and its a long steep walk back!). Arthur Bay also has some good coral and is 1km bit closer to the bus stop.

Portrush, United...
Level Contributor
341 posts
112 reviews
44 helpful votes
2. Re: Snorkelling around Magnetic Island

you can certainly walk from nelly bay to arcadia(ALMA BAY) 15 mins max the bus is very handy and regular, although I couldnt quite work out the pricing structure as I was charged a different price each time I got on the bus with the family!! a truly wonderful place to go where ever you decide to snorkel I would go back in a heartbeat! shame its the other side of the world

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 posts
31 reviews
88 helpful votes
3. Re: Snorkelling around Magnetic Island

My favourite snorkelling spots were around the rocks at Radical Bay, around the rocks at Florence bay (both sides) and also the reef at Florence bay. There are toilets at Florence bay which was a nice commodity to have when spending entire days there.

You can walk from the bus stop to get to these bays but it is a long walk! We saw many people suffering the walk and it looked like most of them were well and truly over it, especially in the heat. We had a hire car which we weren't supposed to drive down the "unsealed road" to get to both bays however the road was sealed and we were just wary of pot holes.

As both of these bays are conservation zones you must take your rubbish away with you. Also both bays are nowhere near shops so take sufficient food and water with you.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
Level Contributor
33,188 posts
2,568 reviews
34,428 helpful votes
4. Re: Snorkelling around Magnetic Island

Ditto Florence Bay is great for snorkeling.

We actually picked up walkers in our car as they looked very tired hiking up the hill and they were very grateful. Definitely take Gluten_Free_chic advice by taking water with you. It would be too far to walk from Nelly Bay.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
9 posts
22 reviews
23 helpful votes
5. Re: Snorkelling around Magnetic Island

Florence Bay is the best for snorkeling, however when I went (late September, 2010) this is not saying much. Water visibility was about 1-2m and to be honest most of the coral life was dead. There was still a small coverage of live coral (maybe a 1/4 of all rocks) but the rest was dead with brown weed growing all over it. Still a lot of fish (in Florence Bay anyhow) which suggests the die back has only happened recently. When you look at the channel you can see all the silt stirred up by the large container ships and I suspect the increase in shipping traffic over the past few years has reduced the conditions.

Even the healthiest places can have poor water visibility on bad days, but the amount of dead coral in Florence Bay makes me think it is a permanent thing now.

6. Re: Snorkelling around Magnetic Island

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