Magnetic Island is absolutely fantastic! Recently we just spent two weeks there and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Plenty to see and do, and lots of snorkeling and diving opportunities including the Yongala wreck. We spent our time staying in Horseshoe Bay at the Koala Park and in Arcadia. I highly recommend the Arcadia Beach Guest House for accommodation, the couple running it are fantastic and it has options for all budgets. As well as the fact that you are only a couple of minutes away from the Dive shop there. Another word of advice for Arcadia, DON'T waste your time and money going to the Bistro for dinner, go anywhere on the island but there! Also plenty of brilliant walks to do all over the island, we managed to spot all sorts of wild creatures including koalas, and a collared whip snake (although this may be more novel and exciting to those of us from NZ with no natives like these creatures?).
As for Townsville itself, we had a car which made it easy to get around, plenty of places to explore on the outskirts of the city such as Wallaman Falls, one hour drive up North, which is stunning! Not sure about dive opportunities from the city itself but we did enjoy the aquarium if you are into that sort of thing. If you like birds/ butterflies/plants the botanic gardens are a must - particularly enjoyed Palmetum and Anderson's. Food wise, the pizza from Tony's Pizza is delicious!
Hope this helps :)
Hi @vickie_biku and welcome to the Community! :)
What an informative post - @TonyMelb we'd add to vickie's comments by saying that Townsville is a more than viable option to the Whitsundays, especially if you'll only be staying a few days. Do you know how long you are planning on staying? If you're short on ideas we have an article of our recommended "Top 10 Things to do in Townsville & surrounds" which you can check out; just bear in mind some of them require a bit of travel to get to.
If you just want to relax then Townsville is a great spot, with plenty of friendly locals too :)
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