February 15, 2023
12 mins Read
With its balmy tropical climate, abundant sunshine and ample sightline lines over the Coral Sea, Townsville is a city where only accommodation with water-view balconies, rooftop restaurants, poolside bars and expansive verandahs will do. Luckily that’s what it serves up in spades.
From sunny beachfront motels to tropical resorts with strong holiday vibes, and from historic Queenslanders to island retreats just a short ferry or helicopter ride away, there’s an oasis for you here.
From boutique hotels with quirky designs and tucked-away restaurants to luxury resorts, with swimming pools, day spas, and entertainment at your doorstep, Townsville has a hotel or resort to suit all travellers.
The iconic The Ville Resort-Casino overlooking the marina underwent a $43 million renovation in recent years.
Today it is a stylishly laid-back destination with a tropical holiday feel that connects 194 guest rooms, a designer pool, five restaurants and a nightspot to its surrounding scenery and the oceanic Coral Sea and Magnetic Island aspects.
The resort channels a lush pleasure garden vibe, with nods to the vernacular architecture of Townsville. Its guest rooms have more than a hint of mid-century California in their retro-cool furnishings and leaf-print carpets.
Although you’re only a leisurely stroll away from The Strand, with its cafes and restaurants, The Ville’s dining and drinking options might just mean you stay put.
Choose between Miss Songs, a modern Asian fusion restaurant; Quarterdeck, a cocktail bar with a balcony boasting uninterrupted views of Magnetic Island, and the poolside, Palm Springs-inspired Splash Bar.
A boutique resort hotel in the centre of Townsville city, Rambutan is a design-savvy spot with 45 guest rooms catering to a range of budgets – from king rooms to deluxe suites and self-contained villas.
The star of the show here is its rooftop pool, bar and restaurant, Armati’s, which serves up Mediterranean and Italian-inspired share plates – including its signature wood-fired pizzas – and carafes of wine alongside sweeping views of the marina.
A 10-minute drive from the city centre, four-star Mercure Townsville is spread across five luscious hectares of tropical gardens on the banks of Lake Curralea.
Its 162 rooms offer views across the lake, gardens or pool – Townsville’s largest free-form swimming pool with the added bonus of a spa.
There are also two full-size tennis courts on the property and a restaurant, Celsius, with a poolside deck and an à la carte dinner menu for making the most of North Queensland’s balmy nights.
For a unique and exclusive tropical North Queensland experience, take off in a helicopter from Townsville for the 30-minute (extremely scenic) flight over the Great Barrier Reef to Orpheus Island Lodge – a secluded hideaway that accommodates just 28 guests at a time.
Check into one of its 14 contemporary suites rendered in tones reflective of their beachfront aspect, indulge at its on-site spa, dine at its award-winning restaurant and set off to explore the pristine reef at your doorstep.
A stay at this sustainably minded luxury island resort includes three gourmet meals daily, an all-inclusive minibar and unlimited use of fishing and snorkelling gear, paddleboards, kayaks and more.
And don’t miss Orpheus’s signature ‘Dining with the Tides’ experience, a night of exclusive dining for two under the stars on the island’s jetty.
Located in the heart of Townsville’s CBD, The Palmer Collective is an easy walk to Flinders Mall and City Lane, where you’ll find shopping, restaurants and bars. The hotel was renovated in early 2022 and has a fresh, subtle tropical theme across its guest rooms.
Start your day at Palmers Bar and Kitchen, the on-site restaurant, with breakfast favourites such as avocado on sourdough or eggs benedict, or choose pub classics from the all-day menu, including chicken schnitzel and steak sandwich.
You can also keep up your fitness in the gym and escape the North Queensland heat in the outdoor swimming pool.
Families and larger groups will find convenience in accommodation that offers kitchen facilities and more space. These self-contained apartments and units are ideal for these travellers and for long-term stays.
Four-star hotel Quest Townsville on Eyre is within walking distance to Townsville’s CBD and offers 85 studio, one- and two- and three-bedroom serviced apartments.
Each comfortable and contemporary apartment has a kitchen and some feature balconies, while studios have kitchenettes when you need to eat in. There’s also an alfresco barbecue area for chilled nights, an outdoor swimming pool and an on-site gym.
Need a holiday from your holiday? Drive 1.5 hours north-west of Townsville and check into the 100% solar-powered Hidden Valley Cabins, located on the western edge of Paluma Range National Park, for a lungful of fresh mountain air and lower humidity than you’ll find on the coast.
The bush resort offers rustic and cosy cabins, which – built from locally sourced recycled timber – were designed with the environment in mind from the very beginning.
There is a range of daily tours and activities designed to introduce you to the wildlife, ecosystems and landscapes of the Hidden Valley including platypus and nocturnal safaris. Four-day all-inclusive tours departing from Townsville can also be booked.
Taking the quick ferry trip out to Magnetic Island is non-negotiable for visitors to Townsville, and to really make the most out of the laid-back tropical island experience you’ll have here, consider checking in for a night or two.
A 4.5-star resort located opposite the ferry terminal, Peppers Blue on Blue is one of the island’s most luxurious offerings. Ranging from hotel rooms to apartments to a four-bedroom penthouse, each boasts its own balcony, many offer kitchen facilities and the larger options have private plunge pools.
On top of this it offers two outdoor pools, a day spa, and a restaurant and bar – Boardwalk – that deals in fresh tropical produce including seafood straight from the reef, fine wines and vibrant cocktails.
Alternatively, check into Magnetic Island’s Island Leisure Resort on the other side of the marina. Small and boutique, this property is set on half a hectare of tropical gardens dotted with self-contained Polynesian-style bures, each with its own kitchen and outdoor dining patio.
Also on site is a large lagoon pool and spa, poolside barbecue area, a full-size tennis court, and a games room and library.
Smack-bang on The Strand, these motels and hotels are across from Townsville’s waterfront, boasting rooms with ocean views, and walking distance to drinking, dining, playgrounds and The Strand Waterpark.
This 3.5-star family-owned Beach House Motel is situated right on Townsville’s foreshore, The Strand, and offers a range of 24 clean, comfortable and stylish rooms and studio suites that put you in prime position for exploring the city’s beachy highlights without breaking the bank.
Among its attractions includes a swimming pool with water views out to Magnetic Island and Cleveland Bay, and proximity to all the bars, restaurants and cafes of this buzzy strip including Longboard Bar & Grill and C-Bar, right across the road.
Positioned on The Strand, Aquarius on the Beach claims to have the best views in Townsville.
Each of its spacious rooms has a balcony that overlooks the ocean and out to Magnetic Island. You can book a standard hotel room or a studio or suite with kitchen facilities.
There is a swimming pool on-site, or head over to Strand Park, which has beach swimming (with stinger nets), as well as walking and biking paths, picnic areas, basketball courts and a playground, just a short walk away.
This basic motel is well positioned on The Strand, within quick walking distance of the toddler park and the epic water playground, which kids will love. Strand Motel offers hotel rooms, as well as two- and three-bedroom units.
The units have full kitchens, though, with your location right near some of the best restaurants and cafes in Townsville, you won’t need these cooking facilities every night. There is a café on-site too, which serves an all-day breakfast menu, where you can sip on your morning coffee with views of the sun rising over the ocean.
Travelling with your dog? These pet-friendly hotels and motels will let your four-legged friend enjoy your Townsville holiday with you.
Another stay offering scenic views, Island View Motel is nestled in an elevated position with the ocean and Magnetic Island in the foreground, and Castle Hill behind. It has simple garden-view rooms and ocean-view rooms, which offer kitchen facilities.
The best part? Your four-legged friend can join you in specially designated rooms. The motel is conveniently located near walking tracks and off-leash areas, which the owners – and their dogs Jack and Jill – will happily recommend.
Also located at the foot of Castle Hill, The Robert Towns is a motel offering pet-friendly accommodation, as well as spacious family rooms and one-bedroom apartments. It’s a short walk into the CBD, where you’ll find dining and shopping, as well as Reef HQ.
The property has an outdoor swimming pool, barbecue facilities and an on-site laundromat, and caters to large group bookings.
If pitching a tent or setting up your caravan is more your style, there are a bunch of caravan parks and camping sites in Townsville and on Magnetic Island.
The best-located caravan park for exploring the city of Townsville, Rowes Bay Caravan Park has beach views and is an easy walk or cycle into town along The Strand.
Surrounded by tropical gardens, the park features cabin and villa accommodations, as well as powered and unpowered sites for camping and caravans. There’s a camp kitchen, swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, amenities blocks, and a giant chessboard.
The littlest travellers in your group will have a fun-filled stay at Discovery Parks Townsville, spending their days between the bouncing pillow, playground, swimming pool with waterslides and water park.
Fun aside, the park – which is located 15 minutes south of Townsville’s CBD – offers motel rooms, cabins and powered and unpowered sites, as well as a camp kitchen, kiosk and store. It’s also pet-friendly so you can bring your dog along, too.
If you choose to linger a little longer on Magnetic Island, Bungalow Bay offers budget accommodation and camping in double and twin bungalows, share bungalows and on powered and unpowered sites, within minutes from Horseshoe Bay.
It’s more than just a place to stay, though: it’s an eco and wildlife experience. Nestled in bushland, Bungalow Bay boasts its own wildlife park, which is home to koalas, turtles, pythons, wombats, lizards and crocs. There are two tours daily, for guests to get up close and personal with these native animals.
Check into Classique Bed and Breakfast to stay in a magnificent old Queenslander built in 1890 with original timber floors, high pressed-metal ceilings and French doors that spill onto a sunny verandah.
The property has just three en-suite queen guest rooms, each elegantly appointed, an outdoor spa and a games room for playing pool, snooker or darts.
Enjoy a tropical breakfast on the deck each morning and soak in the ambience and good old-fashioned hospitality that comes with the territory here.
You’ll find Classique at the foot of the city’s landmark Castle Hill, with quick access to one of its trails for sunset hikes, and a few minutes’ drive from the city centre.
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Have stayed at Hidden Valley Cabins. Such a beautiful experience. Staff are friendly and very knowledgeable.