This was my first trip to Townsville and I flew in from Brisbane on Jetstar. Definitely better than the drive which takes more than a day. I was in the air for less than 2 hours and it was a great flight with things to see along the way.
The Townsville airport is well set up and comfortable with lots of parking and a great selection of eateries and shops to pass the time whilst waiting for your plane.
Lots of great fares into Townsville if you keep your eyes open.
We flew to Mackay and then caught a McCafferty's bus from there to Townsville, which cost us a bit over $90 between 2 adults for a journey which took 6 hours. It was comfortable, fortunately well air conditioned, and we were happy to have chosen this way to travel there.
In the picture here you can also see above the bus, part off the Transit Centre Backpacker hostel where we stayed.
We flew on Virgin Blue from Brisbane.
Flights are now available on them from many Australian Cities