Here one can explore the delights of Tropical North Queensland through marine exhibits and pioneer lore. Learn the fascinating story
of the MHS Pandora, the ship that chased the Bounty mutineers, only to be wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef in 1791.
It's fun, just like everyone says.
You walk around, gaze admiringly at nature, pet a koala, eat an expensive snack (by U.S. standards) and go home with fond memories.
By the way, Australian "scones" are soft, small, sweet rolls. The price here is similar to elsewhere in Townsville: $7AUD for 2rolls, jelly, cream and tea.
If you arrange the trip through the travel agent in the middle of Flinders Mall (highly recommended and helpful, by the way), you can arrange a shuttle for about $19AUD per person.
If you are travelling with children (of any ages) there are lots of playgrounds for the very little to teenagers and parks to play in. There is even a water park and of course beaches close by. If I was visiting Townsville I would stay nearby the Strand and I don't think you would often need to leave the close by activities to enjoy a free and relaxing holiday.
Unfortunately I ran out of time to see the top of Castle Hill and the fabulous view it offered which was a shame as I love lookouts over towns and especially when you have the ocean in sight as well. Definitely will be doing that next time and it is right in the middle of town so very easy to get to. I love all these free things to do!
Just off the Coast of Townsville - and I mean just I would say you could swim over if you were really keen and didn't mind stingers, is Magnetic Island. I didn't get over but my friends I was staying with had taken the ferry over and spent a great day relaxing on the beaches and having a look around.
We enjoyed our walk from one end to the other of the Strand. It is a few kilometres I would guess and was very relaxing and we passed people of all ages and types doing the same. Would be lovely in the morning, daytime and at night. Lots to see and do. Possible could be warm in Summer. Hard to believe things like this can be free! Some great pubs and other eats and drinks along the way.
We were there around lunchtime and this little Pier jutting out off the Strand was filled with fishermen (and women and children) of all ages enjoy their time. No massive catches whilst we were there but probably a morning or afternoon well spent for those that like to fish within close proximity to where they are holidaying and kids would love it!
Probably not a place for serious fisherpeople but looked like fun all the same.
While visiting friends in Townsville, we all went on a Great Barrier Reef flight.
It was AMAZING!!!!!! The pilot took us over the reef so we could take some beautiful pictures. It is breathtaking to see how stunning the coral is from the air and the water was so blue. It was the best part of our visit to Townsville.
The other nice bonus was, because we had 5 passangers, the fifth one was free - and they picked us up at our hotel ;-)
A sunrise descent into Poseidon’s lair,
With explosive excitement I could hardly bear.
A Green Sea Turtle has my attention,
And approaches me without apprehension.
In utter awe and disbelief,
I kneel down at a hundred feet.
With more colours than words can rectify,
Such confounding tranquillity when the wreck meets the eye.
As voiceless arrays radiate relentlessly,
A condescending Bull Ray gazes pretentiously.
Drifting along to a Giant Trevally,
I imagine its taste with a hint of wasabi,
Amidst the fish that resemble the butterfly,
Euphoric bliss assembles from stimuli.
In a frozen state of pleasurable tension,
Comfortable paralysis with poisonous suspension.
An Olive Sea Snake swims my direction,
Slithering by with graceful perfection.
Swimming vertically, so leisurely, yet fast,
An Eagle Ray soars from the forward mast.
Captivated with wonder from all its magnificence,
I study the creature in helpless diligence.
A Queensland Grouper ahead in the distance,
Fighting the current swimming to-and-fret,
The current is too strong, denying admittance,
Only a small glimpse of its large silhouette.
The inexplicable thrill ends in an ultimate crescendo,
With a memorable knock on Yongala’s window.
The reposing ride up the ascent line,
Brings a farewell glare that’s impeccably sublime.
Giant Barracuda gape in motionless reaction,
As I exit their realm with ineffable satisfaction.
Townsville is seen as the capital of North Queensland, here we have the Museum of Tropical North Queensland.
To be honest I didn't go inside, just went in the shop, but I liked the building, photos to follow.....it is right along the water side so you get lovely views of the harbour.
They have displays on the wildlife you'll find, especially under the sea, fossils, a reconstruction of HMS Pandora’s bow, lots of interactive science things to do, and information on the history of Townsville.
Open from 9.30am-5.00pm, 7 days a week, (except Good Friday, Christmas Day and Anzac Day morning) the main entrance to the museum is on Flinders Street, entry for one adult is AU$12.
If anyone's interested a flinder is a butterfly in Dutch.
If so then take a walk up to the top of Castle Hill, all 286 metres of it.
I found it tricky finding the start of the track and ended up asking a local.
There are two walking tracks up, The Goat Track leads up the Eastern ridge from Hillside Crescent. The second option is the Cutheringa Track, which commences near the carpark/turn around about 0.7k west up the Castle Hill road from the Gregory St intersection.
It is quite tough going so take plenty of water and sun protection, though to my disapointment, at the top of the hill is a car park, toilets and drinking water. I took the 'Goat Track' up to the top, once there you can do a few different loops around the top, I did all of them, well I'll never get there again. You will be rewarded with spectacular views, of the flat bowl Townsville's stiuated in, of the protecting nearby hills, of the ocean and out to Magnetic Island.
There are also remenants of WW2 protections.
Throughout the town centre there are many historic buildings, the important ones have plaques outside explaining their importance.
You can pick up guide maps from the information centre, though most of the buildings are down Flinders Street.
It is also pleasant walking along the newly re-developed The Strand whihc is the largest beach and headland creation project of its kind ever developed in Australia.
Nelly Bay to Arcadia Bay
Distance: 5km one way Time: 2.5 hours one way Grade: moderate
Passes through a rainforest pocket, climbing gradually to the saddle between Nelly and Horseshoe Bays. The track continues along a ridge through open forest with views over Horseshoe Bay. The track then branches - one track leading to Horseshoe Bay Road (where you can continue on to other tracks) and the other to Arcadia.
Just out from Townsville is lovely Magnetic Island. It is very popular and easy to get to. There are boats that go back and forth and if you like you can take your car over on the barge.
There a half a dozen beaches on the island. Lots of accomodation, restaurants and activities.
Nice for a day trip or a longer stay.
If you are one of those high rollers or even a low roller you will enjoy the Casino.
Everyone goes there.
As casinos go it is...well a casino. Lots of pokies and gambling machines and of course good restaurants and accomodation.