Townsville is located in tropical north Queensland. It’s often overlooked by international visitors, in favour of its northern counterpart, Cairns. But Townsville is worth a visit as well, thanks to its family-friendly attractions, excellent day trips, and close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. Here’s the top 10 things to do.
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Billabong Sanctuary is a family-owned wildlife park in Townsville. It’s been accredited with Advanced Ecotourism certification from Ecotourism Australia, due to its environmental management, commitment to conservation, partnerships with local communities, and education programs. Some of the animals you will see at Billabong Sanctuary include several kangaroo species, koalas, echidnas, different snake varieties, emus, and both saltwater and freshwater crocodiles.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Relax at Riverway
Park, Swimming Pool, Theater
Riverway is a parkland attraction along the Ross River in Kirwan. It includes an 11-kilometre (seven-mile) walking track beside the river, the Riverway Arts Centre, Tony Ireland Stadium, free movie nights, Pinnacles Gallery, and a public art trail. The biggest drawcard though is the Riverway Lagoons, which together cover an area the size of three Olympic swimming pools. The lower lagoon has shallow areas for children, while the upper lagoon is accessible, with an area for swimming laps.
Climb Castle Hill
Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
Castle Hill is Townsville’s defining feature, and one of Queensland’s most distinguishable natural features. Located practically in the middle of the city, the giant heritage-listed pink granite monolith is a popular attraction for both tourists and locals. More than 2,500 Townsville residents walk up the hill’s many trails every day. You can also drive to the top of Castle Hill, which offers 360° views of Townsville. There are several lookouts and vantage points on Castle Hill as well.
Peruse Perc Tucker Regional Gallery
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery is located inside one of Townsville’s most well-preserved historic buildings. Although it hosts both national and international exhibitions, the gallery likes to focus on work from North Queensland artists. Its permanent collection includes over 2,000 artworks in categories like Contemporary and Historical Art of Tropical Queensland, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Art, and Contemporary Art from Papua New Guinea. Perc Tucker Regional Gallery also hosts talks, workshops, and other educational programs.
Learn more at the Museum of Tropical Queensland
The Museum of Tropical Queensland is an award-winning natural history, archaeology, and history museum. Its Great Gallery is dominated by a HMS Pandora replica, which sank on the Great Barrier Reef in 1791. Some of the objects recovered from the wreck—when it was discovered 186 years later—are on display in the Pandora Gallery. There’s also exhibitions on Torres Strait masks, and the World Heritage-listed rainforest and reef of tropical Queensland.
Dive the SS Yongala wreck
The SS Yongala wreck is one of the world’s best wreck dive sites. The SS Yongala Ship sank off Cape Bowling Green in 1911, on its way from Melbourne to Cairns. Over 10,000 divers visit the SS Yongala wreck annually. Because it’s located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, divers can expect to see an array of tropical marine life. This includes sea turtles, gropers, rays, sharks, and many tropical and ocean fish species. Check out Adrenalin Dive in Townsville to dive the SS Yongala wreck yourself.
Spend the day on magical Magnetic Island
Magnetic Island is a suburb of Townsville, located eight kilometres (five miles) off its coastline. It’s only accessible via ferry or barge, which operate frequently between the two destinations. Magnetic Island is a great place to spend the day. Try and spot a koala or wallaby, swim at one of its 23 bays, bush walk through Magnetic Island National Park, hire a Barbie-inspired pink topless car from Tropical Travel, or enjoy some watersports at Horseshoe Bay.
Head to Paluma and the rainforest
Another great day trip from Townsville is to Paluma. Located a 45-minute drive north of the city, Paluma is found on the southern edge of the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics of Queensland. The small village in the rainforest is home to waterfalls, bush walks, beautiful freshwater swimming holes, and an array of bird species. On the way to Paluma, stop at either Little or Big Crystal Creek for a swim. Little Crystal Creek is defined by its stone arch bridge from the 1930s, while Big Crystal Creek is popular with locals.
Enjoy the Strand and its many attractions
Park, Swimming Pool
The Strand is the jewel in Townsville’s crown. The foreshore area is home to a 2.2-kilometre (1.37-mile) beachfront walking path, which offers uninterrupted views towards Magnetic Island. Some of the attractions along the way include many restaurants and cafes like the Watermark and Longboard Bar and Grill, the saltwater Rockpool, Australia’s cleanest beach, a family-friendly and free water park, fishing from the pier, Tobruk Pool, and the large Strand Park. Jezzine Barracks is another attraction, located at the Rockpool end of the Strand.
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