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What Are 18 Must-Do Activities in Townsville?

Are you all geared up for your upcoming vacations? Why not plan a trip to Australia’s one of most beautiful cities, Townsville, this time!!

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.

Welcome To Townsville

Things to do in Townsville
Image Source: Depositphotos

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 park, 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 interesting things to do in Townsville and how to enjoy the most in this wonderful city.

Things To Do In Townsville

Here is a detailed list of Townsville’s best things to do. Have a look:

1) Explore The Museum Of Tropical Queensland

Things to do in Townsville
Image Source: Depositphotos

The Museum of Tropical Queensland is an archeology and natural history museum located at 70-102 Finders St. Townsville, QLD 4810, Australia.

What’s Special

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 having kids where they can 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 much 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

things to do in townsville
Photo by David Goulding on Unsplash

One of the special activities in Townsville is visiting Castle hill, the giant pink granite monolith standing proudly in the centre of Townsville.

What’s Special

Once you reach the top of Castle Hill, it offers you 360-degree panoramic views over to the city and the deep ocean to Magnetic Island.

There are many popular walking tracks and vehicle access for visitors.

Castle Hill also provides you with the facilities of car parking, 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.

3) Visit The Billabong Sanctuary

things to do in townsville
Photo by Vita Vilcina on Unsplash

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

What’s Special

The Billabong sanctuary is hugely spread over an area of 11 hectares and attracts visitors of all age groups where you can spot Australian native wildlife in their natural habitats.

This amazing 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 much more activities.

4) Explore The Underwater World At The Great Barrier Reef

Things to do in Townsville
Photo by Giorgia Doglioni on Unsplash

The Great Barrier Reef is famous as the world’s largest coral system located off the east coast of Queensland mainland, Australia.

What’s Special

In 1981, it was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

You will spot an amazing diversity of species on the Great Barrier Reef including dugongs (sea cow), marine worms, sponges, lobsters over 1,500 species, and over 4,000 species of molluscs, and many other sea creatures.

Scuba diving, snorkelling, aircraft tours, cruise ship tours, and swimming with dolphins are some of the 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 adventurous activities like rafting, sea kayaking, bungee jumping, sky diving, parasailing, and many more.

Museum Of Underwater Art (MOUA)

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 the other two are under completion.

5) Experience The Beauty Of Magnetic Island

Things to do in Townsville
Photo by ROMAIN TERPREAU on Unsplash

Magnetic Island is 8 km offshore from Townsville, North Queensland, in Cleveland Bay at the Coral Sea.

What’s Special

Magnetic Island is a unique paradise with large granite boulders, sandy beaches, hoop pines, and fringing coral reefs.

Enjoy the stunning beaches, amazing weather, fascinating flora and fauna, foods, wines, and azure waters, along with 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.

Also, enjoy some of the most delicious food options at amazing restaurants nearby:

  • Saltwater restaurant
  • Man Friday restaurant famous for Mexican food
  • Scallywags cafe

Truly a nature lovers’ paradise, visiting this island is one of the best things to do in Townsville.

6) Plan A Day Trip To Charters Towers

Charters Towers is a rural town and a local government area in North Queensland Townsville, Australia.

What’s Special

A trip to Charters Towers is one of the most interesting 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 town.

The town has a large number of 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 to visit and the top things to see in Townsville.

Other Attractions

Some of the famous attractions in Charters Towers are listed below

Towers Hill Lookout

A very 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 an amazing 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.

7) Explore Townsville Via. Ross River

Things to do in Townsville
Photo by Rondell Herriot on Unsplash

Ross River is a 49km long river located in North Queensland, Australia, and flows through the city of Townsville.

What’s Special

One special 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 easily 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.

There are huge swimming lagoons, Pinnacles Gallery, a village spine, public art, restaurants, and parklands that keep everyone engaged in exciting activities.

8) Chill At The Little Crystal Creek

The Little crystal creek is towards the town of Paluma, located at LOT 93 Mount Spec Road, Crystal Creek QLD 4816, Australia.

What’s Special

Crystal Creek is an ideal spot to refresh in hot summers by having a dip in its cool 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) Visit The Reef HQ Aquarium

things to do in townsville
Photo by Kedar Redekar on Unsplash

The Reef HQ aquarium is the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium, among the unique things to do in Townsville.

What’s Special

The Reef HQ aquarium is a part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that greatly spreads awareness amongst the community about the Great barrier reef.

You will spot a diverse range of sea life in large aquariums there. The staff is very informative and cooperative.

The Reef HQ aquarium also has the facility of a turtle hospital in which sick and injured marine turtles are rehabilitated and taken care of.

Daily talks and tours are available throughout the day to educate the visitors.

10) Have Fun In The Strand Night Markets

One of the great things to do in Townsville is to wander in the most famous and family-friendly night market- The Strand night market at Strand Park.

What’s Special

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. A large 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.

11) Dive At The John Brewer Reef

Another famous attraction in Townsville, Queensland, is the John Brewer Reef which lies towards the east of Palm Islands Group.

What’s Special

Diving at the John Brewer Reef to see the Coral Greenhouse is certainly one of the best things to do in Townsville.

There are 20 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.

12) Visit The Paluma Range National Park

Paluma Range National Park is located between Ingham and Townsville at Crystal Creek QLD 4816, Australia.

What’s Special

The magnificent Paluma Range National Park is well 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.

Things to do in Townsville
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

This park is the southern gateway for the wet tropics Heritage area. It also offers some nice 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 are keenly looking for a natural escape, you must head towards the Misty Mountain village of Paluma and experience the freshwater crystal creeks and wet tropical rainforests.

13) Spend Some Peaceful Moments At Queens Gardens

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

What’s Special

The Queens Gardens are a lush green oasis spread over 4 hectares that offers a cool, refreshing, and peaceful atmosphere.

Some special 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’ favorite 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.

14) Cheer The North Queensland Cowboys

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

What’s Special

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.

15) Wander In The Jezzine Barracks

Jezzine Barracks is located at 19 Isley Street, North Ward QLD, 4810 Australia.

What’s Special

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 known as a perfect place for a day trip with family. It gives you an insight into the amazing 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 that you ask for.

16) Check Out The Views At Mount Stuart Lookout

Mount Stuart is a fascinating mountain in a small locality in Townsville, Australia.

What’s Special

Mount Stuart is about 584 meters high and provides the highest lookout point to the city of Townsville. This mountain gives you the top views of the city, ocean, and Magnetic Island.

It is a favorite spot for bikers, hikers, and rock climbers as there are downhill bike trails, various climbing routes, and amazing 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 several recreational activities say luging, drift trikes, hill climbing, road cycling, walking, and running.

You will also spot Australian plants like Grasstree, Eucalyptus, String barks, Vine Thickets, and Pink Bloodwood in the mountain region.

Check out the Douglas Hills, Roseneath and Wulguru Hills, and Ross River dam in the foothills of Mount Stuart.

17) Enjoy Safari At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

things to do in townsville
Photo by Terence Starkey on Unsplash

San Diego Zoo National Park is the only zoo outside Australia that houses platypus.

What’s Special

There are two platypi at the park one is male, and the other is female.

Visitors can enjoy this park’s most amazing 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.

An awesome Conservation Carousel ride has 60 ride elements replicating rare and endangered animals.

Several youth and school programs are organized there from time to time, giving an amazing learning experience.

Some fantastic food and dining options are available near the park where you can relax and have great food.

18) Go On A Sail Sunset Cruise

things to do in townsville
Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

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 colors 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.


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

This place is perfect for a vacation with so many attractions and lots of things to do in Townsville.

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 wonderful holiday destination, and have lots of fun.

Click here to check out more interesting articles.

Pragya Chakrapani
Pragya Chakrapani
Freelance content writer and copywriter

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