Things to do in Townsville

You’ll be surrounded by water in the Townsville region, from the crystal-clear Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef to tumbling waterfalls in lush national parks. Discover Townsville’s offshore jewel, the delightful Magnetic Island, or check in to an exclusive resort on secluded Orpheus Island.

Great Barrier Reef

Discover the secret side of the Great Barrier Reef with a day trip to dive or snorkel at remote, uncrowded reefs. The SS Yongala, one of the world’s best wreck dives, is accessible from Townsville or Ayr. You can even experience the Great Barrier Reef on land with a visit to Reef HQ near the city centre. It’s home to the world’s largest living coral aquarium, a turtle hospital and a number of conservation programs that the whole family will enjoy.

Islands

There’s an island for everyone close to Townsville: Magnetic Island for families, Hinchinbrook Island for adventure-seekers and Orpheus for couples. On family-friendly Magnetic Island, look for rock wallabies, and members of one of Australia’s largest colonies of wild koalas. Test yourself and hike the famous Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island; relax in absolute luxury or snorkel over a giant clam nursery on Orpheus Island. For the ultimate fishing adventure, take a helicopter to a deserted island for a private heli-fishing safari.

Nature and History

There’s plenty to discover on the mainland as well. Marvel at Wallaman Falls, Australia’s highest single-drop waterfall that’s almost 270m tall, and visit one of the many national parks in the region. Hike up the goat tracks to Castle Hill, the striking pink granite monolith overlooking the town, or discover some of the other walking, hiking and mountain-biking trails that cover the region. The Townsville region also has a rich WWII history, including the Forts Walk on Magnetic Island and Jezzine Barracks on Kissing Point headland.



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Paluma and Crystal Creek Rainforest

Townsville City, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Embrace the natural beauty of the Paluma Range National Park, the southern gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Here you can escape the coastal lowland heat and relax in the cool mountain air of the Paluma Range.

Nelly Bay

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
A holiday on Magnetic Island is likely to start on Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island's main residential bay. Nelly Bay is the first point of access for the passenger and car ferries and is an easy location to access bus transfers, taxis, hire vehicles or jump on board a guided tour.

Eddy Reef Dive Site

Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
Eddy Reef is located off Mission Beach and is accessible on day boats. Divers exploring this reef will find a maze of coral ridges in depths from 10 to 20 metres that are covered in some of the most beautiful corals – wide gorgonians, lovely pink whip corals and delicate soft corals.

Picnic Bay

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
With a sweeping beach, tranquil setting and the iconic jetty, Picnic Bay on Magnetic Island is a spectacular location to enjoy a relaxing swim, beachside dining or a spot of fishing on the jetty. Snorkel and explore the abundant marine life of Picnic Bay or see what you can spot from above while taking a stroll along the jetty.

Castle Hill

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Just metres short of a mountain, Castle Hill is the giant pink granite monolith that stands proud in the centre of Townsville - a perfect place for visitors to orientate themselves. As well as offering vehicle access, Castle Hill provides a number of popular walking tracks, which are frequented by more than 2,500 locals a day!

Horseshoe Bay

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Horseshoe Bay is the premier location for watersports on Magnetic Island offering activities to excite the whole family. Along the shores of Horseshoe Bay is an array of equipment hire options including jet skis, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and more!

Alva Beach

Alva, Burdekin Area
Free Entry
Alva is a relaxed Burdekin location, 15 minutes drive from Ayr. Holiday houses and permanent residences fill the township, with Alva Beach a short stroll over the sand dune. A lookout area is located to the right as you enter the township.

Townsville Town Common Conservation Park

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Enjoy the secluded beaches framed by rocky headlands, coastal woodlands bordering seasonal wetlands, and deep-water lagoons that make this park special. Summer rains transform the park into an immense wetland, attracting large flocks of waterbirds The walking and mountain biking trails, ranging from short easy walks to cross-country mountain bike rides, are a popular nature escape—and lots of heart-pumping fun—close to the city of Townsville 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 on secluded Shelley Beach.

Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park

Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
Discover Wallaman Falls, Australia's highest permanent single drop waterfall, in Girringun National Park, west of Ingham. Surrounded by World Heritage rainforest, Stony Creek plunges 268 metres in a clear single-drop, often through a rainbow-fringed cloud of mist.

Arcadia at Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Arcadia is perfectly situated in the smallest of the four main bays on Magnetic Island, and is surrounded by the prominent Alma Bay and Geoffrey Bay. Geoffrey Bay is a Marine National Park Zone - which means no fishing or collecting - but is great for exploring during low tide.
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