Magnetic Island tourism operator named one of the best experiences in the world

Townsville North Queensland tourism operator, Aquascene Charters Magnetic Island, has been named as one of only two Australian businesses in the recent TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice ‘Best of the Best’ Awards.

Recognising the best activities you can do around the world, as voted by traveller reviews, TripAdvisor’s 'Best of the Best' 2021 winners include experiences from New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Puerto Rico, UK, Turkey, Vietnam, Italy, the Caribbean, Slovenia, Costa Rica, India, the UAE, and Thailand; with only one other Australian experience making the list.

As a small family owned and operated business, Aquascene Charters duo Stephanie and Adam Hinks devote themselves to sharing the best their Magnetic Island home has to offer, and were humbled to receive the international accolade in recognition of their life’s work.

Owner/operator Stephanie Hinks said being named alongside international operators of such a high calibre came as an absolute shock, and a truly humbling reward for their dedication to sharing the beauty of Magnetic Island.

“We were stunned that our little family business had made such a big list and is being acknowledged by a global brand like TripAdvisor,” Ms Hinks said.

“When you love what you do the days never feel like work, but to have our work rewarded in such a way is really wonderful.”

“Sharing our passion for Magnetic Island and educating tourists on the Great Barrier Reef and the surrounding natural environment is so important to us, and I think by travellers choosing us it continues to show us how important eco-tourism experiences are, and how transformative they can be - we are proud to play a small part of that.”

Aquascene Charters specialises in scenic and educational trips around North Queensland’s own Magnetic Island, taking people to secluded bays and beaches, fringing reef to snorkel and interact with marine life, all while sharing stories of the island’s important cultural and environmental history.

Also named as part of the Travellers’ Choice Top Things to Do Awards 2021, a further 29 Townsville North Queensland operators have also received the accolade, having consistently earnt great reviews and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor. 

  • The Ville Resort Casino
  • Pilgrim Sailing
  • Magnetic Island Time Cruises
  • Big Mama Sailing
  • Magnetic Island Jet Ski Tours
  • Magnetic Island Sea Kayaks
  • Aquascene Charters Magnetic Island
  • Billabong Sanctuary
  • Magnetic Island Ferries
  • Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium
  • Adrenalin Snorkel Dive
  • Park Regis Anchorage
  • Oaks Townsville Metropole Hotel
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor
  • Quest Townsville
  • City Oasis Inn
  • Beach House Motel
  • Wild Rice Laos & Thai Cuisine
  • A Touch of Salt
  • Jam
  • IMC Steak House
  • The REEF Bar Café
  • Scallywags Café
  • Mamma Roma
  • The Early Bird
  • Café Nourish
  • Barefoot art food wine
  • Thai Again
  • Kernow Charters Towers
  • Tropical Palms Resort & 4WD Hire

With international borders closed, and continued impacts felt by domestic border closures and restrictions, global recognition like this is the perfect motivation small businesses need to keep them pushing forward.

Townsville Enterprise Director Visitor Economy and Marketing, Lisa Woolfe said this year’s awards come at a crucial time as the region rebuilds from the devastating impacts of the COVID pandemic and helps further elevate the profile of North Queensland both domestically and internationally.

“Townsville North Queensland is home to some outstanding experiences, some that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, and we’re extremely proud to have world-class products across every industry sector,” Ms Woolfe said.

“Wins like this bolster our vision to put Townsville North Queensland and Magnetic Island on the global stage and help better prepare our region to rebound even faster when domestic and international borders reopen.”

“As travellers plan for their next visit to our destination, Tripadvisor’s Things to Do Awards surface recommendations for all types of travellers, according to the best guides - other travellers who have experienced our region firsthand.”

For more information on tourism offerings in Townsville North Queensland, visit

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