February 23, 2023
5 mins Read
Combining the urban vibrancy of Townsville at its heart and nestled between two UNESCO World Heritage-listed ecosystems – the Great Barrier Reef and the Paluma Range National Park – Townsville is one of the North’s best-kept secrets with an unrivalled power to surprise (and all within a 90-minutes of the Townsville Airport!).
North Queenslanders have a passion for their naturally wonderous backyards, and it’s no different in its capital. As the official headquarters of the Great Barrier Reef, shine a light on nature’s story with a guided snorkel or dive tour with one of the region’s Master Reef Guides onboard Aquascene Charters or Adrenalin Snorkel & Dive.
Lace up and take a hike along the National Park trails which offer unparalleled access to ‘best-in-class’ nature – from the woodland forests of Magnetic Island (Yunbenen), abundant in North Australia’s largest colony of wild koalas, to the lush trails of the Paluma Range National Park – complete with waterfall encounters at every turn.
Experience and stay with some of Townsville’s nationally awarded eco-certified operators.
Indulge in the true taste of the tropics at one of the three Chef-hatted restaurants in Townsville – A Touch of Salt, JAM and Bridgewater. If a classy tipple is on the menu, enjoy Coral Sea views from The Ville Resort-Casino or, looking back to Townsville, from Peppers Blue on Blue Magnetic Island’s marina deck.
For the ultimate in barefoot luxury, a private island at Orpheus Island Lodge and heli-transfer with Nautilus Aviation is just the ticket.
Cruise turquoise seas with Pilgrim Sailing or Big Mama Sailing, for an indulgent sunset sail, or max out the luxe factor with a private beach picnic with Beach Club Magnetic Island. For a tree change, journey to the Outback (only 90 minutes) at Kernow Charters Towers for beautifully appointed apartments and cottages.
Interpret ‘next level’ literally with a scenic heli flight with Townsville Helicopters and tour the skies for the expansive views taking in remote nature on uninhabited islands or rocky river gorges.
If travelling in event season (Apr-Sept) – as the events capital of regional Queensland, take in an artistic array or sit sideline to some of the nation’s biggest sporting moments. With regular rugby league blockbusters in one of Australia’s newest purpose-built stadiums, supercharged racetrack action or exhibitions by a leading performance company – DanceNorth and the annual Australian Festival of Chamber Music.
Home to untouched, raw nature, and people and places of cultural and historical significance, Townsville North Queensland possess an ‘otherworldly’ quality. From military fortifications across the diverse regional landscapes; atop Magnetic Island’s Forts walk, or gun embankments overlooking the Coral Sea from Townsville’s Jezzine Barracks, journey through the history books with trails rich in more than nature’s gift – but with a real story to tell.
Journey an hour north of Townsville to nature’s playground and trek a Jurassic island on Hinchinbrook Island (Munamudanamy). Opt for the full experience on the world-famous Thorsborne Trail, or travel for the day with Wild Hinchinbrook Adventures to the top of Zoe Bay, complete with its own natural infinity pool. Fall for the unexpected at Australia’s tallest waterfall – Wallaman Falls nestled in the world-heritage rainforest.
Dive deeper without going further into the Southern Hemisphere’s only underwater museum. The Museum of Underwater Art is a series of globally significant artworks located on the Great Barrier Reef, accessible from Townsville or Magnetic Island. Or journey to the depths for one of the world’s best shipwreck dives, the SS Yongala.
Learn from the oldest living culture in the world, a history that is as culturally diverse as the region itself. Feel the wadda mooli (welcome) embrace from the traditional custodians of the North with Gudjuda Cultural Tours, and Mungalla Aboriginal Tours.
If you’re looking for a truly unique take on the North, then Townsville delivers this in spades – a natural charm and quirk that makes the region unexpected in surprising and fun ways.
Uncover the eclectic juxtaposition of heritage-era buildings adorned with international standard urban street art murals – brought to life through AR scan codes along the way. From coffee alley hideaways to high-rise canvas’ – this self-guided trail is a true introduction to Townsville’s colourful character.
An iconic mode of transport, topless cars on Magnetic Island give unrestrained access to the annual 300 days of sunshine to warm your smile; while tropical flavours of dragon fruit, achacha, and mango gelato bring the cool vibes.
For a BIG experience, join a Texas Longhorn Tour and get up close to the largest herd of these beautiful bovines outside of Texas! Complete the day with an authentic billy tea, and the country hospitality that makes a holiday in Townsville North Queensland so unexpected – in the best kind of way!
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