Townsville has been my home away from home for the past 5 years. I moved here when I was 18 to attend university. I believe it is one of the most underrated tropical tourist destinations at the top end of Queensland. The truth is that there is a lot that Townsville has to offer! It’s located right on the coast and only a 20 minute ferry ride to Magnetic Island.


The Bindal and Wulgurukaba People were the first to have lived in the Townsville region. Sites over 10000 years old have been found near Townsville, showing the length of occupation in the region. Founded in 1864, Townsville began as a port for the pastoral industry in North Queensland. After the discovery of gold at Ravenswood and Charters Towers, Townsville became the principal centre and locally known ‘capital’ of North Queensland. Hervey’s Range Road, between the mines and Townsville, was built as a port connection. The road saw many bullock stops and hotels which are being investigated by archaeologists.

What to do…

Most of the main attractions are in the city so booking a hotel there is ideal. There are hire cars available which can be booked in advance and picked up at the airport. A good few days is needed to explore the essentials at Townsville and surrounding areas.

There are a whole bunch of activities to do and events to attend during your stay in Townsville. There are the Castle Hill or Mount Stuart Lookouts; tours such as the heritage and highlights tour, platypus tours, aboriginal cultural experience tour, hidden valley rainforest tours, or ghost tours; there are activities such as clubbing, reef fishing, diving, snorkeling, parasailing, skydiving, waterskiing, or quad biking; and there are places to visit such as Billabong Sanctuary, Reef HQ, Museum of Tropical Queensland, Magnetic Island, Orpheus Island, Ross River Dam, Alligator Creek Falls and surrounding coastal communities.

Popular events held here include the Cultural Festival (August), Food and Wine Festival (June), the Troy Dunn Invitational Pro Bull Ride (November), CMC Rocks North Queensland (every second year around October), and the most popular, the V8 Supercars Townsville 500 (July). Coming during one of these occasions may help you get the best out of your time in Townsville.

When to go…

There are two main seasons for the North; wet season and dry season. Wet season is around December to May and is also known as cyclone season or dengue fever season. The best time to come is during the dry season as you are less likely to be stuck in bad weather (or a cyclone) and it is the coolest time of the year (which is not really that cool).

Where to eat…

Stage Door Theatre Restaurant


32 Gifford Street, Magnetic Island Queensland, Australia, 4819
Phone: (07) 4778 5448
Open for dinner Friday and Saturday.

Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms

6 Thorntons Gap Road, Hervey Range Queensland, Australia, 4817
Phone: (07) 4778 0199
Mobile: 0429 408 516
Open 0900-1630 daily.

Pub With No Beer

58 Lannercost Street, Ingham Queensland, Australia, 4850
Phone: (07) 4776 1577
Mobile: 0427 712 655
Open from 1000.

Where to stay…

Jupiters Townsville Hotel and Casino (now The Ville Resort & Casino)


Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Townsville Queensland, Australia, 4810
Phone: (07) 4722 2333; 1800 079 210
From $125AUD per night

Grand Hotel Townsville

8 – 10 Palmer Street, Townsville Queensland, Australia, 4810
Phone: (07) 47532800
From $140AUD per night

Australis Mariners North Holiday Apartments

7 Mariners Drive, Townsville Queensland, Australia, 4810
Phone: (07) 4722 0777
From $250AUD per night

Classique Bed and Breakfast

495 Sturt Street, Townsville Queensland, Australia, 4810
Phone: (07) 4721 0898
Mobile: 0407 699 748
From $165AUD per night

Adventurers Backpackers Resort

79 Palmer Street, South Townsville Queensland, Australia, 4810
Phone: (07) 4721 1522; 1800 211 522
From $25AUD per night

Rambutan Hostel

113-119 Flinders Street, Townsville 4810 QLD Australia.
Phone: (07) 4771 6915 
From $23AUD per night
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