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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North Ward

Townsville, Townsville Area
North Ward is one of the oldest and most popular suburbs of Townsville. Wedged between towering Castle Hill and the deep blue Coral Sea, North Ward overlooks the tourist drawcard of Magnetic Island and the Port of Townsville.

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.

Mount Elliot, Bowling Green Bay National Park

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Rugged mountains rise abruptly from the wetlands, saltpans and mangroves of the coastal plain, south of Townsville, in the Mount Eliot section of Bowling Green Bay National Park. Mount Elliot reaches a height of 1,210 metres, jutting out of the surrounding coastal plain and dominating the landscape, and Alligator Creek descends in a series of cascades, deep pools and waterfalls.

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.

Groper Creek

Home Hill, Burdekin Area
Free Entry
Groper Creek is a laidback location, where you can sit back, relax and unwind. You can launch your tinnie from the boat ramp, or fish from the jetty. The area is well known for its fantastic fishing and crabbing.

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.

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.

Magnetic Island Dive Site

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
Magnetic Island is a popular destination off Townsville for day trips or an extended stay. The island has many sheltered bays that are great to snorkel or dive, as they have a surprising amount of coral and some great marine life.

Ayr

Ayr, Burdekin Area
Situated on the north side of the mighty Burdekin River, 85 kilometres south of Townsville, the prosperous rural community of Ayr is the main town in the Burdekin Shire. This is prime sugar country, with about 80,000 hectares of land under sugar cane, and an annual production of about 1.
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