magnetic-island-base-hostel-review

An Honest Review Of Magnetic Island Base Hostel

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Wondering what it’s like to stay at the famous and long-standing Magnetic Island Base Hostel? Party lovers will love this fab Magnetic Island hostel, famed for the legendary full moon parties!

Having stayed there myself about 15 years ago, it was one of the main hostels I remembered the most during my year backpacking around Australia. I remember feeling like I was in paradise at this awesome hostel located on the beach in North Queensland. Plus! The party atmosphere was awesome with something going on around the bar every night. We actually stopped by to check it out when we visited Maggie Island as it’s affectionately known to the locals a few months back and it’s not changed a bit!

Luckily, our French writer Nina Moussu stayed at this Magnetic Island accommodation recently and is sharing her review so you can see if it’s worth staying at too. Make sure you follow her life as an expat living in Sydney on Instagram @ninstagraaamm.


Reasons To Stay On Magnetic Island

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Although we booked a 10-day trip to Whitsundays, we decided to jump on a four-hour coach to Townsville so we could jump on the ferry and spend four days on Magnetic Island.

We’d heard loads of great things about Magnetic Island from different friends so were really keen to check it out. We had always wanted to hire out one of the famous jeep or barbie cars and be immersed in the incredible wildlife around the island. With awesome snorkelling on tap and beautiful bays all around the island to discover, we knew there was a lot to do on this island in Queensland.

Because it’s a small island, we thought four days would be enough time to get around and see what the place has to offer. It also seemed easy to get to without having a car as the coach drops you in Townsville right outside the ferry port and the ferry only takes 20 minutes to get to Magnetic Island.


Why We Wanted To Stay At Magnetic Island Base Hostel

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We were looking forward to staying at Magnetic Island Base Hostel for many reasons! The beach huts with ocean views looked amazing on their website, there’s a nice swimming pool, and because it’s a hostel we thought it would most likely have a great vibe with some activities where we can meet like-minded people. We didn’t really have any concerns, we wanted to stay somewhere lively but not too noisy. Although we knew it is a party hostel, we were a little concerned about how much of a party hostel it would be.

We had an amazing time on Maggie Island in Queensland, it’s definitely a very gorgeous part of Australia. It was very quiet and it felt a lot more remote than it is because there’s really not much open on the island after 8pm.

Something to note is that there’s only two supermarkets (Foodworks and IGA) and one Chemist on the island. Last orders in restaurants are around 7:30pm, or 8pm if you’re lucky. It feels like aside from tourists, the people who live on the Island are either young expats or retired Aussies.


What Our Room Looked Like At Base Magnetic Island

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We loved our room at Base Backpackers in Magnetic Island and I’m sure it must have been one of the nicest too. We had a queen bed, and although it wasn’t super comfy and a bit squeaky it was definitely comfortable enough and the epic coastal views made up for it. Our bed was facing the ocean and you could hear the waves crashing on the rocks right outside our balcony which was just amazing. You also get to watch the sunrise every morning from this side of the island and that beach hut which is something we just adored.

I think you have to remember that Magnetic Island Base Hostel is essentially a hostel, even if they are pivoting to cater for more local tourism now. Don’t expect a kettle, coffee or tea facilities in the bedroom, but there is a communal kitchen with everything you would need.

Luckily we did have a small fridge in our bedroom which was very handy. The towels were included and we even had a TV, although the way it was fitted on the wall was quite questionable as it was facing the wrong way so not practical to watch.

We had our own bathroom in our room and I must say the shower is one of the best I’ve experienced! The pressure of the water in that shower was absolutely brilliant, it was powerful and instantly warm. They provided a couple of small bottles of shampoo and conditioner for us to use as well as soap.

We stayed from Friday to Monday morning and it was super quiet on our first and last night. However Saturday night was pretty wild, they had a DJ on and the hostel was packed with people. Even though we went to bed at 10:30pm we couldn’t really hear the music from our room and it’s actually finished by 12am too. If you’re a little worried about getting any sleep at Base Hostel in Magnetic Island, you’ll be fine!


Base Hostel Facilities

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When we arrived at Magnetic Island Base Hostel, we were greeted by Danny from Manchester who was super nice. He made us feel very welcomed and was always happy to chat with us and give us recommendations on what to do and where to go throughout our stay.

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The communal kitchen seemed spacious enough, there were six stoves and three big fridges, with plenty of pots and pans to use. We didn’t actually use it to cook any food as we always went out to eat. If you’re wondering where the closest shop is to buy some food, Foodworks which is about 2km away so without a car it’s a bit of a walk. However, there is a bus stop right outside Base which can take you there and back for about $1.90 each way. If you prefer, you can even order your food online and get it delivered from FoodWorks directly to the hostel!

The swimming pool area was pretty cool, there’s a lot of sun lounges to chill on all around the pool. It is also surrounded by glorious palm trees which give you that real island vibe. It’s right on the beach so there’s a great view. The beach was quite nice, probably not where you’d want to spend the whole day, only because there are other bays around the island with clear water which are more attractive and not crowded.


What To Expect At The Bar

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The expansive bar at Base on Magnetic Island is the central focus point of the entire accommodation. When you walk into the hostel, you’ll walk right out onto the open bar which sits right next to the water. It’s got to be one of the best locations for a hostel bar in Australia!

They have a few beers and cider on tap like Great Northern, 4 Pines Summer Ale as well as other bottles and cans to choose from. The bar is loaded with your go-to spirits to make any mixer and cocktail of your choice. The cocktail menu had four different tropical and colourful drinks to choose from which were only $10 each.

On arrival at the hostel, we received a token each for a free cocktail at the bar to claim at 6:30pm sharp. It is worth noting that because they have a license to serve alcohol, BYO is not permitted in the hostel.


Activities At Base Hostel

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Pre-Covid you could order breakfast at the bar but it’s currently on hold. However, you can order burgers from their burger bar called Island Burger. There’s usually a lot of fun Magnetic Island activities at Base to choose from which are also currently on hold because of Covid at the time of writing. Expect a sunset walking tour, popular bingo at the bar, a fun night called Thrift Shop Thursday and of course Beard Watching. Yes, you heard it right!

One of the main activities around the hostel is a snorkelling trail that is directly outside the Magnetic Island accommodation and starts 100 metres out into Nelly Bay. You can rent snorkelling gear from the guys at a reception in the hostel with a $10 deposit.

On our last day, we did notice a few people training to scuba dive in the swimming pool! They have a few divers working in the hostel that can take you out scuba diving along the diving trail where you can see a variety of large coral reefs and giant clams.

Because many of the legendary activities weren’t operating at the time of writing, we didn’t meet a lot of people in the hostel, but we noticed most of the other guests were probably in their early twenties. It’s also worth mentioning the bar is the only late-night drinking spot on the island which also attracts locals too, especially for the weekly Saturday night DJ.


Summary

We absolutely loved our bedroom, and the whole hostel is fantastic with loads of different areas to chill in. It is definitely the place to be on a Saturday if you want to have some fun and the ocean views are fabulous! We would 100% stay there again and would definitely recommend this Magnetic Island accommodation. We had an awesome time and will remember the wonderful memories of our stay there.


Things To Do On Magnetic Island

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While there are so many things to do on Magnetic Island, there were some activities we loved. Driving around in the open-top 4WD was so much fun and definitely the best way to get around the island.

For dinner, we absolutely loved the food at Man Friday (Mexican) and Scallywags for breakfast as well as dinner. We had the best afternoon in Arthur Bay and Florence Bay which are a short walk away from each other with amazing viewpoints for those postcard photos.

The snorkelling was really cool, especially in Florence Bay, the corals were really colourful and we swam with turtles, tropical fish and spotted fiddler rays. I also highly recommend driving to West Point for sunset too which you need a 4WD for. We also really loved feeding tiny rock wallabies in Geoffrey Bay when the sun starts to set.

Find out more information about staying at Base Hostel in Magnetic Island here.

With so many things to do in Magnetic Island, make sure you check out more content on this site to be inspired by your next trip!


Magnetic Island Base Hostel Review

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A big thanks to Base Magnetic Island for hosting Nina and her partner so that she could bring you this review. All thoughts and writing are her own in this article. If you would like to be sent on trips as Nina did, please fill out our Write For Us form below.

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