Townsville Visitor's Guide

Get a taste of the tropics in Townsville North Queensland, gateway to Queensland’s far north. The coastal city is a vibrant mix of modern architecture and restored heritage buildings, bustling outdoor cafes, restaurants, boutiques and quirky galleries, all linked by a shady park-lined beach promenade.

Things to do in Townsville City

Enjoy alfresco dining, explore the Great Barrier Reef and islands or simply enjoy the views from one of the city's beautiful parks. However you like to relax, there's plenty of things to see and do in Townsville. 

Kick Back on The Strand 

No visit to Townsville is complete without a stroll on The Strand, a 2.2km-long cafe-lined waterfront parkway with a free water adventure playground for the kids. 

See the Largest Reef in Captivity 

Explore the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet at Reef HQ, the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium.

Hang Out in the City 

Browse the shops and local markets, eat and drink you way along the buzzy restaurant strips on Palmer and Flinders streets, and soak in the water views from a cafe on The Strand.

Hike Castle Hill

For a sunset you’ll never forget, hike up to the top of Castle Hill and marvel at the 360-degree views.




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Things to do around Townsville

Whether you prefer to stay on dry land or get a new perspective underwater, you don't have to travel far to make memories near Townsville.

Get Wrecked

Learn about the state's earliest recorded shipwreck, HMS Pandora, on show at the Museum of Tropical Queensland. Or, drive an hour south to experience one of the world’s best wreck dives, the SS Yongala.

Visit Wallaman Falls

Mother Nature knew what she was doing when it came to waterfalls in the tropics. Drive two hours north to see Wallaman Falls, the longest single-drop waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere.

Explore Magnetic Island

Don't get confused if you hear lots of locals talking about visiting "Maggie" - it's not a person but a patch of paradise just a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville, with 23 bays and beaches. This is the place where you can cuddle a koala, drive a topless car, ride a horse and race a jet-ski all in one day.

Dive the Great Barrier Reef

It's Australia's great natural wonder - seeing the Great Barrier Reef up close is a bucket-list experience.

What's on in Townsville

From international sporting and endurance events and concerts to festivals, art exhibitions, carnivals and markets, there’s always something happening in Townsville. Find out what’s on and plan a visit around your favourite event.

Where to stay in Townsville

You’ll find accommodation options for every style and budget in Townsville, from luxe waterfront hotels and city apartments to great value hostels, as well as family-friendly caravan parks, beachside and island resorts.

Getting there

Townsville is 1340km north of Brisbane, a less than two-hour flight – you can also fly from Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin. Townsville Airport’s international terminal has flights from Port Moresby.

Getting around 

If you're road-tripping, Townsville is 350km south of Cairns, about a 4.5-hour drive.

Get there by overnight sleeper train on the Spirit of Queensland from Brisbane (about 17 hours) or Cairns (six hours), or The Inlander, which travels to and from Mount Isa (about 21 hours).

Long-distance buses, which travel between Brisbane and Cairns several times a day, also stop at Townsville. 

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