I particularly enjoyed the Townsville Mall - it's quite long and cobblestoned, with some attractive little garden and tropical areas.
In the middle, there is a large stage area with shade sails over the top (so many things, playgrounds, pools, even car parks in Queensland have shade sails over the top to try and shelter them from the heat)
which is an entertainment stage.
When we were there, a group of 10 - 12 year old dancers/singers from a local drama or calisthenics college were putting on a show for
visitors and tourists alike, and they were really good and well worth watching.
I couldn't believe the confidence of some of the 11 year olds, and the fact that at such a young age, they could also sing so well! Amazing.
There are plenty of shops and some arcades to browse in in the Mall too.
Townsville is dominated by the massive structure of castle Rock. It is a major landmark if you approach the town from the air.
It is possible to drive to the top, from where there is a lookout to get magnificent views over the town, Magnetic Island, and of the sea.
You can also walk to the top along a winding road (uphill of course) and the trek up is also popular with joggers in the evening.
Trip to Magnetic Island
Townsville is a very nice city, but most people come here to see Magnetic Island, Townsville's island getaway. You can easily go there by ferry, as a daytrip or staying overnight, and I'd absolutely say: If you come to Townsville, you should not miss Maggie!
I'm not sure what I was expecting of the city of Townsville, but it was a surprise to me, anyway.
I think I was imagining it to be smaller (yet it has over 130,000 people, and 50% of the population of the area between here and Cairns is aged at or below 25 years old, and this is very young for Australia, which more and more is having an aged population in many areas).
I thought it would be more touristy - it was touristy, yes, but it was also very functional, and goods weren't highly priced or cheap and tacky looking.
Basically, it looked like a normal city by the coast, on bit of a river harbour reaching almost the mall, with just a lot more attractions and varied things to do than you would find in other less adventure/touristy cities.
This river part in the town centre is undergoing what looks like massive multi storey resort/apartment development, so in a few years more, the impression I have of it being quite unspoilt could have changed...but I hope it manages to retain what it has, because there is a lot of charm.
It is also a modern city (parts of it are only just turning 100 years old). Part of this modernity is also due to the fact that parts of the city have been rebuilt several times after cyclones.
There was some very nice and colourful archeticture in the historic buildings they do have, a bit different to what I was expecting, huge 2 storey pubs with really wide verandas in Queenslander style, and the famous 2 storey Queenslander houses which are built up on legs and hollow underneath to allow air to flow under and keep the houses a bit cooler (which from November - May in the wet humid season, must be a real battle).
Here is a view of part of Townsville's harbour, as seen from the 2nd floor balcony of one of the dining rooms at the Transit Centre Backpackers
The Shamrock Hotel, in typical Queensland building style (with even extra wide verandahs)