Enjoy the year-round balmy weather, relax at the beach, or explore the forests, wetlands, and marine habitats that surround north Queensland’s unofficial capital.
Visit Townsville for its beautiful beaches, laid-back atmosphere and easy access to the natural attractions of northern Queensland.
Start your visit by getting a bird’s-eye perspective of Townsville and its surrounds from Castle Hill, the pink granite monolith rising 938 feet (286 meters) from the heart of the city.
Back in the city center and take a walk along The Strand, a 1.3-mile (2.2-kilometer) promenade. Here, you can enjoy views of the ocean, find grassy spots for picnics,or visit some of the popular cafés and restaurants. If you need to cool off, take a dip at the Strand Beach, a great spot for swimmers of all ages. This beach has calm water as it is sheltered by Magnetic Island, which lies just 5 miles (8 kilometers) off shore. Maggie, as locals call the island, is nearly 70 percent national park and is just 25 minutes away from Townsville by fast passenger ferry service. There’s also a car ferry service to the island.
Explore more of the surrounding marine environment during a diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef or the wreck of the Yongala passenger ship. You’ll find several diving companies around town, with most offering packages for novices and pros alike. To see what’s under the waves without getting wet, visit Reef HQ, one of the world’s largest living reef aquariums. It has shows and presentations, including Turtle Talk during which you can visit the aquarium’s turtle hospital.
Take in some local history at the Museum of Tropical Queensland and the National Trust Heritage Centre. Military history enthusiasts will want to visit the Army Museum of North Queensland and the Royal Australian Air Force Townsville Museum.
Townsville is the gateway to northern Queensland. You can reach it by plane, bus or train from Brisbane and Cairns. Once in the city, get around using the public bus service, Sunbus, or taxis. Consider renting a car if you plan to explore the surrounding attractions, such as the longest single-drop waterfall in Australia, located in the Girringun National Park.