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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The 17 Must-Do Activities in Townsville

With stunning walks, eating places, night markets, botanical gardens, and the opportunity to be anchored at Tropical North Queensland’s most magnificent natural wonders, Townsville is an excellent destination for those who would like to experience life as locals.

A diverse range of family-friendly activities, historical sites, charming cities, and outdoor adventures are offered to each type of traveller in this modern coastal town. Townsville is a beautiful choice for your next beach vacation due to its dry tropical climate, which provides more than 300 days of sunshine annually.

There are endless things to do in Townsville that will keep you engaged throughout your journey. We will be happy to help you with the best of Townsville.

Things to do in Townsville
Image Source: Depositphotos

Unique Things to Do in Townsville

Townsville is a beautiful coastal city in northeastern Queensland, Australia. This tropical Queensland city has lots to offer to everyone. Once you land there, you will never regret your decision to visit this city as it has numerous attractions that make you fall in love with it.

The marine life, rocky shores, dive sites, national parks, and rock pools. Nightlife, walking tracks, trails, magnificent views, coral reefs, and wet tropics make it a perfect tourist destination. Let’s find out the most exciting things in this beautiful city.

1) Explore The Museum Of Tropical Queensland

Things to do in Townsville
Image Source: Depositphotos

The Museum of Tropical Queensland is an archaeology and natural history museum located at 70-102 Finders St. Townsville, QLD 4810, Australia. This award-winning museum in North Queensland is a rich cultural heritage that allows you to learn and explore the life of prehistoric times in modern ways.

The Museum of Tropical Queensland is a perfect tourist destination for families with kids to learn about the sea, the rainforest, the ecosystem, and the ancient animal life of Tropical North Queensland. Explore the world of science at the museum’s Science centre through play with over 20 interactive stations and discover how science challenges our body, stimulation, and senses.

Join various permanent and temporary exhibitions held there throughout the year and understand more about the past, the deep sea, tropical Queensland, and more. Several galleries highlight biodiversity, natural and cultural heritage, the tragic tale of HMS Pandora, and many more. You can also relax and have some refreshments at the Gallery Cafe.

2) Climb The Castle Hill

One of the special activities in Townsville is visiting Castle Hill, the giant pink granite monolith standing proudly in the centre of Townsville. Once you reach Castle Hill’s top, it offers 360-degree panoramic views of the city and the deep ocean of Magnetic Island.

There are many popular walking tracks and vehicle access for visitors. Castle Hill also provides car parking facilities, drinking fountains, shaded seating, and other public amenities. Don’t forget to carry your camera while walking up the hill to capture the fascinating views of Townsville and make your visit memorable.

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By SherS / Depositphotos Copyright

3) Visit The Billabong Sanctuary

If you are an animal lover, visiting the Billabong sanctuary at 2 Muntalunga Dr, Nome, QLD 4816, Australia, is the most exciting thing to do in Townsville.

The Billabong Sanctuary attracts visitors of all age groups, where you can spot Australian native wildlife in their natural habitats. This unique wildlife park is set in a tropical bushland setting on the shores of Billabong. The Billabong Sanctuary allows you to get close and personal with the animals. There you can:

  • Hold the wild koalas
  • Feed the crocodiles
  • Play with kangaroos
  • Hug a wombat
  • Watch the feeding of giant estuarine

Several wildlife talks and shows are organized there throughout the day. Watch the free-flight bird show, the python reptile show, turtle feeding, and many more activities.

Billabong Sanctuary
Screenshot From billabongsanctuary

4) Explore The Underwater World at the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is famous as the world’s most extensive coral system on the east coast of Queensland mainland, Australia. It has also been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. You will spot a fantastic diversity of species on the Great Barrier Reef, including dugongs (sea cows), marine worms, sponges, lobsters, many species, and many other sea creatures.

Scuba diving, snorkelling, aircraft tours, cruise ship tours, and swimming with dolphins are some activities you would love to do there. Enjoy the company of reef sharks, stingrays, and coral reef exhibits, and experience some educational trips at the Great Barrier Reef.

It is considered one of the earth’s natural wonders with its fascinating beauty of coral reefs, hundreds of picturesque tropical islands, and wonderful sun-soaked beaches. If you are an adventure lover, you can participate in various activities like rafting, sea kayaking, bungee jumping, sky diving, parasailing, and many more.

One of the main attractions in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef is the Museum of Underwater Art, the only underwater museum in the Southern Hemisphere. It comprises four installations- Ocean Siren, Coral Greenhouse, and others- under completion.

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By lucidwaters / Depositphotos Copyright

5) Experience The Beauty Of Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is 8 km offshore from Townsville, North Queensland, in Cleveland Bay at the Coral Sea. The Magnetic Island is a unique paradise with large granite boulders, sandy beaches, hoop pines, and fringing coral reefs.

Enjoy the stunning beaches, fantastic weather, fascinating flora and fauna, foods, wines, azure waters, and the ferry trips to Magnetic Island. There are several private and pristine bays waiting for you. You can also opt for a self-guided trail at the Nelly and Geoffrey Bay.

This island is home to a variety of animals and birds. You will also spot koalas and wallabies on the island. Experience the numerous hiking trails that offer stunning views of the beautiful magnetic island. 

6) Plan A Day Trip To Charters Towers

Charters Towers is a rural town and a local government area in North Queensland Townsville, Australia. A trip to Charters Towers is one of the most exciting things to do in Townsville. It is the second largest town in Queensland and is known as “The World” as it offers everything one can expect from a civilized city.

The town has many Heritage buildings like The World Theatre, City Hall, Post Office Tower, and the Stock Exchange Arcade that attract tourists. There are many museums and colonial architecture depicting the past. Apart from these, you can visit several attractive town spots that make it a worthwhile place and the top things to see in Townsville. Moreover, some of the famous attractions in Charters Towers are listed below.

Towers Hill Lookout is a well-rugged and beautifully planned area with 360-degree views. It is famous for its history and bomb shelters.

Texas Longhorn Tours: A 4-hour tour gives you a fantastic experience of wagon rides and interaction with different cattle.

Centenary Park: A beautiful park with plenty of trees and greenery offers a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

Venus Gold Battery: It is a historical example of the gold rush era and gold mining structure that gives lots of information to visitors through its guided tours.

Charters Towers
Screenshot From Charters Towers Regional Council

7) Explore Townsville Via. Ross River

Ross River is a 49-kilometre-long river in North Queensland, Australia, and flows through Townsville. One particular activity in Townsville is cruising the Ross River or fishing, mud crabbing, and boating on the river. You can have your boat or hire it from several places as it is readily available in the city centre.

You can also take a bike and enjoy the scenic ride of the city along the Ross River. The river hosts a variety of sporting and leisure activities. You can enjoy several water-based and waterfront activities, including skiing, fishing, and wakeboarding.

The Ross River offers a beautiful 3-meter pathway, “Riverwalk,” along the river, allowing you to explore its natural beauty. Substantial swimming lagoons, a Pinnacles Gallery, a village spine, public art, restaurants, and parklands keep everyone engaged in exciting activities.

Little Crystal Creek ~ Queensland Waterfalls

8) Chill At The Little Crystal Creek

The Little Crystal Creek is towards Paluma, located at LOT 93 Mount Spec Road, Crystal Creek QLD 4816, Australia. Moreover, Crystal Creek is an ideal spot to refresh in hot summers with a dip in its calm crystal waters.

Crystal Creek is perhaps an absolute delight to its visitors. The Picnic table is also available there. If you want to stay overnight, you can use the campground facility there, but you must book it in advance.

9) Have Fun In The Strand Night Markets

One of the great things to do here is to wander in the most famous and family-friendly night market- The Strand night market at Strand Park. These markets are held from February to December on the first Friday of each month. Have fun with your kids, enjoy the best dining options, and stroll the various craft stalls in the market.

You will find a good collection of fashion items, homewares, candles, soaps, plants, gifts, and other necessities. An extensive range of local products is also available in the market. Also, explore the public art trail and a bouncy castle there. Overall, this is a perfect night-out destination for the weekend.

Strand Night Markets
Screenshot From townsvillerotarymarkets

10) Dive At The John Brewer Reef

Another famous attraction in Townsville, Queensland, is the John Brewer Reef, which lies to the east of Palm Islands Group. Diving at the John Brewer Reef to see the Coral Greenhouse is undoubtedly one of Townsville’s best.

There are reef guardians to instigate natural coral growth in the Coral greenhouse, constructed from stainless steel and other materials that enhance coral growth. This naturally formed reef has natural coral walls and a flat sandy base.

John Brewer Reef
Screenshot From Museum of Underwater

11) Visit The Paluma Range National Park

Paluma Range National Park is between Ingham and Townsville at Crystal Creek QLD 4816, Australia. The magnificent Paluma Range National Park is known for its lush rainforest with several waterfalls. The rainforest walk is quite peculiar there. The park offers many hiking trails, including Mount Halifax, Jourama waterfall hike, Triple Falls, Bluegum circuit, and Lake Paluma trail.

This park is the southern gateway to the Wet Tropics heritage area. It also offers some excellent recreational opportunities to its visitors. Enjoy the breathtaking views during the walks around the park.

You will also spot some of the rarest and most endangered species of birds in this area. That’s why it is also known as the Bird watcher’s paradise. There are several spots for picnics and swimming. So, have some fun with your family and friends while wandering in the park. And don’t forget that dogs are not allowed there. If you want a natural escape, head towards the Misty Mountains village of Paluma and experience the freshwater crystal creeks and wet tropical rainforests.

Private Rock Pools on Top of a Waterfall! | Paluma Range National Park | Ep. 8

12) Spend Some Peaceful Moments At Queens Gardens

Queens Gardens is a large and beautiful botanic garden and one of the oldest in the country. It is located at Paxton Street, North Ward, Townsville QLD, Australia, closest to the city centre.

The Queens Gardens are a lush green oasis spread over 4 hectares that offers a cool, refreshing, and peaceful atmosphere. Some particular areas in the garden attract all the visitors, including

  • The Herb’s Society Garden
  • Formal Rose Garden
  • Annual Garden Beds
  • Hedge Mazes
  • Moreton Bay Chestnuts Avenue
  • Rainforest Walking Area

You will also spot peacocks, lorikeets, and Sulphur-crested cockatoos in the small aviary. It is one of the kids’ favourite spots as it offers a small playground and lots of open space for them to play. The walking and cycling trails are also available at the park. The garden focuses on ornamental plants with eye-catching flowers, foliage, and fruit. So, it is a perfect example of a tropical colonial garden.

13) Cheer The North Queensland Cowboys

The North Queensland Cowboys is a famous rugby team football club in Townsville, Australia.

Therefore, one of the most exciting things in Townsville is watching a rugby match at County Bank Stadium and cheering the North Queensland Cowboys. Several concerts are also held at the stadium.

Pre cheerleading clip (cowboys vs warriors 20th of aug 2016)

14) Wander In The Jezzine Barracks

Jezzine Barracks is at 19 Isley Street, North Ward QLD, 4810 Australia. Spread over an area of 15-hectare it gives an overview of the area’s military history and Aboriginal heritage. They are open to the public and include public artworks, traditional displays, coastal boardwalks, and parklands.

Set on the beautiful spot of Kissing Point Headland, at the northern end of the Strand, it is a perfect place for a day trip with family. It gives you an insight into the fantastic stories of the Townsville settlement.

There is also a playground for kids known as Jezzine Children’s playground, along with some walking trails. Trees on both sides of walking trails provide natural and pleasant surroundings. It is one of the best military museums in the world. The staff at the museum is also very knowledgeable and attentive. They are always ready to provide you with all the information you request.

Army Museum North Queensland
Screenshot From Army Museum North Queensland

15) Check Out The Views At Mount Stuart Lookout

Mount Stuart is about 584 meters high and provides the highest lookout point to Townsville. This mountain gives you the top views of the city, ocean, and Magnetic Island. It is a favourite spot for bikers, hikers, and rock climbers, as there are downhill bike trails, various climbing routes, and fantastic hiking trails.

There are limited facilities on the top of the mountain, so you must bring enough water and shade to protect you from the sun. There are enough picnic spots where you can have your lunch. It supports recreational activities such as luging, drift trikes, hill climbing, road cycling, walking, and running.

You will also spot Australian plants like grass trees, eucalyptus, string barks, vine thorns, and pink bloodwood in the mountain region. Check out the Douglas Hills, Roseneath Wul, Guru Hills, and Ross River dam in the foothills of Mount Stuart.

Beefwood mountain bike Trail, Douglas, Townsville

16) Enjoy Safari At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo National Park is the only zoo outside Australia that houses platypus. There are two platypi at the park. One is male, and the other is female. Visitors can enjoy this park’s incredible safari rides of wild animals. Apart from wildlife safaris, you can also enjoy the balloon safari and spot the magical views shared by birds. Take a ride on the African tram around some of the Savana habitats.

There are several activities for kids also. A separate play area has been designed as an African village. There is a camp area safari-themed play area loved not only by the kids but also by the adults.

Several youth and school programs are organized there occasionally, giving a fantastic learning experience. Some excellent food and dining options are available near the park, where you can relax and have great food.

17) Go On A Sail Sunset Cruise

What better way to view and explore the beauty of Townsville than a sailing cruise boat tour? Get a chance to witness the magical sunset in Australia’s tropical north and spot the magnificent beauty of the sky, changing its colours to hues of pinks, yellows, and oranges with the sun setting over the azure waters.

The whole duration of the tour is around 1 hour and 30 minutes. It is an extraordinary experience to watch the coastline and dramatic scenery of the city while sailing on the cruise.

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By Donna Morgan / Unsplash Copyright 2021


So, friends, this is all about Townsville. We tried to provide you with all the information about the best things to do in Townsville, QLD.

The botanical gardens, coral gardens, and historical wreck relics. Sea snakes, Hervey range, bungalow bay, horseshoe bay, splash parks, hiking trails, and beautiful galleries. All are ready to welcome you. So, without further delay, pack your bags, reach this fantastic holiday destination, and have lots of fun.

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