Townsville is the largest city in North Queensland and is yet another gateway to the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. With more than 320 days of sunshine each year; World Heritage listed national parks; and historic gold rush towns, the Townsville region is home to some spectacular natural landscapes and attractions.
The Bindal and Wulgurukaba aboriginal people are traditional owners and custodians of the Townsville region. Captain James Cook sailed past the Townsville region on his first voyage to Australia in 1770 and named nearby Cape Cleveland, Cleveland Bay, and Magnetic Island.
The red granite monolith called Castle Hill dominates the city centre. Take a walk to the top for views of the city and surrounding islands. The Ross River, which flows through the city, is often used by locals for waterskiing, fishing and kayaking. Enjoy a leisurely walk along The Strand, Townville’s waterfront promenade, which has magnificent views over the Coral Sea. The Riverway complex offers recreational facilities for all ages.
Visit Reef HQ, the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium and the education centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. It is home to thousands of fish and corals and North Queensland’s first dedicated turtle hospital. At the Museum of Tropical Queensland you can see relics from the sunken British warship HMS Pandora.
Learn about the stories and see original artworks from the Bindal and Wulgurukaba people at the Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre.
Three separate gardens form the Townsville Botanic Gardens. The Palmetum, Anderson Gardens in Mundingburra and Queens Gardens in North Ward. The Palmetum displays one of the largest collections of palms in the world. You can cycle between the gardens and the river on the Ross River Bikeway.
Scuba divers won’t want to miss the SS Yongala, one of the world’s great wreck dives. Fishing enthusiasts should head to the Burdekin, an hour south of Townsville to fish for barramundi and mud crabs in the rivers and estuaries. Burdekin is also famous for being the sugar capital of Australia.
Its two popular townships, Ayr and Home Hill are linked by the Burdekin Bridge.
Townsville is a major gateway for the central region of the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics and the Queensland Outback.
Cuddle a koala, hold a wombat and stroll amongst the kangaroos and wallabies at Billabong Sanctuary. Try your luck panning for gold in the outback town of Charters Towers.
Magnetic Island is a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville. Take a short helicopter flight to Orpheus Island, a continental island covered by national park. Hinchinbrook Island is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and Australia’s largest island national park. It is home to the Thorsborne Trail, a 32-kilometre hike through spectacular wilderness.
Around 90 kilometres north of Townsville is the Paluma Range National Park. Fringed by rainforest the park offers beautiful spots to relax, camp, walk and enjoy watching birds, butterflies and other native wildlife.
Townsville is located approximately 350 kilometres south of Cairns and 1350 kilometres north of Brisbane.