Discover Townsville: 10 Top Things To Do In Queensland’s Coastal City
Townsville is a small but thriving city in the heart of Queensland’s northeastern coast. With over 320 days of sunshine each year, Townsville is the place to go for a stunning tropical getaway in Australia.
From the dramatic landscapes to the glistening ocean, Townsville’s scenery is a feast for the senses. The bustling city is home to some of Australia’s best hiking trails, ocean diving, boutique shopping and al fresco dining.
Staying true to Queensland’s laid-back atmosphere, Townsville is a place to relax, unwind, and immerse yourself in nature. It may be smaller than its neighbouring city, Cairns, but Townsville sure packs a punch when it comes to its long list of attractions.
These top 10 Townsville experiences will make for an unforgettable holiday in the coastal city.
Climb to the summit of Castle Hill
Castle Hill is a 284-metre pink granite monolith, right in the centre of Townsville. As the most prominent feature in the city, Castle Hill is easy to get to and rewards climbers with 360 views of the city, the sea and beyond. With accommodation like Hotel Grand Chancellor nearby, this can become a daily exercise option, and you’ll quickly be able to swap your activewear for something light and breezy after your hot walk to the top!
See the wildlife at Billabong Sanctuary
For the best in Australian wildlife, check out Townsville’s Billabong Sanctuary. See all the favourites including, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, cassowaries, and crocodiles. Billabong Sanctuary offers plenty of opportunities to interact with the animals such as hand-feeding the kangaroos and patting the koalas. Be sure to catch one of their regular shows to see these amazing creatures in action.
Snorkel along the Great Barrier Reef
Townsville is an easy gateway to the world’s largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef. A trip to a nearby reef takes about two hours where snorkelers and divers can get up close and personal with the remarkable underwater world. Swim with the reef’s many colourful inhabitants such as turtles, reef sharks, stingrays, and Maori wrasse. Book with a local tourism operator and enjoy a full-day adventure with lunch and all equipment taken care of.
Visit the Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium
Townsville’s Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium is the largest coral reef aquarium in the world. If snorkelling in the open ocean isn’t your thing, you can still see the array of amazing creatures that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef. With over 150 marine species and a colourful mix of hard and soft corals, the aquarium comes a close second to the real thing.
Take the ferry to Magnetic Island
Take a short, 20-minute ferry ride off the coast of Townsville to the stunning Magnetic Island. This tropical oasis is home to 2,500 residents who have escaped the rat race of big-city living. It may be small, but Magnetic Island boasts a variety of exciting activities such as snorkelling, diving, jet-skiing, golf, hiking, horse riding and much more. Spend the day exploring or stay for the night in gorgeous beach-side accommodation.
Spend a day at The Strand
Built purely for the enjoyment of its visitors, The Strand provides the perfect beach-front setting for a day outdoors. With a playground, waterpark, barbecues, picnic spots, cycleways, safe-swimming beaches and picturesque views of Magnetic Island, it’s easy to spend a whole day at The Strand. The tree-lined promenade offers plenty of shaded spots to relax and enjoy this free and fun public space.
Hike to the peak of Mount Stuart
Are you up for a challenge? Climb the seven-kilometre track to the summit of Mount Stuart and be rewarded with sweeping views of Townsville. Unlike Castle Hill, hiking Mount Stuart requires a good level of fitness and coordination. There are some steep sections of the hike, with dense foliage and slippery tracks to add to the challenge. With stunning picnic spots and more trails to explore at the summit, climbing Mount Stuart is a true outdoor adventure.
Hit Townsville’s diverse restaurant scene
Townsville is foodie heaven. Enjoy a new cuisine with every meal at the city’s diverse range of cafes and restaurants. Find perfectly cooked steak, locally sourced seafood, international cuisines, freshly brewed coffee, and famous Australian wines. Townsville chefs cook with heart and soul to create a memorable dining experience for everyone who visits the city.
Visit the Museum of Tropical Queensland
With cultural and natural heritage at the forefront of their organisation, the Museum of Tropical Queensland explores every facet of the sunshine state from prehistoric times to modern-day. The museum runs several interactive exhibitions to encourage visitors to learn as much as possible about the tropical north, its people, the landscapes, and the ocean. Through dedicated research, museum staff have created a wonderful space to inform, connect, and discover.
Cool off at Riverway
Riverway is a cultural and recreational haven with plenty of opportunities to cool off amidst the Townsville heat. With a collection of man-made lagoons, a public art trail, barbecue facilities and an on-site café, Riverway is the ideal space for family-friendly fun. Be sure to catch an outdoor movie while you’re here! Blockbusters screen once a month, providing great entertainment under the stars.
Ready to see what Townsville has to offer? Pack your bags and head to tropical north Queensland for fun, sun, culture and nature in Australia’s sunshine state.