Welcome to Townsville
Northern Queensland's less-visited major city is easy on the eye: at Townsville's heart is its handsome, endless esplanade, an ideal viewing platform to fabulous Magnetic Island offshore. Surprisingly, a better museum and aquarium you will struggle to find in Australia. It's a pedestrian-friendly city, and its grand, refurbished 19th-century buildings offer loads of landmarks. If in doubt, join the throngs of fit... Read More
Top experiences in Townsville
Sights in TownsvilleSee all sights
Townsville City Sightseeing Tour
Start your 2.5-hour sightseeing tour with a drive through Townsville’s Central Business District. Known as the CBD, it's considered the commercial hub of North Queensland; you'll learn why as your guide points out historical landmarks and explains the revitalization of the town’s main drag on Flinders Street. You'll learn even more about the city's history from an onboard audio presentation on a ride up a narrow, winding road to the top of Castle Hill. At the summit of the uniquely shaped monolith of pink granite, stretch your legs on a walk with your guide to a viewpoint. You'll have some free time to look out at the city and Cleveland Bay from several viewing platforms. Back in town, you’ll pass the oldest of four botanical gardens en route to the historical Jezzine Barracks. Get out for a detailed tour of Fort Kissing Point, a blockhouse built on high ground in the late 1800s that today overlooks The Strand. Back down at The Strand, see why it has won awards in public development. The 1.4-mile (2.2-km) beachfront playground is studded with ice-cream parlors, cafes, beer gardens and parks. Along a walking path that hugs the coastline, you can look out to see Magnetic Island. After a refreshing stroll on the esplanade, take a short ride over to the Port of Townsville for a brief visit. The final leg of your afternoon tour includes the lower end of Flinders Street and the entertainment district of Palmer Street. Your guide points out more popular attractions — the Museum of Tropical Queensland, the Maritime Museum, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Reef HQ Aquarium.
Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Townsville or Magnetic Island
Depart from Breakwater Marina, just off The Strand in Townsville, or board the MV Adrenalin at Nelly Bay Ferry Terminal on Magnetic Island. Your trip starts with morning tea with your fellow snorkelers and scuba divers. Lodestone Reef, chosen for its diversity of sites, great coral cover and crystal-clear water boasts colorful reef walls and large bommies that attract the likes of reef fish, sea turtles, stingrays, Maori wrasse, and white-tip and black-tip reef sharks. The reef has areas for just about anyone interested in snorkeling or diving, with the depth ranging from 3 to 65 feet (1 to 20 meters) in parts. Each option caters to different skill level; see below for more details.Ice water, tea, coffee and cordials are available throughout the day on board the 45-foot (14-meter) custom-built vessel, which provides fully shaded areas and a sundeck. Enjoy afternoon tea and a tropical smorgasbord lunch before you’re returned to Townsville or Magnetic Island.Option 1: Snorkel TourThe pristine coral and clear visibility of Lodestone Reef is great for snorkelers. For a closer look, follow the channels between the reef right up into the shallows.Option 2: Certified DiveCertified divers can enjoy two dives at an uncrowded dive site. Explore the reef with a dive buddy, or enhance your underwater adventure with an experienced dive guide. Unless you have 10 logged dives, it is required that you hire the certified dive guide.Explore the fringing reef and canyons around the lagoon, or head for deeper water and explore the coral columns and channels that surround the reef.Option: 3: Introductory DiveThis option includes one introductory dive and provides an opportunity for uncertified divers to explore the reef with an instructor.
Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium General Entry Ticket
Your admission ticket to Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium gives you the chance to observe a variety of marine animals and corals in elaborate exhibits that simulate the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef and Australia’s greatest natural wonder. Marvel at the 200,000 gallon (750,000 liter) Predator Exhibit and the 660,430 gallon (2.5 million liter) Coral Reef Exhibit, housing more than 150 species of fish and 120 species of hard and soft corals. Unlike many other aquariums, the coral reef tank is exposed to the outdoors, allowing natural light, rain and storms to touch the waters. Walk through an underwater viewing tunnel that gives you front-row views of the living coral reef and the sharks and rays that swim around it. Watch some of the Great Barrier Reef’s most iconic species such as the giant trivially and blacktip reef sharks circle a replica of the SS Yongala, North Queensland's most famous shipwreck. You might also spot smaller critters such as seahorses, pipefish, clown fish and sea turtles. Throughout the day, the knowledgeable and friendly staff offer educational talks and feeding demonstrations. At the Discovery Lagoon, get a close encounter with some creatures of the Great Barrier Reef in the hands-on exhibits. You can even interact with an underwater scuba diver in the middle of the tank during a presentation about sharks and other reef predators. Learn about the aquarium’s turtle hospital, which treats and rehabilitates sick and injured marine turtles. Their biggest patient, a 287-pound (130-km) green turtle, was released on The Strand after seven months of treatment. She promptly swam more than 125 miles (200 km) back to her home waters off Wunjunga. If you want a snack or souvenir, check out the on-site cafe or gift shop.
Magnetic Island Round-Trip Ferry From Townsville
From the Breakwater Ferry Terminal in Townsville, board your ferry and relax on the 20-minute ride by high-speed catamaran. As you travel to Magnetic Island, enjoy views of Cleveland Bay and the surrounding waters, all part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Spend as much time as you like on the island with the flexibility of a return ticket that is valid for one month. With 23 bays, plus many beaches with fringing reefs, there's plenty to explore in the water. Activities offered include sailing, snorkeling, sea kayaking, fishing and jet-skiing. The island also boasts extensive seagrass meadows, which attract dugongs, an endangered marine mammal. On land, almost 70 percent of the island is protected by national parks. Visitors can walk along nearly 15 miles (24 km) of walking trails in varied terrain. Wildlife thrives here, with critters including koalas, rock wallabies, brush-tail possums and numerous bird species regularly sighted. The only self-contained island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Magnetic Island has modern conveniences such as shops, spas, hotels and banks within reach of pristine wilderness areas.After taking in Magnetic Island at your own leisure and expense, choose from multiple ferry departure times to return to Townsville.
Magnetic Island Round-Trip Passenger Ferry Ticket from Townsville
Check-in at the ferry terminal located in Ross Street in South Townsville at least 20 minutes prior to the selected departure time. Walk on board the ferry and relax on the 40-minute ride while taking in the stunning views as you cruise to Magnetic Island through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Magnetic Island is the perfect place to relax and unwind with over 20 beaches and over half the island covered in National Park Spend as much time as you like on the island with the flexibility of an open dated return ticket.There are also eight ferry times to choose from for your return journey from Magnetic Island to Townsville. This can be booked either on check-in for your outbound ferry or once you are on Magnetic Island.
Magnetic Island Round-Trip Car Ferry Ticket from Townsville
Check-in at the ferry terminal located in Ross Street in South Townsville at least 20 minutes prior to the selected departure time. Drive your car on board the ferry and relax on the 40-minute ride while taking in the stunning views as you cruise to Magnetic Island through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.There are also eight ferry times to choose from for your return journey from Magnetic Island to Townsville. This can be booked either on check-in for your Townsville or once you are on Magnetic Island.