Townsville sits in an enviable position in North Queensland - nestled between the Great Barrier Reef’s Magnetic Island, the open spaces of the outback and the spectacular waterfalls and rainforests of Hinchinbrook.
Despite its popularity as an industrial centre and holiday destination, Townsville has retained its small town character, and an obvious community spirit that makes you feel welcome from the moment you arrive on its sunny shores.
Whether you’re after white sandy beaches and island snorkeling or rainforest trails and city lookouts, we invite you to come along to the capital of North Queensland, and discover why Townsville remains such a treasured destination for young and old alike.
Outback adventures, sailing and indigenous history - here are some of the best activities and events waiting for you in Townsville and the North Queensland region.
- Come face to face with marine life at Australia’s largest and most famous historic shipwreck on a scuba diving tour of the S.S. Yongala.
- Spend a day exploring Townsville’s five northern beaches - just a thirty minute drive from town.
- Go on an outback adventure and taste traditional damper on a Woodstock trail ride.
- Hire a car and explore the spectacular Hinchinbrook region and Girringun National Park's Wallaman Falls - Australia’s largest single drop waterfall.
- Plan your trip to coincide with a Palm Island open day. Held every two months, this experience gives you an insight into Aboriginal culture, with lessons on basket weaving and the indigenous history of the island known by its Aboriginal name of Bwgcolman.
Set sail to discover Magnetic Island and the Great Barrier Reef, or explore the national parks, beaches and waterfalls of Hinchinbrook - there’s something for everyone in this spectacular region.
The city of Townsville possesses an air of refinement and character that’s unique for a tropical tourist hub.
Elegant old world architecture dots the city centre, much of it transformed in creative ways - from the heritage-listed Parc Tucker Gallery to the Townsville Brewery, where craft beer is served to thirsty patrons in an old post office.
A city street art trail offers a colourful contrast to the historic architecture and is the perfect background to laneway cafes such as Hoi Polli Coffee.
The pink granite monolith of Castle Hill is a geological icon of the city centre. Fit locals and tourists alike drive or make the trek up daily, to be rewarded with sweeping views over the region all the way to Magnetic Island.
On Sundays, the Cotters Rotary Market is the place to be, and a great stop to stock up on picnic supplies and tropical fruits. For a great meal any day of the week, visit the City Lane precinct for dining options ranging from paleo cuisine to sushi and burgers - or book a table at Longboard Bar and Grill for sunset dinner and drinks with a view.
Known as ‘Maggie’ to the locals, this is one destination that ticks all the boxes for a great tropical holiday.
Magnetic Island is easily reached on a 20 minute ferry ride from Townsville. It boasts 23 bays and beaches, 25 kilometres of walking trails, Australia’s largest wild koala colony and two world-class snorkeling sites - the Nelly Bay and Geoffrey Bay Trails.
What’s more, every island activity you could hope for is available here. Sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, horse riding, fishing and even stand up paddleboarding - you’re guaranteed to fill your days with holiday memories you’ll hold on to forever.
Hit the road north from Townsville and discover the wonders of Hinchinbrook Shire - home to Hinchinbrook Island, Ingham and one of the best waterfalls in the country.
Ingham is the major town of Hinchinbrook and is considered North Queensland’s very own little Italy. It’s also home to Lou’s Food Emporium, with shoppers flocking from around the region to purchase traditional Italian olives, cheese and salamis.
Around 50 kilometres west of Ingham is Girringun National Park, home to Wallaman Falls - the largest single drop waterfall in Australia.
Looking for even more adventure? Hinchinbrook Island to the north of the region is a pristine natural playground bursting with ancient rainforest, isolated beaches and many endangered animal species.
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Townsville enjoys a dry tropical climate with year-round warm weather and sunny days. Temperatures range from an average low of 24ºC to an average high of 31ºC in summer. Winter temperatures range between an average low of 13ºC and an average high of 26ºC with most rainfall occurring in the wet season between November and April.
From the airport
Townsville Airport is located approximately five kilometres from the city centre in Garbutt. A taxi rank is located outside the terminal or shuttle bus services and Uber are available.
In and around the city
Sunbus runs the bus service in Townsville. Car and passenger ferries operate to Magnetic Island, where a bus service operates and hire vehicles are available. The best way to explore the surrounding region and national parks is by hire car or organised tour.
Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.
** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.
~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.