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The Towers Top 10!

The Towers Top 10!

14 July 2020

Charters Towers, 130kms South West of Townsville, is not only the gateway to the outback but a small country town with a big heart and lots of history. Here is our Top 10 for exploring the Towers! 1. Camping - Outback Style Charters Towers could quite possibly be one the best camping areas in the region with over 10 different camping grounds situated North, South, East and West of the town. From Fletchers Creek and Macrossan to the ever popular Bivouac Junction and Burdekin Falls Dam, you can choose your scenery and level of luxury. These spots aren't just loved by visitors but locals themselves so next time your out relaxing in nature have a chat with your campsite neighbour and get to know a Towers local. 2. Discover the Ghosts of Gold If there is one fact about Charters Towers that you need to remember it's that it was once the largest goldfield in all of Australia! That's right, this little country town was once full of gold miners looking to strike it rich and many of the buildings and structures still remain to this very day. To learn more about this rich mining history and the ghosts of Charters Towers past start at the Visitor Information Centre and Stock Exchange Arcade on Mosman Street. From here you can hire the Ghosts of Gold Audio Self Drive Tour which will lead you around the town highlighting important buildings and stories along the way, including the Venus Gold Battery. Finish your day up on Towers Hill where it all began back in 1872 and enjoy the Ghosts after Dark film - we suggest you take a picnic dinner and really make a night of it. 3. Look at the size of those HORNS! Yep, you will definitely be saying that a lot if you go on a Texas Longhorn Tour with Charters Towers locals Michael and Lynda Bethel. Situated just 10 km from town is Leahton Park, there is nowhere else in Australia that guests can take a canvas covered wagon ride whilst viewing the magnificent Texas Longhorn herd and learn some of the history of this iconic and colourful breed of cattle and the influence they had throughout the world. But that isn't all you get on one of these tours with a traditional smoko and guided walk through the Love Shack, Cattle Yard and Saddle Shop. 4. Cute Critters and a View If you are looking for a wildlife interaction on the smaller side then head for Towers Hill. The native bushes and boulders that surround the hill are the perfect homes for the local rock wallabies and they like to explore at dusk and dawn. Start at the bottom of the hill and follow the track to the top to see how many you can spot. If you are lucky you might even manage a selfie with one or two - North Queensland's very own version of the Quokka. 5. Cold Bevvie and a Parmi the size of your head Whilst Charters Towers doesn't have the 104 pubs it once had back in its heyday there is still plenty of great local watering holes to discover. Many of them are still the original buildings and have all the character to prove it. The best bit though is the cold beer on tap and meals the size of your head - many a competitions have been had over the time it takes to eat a chicken parmi from the Enterprise Hotel - most don't finish it! 6. Strike Gold There might not be massive nuggets of gold laying around anymore but you can still take home your very own piece of Charters Towers Gold if you know where to go. The easiest way is to visit The Miner's Cottage, here you can learn how to pan for gold and keep what you find! A great experience for the big and little at heart. If you want to get a little more adventurous then why not try fossicking at Young's Block. Grab a fossicking permit online and head out to try your luck at finding your very own nugget of gold. 7. The Mighty Burdekin River Whether you have a fondness for swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, boating or even bird watching, the mighty Burdekin River offers it all. Popular spots on the Burdekin include, the Macrossan Bridge, Dave Chapman Recreational Park, Burdekin Falls Dam or the Burdekin Weir Park. Grab the family, fishing rods and kayaks and have a great day at the Burdekin! 8. Heritage, History and Heart Charters Towers might be a small country town but she has heart and a whole bag of history to match. Apart from Gold, Charters Towers is also well known for it's part in World War II with over 15,000 US Servicemen being stationed in the town. Bunkers used to store artillery and bombs are still scattered amongst the hillside of Towers Hill and have recently received a 21st Century upgrade with new Augmented Reality technology added. 9. Ravenswood  Located 89 kilometres east of Charters Towers, the heritage-listed township of Ravenswood was once a thriving gold mining town but today is a little quieter. A must-see historical town, Ravenswood still has an operational gold mine to this day and you can even view the old open cut pit from a lookout just outside the main town area. Historical displays and buildings are dotted through the streets making an early afternoon walk quite the interesting history lesson. If nature is more of your thing than head out to White Blow Environmental Park and take in the huge quartz outcrop. 10. Good Ol Country Charm To round out our Top 10 we are finishing with our favourite part of Charters Towers - The Good Ol Country Charm. It's not often you can adventure out of the city and experience the wonder of the Outback and charm of country life so easily. There might only be one main street to explore but it's hard to find a street so full of warm smiles, nods of the hat and true country hospitality.  So get outback to Charters Towers and experience the wonder and charm of this beautiful little town - it's only 90 minutes away!

Get fit without the gym

Get fit without the gym

03 July 2020

Want to stay fit and healthy, but not into visiting the neighborhood gym or lugging weights around? Then head outdoors, and get fit with views that are amoung some of Australia's most iconic - all within an hour's drive of Townsville North Queensland! Mixing adventure with healthy habits...count us in! Whichever way you choose to explore the outdoors, there are numerous benefits to taking the active wear out of the gym and into nature: A 'harder' workout: whether you’re running on the beach or hiking up a mountain — your body is encountering a constantly changing environment, encouraging your body to work harder than it would on a treadmill or stair machine. As they say, it's all about working smarter...not harder! Clean air: it's just a fact - in the natural environment you are going to encounter a cool sea breeze or the crisp mountain air. We think any breath is better outdoors, and I bet you'd have to agree after sweating it out next to Brenda from Accounts on the treadmill! Daily dose of vitamin D: being outdoors helps us get our daily hit of sunshine, and with over 300 days of it in Townsville North Queensland it's as simple as a stroll on the foreshore, or a trip around the block. Don't forget to slip, slop, slap - we may turn up the 'Vitamin D dial' a bit more in Summer! Exercise for your mind: simply 'being' in a beautiful natural environment really can benefit your mental health - it's just science! And we're literally spoilt for choice - after all our backyard is Mother Nature's playground! So, now you know the benefits "Where to start, oh wise one", we hear you ask? Well we've rated our top ways to get active outdoors! Ditch the burpees and forget the fad diets, here are some epic active adventures that you (and your fitness tracker) will actually enjoy. From chasing waterfalls to climbing mountains and everything in between, you’ll be clocking up the steps and taking in the best that nature has to offer with these holiday activities. On land Whether you are conquering the iconic Castle Hill, hiking the jurassic Thorsborne Trail, or counting steps to a jaw-dropping view of Wallaman Falls, Townsville North Queensland is peppered with nature trails and treks to suit every fitness levels. Here's our top 3!

20 ways to make memories these school holidays!

20 ways to make memories these school holidays!

15 June 2020

Holidays with kids (of any age) isn't about the holiday - because let's face it, it can be a little exhausting....holidays with kids is about making memories! Now more than ever, making fresh memories to last a lifetime are what matters most, and what better setting for those memories than Townsville North Queensland.  Whether you and your littlies explore the magic of the Great Barrier Reef, encounter the wonder of the rainforest or discover the awe of the Outback, our natural experiences are waiting, and the local characters who help tell our story are #goodtogo! So, get ready to load up the car, pack the snack box, and turn up the volume to your favourite family tracks with our top 20 things to do this school holidays, that will keep the kids entertained and help you create amazing family holiday memories in Townsville North Queensland! 1. Go totally wild at Billabong Sanctuary! Opening just in time for school holidays, this local attraction is a family favourite and has been entertaining and educating the young, and the young at heart, for over 35 years. With natural bushland to explore and a 2-hectare billabong at its heart, the Australian native animal wildlife park is home to over 50 native species including kangaroos, koalas, wombats, emus, parrots, and even a snappy variety that will really croc your world! ∇ 17km South of Townsville, Bruce Highway  2. Rock wallabies by the sea It doesn’t get much cuter than watching the kids interact with our furry little friends at Geoffrey Bay, Magnetic Island. Arm yourself with a bag of rock wallaby feed from the nearby newsagency and make sure you have a camera on hand - these little guys love getting up close and personal!  ∇ Geoffrey Bay, Magnetic Island 3. Outdoor history lesson on the Forts Walk One of the most popular tracks on Magnetic Island, the Forts walk leads to fascinating historic WWII fortifications and infrastructure - not to mention the stunning 360 views making the 4km trek to the summit worth every step...even if it means the odd piggyback to get the kids there! And if that's not enough to get the kids ready to run, then the lure of a chance to see a koala in the wild will certainly do it, as the Forts are one of their favourite places to eat and sleep on the island!  ∇ Forts Walk, Magnetic Island  4. Have a 'fly' time on the Butterfly Walk A seasonal treat, and just in time for the Winter school holidays - the annual Blue Tiger Butterfly migration sees thousands flock to the island for their winter rest (or 'dispause'). A magical stroll through the melaleuca forest will set your heart aflutter! A chance for a quiet pause in the cool of the forest, and a magical moment to cherish. ∇ Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island 5. A Day on the Water From sailing adventures with Big Mama or Pilgrim Sailing to snorkelling the fringing reefs with Aquascene Charters – there is a water-based activity for every age on Magnetic Island. Not forgetting the thrill seekers, visit Horseshoe Bay where you can experience every childhood desire with jet skis, kayaks, paddleboards, tubing and more!  Top Tip - Stay a few nights and experience it all, the kids will thank you that's for sure! ∇ Magnetic Island  6. Alma-zing Bay Perfect for families, this sheltered bay is the ideal place for a picnic and sand castle-building. Complete with a playground, soft grassy knolls, shady trees and sea breezes, you'll welcome the shift to island time whiling away the hours delighting in family bliss.  ∇ Alma Bay, Magnetic Island 7. Tick your Bucket List - Visit the Great Barrier Reef It's nature’s greatest gift to the world and it’s right on our doorstep! The Great Barrier Reef is a majestic underwater playground, a mosaic of colour and life, and a living treasure. Give your kids a once in a lifetime experience and go snorkelling or diving for the older kids on the Great Barrier Reef. Take a a full day tour straight from Townsville with Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive who will not only show you the magic of the ocean but provide with some amazing North Queensland hospitality and lots of food. ∇ Great Barrier Reef, Townsville  8. Picture-perfect Pioneer Park Located on the banks of the Ross River, Pioneer Park is the ultimate in kid-friendly outdoor fun. With sporting fields, BBQ areas and two large swimming lagoons, you can spend the whole day enjoying this picturesque spot. Still have energy to burn, then hit the trails that follow the meanderings of the Ross River, and keep your eyes peeled for painted pebbles - part of a new community movement #TSVRocks  ∇ Village Boulevard, Thuringowa Central - Riverway, Townsville  9. Go for gold Charters Towers struck gold in 1872 making the Venus Gold Battery one of the first true gold diggers! Reopening on 1 July, see how the ore was processed with the original machinery, and learn the nitty gritty of Charters Towers' gold rush history. Do the kids love a spooky story? Your tour guide will fill you in on all types of tales - even those of the ghostly variety. As the largest surviving Battery relic in Australia and the oldest surviving Battery in Queensland, this stop is not to be missed and the perfect chance for an outdoor history lesson! ∇ Millchester Road, Charters Towers  10. Nature meets art at TYTO TYTO Wetlands in Ingham is a great place to relax and unwind with the kids. With local art installations, and hectares of wetland wilderness to explore, absolutely brimming with unique flora and fauna - including the precincts namesake, the Eastern Grass Owl (Tyto capensis)! Ingham is also home to some pretty amazing delis - so make sure you stop by one to top up your picnic basket. ∇ Cooper Street & Bruce Highway, Ingham  11. Chasing waterfalls If nature is your family's things, then you can't beat Mother Nature's playground in Hinchinbrook. Boasting some of the world's oldest rainforests, the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is sprinkled with trails to explore, often leading you on a scenic adventure through the trees to a watery oasis. One that should be on top of your list is Wallaman Falls - the southern hemisphere's largest single-drop waterfall! You'll be forgiven for saying "WOW" for this one! ∇ Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park, Ingham  12. Park play the 'Centenary' way  Step back in time to the days of the gold rush when you visit Centenary Park in Charters Towers. The park features a gold discovery monument as well as picnic tables, a children's playground, liberty swing and lit walking tracks.  ∇ Hackett Terrace & Gregory Hwy, Charters Towers 13. Do a 'Strand-y' You’ll be hard pressed to find any ‘must do’ list for Townsville without this local hot spot! The Strand, is a thriving beach foreshore. With 2.5km of walkway, stunning views across to Magnetic Island, outdoor gym equipment, and more playgrounds than the kids will know what to do with, The Strand is a guaranteed winner. Enjoy the shade of the palm trees with a gelato and a good book, whilst the kids swim and splash at the patrolled beach.  ∇ The Strand, Townsville  14. Take on Towers Hill Look out over the Outback metropolis that is Charters Towers. While you're there explore the WWII fortifications (now with an AR experience that will satisfy the tech-savvy next gens), and even meet some friendly locals at sunset with rock wallabies also calling this location home. ∇ Towers Hill, Charters Towers | 15. Camping country-style Create lasting memories in one of the most beautiful riverside locations in Outback Queensland, and only an hour's drive from Townsville - Bivouac Junction, Charters Towers! Make a weekend of it and pitch a tent, and truly get back to nature. With prime freshwater fishing along the mighty Burdekin River, campfire cooking and toasting marshmallows, and taking time to pause with your loved ones - camping at Bivouac is a must do this school holidays! ∇ Bivouac Junction Road, Charters Towers  16. Make a splash at Crystal Creek A favourite swimming spot for locals, both Big and Little Crystal Creek - that's right two-for-one! - offers up all you would expect of a picture-perfect family picnic spot. Little Crystal Creek bridge is not only heritage-listed, but is also surrounded by pristine waterfalls with small pockets of water making perfect swimming holes. Further up the road is Paradise Waterhole on Big Crystal Creek, which is just as spectacular. ∇ Paluma Range Road (off Bruce Highway), Townsville 17. Art, art...trail, baby! Looking for a way to take in some of the local arts, but have the kids actually enjoy the process? Maybe even find a new appreciation for the arts? Then look no further than the Burdekin Art Trail. A truly unique collection of murals, sculptures and installations which depict stories of the region’s culture and heritage, repurposing some of region's unassuming spaces and transforming them into vibrant works of art by a number of renowned and emerging artists from across Australia. Print out the map, get the kids to navigate, and let's Gough! ∇ Burdekin district  18. Ayr Nature Display will leave you buzzing! As adults, we may never understand a child's fascination with bugs and creepy crawlies but you can't deny the intrigue! Let their minds explore (and a bonus is they may learn a little something in the process) at the Ayr Nature Display. One of Australia's finest, preserved collection of butterflies, moths, beetles, crustaceans, sea shells, reptiles, rocks, timber, and fossils, especially ammonites, all under one roof. See the Well of Butterflies containing 1,220 specimens all collected in the Burdekin district.  ∇ 119 Wilmington Street, Ayr  19. We're gonna catch a big one..... maybe The Hinchinbrook region is well known for it's amazing fishing spots but you don't need a boat to get to all of them. Grab the kids and the fishing gear and head out to Lucinda, a favourite for many locals, to drop in a line and try your luck. With views over to Hinchinbrook Island and a great playground for the kids why not pack a picnic and make a day of it. Don't forget to stop at the Lucinda Jetty, which at 5.76 kilometres long, is the longest service jetty in the Southern Hemisphere ∇ Lucinda, 20 minutes North of Ingham  20. Movies under the Stars Take a step back to the 50's and show the kids the perfect way to enjoy a movie at the Stardust Drive In Theatre in Ayr. Pack the blankets and pillows and climb into the boot to enjoy the latest movies or even a good ole classic whilst enjoying the stunning big sky views. The best part is they have a Snack Bar on site to grab all the essentials like a Burger, Chips and Lollies - maybe even a coffee for Mum! ∇ 27 Kilrie Road, Ayr