Built out into the harbour, the aquarium contains the largest living coral reef in the world. At two stories high with giant panoramic windows, the aquarium features a glass tunnel that allows for walking below the ocean amongst colourful tropical fish. You will come face to face with the wonders of the Great Barrier Reed as you discover an underwater world of brilliant coral, home to thousands of incredible reef creatures. A wave machine, simulating ebb and flow of the ocean, maintains natural marine living conditions, and algae are used in the purification system.
On The Strand, I also saw this nice water playground and thought I'd include it in my tips, as people travelling with children might find it helpful. After exploring the city, your children can play and you can relax in the shade and enjoy The Strand's atmosphere while watching them.
I bet I would have loved it as a child :-)
Memories of Townsville and Australia
(rwlittle is the young man in the back row, far right)
rwlittle in Townsville and Australia, long ago and far away...
Our family moved to Australia from Canada in 1974, settling in the city of Townsville, which is in the state of Queensland. I don't know much about Townsville--I was too young, really. So, if you're looking for information about Townsville, I suggest you check out some of the other pages. I believe I identified the hill in the photo above, as being Castle Rock, based upon stevezero's page.
My father taught at Currajong State School, an elementary school, and I ended up going to school there as well (see the photo above). On school vacations we visited family in Port Lincoln (having visited Sydney and Melbourne on the way), Ayer's Rock, and Darwin.
After a few years, my folks moved us back to Canada in 1978. The story was that Mom couldn't take the insects any more...secretly I think they were just homesick, or missed hockey.
All in all, it was a fun experience, living in Australia. The things I remember are rather scattered--I was young, after all. I remember nights in the caravan, one one of our trips. I remember sleeping in the car one night in Sydney, because all of the caravan parks were full. I remember the hills near Mount Isa, as we drove to Ayer's Rock--but not Ayer's Rock itself. I remember crocodile parks/zoos.
I also remember the little things...our home on Wandella Crescent, with the swimming pool in the back...learning how to swim...smacking my head on cement at school and bleeding profusely...planning birthday parties for my sister two years in a row, inviting all my friends from the neighborhood, and (both times) telling my parents about it only at the last minute!
The last cyclone that blew through made a big impression on me. The street flooded early, so my folks have pictures of my sister and I swimming up and down the road. Later, the winds picked up, and the flooding got worse during the night...a little scary for a 7-year-old. The extreme weather we often experienced in Australia first got me interested in science, and being a scientist (I checked a book out of the school library in grade 3 about scientists)...this is one of the seeds which eventually led me to become a physicist and engineer.
Lastly, I remember it being awfully bright! Note how white my hair is, and how I';m squinting away in these photos...
Good times...I'd like to go back and visit some day...
Animals of Australia
These pictures were taken in the Billabong Sanctuary close to Townsville. The great thing is you can get close to the animals you might not see in the wild.
Billabong has different kinds of kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, koalas, wombats, saltwater crocodiles, lizards, skinks, possums, owls and other birds of prey. Furthermore the most dangerous snakes in the world - the inland taipan, the brown snake, the coastal taipan, deaf adder, to name a few. You see parrots, lorikeets, cockatoos, ducks, geese, dingos, turtles, bats....
Regularly, there's a feeding session with the dangerous (and very big!) saltwater crocodiles. It's very interesting to see because normally they're almost invisible in the water... When they see or smell the meat, they come out with incredible speed - you wouldn't think that a crocodile can move so fast!
It was such a great experience to hold koalas and wombats or touch kangaroos. Especially, this wombat lady (quite heavy!) was such a cute thing! She looks so funny! As the park ranger said, they sleep 20 hours a day - the rest is for feeding and some other essential things in life! ;-) They have a very hard head with which they can attack their enemies if necessary.