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.
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 contains 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. The Gardens are open to the public between sunrise and sunset. Gates will be closed at other times.
At the top of 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.
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 three 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. Image credits: Qld Govt
The Burdekin Diorama is a shady location to stretch your legs and discover the Burdekin's rich heritage. Easy to find, it's an interesting stop with pleasant surrounds. The Burdekin delta sits atop an amazing resource - the aquifer, a ground source of fresh water replenished by the Burdekin River. The Burdekin Diorama explains this managed system through maps, photos, diagrams and charts. Excellent resources and hard working people are what it takes to make a region prosper and the Burdekin district knows the good fortune of both. The local sugar cane industry, with its original hand cane cutters, plays a major role in the area's history and prosperity. The Burdekin Diorama provides a glimpse into the journey of the Burdekin's sugar cane industry. Five stainless steel informational panels shine a further light on the people, events and work that impacted the region's history. The Burdekin Diorama is located near Home Hill's Inkerman Sugar Mill, on the southern side of the Burdekin River Bridge and is just over an hour’s drive south of Townsville.
Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park was a quarantine station in the early 1900s and a strategic defence location in World War II. Nestled in a scenic coastal location amongst open woodland and vine thickets, the historic quarantine station, established in 1915, was initially used to quarantine passengers on incoming ships. During World War II the area became a strategic defence location. Concrete structures were built on the headland in 1943 to protect Townsville and the harbour from raiding enemy ships. American and Australian armies set up camps on nearby beaches and used the Quarantine Station as a hospital. Spend time in the station's historic display centre to find out more about the quarantine days. Then set off on foot or by mountain bike to explore the shared Cape Pallarenda Trails to enjoy scenic coastal views and discover the historic World War II structures on Cape Pallarenda headland. Choose from short strolls to longer hikes or rides around the slopes of Many Peak Range. Explore picturesque 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.
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.
Throw down a picnic rug and relax by one of the many water features 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.
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.
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.
A picturesque waterfall on Waterview Creek, lush rainforest and fragrant woodlands are nestled in the foothills of the Seaview Range and protected as part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Set up camp beside Waterview Creek and head off along the Jourama Falls track to the lookout over the awe-inspiring falls. Explore the creek on the return leg and slip into the clear water to cool off before returning to camp. If just visiting for the day, set up in the shade in the picnic area and enjoy a barbecue lunch before heading off to explore the 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.
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. Most of the island is protected as national park and features a 36 kilometre network of walking tracks. The island is easily accessible from Townsville and is noted for its abundant wildlife and varied history. Explore Magnetic Island's most picturesque spots on some of the island's 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.
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.
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 grass provides 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.
Paluma Range National Park, the southern gateway for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Mount Spec straddles the summit and escarpment of the Paluma Range, rising 1000 metres above the Big Crystal Creek floodplain. The upland rainforests are crisscrossed by a maze of streams and cascades. Open eucalypt forests dominate the lower slopes and casuarinas fringe the clear creeks. Set up camp at Big Crystal Creek and explore the surrounding tracks and waterways. Take in the views from McClellands lookout, and admire the 1930s stone bridge over Little Crystal Creek. Escape the summer heat by picnicking near the creek before slipping into the one of the many cool waterholes.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Known locally as the Town Common, the park is close to the bustling city centre of Townsville and is a great place to enjoy nature and fantastic coastal views. Explore secluded beaches framed by rocky headlands, coastal woodlands bordering seasonal wetlands, and deep-water lagoons. Summer rains transform the park into an immense wetland, attracting large flocks of waterbirds. The walking and mountain biking trails, ranging from short easy walks to cross-country mountain bike rides, are a popular nature escape—and lots of heart-pumping fun—close to the city. Hike across the Many Peaks Range, enjoy expansive island views while riding the Under the Radar or Smedley's trails or take the trail to the beautiful and secluded Shelly Beach. This park is a birdwatcher's paradise! From bird hides and observation points, spy comb-crested jacanas and plumed whistling ducks in the wetlands, and double-barred finches and red-backed fairy-wrens in the grasslands. Look for magpie geese, brolgas and many other species that gather here to feed and nest, particularly as the wetlands dry out and food sources become concentrated in the remaining lagoons. Keep you eye on the skies and you might see brahminy kites and white-bellied sea-eagles scanning for prey.
Experience the natural beauty and tranquil environment of TYTO Wetlands, a unique 90-hectare natural wetland which is home to over 245 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 Longimembris) 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 Precinct also features an interactive and informative Visitor Information Centre, Regional Art Gallery, Parklands, Conference Centre and Library.
Discover Wallaman Falls, Australia's highest permanent single drop waterfall, in Girringun National Park, west of Ingham. Surrounded by World Heritage rainforest, Stony Creek plunges 268 metres in a clear single-drop, often through a rainbow-fringed cloud of mist. Gaze at Wallaman Falls from the main lookout then walk to the second lookout which provides stunning views of the gorge and the Herbert River Valley. Explore rainforest and enjoy spectacular gorge views on one of the short walking tracks near the falls. Wallaman Falls is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. 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. Visit for a day to view the falls and relax over a picnic in the day use area near the falls lookout, or stay longer with an overnight camp beside Stony Creek.