Parks and Gardens

Embark on a journey to explore Townsville North Queensland's rugged ranges, botanic gardens, majestic rainforests and tranquil sandy beaches. 

Active travelers can enjoy a range of walking and cycling tracks, while those who wish to unwind and relax will discover some special places in natures. 

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Anderson Park Botanic Gardens

Anderson Gardens is the largest of Townsville's botanic gardens, offering 25 hectares of fauna and flora to explore. Wander through the collection of garden displays or find a shady spot to sit back and relax. Centrally located in Mundingburra, the Garden contain fine specimens of tropical trees, palms and Pandanus. The World Cycad Garden, Grand Avenues and Tropical Orchard are of particular note. A representative collection of Cape York Peninsula rainforest specimens is displayed along with native plants and flora of the dry tropical regions of the world. Anderson Gardens were named in appreciation of the work of William Anderson, City of Townsville's first Curator of Parks from 1878 to 1934. Anderson Gardens is a quiescent beauty amongst Townsville's abundant natural attractions.

Anzac Park, Ayr

At the top of the Anzac Park, the Ayr War Memorial takes pride of place. It commemorates those who died in service in various theatres of war including the First and Second World Wars, and Korean and Vietnam Wars. A rotunda is situated nearby. The all-abilities playground in Anzac Park has a variety of playground equipment, and is fully fenced. This is a fantastic place to let the children shake off a car trip, use up some energy, and get some fresh air. Stretch out and watch the kids enjoy themselves. The Sway Fun Swing allows children in wheelchairs to join in the fun. Only one street back from Ayr's main street, there are plenty of nearby meal outlets and cafes. Bring a picnic for the family, or use the sheltered barbecues.

Broadwater, Abergowrie State Forest

In the scenic Herbert River Valley, Abergowrie State Forest features tropical rainforest, open eucalypt forest and exotic pine plantations adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Broadwater is a large grassy clearing, shaded by tall eucalypts, beside a cool waters of Broadwater Creek. Set up camp beside the creek and relax in the peaceful surrounds. Book camping well in advance for holiday periods. Stroll along the 1.6 kilometre return Rainforest walk through endangered riparian rainforest and check out the huge old Broadwater fig. Try the longer 3 kilometre return Creek walk through eucalypt and riparian forest to the delightful pools along Broadwater Creek. Cool off with a swim in the pools in the creek. Birdwatch in the rainforest and look for wallabies in the open forest in the afternoons.

Burdekin Diorama

The Burdekin Diorama provides a shady location to stretch your legs and discover the Burdekin's rich heritage. Easy to stop into, and interesting to find, you'll enjoy the diorama's surrounds. The Burdekin delta sits atop an amazing resource: the aquifer, a ground source of fresh water. Replenished by the Burdekin River, this managed system is explained through maps, photos, diagrams and charts at the Burdekin Diorama. Excellent resources and hard working people are what it takes to make a region prosper. The Burdekin district knows the good fortune of both. Some of the facts and figures are surprising! The local sugar cane industry, with its original hand cane cutters, is important to understanding the area's history and prosperity. The Burdekin Diorama helps get a glimpse into the journey of the Burdekin's sugar cane industry. Five recently installed stainless steel panels shine a further light on people, events and work, which impacted the region's history. You'll find the Burdekin Diorama near Home Hill's Inkerman Sugar Mill, on the southern side of the Burdekin River Bridge. The Burdekin Diorama is just over an hours drive south of Townsville.

Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park

Set in a scenic coastal location amongst open woodland and vine thickets, this park features an historic quarantine station, established in 1915. The station was initially used to quarantine passengers on incoming ships. During World War II the area was a strategic defence location. American and Australian armies set up camps on nearby beaches and used the Quarantine Station as a hospital. Walk or mountain bike the shared trails throughout the park to see the World War II structures on the Cape Pallarenda headland and explore the beaches and forested slopes of Many Peak Range. Enjoy a picnic on the foreshore. Look for wallabies, lizards and many kinds of birds in the woodland. Find out more about the quarantine days at the station's historic display.

Centenary Park

Step back in time to the days of the gold rush when you visit Centenary Park in Charters Towers. This popular park space features a gold discovery monument and a collection of sculptures created by Queensland Artist, Hugh Anderson. Make sure you take a picture of the Bat Statue created and designed as part of the 2013 LATTE Exhibition. Centenary Park features an interesting history, with the area first announced for public purposes in 1888. In 1941 the last Gazette Order in Council set aside the area as a reserve for park purposes and named it "Sayers Park" after Robert John Sayers. From the city's very early days, Centenary Park was called "Harvey's Reserve", no doubt because Joseph Harvey, a local butcher, built and lived in "Tower Villa", an old Queenslander style home that still faces out over the north east corner of the Reserve. During 1972 the Park was re-named "Centenary Oval" as part of the city's centenary celebrations. Centenary Park features picnic tables, toilets, gas barbecues, a children's playground, liberty swing, lit walking tracks and is always cool and shady.

Dalrymple National Park

Ancient lava flows, fossilised limestone and the Burdekin River, the largest river in Queensland, are features of this park in the Charters Towers area. Mount Keelbottom rises 130 metres above the surrounding plain and part of the old Dalrymple township site can be found in the park. It was one of the first inland settlements in northern Australia and has links with the discovery of gold in the area in the mid-1800s. Parts of the township are privately owned. Please respect private property signs. In the dry season, bush camp along the sandy edges of the Burdekin River. Explore the undeveloped walking trails that follow the river and Fletcher Creek, and discover basalt flows and a peaceful riverside setting. Longer hikes to Mount Keelbottom should only be undertaken by well-equipped and experienced walkers. Watch waterbirds from the river's edge. Ride trail-bikes and mountain bikes on the internal roads through the park.

Dan Gleeson Memorial Gardens

Throw down a picnic rug and relax by one of the water features that Dan Gleeson Memorial Gardens offers while spotting the array of wildlife nearby. These lush gardens are home to a diverse range of wildlife, from long neck turtles, mangrove jack, barramundi, eels, redclaw and prawns to bowerbirds, barking owls, fig birds, ducks, cormorants, egrets, butterflies and a range of beetles and lizards. Whether you are walking the dog, or taking the kids out for a ride on their bikes or scooters, Dan Gleeson Memorial Gardens has a number of well maintained walking paths set amongst gorgeous scenery that is perfect for an afternoon stroll. Dan Gleeson Memorial Gardens offers ample parking, wheelchair access and barbecue facilities.

Gubulla Munda

A popular place in the Burdekin for visitors to take photos is located in Plantation Park, Ayr. The giant carpet snake is an impressive feature, and makes a fantastic backdrop. This 60 metre artwork depicts Gubulla Munda, the Aboriginal totem and the protective spirit for the Birri Gubba people. Gubulla Munda holds sacred cultural and spiritual significance to the Traditional Owners. Also, there are several plaques and a memorial stone. These mark the remains of Birri Gubba ancestors re-interred at this sacred site. The Gudjuda Reference Group commissioned the large sculpture Gubulla Munda Dreaming, which was constructed in 2004. It was painted by aboriginal artists. The monument was created to celebrate and promote indigenous culture.

Ingham Memorial Gardens

At Ingham Memorial Gardens find yourself relaxing amongst a collection of North Queensland landscapes. Enjoy a picnic lunch as you spy turtles and small fish swimming amongst the water lilies in the Garden's ponds. Wander through the numerous memorials featured in the Gardens and learn their fascinating stories. One such memorial is dedicated to Keith Payne, an Ingham local who was awarded the Victoria Cross in April 1970 by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for his repeated acts of exceptional personal bravery and unselfish conduct during the Vietnam War. Another memorial is devoted to the 12 people who died when a United States Air Force Liberator B-42 Bomber, the "Texas Terror", crashed on Mount Straloch, Hinchinbrook Island.

Jourama Falls, Paluma Range National Park

A picturesque waterfall on Waterview Creek, rainforest, vine forest and open woodland feature in this popular section of Paluma Range National Park in the foothills of the Seaview Range. Rainforest grows on the higher slopes and fringes the creek. Poplar gum, bloodwood, Moreton Bay ash and cocky apple trees are common in the open woodland. Jourama Falls, Paluma National Park, is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Jourama Falls in Paluma Range National Park offers beautiful places to relax, camp, walk and enjoy watching birds, butterflies and other native wildlife. Enjoy a picnic in the cool air at the day-use area near the first causeway. In the rainforest along the creek, look for the buff-breasted paradise-kingfisher which arrives here from Papua New Guinea between October and April. Camp at the popular Jourama Falls camping area or take a stroll along the three kilometre return track to view Jourama Falls, Waterview Creek and surrounding rainforest. Look for the distinctive red flowers of weeping bottlebrush trees overhanging the creek, which attract the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly.

Lissner Park

While exploring Charters Towers be sure to take the time to discover Lissner Park. Lined with figs, jacarandas, eucalypts, tamarinds, burdekin plum, milky pines, palms and silky oaks, Lissner Park offers an ideal location to enjoy a shady picnic. Facilities and attractions include picnic tables, gas barbecues, Boer War kiosk, band rotunda, children's playground, WWI guns, Gudgal People Yarning Circle, duck pond and memorials to grazier William Hann and pioneer Jupiter Mossman. The Park was named after Isidor Siegfried Lissner who arrived in Charters Towers in 1873. During his time in Charters Towers Lissner developed a financial empire based on mining and commercial interests. He took a keen interest in community affairs and pushed for the establishment of sporting facilities and public amenities including Lissner Park.

Magnetic Island National Park

Rocky granite headlands and towering hoop pines stand sentinel over tranquil sandy bays on this rugged, mountainous island covered with open eucalypt woodlands and surrounded by coral reefs. The island is easily accessible from Townsville and is noted for its abundant wildlife and varied history. It lies within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Explore Magnetic Island's most picturesque spots via a 36 kilometre network of walking tracks. Look for koalas, rock-wallabies, possums and a variety of birds. Swim or snorkel in secluded sandy bays and explore diverse reef and fish life. Discover the island's rich cultural heritage. Learn about the Wulgurukaba Aboriginal people's strong island connections. Visit historic sites linked to World War II. Look out to sea and imagine what it must have been like for those who watched the sea in less peaceful times.

Mount Elliot, Bowling Green Bay National Park

Rugged mountains rise abruptly from the wetlands, saltpans and mangroves of the coastal plain, south of Townsville, in the Mount Eliot section of Bowling Green Bay National Park. Mount Elliot reaches a height of 1,210 metres, jutting out of the surrounding coastal plain and dominating the landscape, and Alligator Creek descends in a series of cascades, deep pools and waterfalls. The park's wetlands are an important habitat for migratory wading birds. Camp amongst the gum trees at Alligator Creek camping area. Go birdwatching near the wetlands. Look for wallabies in the later afternoon and spotlight for possums around the camping area at night. Enjoy a short stroll along the boardwalk through riparian vegetation to the creek or tackle the 17 kilometre return Alligator Falls track. Have a picnic by the picturesque Alligator Creek. Take care near the creek as water levels can rise rapidly.

Mount Fox

Located south-west of Ingham, Mount Fox was created by a violent volcanic explosion about 100000 years ago. In the explosion, a lava flow 10 metres thick spewed from the southern end of the crater and chunks of molten magma were thrown out of the volcano's vent. Today, the well formed crater, about 10 metres deep, is covered with sparse grasses and stunted trees amongst the eucalypt woodland environment. The pink and long-fruited bloodwoods are common in this area and vine thicket is found in a steep gully on the southern slopes. Mount Fox's tussock grass slopes shelter a number of small animals. On a cool day in the winter months, skinks and other reptiles can be seen basking on the volcanic bombs. During the hot summer months, the grasses provide protection from the sun and are ideal nesting places for ground-dwelling birds like the little button quail. After sunset, rufous bettongs (small wallaby-type mammals) emerge to feed on herbs and grasses. The large wing span of a wedge-tailed eagle can also be seen, as this bird of prey soars above the Mount Fox crater.

Mount Spec, Paluma Range National Park

Mount Spec, Paluma Range National Park is an accessible, scenic section of Paluma Range National Park, the most southerly park in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Straddling the Paluma Range, the upland rainforests are crossed by a maze of streams and cascades. Open eucalypt forests dominate the lower slopes. Casuarinas fringe the creeks. Escape the summer heat by picnicking near the creek. Go birdwatching and look for logrunners, Macleay’s honeyeaters and brush turkeys. If you are lucky you might see the golden bowerbird – the male decorates his bower with green and yellow leaves and flowers. For a glimpse of the past, visit Paluma, a village in the rainforest.

Paluma and Crystal Creek Rainforest

Embrace the natural beauty of the Paluma Range National Park, the southern gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Here you can escape the coastal lowland heat and relax in the cool mountain air of the Paluma Range. Experience the thrill of spotting the rare golden bowerbird, and take a step back in history at Paluma village. Enjoy a rainforest walk and marvel at the breathtaking views from McClellands Lookout. Along the Paluma Range highway you'll come across Little Crystal Creek and Big Crystal Creek, both ideal locations to stop for a picnic lunch, swim, bushwalk, barbecue or pitch a tent and spend the night in the designated camping areas (permit required). Big Crystal Creek, features a large swimming hole and a large picnic area. Little Crystal Creek is well known for its historic stone arch bridge built in the 1930s and the cascading waterfalls which feed into one of the best freshwater swimming holes in the north. Past the Paluma village the diversity of flora and fauna changes dramatically as you enter the dry open woodlands. The small township of Hidden Valley is home to Hidden Valley Cabins, an eco-retreat offering home cooked meals and daily platypus tours.

Pioneer Park and Ross River

Pioneer Park is located in Townsville on the banks of the Ross River and Ross River Dam. The park provides recreational facilities and is a popular fishing location. Facilities include sporting fields, picnic and barbecue areas. This park is also home to the Riverway Precinct, a major community facility with integrated facilities and attractions including retail, community, environmental and entertainment precincts.

Queens Gardens

Established in 1870, Queens Gardens are the oldest botanic gardens in Townsville. Covering four hectares, the gardens are a lush green oasis set against the dramatic pink granite monolith of Castle Hill, offering a quiet, cool retreat from the nearby city centre. The garden is divided into quadrants, each with a central fountain. Special areas include a formal rose garden, the Herb Society's garden, the annuals garden beds, the two small hedge mazes, a rainforest walk and the black bean (also known as Moreton Bay chestnuts) avenue. There is also a small aviary featuring peacocks, lorikeets and sulfur-crested cockatoos.

Rollingstone Park

Pitch your tent and relax by the freshwater creek at Rollingstone Park. With a free designated tent and vehicle camping area, this is a great spot for a weekend getaway and cool down in the freshwater swimming area. Regular community markets are also held there, on the first Saturday of each month from April to September from 8am to noon. Rollingstone also boasts a Museum, the restored Rollingstone Railway Station filled with historical mementos of the area, as well as a network of interpretive historic signage. Contact the Rollingstone Historical Society for more information on the history of the area, and the markets. Other facilities include the local pub which is a community landmark and a popular stopover for day visitors to enjoy local bands and arts and crafts markets. Rollingstone also has a beach caravan resort a little further down the Highway.

Strand, The

Immerse yourself in the Townsville way of life and discover The Strand, Townsville's thriving beach foreshore! With a relaxed, yet energetic vibe, The Strand is bursting with activities to excite the whole family. The two and a half kilometre walkway offers spectacular views across to Magnetic Island and is popular for runners, walkers and kids with bikes and scooters. Enjoy the ocean breezes with a meal at one of the restaurants or cafes there. Alternatively treat the whole family to a barbecue or beach picnic. With a number of fantastic playgrounds and the popular Strand Water Park, The Strand will keep the kids entertained for hours. Take a swim in the ocean or the rock pool, test your balance on a Stand-Up Paddle Board or land on the beach after the adrenalin rush of skydiving! Enjoy the shade of the palm trees with a good book or grab a gelato and just enjoy the stunning views. For fishing enthusiasts, the jetty is a great spot to cast a line. At the end of The Strand, discover Jezzine Barracks and uncover the stories of Townsville's settlement. Learn of the regions significant military and indigenous history and enjoy the outdoor art.

Townsville Palmetum

The Palmetum is a unique tropical experience covering over 17 hectares. It is a botanical garden featuring one family of plants - the palms. Approximately 60 species of palms are native to Australia and most are represented in the Palmetum. The collection contains around 300 species, many rare and threatened in their natural habitat. The Palmetum has been designed to display plants in environmental context to habitat type from the dry tropics to the wet tropical lowlands. In addition to these recreated habitats there are expansive lawns and water features frequented by numerous bird species. The Palmetum features the magnificent 'Tumbetin Lodge'- a heritage building with a long history. Facilities include art exhibitions, public amenities, meeting rooms and restaurant and tea room. The Palmetum also features a Memorial to the Black Hawk Disaster.

Townsville Town Common Conservation Park

The park's wildlife viewing areas and walking and mountain bike trails offer a range of nature-based recreation activities close to the centre of Townsville. The park features deep-water lagoons and seasonal wetlands, coastal woodlands and vine thickets, and sheltered beaches fringed by rocky headlands. Summer rains transform the area into an immense wetland, attracting large flocks of waterbirds. Hike across Many Peak Range, enjoy expansive island views while riding the Under the radar mountain bike trail or walk the trail to enjoy a picnic in beautiful secluded Shelley Beach. For birdwatchers, the park is a paradise! From bird hides and observation points, watch flocks of magpie geese, brolgas, finches, wrens and cisticolas; up to 280 species have been recorded here.

TYTO Wetlands

Experience the natural beauty and tranquil environment of TYTO Wetlands, a unique 90-hectare natural wetland which is home to over 230 species of birds, native Australian wildlife and numerous tropical plant species. Take a leisurely stroll along the four kilometres of walkways and stop along the way to enjoy the lookouts and viewing platforms. TYTO Wetlands is located just 500 metres from the township of Ingham and situated just a few hundred metres off the Bruce Highway down Cooper Street; TYTO Wetlands is a carefully preserved natural environment that integrates lagoons, walking tracks and native flora. The area is named after the endangered Eastern Grass Owl (TYTO Capensis) TYTO meaning monkey faced owl that can be found in the Hinchinbrook Shire, one of the few places in the world where this owl can be spotted regularly. These owl can be seen leaving their grassy habitat just on dusk. The TYTO Centre also features an interactive and informative Visitor Information Centre as well as a regional art gallery.

Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park

You'll be amazed when you stand in front of Wallaman Falls, Australia's highest permanent single drop waterfall, located in Girringun National Park. In between the forest clad ridge tops and rainforest lined gullies and creeks, Wallaman Falls stands at 268 metres. Experience the beauty of World Heritage listed rainforest and spectacular gorge views on one of the short walking tracks near the falls. Girringun National Park is also the gateway to the Wet Tropics Great Walks. Discover plunging waterfalls, lush gorges and inspirational views as you tackle one of the two day walks that start from Wallaman Falls and trek down the Herbert River valley.

Wreck Diving at Magnetic Island

Located within the waters of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Magnetic Island has a wealth of interesting dive sites. Some of the best places to dive are found in Geoffrey, Alma, Arthur and Florence Bays and the reef in Nelly Bay. The Moltke wreck, a German barque in Geoffrey Bay is an excellent dive, especially at night, with a large variety of coral in a concentrated area and teeming with fish life. The wreck is marked by a post near the Arcadia wharf. The wreck of the Platypus an old dredge boat, is in Arthur Bay, on the left hand side out towards the point in a rocky cove and is encrusted with hard corals. Most ships were sunk as shelters to moorings or jetties. But the Island's rocks have also claimed the schooner Lavina in Rocky Bay, and the ketch Lallah Rookh was wrecked on Bremner Point in 1896. The Bee, a steam launch, was the first regular ferry service to the mainland. It came to grief on Knobby Point near Picnic Bay in 1901. The wrecks are relatively shallow, so are perfect for novices or for relaxed enjoyable diving.