Once thought of as merely a city to pass through on your way to holiday somewhere more interesting, Townsville, Australia is now a vibrant destination in itself. Townsville's weather is glorious, warm and sunny all year round and the Townsville Council has gone to great lengths to plan the city's rejuvenation to take advantage of this fact.

The Strand, overlooked by spectacular Castle Hill is now North Queensland's most impressive family playground and is perfect for family holidays. Here you can take a stroll or rollerblade along the lovely wide promenade, swim in the natural rock pools or enjoy the huge stretch of sandy beach. The Strand also has a number of innovative playgrounds, which will have the kids squealing with delight and, for the 'big kids', there are fantastic pubs and restaurants.

You want more for your holidays? Well, Townsville boasts some beautiful Australian Islands in its waters.

Magnetic Island is known as Townsville's playground and for good reason. The Magnetic Island ferry takes just 20 minutes to get you there, then you can swim, dive, snorkel, hike or hire a mountain bike to explore the many beaches and sights. You'll love Magnetic Island's Nelly Bay and, for those who like to get it all off, there is also an unofficial nudist beach.

Just grab a Townsville map, jump in the car and follow Australia's 'Great Green Way' from Townsville to Mission Beach. Here you will find several ferry departures daily to both islands.

Townsville Accommodation

The most sought after Townsville accommodation is on the Strand along the beachfront promenade which is close to all the inner city action. For island escapes, further north is the beautiful tropical village of Mission Beach, which is the departure point for both Dunk Island and the exclusive holiday resort of Bedarra Island. Closer to town is the luxurious Orpheus Island with 5 star food, accommodation and pampering.

Townsville Attractions

Hosting regular water sports events and numerous other outdoor activities, Townsville is renowned for its busy calendar and extraordinary natural attractions. Fishing is enjoyed all year round with daily charters or an empty stretch of beach calling to fans of the sport. With a number of museums and galleries in town, travellers with a penchant for local history will certainly be rewarded. Townsville is also located just 20 minutes from the famous Magnetic Island where crystal waters and pristine beaches await.

Townsville Facts

Townsville is the largest city in the top half of Queensland with nearly 200,000 residents. The city is located on the Ross River and has one of the largest economies in Australia. Townsville has by far the biggest port in the region and transports beef, wool, sugar and timber along with minerals like zinc, copper and nickel all over the world. Popular with tourists and backpackers alike, Magnetic Island and the Great Barrier Reef draw crowds from across the globe. Townsville is right beside the middle of the Reef and is considered to be unofficial capital of North Queensland.

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*Prices are per person, twin share