6 Unexpected Experiences Only Found in Townsville North Queensland
22 February 2023
There's more to Townsville North Queensland than meets the eye. In addition to our crowd favourites, this region is home to a trove of hidden treasures, serendipitous surprises, and a collection of stories just waiting to be told. Indulge your seeker spirit and get ready to uncover six absolutely unexpected experiences only found in Townsville North Queensland!
What’s that? An underwater museum!
We see your art gallery and raise it…well, technically sink it. The epitome of discovering the unexpected, let us introduce you to the Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) – Coral Greenhouse. Here divers can explore Jason deCaires Taylor's incredible internationally renowned underwater installations. Let your inquisitiveness take over as you glide between the sculptures and admire the coral and marine life that call this artwork home. But the installation goes beyond admiring underwater sculptures, this is a place to learn from the keepers and preservers of nature’s greatest asset – on the Great Barrier Reef.
Nestled between coral walls, the Coral Greenhouse give citizen scientists the chance to record their observations to be used in real research application, and with many tours guided by Master Reef Guides – your visit to Townsville North Queensland’s section of the Great Barrier Reef will have you leaving with a new appreciation for this global wonder.
Ciao from Ingham
Thought you needed to jet across to Europe to enjoy Italian culture? Think again. Located just a 90-minute drive north of Townsville, if you are looking for an unexpected foodie experience, you'll want to put Ingham at the very top of your North Queensland must-do list. Dubbed Little Italy - due to over half the town identifying as Italian or of Italian descent - you’ll find an unending selection of salamis and cured meats as well as locally made pasta and sauces straight from Nonna’s kitchen. The time your visit to this Queensland town with the Australian Italian Festival. Held in June each year, you can expect delicious Italian food, succulent wine, and a spectacular showcase of Italian culture…including the hotly contested ‘Climb the greasy pole and pizza-throwing competition’!
Dive deeper into history at SS Yongala
What was once one of Australia's biggest maritime mysteries, now sits as an unexpected diver's delight off the Townsville North Queensland coast. In 1911, the SS Yongala, which means 'good water' in Ngadjuri language, went missing in cyclonic waters. Its whereabouts remained a mystery until 1958 when it was rediscovered. Today, its beauty hides its tragic past, becoming a haven for coral and marine life. On day trips with Yongala Dive, or Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive, divers can explore this wreck alongside mega marine fauna like manta rays, turtles, eagle rays, hundreds of species of tropical fish.
Dive a little too deep for interested sea-farers, head to the local Visitor Information Centre in Ayr to try out the VR Goggle for a 360 AR experience.
Time travel back to “The World”
While known for its proximity to the coast, just 90-minutes west will have you taking to the dusty trails of our own gateway to the Outback, brimming with history just begging to be unearthed.. Charters Towers is a place where you can take a step back in time and enjoy the authentic heartbeat of regional Queensland. From panning for gold at The Miner's Cottage (yes, you get to keep what you find!), admiring the sheer size on the Texas Longhorn Tours and enjoying the rugged landscape on a Sunset Experience Tours, you're sure to fall in love with Charters Towers' outback spirit. Whether you've got a day or a more, uncover the perfect Charters Towers itinerary HERE.
First-class First Nations experiences
A cultural history that is as diverse as the region itself, learn from the world’s oldest living culture with an Indigenous tour with Mungalla Aboriginal Tours or Gudjuda Aboriginal Tours.
Discover our region's rich Indigenous history at Mungalla Station. Found north of Townsville, this historic site is more than just a cattle station, but a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and 45,000-year history of the Nywaigi Aboriginal people. On the property, you'll learn how to throw a boomerang or spear and hear the stories of both the Aboriginal people and Irish settler James Cassady who advocated for traditional land rights. Whether you visit via camping or on a group tour, you'll certainly come away with a greater understanding of the world's longest surviving culture.
Taste the authentic flavours of the North
Ready to get your taste buds tantalising in a completely unexpected way? Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms is just the cafe for you. One of unexpected culinary delights in Townsville, Hervey's Range Heritage Tea Rooms is home to the rarest beverage on Earth - the Kopi Luwak coffee. Enjoyed only once it has been digested and passed through the Asian Palm Civet cat, this coffee is famous for its smoother, sweeter flavour. Now, go on, you can't say you were expecting that!
For something a less ‘exotic’ but absolutely award-winning, get a little bougee at one of three Chef-hatted restaurants in Townsville – JAM, Bridgewater and A Touch of Salt! A truly eclectic mix of local flavours that are sure to set your tongue wagging!
So, for those who want to experience something new, different, or familiar…but with a twist, then you've come to the right place.