Picnic Bay is the port of entry for Magnetic Island. The sole jetty extends 200 m out into the bay and receives the regular ferry from Townsville. The beach is backed by a foreshore reserve and road, and then the main island settlement of Picnic Bay.The beach (MT9) is 1... Read more
Picnic Bay is the port of entry for Magnetic Island. The sole jetty extends 200 m out into the bay and receives the regular ferry from Townsville. The beach is backed by a foreshore reserve and road, and then the main island settlement of Picnic Bay.The beach (MT9) is 1 km long and faces south-east. It is protected to the east by prominent, 90 m high Hawkings Point, that extends 1 km seaward of the beach. Waves are usually calm to low. At high tide the beach is only 20 m wide. As the tide falls, it widens to about 50 m and the extensive sand and reef flats are exposed. The flats extend several hundred metres off the eastern end of the beach, narrowing to 100 m off the western Nobby Head end.The Picnic Bay Surf Life Saving Club, founded in 1927, is located at the base of Nobby Head at the western end. The club maintains a stinger enclosure and a watch tower, both located up against Nobby Head. There is also a boat ramp crossing the beach next to the jetty.
The best swimming is at high tide in the enclosure or, when safe, snorkelling over the reef flats. At low tide the bay is generally too shallow for comfortable swimming.
The jetty is the most popular location, with deep water also accessible off Nobby Head.
The most visited and popular beach on the island, with all the usual visitor and tourist facilities right on or behind the beach.Read less
Beach Patrols Change Day
Townsville Picnic Bay SLSC
Accessible Rock Platforms
SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate.