The ultimate Townsville and Magnetic Island accommodation guide

Check in: Your Townsville and Magnetic Island Accommodation Guide

Planning a trip to Townsville?

Anytime is a good time to visit the sunshine capital of Queensland, especially when the average temps in winter are a balmy 25° C.  This underrated northern gem is a coastal city on the rise. Café-hop down The Strand, explore the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium and dive into an underwater art museum. Step out your door and you’ll meet some of Queensland’s most spectacular natural sights.

From romantic escapes to school holiday adventures, there are accommodation options to suit every traveller and budget in Townsville and its Great Barrier Reef island neighbour, Magnetic Island.

Before you pack your bags, check out this Townsville and Magnetic Island accommodation guide to find the perfect spot to rest your head.

Townsville

Whether you’re planning an adventure-packed weekend jaunt or an extended vacay to explore all the best things to see and do here, your city digs are sorted.

Roll into luxury: The Ville Resort-Casino

Poolside The Ville | The Ville

Photo by @thevilletsv

Do swim-up pool bar, five onsite restaurants, and a wellness spa make the list of must-haves for your couples escape or group getaway?

Whether you’re craving a peaceful oasis or supercharged playground, The Ville delivers. And it delivers with a touch of Palm Springs glam, sweeping Coral Sea views and a locale just a short beat away from the heart of Townsville’s action.

Already dreaming of the cocktails? Here’s a few more reasons you need to check in.

Grab your glam-pack: Rambutan Boutique Hotel

Rambutan Resort Townsville | The ultimate Townsville and Magnetic Island accommodation guide

It set the benchmark as Australia’s first ‘glam-packers’ resort, but Rambutan is so much more.

Feast on signature pizzas and Italian flavours at Armati’s, kick back and sip in the views from the rooftop bar, or party by the pool.

Rambutan’s got all the convenience of a backpackers: café, bars, laundry, free wifi and luggage storage – in a boutique package of stylishly appointed twin, Queen and King rooms.

Travelling with a group? Set your sights on their self-contained beach house villas, complete with four bedrooms and an open plan kitchenette, lounge and dining area.

Pitch your tent (or caravan): BIG4 Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park

BIG4 Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park Townsville

Photo by @rowesbayhp

Want access to the city centre, but still feel miles from it? We know just the place.

‘Round the corner from The Strand and Jezzine Barracks, this holiday park feels worlds away in its lush tropical setting with views out to Magnetic Island. But you’re only a 7-minute drive from the city.

Your kids will love the pool, playground and outdoor movies. You’ll love the choice of powered and unpowered sites for caravans, campervans and motorhomes, as well as tent sites. Plus the convenience of laundries, camp kitchen and BBQ facilities.

Packing light? Modern villas and cabins are also available in the park.

Your home away from home: Mariners North Holiday Apartments

Mariners North Apartments Townsville | Townsville Magnetic Island accommodation guide

Here for a while? Check into Mariners North. These two-and-three-bedroom apartments have all the creature comforts of home and corporate facilities, served up with a side of ocean views.

Whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, you’re close to it all. That’s walking distance to the marina, ferry terminal, Entertainment Centre and all the dining of The Strand.

After a day of adventure you can return to this relaxed space, cook in the full sized kitchen, take a swim in the pool or a swing on the tennis court.

Beach-front budget: Beach House Motel

Beach House Motel | Townsville and Magnetic Island accommodation guide

Photo by Krista Eppelstun

Take a humble motel, pop it on the beachfront, and you’ve got everything you need for a cost-effective stay in paradise.

Spend golden hour (up here, we call it magic hour) in the pool overlooking The Strand to take in views of Magnetic Island as it illuminates in colour.

There’s double, queen and family rooms, as well as off-street parking. Though you probably won’t need a car with the supermarket, best restaurants and Strand Water Park just a short walk away. You can also book day tours at the motel to explore further afield.

Escape to nature: Hidden Valley Cabins

Hidden Valley Cabins Townsville accommodation guide

Photo by Hidden Valley Cabins

Get out of town and into the wilderness at this eco-resort for a true Australian bush experience.

An hour and a half from Townsville, Hidden Valley Cabins is on the doorstep of rugged landscapes and hiking trails that will take your breath away. Wallaman Falls, Little Crystal Creek, and wider Paluma National Park are within reach.

Book one of the rustic cabins catering to couples and families, some with kitchen facilities and a roaring fireplace for cooler nights.

The family-run resort operates on 100% renewable energy. Even more heart-warming: your hosts Ian and Bonnie will cook your dinner and escort you on tours, like the Platypus Safari or Night Safari.

Magnetic Island

Just 20 minutes from the city via ferry, Magnetic Island (or Maggie as she’s known by the locals) is the cherry on top of Townsville’s delicious natural assets. It’s home to 23 palm-fringed beaches and bays perfect for a swim or snorkel, and the largest wild koala population in northern Australia.

Here for a weekend? Try this itinerary on for size. Here for a while? Make sure you tick off these six must-dos before you leave.

YOUR COUPLES RETREAT: PEPPERS BLUE ON BLUE RESORT

Peppers on Blue Magnetic Island | Townsville Magnetic Island accommodation guide

Cocktails at sunset, couples massages, room service, bubble baths. Is this your idea of a romantic island escape? If so, book into Peppers Blue.

You’ll be torn trying to divide your time between exploring the island or staying put, especially if you splurge one of the resort’s aptly named plunge apartments, which come with their own private plunge pools overlooking the marina.

Unwind at the endota day spa and enter bliss with the help of all-Australian organic body treatments.

YOUNG, WILD AND FREE: BASE MAGNETIC ISLAND

Base Magnetic Island backpackers hostel | Townsville Magnetic Island accommodation guide

Photo by @fullmoondownunder

A full moon means something different on Maggie. And if you’re here to get wild, Base is home to Australia’s only full moon party.

Looking more like a Bali resort than a backpackers hostel, choose between shared dorms or private rooms in a beachfront bungalow, or BYO tent and camp out under the stars.

After a day spent exploring the island, kick back with drinks on the deck at the Island Bar, watching the sun melt into the horizon, before the party scene comes alive.

Extend your stay: Beachside Magnetic Harbour Apartments

Stay on island time a little longer at Beachside Magnetic Harbour Apartments.

Nestled into Nelly Bay, you’ll feel right at home in these self-contained one, two and three-bedroom luxury apartments.

Perfect for families and groups of friends, or couples who just need to escape from reality for a while, apartments are kitted out with a full kitchen, large spa bath and plenty of room to move about in with private courtyards and balconies.

Make New Friends: Bungalow Bay Koala Resort

Bungalow Bay Koala Village Magnetic Island accommodation

Photo by @meandmytravelbugs

Bungalow Bay Koala Village is the only resort in Australia that can boast its own onsite wildlife park.

And no matter if you’re camping out or staying in one of their hostel dorms, ensuite double rooms or timber bungalows, all guests have the chance to learn about our beloved cuddly native and friends (which includes lorikeets, pythons, saltwater crocs and lizards) on a guided tour of the park.

Upgrade your stay to include a buffet breakfast with the koalas for a little more quality time with your new furry pals.

On A Budget: CStay Holiday Accommodation

Need to stick to a budget, but want to avoid that backpacker bustle?

CStay is your affordable, quiet base to explore the beauty of Maggie.  Guest house style accommodation with double or twin rooms. Meet fellow travellers over shared meals in the communal kitchen, poolside drinks or bbq area.

Less frills, and more room for adventure. Save those pennies and spend them on a dive trip, sunset sail or night out.

An Island Adventure of a Lifetime

Orpheus Island Lodge

Want something extra special, and a little further afield? Hop on a private helicopter flight to secluded Orpheus Island Lodge to soak up sunshine and its serious eco-credentials (the resort is 100% renewably powered).

Or strap on your hiking boots for the four day Thorsborne Trail on Australia’s largest island national park.