The Australian city of Townsville sits on
the sundrenched coastline of Queensland, around 700 miles north of the state capital,
Brisbane. Its a gateway to the Wild Outback, the Tropical North and the Great Barrier Reef. Townsvilles also the gateway to a laidback
state of mind, where everything gets done, in its own time. And why rush when theres over 320 days
of sunshine a year to enjoy, and some of Australias best natural attractions
right on your doorstep.
Youll find plenty to admire in the city
itself too, fabulous heritage buildings, a waterfront esplanade that stretches away forever, lush tropical gardens, a football team thats the envy of the nation, and that legendary northern hospitality. Looming large over the Townsville region since
the dawn of time, is Castle Hill. This granite guardian has witnessed thousands
of years of history, from the campfires of the Bindal and Wulgurukaba
peoples, to the coming of Europeans, first as passing explorers and castaways, and eventually as settlers. First established as a port town in 1866 by
Sydney entrepreneur Robert Towns, Townsville quickly blossomed.
Take a walk along Flinders Street and admire
some of Australias finest 19th century buildings, including gracious pubs, which have been serving up ice-cold beer
to thirsty locals for generations. For years Townsville was
a busy but provincial port, until her northern skies darkened with the
clouds of war. At the Army Museum of North Queensland, learn how the city became one of the largest
Pacific allied bases during World War Two, a strategic importance that continues to this day. Discover even more of Townsvilles historical
and natural treasures at the Museum of Tropical Queensland.
Right next door, dive into Reef HQ, where the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef
have been brought to shore for all to enjoy. While youre there, be sure to pay a visit
to the recovering patients at the turtle hospital. Just a few miles south of Townsville, continue your walk on the wild side at the
award winning Billabong Sanctuary, and get close to some of Australias most
treasured and fearsome animals. To experience Townsvilles brightest natural jewel, take the 5-mile ferry ride to
From Nelly Bay, rent a Mini Moke,
hop on a local bus, or set off on foot to discover Maggies
national parks and coastal communities. Explore coastal tracks, World War Two forts,
and meet friendly locals along the way. When the temperature climbs youll find
plenty of fabulous beaches to cool off at, some patrolled by lifeguards,
others completely deserted. When it comes to Aussie vacation adventures, why not set aside a few days in Townsville.
Because sometimes its the lesser-known
places which hold the sweetest surprises, and offer the warmest welcomes..