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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Nelly Bay Snorkel Trail

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Recommended as one of the 10 best snorkelling spots in Queensland, Magnetic Island has developed two snorkel trails for visitors to enjoy, one from Nelly Bay and one from Geoffrey Bay. Before you head to the beach, pick up a swim card from one of the many retail outlets as they have useful information about the coral and fish you can see.

Townsville's Street Art Walking Trail

Multiple Locations
Townsville's city centre has been transformed into a Street Art haven! Explore streets, alleys and laneways to see vibrant displays at every turn, from pops of colour to mega murals. Visit the Townsville Visitor Information Centre along Flinders Street to collect a free copy of your Street Art Walking Trail map, and be sure to have your camera at the ready.

Discovery Drive

Multiple Locations
The Discovery Drive will take you on a journey packed to the brim with outback legends, ancient discoveries, and bucket-list adventures. The drive links the Overlander’s Way and Australia’s Dinosaur Trail with the fascinating Channel Country.

Savannah Way

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Explore five World Heritage areas on a journey through Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia on Australia's adventure drive, the Savannah Way. This trek across the top of Australia starts in the tropical city of Cairns where you can visit the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest, and takes you to Broome's spectacular Cable Beach.

Kennedy Walking Track

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This popular coastal trail is an enjoyable and picturesque four kilometre (one way) route that includes beach and forest walking as well as island views. The track cuts through a wide variety of coastal rainforests to get to beaches and rocky headlands.

Searchlight Tower Track

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Starting on Radical Bay Road between Arthur Bay and Florence Bay, this track follows the ridge to the historical Searchlight Tower where you can climb to the top and be rewarded with views out to the ocean.

Townsville North Queensland Drive Itinerary

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The Townsville North Queensland Drive itinerary is the perfect relaxed touring option to experience the tropical North - from the coastal town of Townsville travel 270 kilometres round trip to the historical outback gold-mining town of Charters Towers.

Great Tropical Drive

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Explore palm-fringed beaches, ancient rainforests and the golden outback on a self-drive tour taking in the highlights of North Queensland. With 26 different routes to follow, the Great Tropical Drive takes you to some of Australia's best-known tropical attractions including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree rainforest, Hinchinbrook Island and the Undara Lava Tubes.

Alligator Falls Track, Bowling Green Bay National Park

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In the Mount Elliot section of Bowling Green Bay National Park, Alligator Creek flows through the landscape in a series of cascades, deep pools and waterfalls. The Alligator Falls track starts from the southern end of the Alligator Creek day-use area.

Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island National Park

Multiple Locations
The Thorsborne Trail is a 32 kilometre walking trail along the eastern side of Hinchinbrook Island National Park, which takes four days to traverse. Hinchinbrook Island is a rugged, outstanding feature of the north Queensland coast.
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