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.
Rivers, Swimming and Islands
This easy-to-navigate and very scenic transport hub is the gateway to the beaches, bush walks and wildlife of one of Queensland’s most idyllic islands.
There are plenty of ways to experience this spacious beach on Magnetic Island, including swimming, fishing, watersports, horseback riding and beachfront picnics.
Take in panoramic views, spot koalas in eucalyptus trees, clamber over granite boulders and stroll along a golden-sand beach in this idyllic nature reserve.
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.
Cuddle a koala, hold a snake and hand-feed cassowaries and wallabies at this interactive sanctuary that protects native wildlife on the shores of the billabong.
Set out on a discovery tour of the cultural and natural heritage of North Queensland in this interactive waterfront museum with ever-changing exhibits.
Discover a piece of Townsville’s history Experience a half-day tour to one of the region’s most sought-after destinations. Cape Cleveland Lighthouse was the first lighthouse to be built in Townsville back in 1879.
Enjoy the secluded paradise of Magnetic Island, a tropical destination known for its quiet beaches, rugged landscape, and abundant wildlife. Easily accessible via the ferry from Townsville City, Magnetic Island is an idyllic place to get away even if just for a day.
Experience the world's largest living coral reef aquarium at Reef HQ Aquarium, the National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef. This is your chance to explore the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet.