Spreading along the coast of north-eastern Queensland, Townsville is a beautiful outdoor destination with a bustling esplanade, lush botanical gardens, sand dunes and an interactive wildlife park. It’s also known as a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed collection of tropical rainforests.
Things to do in Townsville
Castle Hill is an enormous mound of pink granite and sits in the centre of Townsville watching over the city. You can join locals on walking tracks with stunning views of the skyline, Cleveland Bay and Magnetic Island, and then enjoy a dinner in the City Lane district.
It’s easy to spend all day at The Strand, as it has a lively esplanade with a pier, various children’s playgrounds and the Strand Water Park. Cafes, gelato stands and watersports shacks dot the waterfront, giving you plenty of options for adventure, from stand-up paddleboarding to skydiving. Feel like casting a line out? Head over to the jetty and fish for bream or grunter fish.
At the end of The Strand you’ll find Jezzine Barracks, a historic site for both the Australian military and Indigenous Australians. Enjoy the commissioned outdoor art, an ethnobotanical walkway and observation decks at Kissing Point Fort. Visit the 25-hectare Anderson Gardens to see the diverse collection tropical trees and palms and the World Cycad Collection.
The Museum of Tropical Queensland provides an array of simulated interactive experiences, from diving the Great Barrier Reef to exploring a rainforest and firing ship’s cannon. At Billabong Sanctuary, you can hold a koala bear or wombat, feed a cassowary and view native animals in wetlands and eucalypt forests.
Getting around Townsville
You can pick up a rental car in the city centre or at Townsville International Airport, about a 10-minute drive away. Local buses and taxis service the metropolitan area, while ferries provide transportation to Magnetic and Palm islands.