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- Castle Hill & The Strand
- Sunset sailing and champagne
- Museum of Underwater Art and Great Barrier Reef
- Magnetic Island snorkel and koalas
7am: Mountainous sunrise views
Start the day bright and early with a trek up Townsville's own mountainous lookout - Castle Hill. This pink granite monolith affords 360-degree views of the Townsville cityscape and across the Coral Sea to Magnetic Island. You can conquer this icon on foot - as a local active hotspot, or drive to the top to soak in the views.
9am: Breakfast like a local
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to breakfasts in Townville, but the best are those with a view, so choose one of many options along the ever-popular Strand foreshore. The 2.5km of walkway soaks in stunning views across to Magnetic Island, outdoor gym equipment, and playgrounds including the free water park. The Strand Jetty is also the best location to view the Ocean Siren – a 16m art installation part of the Museum of Underwater Art project (Tip: visit at sunset to watch her change colours in response to sea temperatures).
11am: Inner city adventure
Hire a stand-up paddle board for some active fun in the sun from In The Loop – bikes, kite-boarding lessons and water sport equipment also available. Or if something more educational is up your alley, you can’t go past the Museum of Tropical Queensland*. It is here you will discover about life onboard an old sailing ship and get insights into the stories of the region’s rainforests and reefs.
1pm: Lunch and cocktail vibes
Enjoy lunch with a view and a vibe at the newly renovated Ville Resort-Casino. From the Quarterdeck you can marvel at Magnetic Island, and even take a quick dip in the infinity pool with swim-up Splash Bar. This is the place to relax and sip cocktails to while away the tropical days. But don't get too relaxed, because the adventure isn't over yet.
4pm: Jump over to Maggie
Hop on over to Magnetic Island - just 8 kilometres off the coast and a speedy 20 minute ferry trip from the mainland. There are up to 18 return trips to Magnetic Island daily with the SeaLink passenger ferry, or a vehicle ferry operated by Magnetic Island Ferries, operating up to eight trips daily. Once you arrive, you'll switch ferries for fancy with a sunset 'Sip and Sail' cruise with luxury sailing yacht - Pilgrim Sailing. End the day sailing the high seas, sipping champagne and taking in the watercolour skies across the horizon.
Accommodation - stay on Magnetic Island, or head back to lay in luxury at the Ville Resort-Casino
Enjoy a fine dining experience at one of three Chef-hatted restaurants in Townsville City, or go casual at one of the urban eateries along the Strand. The atmosphere along this foreshore at night is bustling, and you're often guaranteed a surprise event or activation that is sure to entertain.
7am: Underwater marvels
A trip to the Great Barrier Reef with Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive will be worth setting the alarm clock! One of the approved operators running tours, Adrenalin Snorkel & Dive will take you to Townsville's newest underwater attraction and first-ever underwater building, the Museum of Underwater Art’s ‘Coral Greenhouse’ at John Brewer Reef. Created by artist Jason DeCaires Taylor, who hopes to advance education and offer opportunities for scientists, marine students and tourists to engage in action-based learning and to conduct globally important research on coral reef restoration and new technology. The 'Coral Greenhouse' features 20 reef guardian sculptures each modelled off local North Queensland students who are propagating coral, spark meaningful conversation about reef conservation. Enjoy the artworks, but marvel at the stunning pristine reef that surrounds.
5pm: Unwind on island time
Stop over on Magnetic Island for an island layover. After a big day on the water, you're best bet is to grab some fish n chips, and mosey to one of the 23 bays and beaches to take in the sunset.
Accommodation - stay on Magnetic Island - various accommodation styles available
8:30am: Local side of island paradise
After a quick bite for breakfast, we're back on the water but this time touring the rugged coastline of 'Maggie' with island locals and tour operators - Aquascene Charters. The Discovery Tour offers the best of all world's with world-class snorkelling, wildlife interactions, pristine beach stop-overs and tales of the island's traditional and historical past. This tour is one you can do as much or as little as you like, and the friendly crew are all about making your visit a memorable one.
2pm: Koalas, koalas, koalas!
Head over to Horseshoe Bay for a late lunch, and stop into the island's own wildlife park - Bungalow Bay Koala Village. The island is home to North Australia's largest colony of wild koalas, and this is one place you can learn about one of Australia's most iconic furry mates! If you're keen to see a koala in the wild, take a walk up the iconic Forts Walk - here you're almost guaranteed to see families of koalas hanging out in the gums - with some of the best views of the Island.
Stay a little longer...
If you’re up for a tree-change as well as a sea-change, then there are plenty of rainforest encounters that will have you chasing waterfalls in no time. Choose your next view...