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Searching for the best places to see koalas on Magnetic Island? As a semi-local, I’m here to share my insider tips so you can find a cute koala in the wild on Magnetic Island as well.
Updated February 2021
Koalas are awesome. Even more awesome than wombats, and that’s saying something coming from me. When you make it to Australia, you will inevitably go to a zoo sometime in your travels and see all of Australia’s beautiful animals. It’s a must-do. But if you visit my hometown of Townsville and its island suburb of Magnetic Island, you will get the chance to see a koala in the wild. I think this is a much more memorable experience. Koalas on Magnetic Island hid from me for a long time. But then we found THE place, where I see about seven every time I return home. So here’s my local’s tips for spotting koalas on Magnetic Island. Say hello to them from me 😉.
Here are my favourite places to visit on Magnetic Island to take picture-perfect photos
My first time seeing a koala on Magnetic Island
As I said, Magnetic Island koalas did not play fair for a long time. After my parents moved to Magnetic Island, it took me over a year to see one in the wild. Even though my mum would go on walks and see four, I would come over from the mainland days later and see ZERO.
But finally, after a whole year, my mum went on one of her crazy bush walks and called me soon after to say there was a koala about 100 metres into her trek. So, like the crazy person I am, I got out of bed and drove up to the track to see my first koala in its natural habitat. He was sitting oh-so-cutely in the fork of a eucalyptus tree. This is when my love affair with koalas began.
The best places to see koalas on Magnetic Island
1. Forts Walk
So the number one place people recommend visiting to see wild koalas on Magnetic Island is the Forts Walk in Horseshoe Bay. Keep your eyes up and see what you can find. When you are walking along always ask people you pass as well. They may have been fortunate to see one earlier and can advise you just where to look. It’s all about spreading the joy.
2. Koala Park at Bungalow Bay
If you don’t see a koala on the Forts Walk, I recommend visiting the Magnetic Island Koala Park at Bungalow Bay. The accommodation and adventure centre has wildlife tours a few times a day, where you can meet the three resident koalas. You can also hold a koala for an additional fee.
3. Keep an eye out in the different bays
Finally, I recommend keeping your eyes peeled as you venture around the island as you honestly never know where you’ll see a koala. For example, my dad has had to stop his car for koalas to cross the road in Picnic Bay and Horseshoe Bay, and I’ve spotted them in random trees in Nelly Bay, Arcadia and Horseshoe Bay. Not all is lost if you don’t see a koala on the Forts Walk, I promise!
Remember, koalas aren’t the only creatures you can see in the wild on Magnetic Island either. You will pass many kangaroos and rock wallabies along the way, plus some curlews and cane toads for good luck. You’ve got to love tropical north Queensland!