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Townsville North Queensland

It’s pretty hard to be unhappy when the sun is shining. And with an average of 320 days of sunshine per year, Townsville North Queensland has cause to celebrate.

You don’t have to like football, fast cars, diving or sailing in this town, but if you do, you’ll be in your own personal nirvana with a line-up of events usually only seen in bustling capital cities.

From Magnetic Island with its 23 bays and beaches, to the beautifully wild Hinchinbrook Island (home of the Thorsborne Trail) and epic Wallaman Falls, you can’t help but succumb to the allure of this region – sitting pretty between the reef, rainforest and outback.

Custodians of the Great Barrier Reef

Home to the who’s who of reef research, turtle rehabilitation and marine education in Australia, Townsville is THE place to greet the reef.

  • Learn all about conservation and research on the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef at Reef HQ.
  • Snorkel your way along the reef or go for the ultimate dive at the SS Yongala wreck.
  • Sail your way around the Palm Islands group or bliss out in luxury on Orpheus Island.

Naturally fascinating

Travel really is the best education. Get the kids heads out of the books and into the great outdoors for a PhD in life.

  • See northern Australia’s largest colony of wild koalas on Magnetic Island.
  • Develop your own bird-watching Wikipedia in the Tropics wetlands.

Not just a pretty face

Once you’ve conquered Castle Hill and dived the Great Barrier Reef until you can’t flipper anymore...

  • Go from beach to bush and spend your days cooling off under waterfalls and spotting kangaroos and platypus in Paluma Range National Park.
  • Go panning through Charters Towers’ gold mining history.
  • Take part in preparing a traditional Aboriginal kup mari feast at Mungalla Station.
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Magnetic Island Walking Tracks

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
For an opportunity to see Magnetic Island’s wildlife and enjoy spectacular views, why not take the time and traverse through the Island’s six main walking tracks. Choose walks that range from 30 minutes to two and a half hours to complete. There are wonderful sights to be seen no matter which track you choose!

Wreck Diving at Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Located within the waters of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Magnetic Island has a wealth of interesting dive sites. Some of the best places to dive on the Island are found in Geoffrey, Alma, Arthur and Florence Bays and the reef in Nelly Bay. The Moltke wreck, a German barque in Geoffrey Bay is an excellent dive, especially at night, with a large variety of coral in a concentrated area and teeming with fish life. The wreck is marked by a post near the Arcadia wharf. The wreck of the Platypus an old dredge, is in Arthur Bay, on the left hand side out towards the point in a rocky cove and is encrusted with hard corals. Most ships were sunk as shelters to moorings, or jetties. But the Island's rocks have also claimed the schooner Lavina in Rocky Bay, and the ketch Lallah Rookh was wrecked on Bremner Point, in 1896. The Bee, a steam launch, was the first regular ferry service to the mainland, it came to grief on Knobby Point near Picnic Bay in 1901. The wrecks are relatively shallow, so are perfect for novices or for relaxed enjoyable diving.

Wet Tropics Great Walk

Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
Passing through North Queensland's Wet Tropics World Heritage listed area, the Wet Tropic's Walk is located in Girringun National Park. Here the Traditional Aboriginal Custodians continue their close association with the land. A variety of walks are available including short walks, overnight adventures, and for more self-sufficient walkers, a unique wilderness experience. The walk begins at the breathtaking Wallaman Falls, the largest single-drop waterfall in Australia. Early risers taking a walk along the creek may be rewarded with a glimpse of a platypus or even a southern cassowary. The four to six day walk from Yamanie to Blencoe Falls offers a true wilderness adventure, and part of the walk follows the awe-inspiring, 60 kilometre long Herbert River Gorge. Enjoy half-day walks to view the Gorge and Blencoe Falls. The walk is approximately 100 kilometres long and traverses the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Are and Einasleigh Uplands bioregion. The Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area is exceptional as one of only twelve World Heritage sites in the world the meet all four natural heritage criteria as set out in the World Heritage Convention.

Jourama Falls, Paluma Range National Park

Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
A picturesque waterfall on Waterview Creek, rainforest, vine forest and open woodland feature in this popular section of Paluma Range National Park in the foothills of the Seaview Range. Rainforest grows on the higher slopes and fringes the creek. Poplar gum, bloodwood, Moreton Bay ash and cocky apple trees are common in the open woodland. Jourama Falls, Paluma National Park, is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Jourama Falls in Paluma Range National Park offers beautiful places to relax, camp, walk and enjoy watching birds, butterflies and other native wildlife. Enjoy a picnic in the cool air at the day-use area near the first causeway. In the rainforest along the creek, look for the buff-breasted paradise-kingfisher which arrives here from Papua New Guinea between October and April. Camp at the popular Jourama Falls camping area or take a stroll along the three kilometre return track to view Jourama Falls, Waterview Creek and surrounding rainforest. Look for the distinctive red flowers of weeping bottlebrush trees overhanging the creek, which attract the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly.

Tyto Wetlands

Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
Tyto Wetlands is a unique 90-hectare natural wetland site that is home to over 230 species of birds and numerous tropical plant species in addition to such native Australian wildlife creatures as the wallaby. Located just 500 metres from the township of Ingham and situated just a few hundred metres off the Bruce Highway down Cooper Street, Tyto Wetlands is a carefully preserved natural environment that integrates lagoons, walking tracks and native flora. Experience the natural beauty and tranquility of this tropical environment by leisurely strolling along the four kilometre walkways. Interpretive signs, marked lookouts and specially created viewing platforms allow you to view local wildlife without interference or disturbance to their habitats. The area is named after the endangered Eastern Grass Owl (Tyto Capensis) Tyto meaning monkey faced owl which can be found in the Hinchinbrook Shire, one of the few places in the world where this owl can be spotted regularly. This owl can be seen leaving their grassy habitat just on dusk.

Townsville Town Common Conservation Park

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
The park's wildlife viewing areas and walking and mountain bike trails offer a range of nature-based recreation activities close to the centre of Townsville. The park features deep-water lagoons and seasonal wetlands, coastal woodlands and vine thickets, and sheltered beaches fringed by rocky headlands. Summer rains transform the area into an immense wetland, attracting large flocks of waterbirds. Hike across Many Peak Range, enjoy expansive island views while riding the Under the radar mountain bike trail or walk the trail to enjoy a picnic in beautiful secluded Shelley Beach. For birdwatchers, the park is a paradise! From bird hides and observation points, watch flocks of magpie geese, brolgas, finches, wrens and cisticolas; up to 280 species have been recorded here.

Broadwater, Abergowrie State Forest

Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
In the scenic Herbert River Valley, Abergowrie State Forest features tropical rainforest, open eucalypt forest and exotic pine plantations adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Broadwater is a large grassy clearing, shaded by tall eucalypts, beside a cool waters of Broadwater Creek. Set up camp beside the creek and relax in the peaceful surrounds. Book camping well in advance for holiday periods. Stroll along the 1.6 kilometre return Rainforest walk through endangered riparian rainforest and check out the huge old Broadwater fig. Try the longer 3 kilometre return Creek walk through eucalypt and riparian forest to the delightful pools along Broadwater Creek. Cool off with a swim in the pools in the creek. Birdwatch in the rainforest and look for wallabies in the open forest in the afternoons.

Paluma and Crystal Creek Rainforest

Townsville City, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Paluma Range is a rainforest haven located approximately 60 minutes drive north of the city of Townsville. Paluma village is located on the mountain-top - a quaint rainforest township offering tea and craft rooms. Along the Paluma Range highway is Little Crystal Creek and Big Crystal Creek, both of which are ideal for swimming, camping (permit required), bushwalking, picnicking or barbecue. Magnificent panoramic views from various lookouts along the Paluma range. Paluma and Crystal Creek is an eco-tourism paradise with a wide array of wildlife and birdlife in this rainforest habitat. Little Crystal Creek is located seven kilometres along the scenic road to Paluma and features a giant Roman Arch stone bridge which was constructed manually in the early 1930's during the depression. Big Crystal Creek leaves the highway two kilometres north of the Paluma turn off. Camping is permitted and day visitors are welcomed. Camping sites can be booked online.

Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park

Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, boasting the highest, permanent, single-drop waterfall in Australia. Open forest dominates the ridge tops. Rainforest lines the gullies and creeks. The area is home to endangered cassowaries and musky rat-kangaroos. Stroll 800 metres along the banks of Stony Creek on the Banggurru walk, and learn about the rainforest. To enjoy a closer look at the falls, take the 3.2 kilometre Djyinda walk into the gorge. Experienced bushwalkers can choose from one of three overnight hikes that are part of the Wet Tropics Great! Walk.
Free Entry
This walk crosses the Herbert River before reaching the Yamanie pick-up point. Remember to tell a responsible person where you're going and when you expect to return. Let them know your route and contact them on your return. Have a contingency plan in place if you fail to contact them by the agreed time. If you change your plans, inform them. Grade: Difficult. Distance: 37.5 kilometres one way. Time: Allow two days. Day 1-Henrietta gate pick-up point to Stony Creek camp site From Henrietta gate pick-up point walk 5.2 kilometres to Lemon Tree Gully. After passing through the gully, walk six kilometres to Henrietta Creek. Fill water bottles here as there is no water until the campsite, 13 kilometres away. Day 2 Stony Creek camp site to Yamanie pick-up point From the camp site, walk 4.4 kilometre to Garrawalk Creek. Crocodiles can be found here. Be aware! They're most active at night. Walk another three kilometres to a grove of cycads. The Yamani turn-off is a further 1.8 kilometres along. Follow the signs to the pick-up point, and enjoy a 9.5 kilometre walk through open forest, along the high banks of the Herbert River to the Yamanie pick-up point.
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