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Earth : Oceania : Australia : Queensland : Far North Queensland : Townsville
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Townsville by night

Townsville is a laid-back coastal city of around 200,000 people in Far North Queensland, Australia.


Townsville is on the coast and enjoys an average of 320 days of sunshine a year. It is an appealing place for locals and a great jumping off point for visitors, especially to Magnetic Island which is only 25-45 minutes by passenger or car ferry. A great spot for visitors wanting a taste of outback Australia while not venturing far from the coast. It offers a quiet cosmopolitan feel with its good choice of restaurants & bars but also has a relaxing siesta style during the hottest parts of the day in high summer. Townsville takes great pride in being the unofficial Capital of North Queensland.

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 31.4 31.1 30.7 29.6 27.6 25.6 25 26 27.7 29.4 30.8 31.4
Nightly lows (°C) 24.2 24.1 22.9 20.5 17.6 14.6 13.6 14.7 17.3 20.7 22.9 24.0
Precipitation (mm) 268 296 180 67 33 20 14 16 10 24 58 125

Townsville enjoys a Dry Tropical climate, with dry winters and wet summers.

Get in

By plane

Townsville airport [1] is 10km west of the city.

By car

Townsville is on the Bruce Highway (A1) between Cairns in the north, Mackay and Brisbane to the south. The city is also served by the A6 (Flinders Highway) to Charters Towers and Mt Isa to the West.

The Northern Beaches district (part of former Thuringowa) is also on the Bruce Highway (A1).

As stage 2 of the Townsville-Thuringowa Ring Road (known as The Ring Road) is completed, it will become the new National Highway route through the city. The first stage, the 5.3 km Douglas Arterial Road, opened to traffic in April 2005, and stage 2 is to be opend by late 2008.

By train

By bus

Public transport in Townsville and the former Thuringowa city consists of bus services run by Sunbus. Sunbus provides services for most parts of the city with runs from the Thuringowa CBD, Townsville CBD and most suburbs thought-out Townsville, plus special services for the football nights at Dairy Farmers Stadium, Tony Ireland Stadium at Riverway and any major events at Black River Stadium or the Townsville Entertainment centre, for bus times and runs please visit the Sunbus website at [2] or Phone: +61 7 4725 8482. There is also a bus service available from the Townsville's Hermit Park Bus Service, running from Bushland Beach in the Northern Beaches area to the Townsville CBD, For more information, visit the Hermit Park Bus Service website at [3] or phone: (07) 4779 1658 or 1800 351 225. Detours is another bus service that can take care of your charter or tour needs.

By taxi

Taxis operate 24 hours and service all areas of Townsville.

Tour Operators

  • North Queensland River and Road Tours
  • Pop Sullivan Tours
  • Tropical Tours
  • David and Justine Olsen's 4WD Tag-Along Tours

Get around

The Sunbus [4] bus route operates 7 days a week with 7 main lines going around the town


East Townsville and Magnetic Island as seen from Castle Hill
  • Riverway is a riverfront parkland attraction located in the Thuringowa CBD that opened in July 2006. The area is a cultural hub opening up the rivers habitat for residents and tourists, the main attractions are the public art gallery, cultural centre, swimming lagoons and cafe. Riverway runs for 11km of the Ross River, with areas at Pioneer Park, Loam Island, Apex Park and Ross Park at the Ross River Dam where the community, visitors and tourists can enjoy all sorts of activities from sport, swimming, entertainment, dining and shopping in one of Queensland’s most spectacular river settings.
  • Village Boulevard is the name of the Road into Pioneer Park and forms the city/park integration. from the car park it extends through the park as a pedestrian spine that follows the rivers edge and forms the heart of Pioneer Park.
  • Tony Ireland Stadium is the Second stage of Riverway, and consists of an international standard AFL and Cricket stadium, capable of holding 10'000+ people, and was first used to host the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash cricket match on the 31th of December 2007.
  • Riverway Arts Centre is a geographical formation with a grass roof that is incorporating the parkland without a decrease in the amount of grassed area. It also lowers the interior temperature by reducing the roof surface temperature.
  • Lake Ross (at the end of Riverway Drive) is part of the Ross River Dam and stores over 215,000 mega liters of water, water is held by a earth rock embankment 8.35 kilometers in length and 27 metres in height (the longest in the southern hemisphere) and occupies a catchment area of 750km2 with a concrete spillway that flows into the Ross River, Visitors can view the dam from a viewing platform at Ross park. Lake Ross is a Wetland of National Significance. The shallow areas of the lake provide a habitat for a large number of water birds, Over 220 species of bird have been recorded around the lake area. You can book a tour of the lake by contacting one of the following commercial operators: Pop Sullivan Tours - [5] or phone 4772 2833 or 0407 167 254. NQ River and Road Tours [6] or phone 4788 9600. Ross Park in front of the dam wall has picnic and toilet facilities. The Bird Observers Club holds bird-watching walks on the 3rd Sunday of each month, for more info please call 4778 1945
  • Ross River winds it way thought the city and play part to a large range of sporting and leisure activities. The Riverwalk is a pathway that overlooks Ross River. Loam Island and Pioneer Park are part of the Riverway development and provide locals and visitors with entertainment such as, Skiing and wakeboarding plus some good fishing spots. Other areas along Ross River are Apex Park and Ross Park.
  • Lake Paluma is a man made lake in the World Heritage Rainforest. The area has weather proof shelters, BBQs, and camp sites but no domestic animals are allowed in this area due to the population of Platypus, Peregrine Falcon or Eastern Water Dragon. Swimming and non motorized vessels are allowed. Lake Paluma's camping area has a limited number of sites available so you will need to pre-book a permit at their website [7].
  • Big Crystal Creek is part of Paluma Range National Park (approximately 65km from Thuringowa Central). It features large deep swimming holes that are very popular with locals and visitors. The icnic areas, BBQ's, camping, and toilets are wheelchair accessible. Free bookings for the campsite can be made [8] or by phoning Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service on 13 13 04.
  • Little Crystal Creek(60km from Thuringowa Central) is one of the most popular destinations for locals and tourists where you can swim in the crystal clear water, have a picnic or BBQ and there are toilet facilities here with wheelchair access.
  • Bushland Beach was one of Thuringowa`s most popular residential beachside community (approximately 19km from Thuringowa Central), and is now one of Townsville's fastest growing residential communities. At low tide you can walk to a wooden shipwreck and some fantastic ponds that are full of marine life that the whole family can enjoy. There is a boat ramp for public use at the beach plus BBQs and kids playgrounds, Bushland Beach also has a hotel, resort and a small shopping center.
  • Ocean Palms Resort is right on the beach. One of the most popular attractions here is the barramundi feeding.
  • Saunders Beach is a sandy beach which stretches for kilometers, Saunders beach is one of Thuringowa's more popular beaches but you can often have this beach to yourself due to the long length. there is also a boat ramp.
  • Toolakea Beach is a quiet beach, ideal for birdwatchers and fishing or a quite day on sand. This area has a picnic area as well as public toilets.
  • Bluewater is a fresh water attraction (approximately 28km north of Thuringowa Central) that is very popular for picnic's and family fun, the area includes BBQ`s, play equipment, toilets and showers. The best place to access the creek is near the bridge at the Bluewater Store or Bluewater Park. Bluewater Park has a limited free tent and vehicle camping area [9].There is also a Urban Forest that is next to Bluewater Park this is a fitness trail around 800m long with 8 activity's along a pathway. There is also a boat ramp available near Bluewater Drive.
  • Toomulla Beach is somewhat of a isolated beach, but boasts and a great free camping area, picnic area, public toilets and a boat ramp for public use. This is also another great area for bird watching.
  • Balgal Beach is a small community 53km north of Thuringowa Central (located a few minutes from Rollingstone) and is the perfect day or overnight destination for locals and tourists that visit the Townsville area. Balgal Beach features clean, white sand, a stinger net that is patrolled from November to May for safe swimming. A boat ramp is available to allow easy access to Palm Islands area. Apart from the beach, the wide creek mouth is a great fishing location. Other activities in here include the ANZAC memorial, a picnic and BBQ at the park, bird watching, golf and lawn bowls at Mystic Sands Golf & Country Club.
  • The Rollingstone Community Hall holds a fish BBQ on the first Sunday of each month at 5PM.
  • the Fisherman`s Landing Kiosk is a licensed cafe and can supply you with ice, bait and groceries, Plus there is accommodation at any of the following, the Balgal Beach Holiday Units, Balgal Bed & Breakfast Retreat, the Thuringowa city Council`s two tent camping and vehicle camping areas [10].
  • Rollingstone Park(51km north of Thuringowa Central) is a camping area that is popular due to the freshwater creek swimming area next to the park. Community markets are held on the first Saturday of each month, April to September from 8AM. Rollingstone also has a Museum, Caravan Resort and shop.
  • Paluma is a township of around 25 permanent residents in the Mount Spec ranges of Thuringowa's heritage listed Wet Tropics.
  • Piper`s Lookout on Hervey Range lets you view over the land below Hervey Range and all the way out to sea. While you in the area you can check out the Hervey`s Range Heritage Tea Rooms here they serve refreshments and offer all the info about the local history.
  • Greenwood Park Sporting Complex was officially opened on February 15, 2007. It features 8 fully lit Touch Football fields as well as carparking and a fully licenced clubhouse which is home to Redskins Touch Club and Thuringowa Touch Association.
  • The Willows Golf Club is an international-standard golf course with a 72-hectare (180-acre) golf wildlife sanctuary and also home to the Queensland Masters. The area is also home to a residential estate.
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Townsville Water Playground
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  • Great Barrier Reef Trips
  • Day Trips to Outback or Rainforest.
  • Riverway is a riverfront parkland attraction located in the Thuringowa CBD that opened in July 2006. The area is a cultural hub opening up the rivers habitat for residents and tourists, the main attractions are the public art gallery, cultural centre, swimming lagoons and cafe. Riverway runs for 11km of the Ross River, with areas at Pioneer Park, Loam Island, Apex Park and Ross Park at the Ross River Dam where the community, visitors and tourists can enjoy all sorts of activities from sport, swimming, entertainment, dining and shopping in one of Queensland’s most spectacular river settings.
  • Village Boulevard is the name of the Road into Pioneer Park and forms the city/park integration. from the car park it extends through the park as a pedestrian spine that follows the rivers edge and forms the heart of Pioneer Park.

  • Billabong Sanctuary, Bruce Hwy Townsville QLD 4816, (07) 4778 8344.
  • Mount Stuart, Mt Stuart, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
  • Museum of Tropical Queensland, 70-102 Flinders Street, Townsville, Queensland 4810, Australia, 07 4726 0600.
  • Maritime Museum of Townsville, 42 - 68 Palmer Street | South Townsville, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, 07 4721 5251.
  • Royal Australian Air Force Townsville Museum, Ingham Road | Garbutt, Townsville, Queensland 4814, Australia, +61 7 4752 1712.
  • Townsville Museum and Historical Society, 231 Hugh Street | Currajong, Townsville, Queensland 4812 , Australia, (07) 47 757838.


Fish life swarming over the wreck of the Yongala

Townsville is further from the reef than the Cairns region to the north and does not have as strong a scuba diving industry, but is the closest big center to the well known Yongala Wreck. The Yongala was a luxury passenger ship sunk in a cyclone on 23rd March 1911. The wreck was found in 1958. The wreck is primarily interesting for the marine life that it attracts and is one of Australia's top dive sites.



  • Strand Night markets conducted on the first Friday of each month at The Strand Park on the foreshore.
  • Cotters Markets are held on Sunday mornings in the Flinders Street Mall in the city centre, with a variety of offerings including fresh produce, foods, arts and craft and other antiquities, and the
  • Willows markets are held every Sunday and the Willows shopping centre at Thuringowa central.
  • Showgrounds Markets (Townsville Showgrounds, Garbutt, Sunday morning Flea market)

Shopping Centres

  • Annandale Central (Annandale)
  • Castletown Shoppingworld (Garbutt)
  • Centro Townsville (Corner Ross River Road and Nathan Street, Cranbrook)
  • Cotters Market (Flinders Mall, Sunday mornings)
  • Flinders Mall (Central Business District)
  • Hermit Park Shopping Centre (Hermit Park)
  • Kingsvale Shopping Centre (Aitkenvale)
  • North Ward Shopping Village (two blocks from The Strand, North Ward)
  • Northtown The City (The Mall, Townsville CBD)
  • Stockland Townsville (Corner Ross River Road and Nathan Street, Aitkenvale)
  • Sunvale (Aitkenvale)
  • Vincent Village (Vincent)
  • Warrina Shopping Centre (Currajong)
  • Avenues Plaza (Kirwan)
  • Canon Park City Centre (Thuringowa Central, Queensland)
  • Centro Deeragun (Woodlands Village Shopping Centre, Deeragun)
  • Mount View Plaza (Kirwan)
  • Parkside Plaza (Kirwan)
  • Riverway Thuringowa
  • Sunland Plaza (Kirwan)
  • Upper Ross Shopping centre (Rasmussen)
  • Willows Shoppingtown (Corner Thuringowa Drive and Hervey Range Road, Thuringowa Central, Queensland, Kirwan)


Townsville has a selection of fast food restaurant chains including McDonalds, Eagle Boys Pizza, Dominos, Brodies, Hungry Jacks, Red Rooster and Subway.

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  • Ciabatta, Shop 1 The Precinct | Village Drive, Idalia, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, 07 4778 3700. European, Contemporary, Pizza & Pasta $12-$45.
  • Juliette's Artisan Gelateria, Landsborough Headlands | The Strand, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, 0747725565. A traditional Italian-style gelateria with a selection of 32 flavours that change regularly. Di Bella coffee is served with love by knowledgeable baristas. Also has a shop at 7/58 The Strand, Townsville which does a smaller selection of gelati, coffee, juices, smoothies and cakes. $1 - $24.
  • Juliette's, Shop 7/58 The Strand | North Ward, Townsville, Queensland 4810, Australia, 747215577. French, Italian, Ice cream, Café $2 - $10.
  • That Place on Sturt, Sturt street, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
  • Bogarts, 117 The Strand | Townsville, Townsville, Queensland 4810, Australia, 07 4724 2061. Choice of outdoor or air conditioned indoor dining. $8 - $42.


In line with Queensland state laws, Townsville observes a lockout time of 3AM. This means that alcohol serving establishments have to refuse entry to patrons from 3AM onwards. Most pubs and bars on the Flinders Street nightclub strip will close between 1AM-2AM on the weekends but the nightclubs will stay open til 5AM-6AM. Patrons in clubs open until these early hours are welcome to stay past 3AM until they leave.

When visiting the Flinders Street Nightclub Strip, males are advised to wear long trousers/jeans and closed-in shoes as most venues on this strip disallow entry to those wearing thongs/flip-flops, singlets and shorts. Most other non-Strip venues listed will allow this attire, however.


Northern Beaches Area:

  • Balgal Beach Holiday Units
  • Balgal Beach Holiday Units - Studio 26
  • Balgal Station Bed & Breakfast Retreat
  • Big 4 Woodlands Holiday Village
  • Black River Stadium Caravan Park
  • Bluewater Caravan Park
  • Bohle Barn Motel/Hotel
  • Forestmist Cottage Bed & Breakfast
  • Gumburu Environmental Eduction Centre
  • Hidden Valley Cabins
  • Ivy Cottage
  • Jollymosh Retreat House
  • Lake Paluma Camp & Picnic Ground
  • Ocean Palms Resort
  • Paluma Environmental Education Centre
  • Paluma Misthaven Units
  • Paluma Rainforest Cottages
  • Paluma Dreaming
  • Rainforest Inn
  • Range Caravan Park
  • Rollingstone Beach Caravan Resort
  • Rollingstone Hotel
  • Saunders Beach Ocean View Units
  • Upper Ross Hotel
  • Willows Golf and Tourist Resort
  • Woodlands Holiday Village

Stay safe

Box jellyfish and other stingers can be in the ocean during the summer months. Read the warning signs, and don't swim at the beach outside of the stinger enclosures. A sting from the box jellyfish can be fatal. There are two stinger enclosures along the Townsville beaches.

Saltwater crocodiles ARE present in Townsville and ALL swimming locations (including the beach) should be approached with extreme caution.



  • The three public libraries all have free wi-fi, available 24/7 in the close vicinity of the library even when the libraries are closed. Thuringowa Drive, Ross River Road and Flinders Street.

Go next

Excellent access to the Outback, the rainforest of the Paluma Range, the Great Barrier Reef and Magnetic Island.

Routes through Townsville
CairnsInnisfail  N noframe S  Ayr (Queensland)Bowen
Charters Towers  W noframe E  END

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