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Castle Hill

Catch the sea breezes on this pink granite landmark in the city’s heart and enjoy 360-degree views of the city’s harbor and across to Magnetic Island.

Castle Hill is the pink granite outcrop that has been a prominent Townsville icon since the town was built in its foothills. As seen from below, the colored hill is an impressive sight, especially at sunrise and sunset when its deepening pink hues make the monolith look spectacular. Stand on its summit for unrivaled views of the region, with Magnetic Island across the bay and the Ross River meandering through the suburbs below and spilling out into Cleveland Bay.

At 938 feet (286 meters), Castle Hill falls just short of making this monolith a mountain. It was known to the Aborigines as Cutheringa. In 1864, during early European exploration of the Ross River area, Andrew Ball named it Castle Hill. To save its vegetation, much of Castle Hill was declared a reserve in 1888.

Facing the northern cliff face from below, look up to see a large graffiti. The Saint is the lasting result of a 1962 prank by students of the local James Cook University. On the northern-most peak of the three-peaked summit is a 1942 bunker that served as an observation post during World War II.

Dotted with water reservoirs and radio communications installations, the hill still serves the town in more than one way, although its main use remains that of a recreation reserve. You can potentially find 300 plant species and 50 bird species on the hill, including nesting peregrine falcons and brahminy kites. Also look for rock wallabies, which can often be seen hopping around.

Head to the summit at your own leisure to familiarize yourself with the town. Many locals use the tracks for their daily exercise, especially the Goat Track, leading from the lower northern slopes to the top of the cliffs. The Summit Walk has a steep set of stairs, if you’re keen to get in shape.

Drivers can follow winding Castle Hill Road to the summit of the second peak. To the east, view the pink granite bluffs overlooking The Strand, the city’s bustling foreshore. See the nearby stone monument for Robert Towns, the city’s founder. Come here just before sunset and bring a picnic or takeout with you, to see a sea of lights come on over the town as you dine.

Castle Hill is located just above downtown Townsville and has many access point. Facilities include parking spaces, public toilets, water fountains and shaded benches.


Guide to Exploring around Castle Hill


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Castle Hill

See all 503 Properties near Castle Hill
Madison Plaza Townsville ¥5,349
Madison Plaza Townsville

Madison Plaza Townsville

409 Flinders St., Corner Of Stanley And Flinders St., Townsville, QLD
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Townsville, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Catholic Diocese of Townsville, Castle Hill, and Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre. Queens Gardens and James Cook University are also within 9 mi (15 km). Townsville Station is 22 minutes by foot.

    Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville ¥7,322
    Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville

    Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville

    8-10 Palmer Street, South Townsville, QLD
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of South Townsville, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Maritime Museum of Townsville and Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal. Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Museum of Tropical Queensland are also within 10 minutes. Townsville Station is 28 minutes by foot.

      Aquarius on the Beach ¥7,928
      Aquarius on the Beach

      Aquarius on the Beach

      75 The Strand, North Ward, QLD
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Offering direct access to the beach, this North Ward hotel is on the boardwalk and within 1 mi (2 km) of The Strand Beach and Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal. Strand Park and Queens Gardens are also within 10 minutes.

        Oaks Metropole Hotel ¥8,291
        Oaks Metropole Hotel

        Oaks Metropole Hotel

        81 Palmer Street, South Townsville, QLD
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated near the beach, this luxury aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Maritime Museum of Townsville and Perc Tucker Regional Gallery. Museum of Tropical Queensland and Cultural Centre Townsville are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Oaks Gateway Suites ¥8,625
          Oaks Gateway Suites

          Oaks Gateway Suites

          2 Dibbs Street, South Townsville, QLD
             
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated on a river, this luxury apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Maritime Museum of Townsville and Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal. Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Museum of Tropical Queensland are also within 10 minutes. Townsville Station is 28 minutes by foot.

            Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville ¥7,750
            Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville

            Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville

            334 Flinders Street, Townsville, QLD
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Townsville, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal. Maritime Museum of Townsville and Museum of Tropical Queensland are also within 10 minutes. Townsville Station is 24 minutes by foot.

              The Robert Towns ¥6,315
              The Robert Towns

              The Robert Towns

              261 Stanley Street, Townsville, QLD
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Townsville hotel is located by the sea, within 1 mi (2 km) of Museum of Tropical Queensland, The Strand Beach, and ReefHQ Aquarium. Castle Hill and Queens Gardens are also within 1 mi (2 km). Townsville Station is 25 minutes by foot.

                The Ville Resort - Casino ¥15,144
                The Ville Resort - Casino

                The Ville Resort - Casino

                Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Townsville, QLD
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal, ReefHQ Aquarium, and Museum of Tropical Queensland. Maritime Museum of Townsville and Queens Gardens are also within 2 mi (3 km).