Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive
Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive is one of Townsville's longest established dive training and marine tourism operators. They specialise in providing snorkelling and diving trips as well as training of divers as part of a full dive service. Join them today and dive the spectacular SS Yongala Wreck, or snorkel and dive the Great Barrier Reef. The SS Yongala Wreck is one of Australia's best dive sites! The Yongala Wreck is a national historical wreck that lies within Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The wreck begins at 16 metres below the surface and sits on a sandy bottom at 30 metres. The artefacts, marine life and variety of corals that cover the wreck are spectacular. This is a must do dive for all certified divers! Or visit the pristine Lodestone Reef located on the Central Section of the Great Barrier Reef with their friendly and professional crew. Their day trip is a perfect way to enjoy unlimited snorkelling, introductory scuba dives or two certified dives. Both snorkelers and divers will be exhilarated witnessing the spectacular marine life that Lodestone has to offer whilst being immersed in tropical crystal clear water.
Alva is a relaxed Burdekin location, 15 minutes drive from Ayr. Holiday houses and permanent residences fill the township, with Alva Beach a short stroll over the sand dune. A lookout area is located to the right as you enter the township. At low tide Alva Beach makes for excellent exploring, with lots of small crabs, shells and birdlife. Outer sand bars create inshore lagoon areas popular with kite surfers on weekends. The beach is also popular for fishing, with many anglers bringing in decent catches to show off. On weekends during summer, the beach is patrolled by members of the Ayr Surf Life Saving Club. Located here since 1926, the club is one of North Queensland's oldest surf clubs. Care needs to be taken if swimming, due to changeable conditions and marine stingers. Alva's Yongala Dive operates a Dive Shop and accommodation, specialising in PADI dive courses, with day trips out to the SS Yongala wreck. This world renowned dive is one of the best on the Great Barrier Reef. Alva Beach Tourist Park has a kiosk. If you're spending the day at Alva, bring a picnic or barbecue lunch to enjoy in the park near the surf club.
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.
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.
Come on an adventure with Aquascene as they share with you this beautiful Island they have called their home for over 30 years. One of Queensland's Signature Tour Experiences, Aquascene are renowned for their exceptional tour experiences. They offer their guests fun, personalised and informative tours that combine snorkelling, fishing and exploring beautiful Magnetic Island.....suitable for absolutely everyone! Discover secluded beaches and bays, snorkel fringing coral reefs and meet some local wildlife, above and below the water. Benefit from expert tuition for snorkelling in a safe and comfortable environment from people who understand individual needs. Your hosts are also qualified patrolling lifeguards. Small group sizes ensure a personalised tour experience. Aquascene's custom designed boat provides plenty of shade and comfort, easy access stairs in and out of the water and a toilet/change room. They are also suitable for guests who may have mobility challenges. There are no long travel times, just plenty of fun and relaxation. From the moment you arrive, to the moment you leave you will be looked after by the friendly caring team that Aquascene are renowned for.
The Aquasearch Lab / Aquarium is currently the only facility on Magnetic Island for viewing a marine display. See a variety of hard and soft corals, coralliomorphs, anemones, lobsters and shrimp, blue starfish, trochus, and a variety of coral reef fish in the displays. The facility includes microscopes and a Live Foods section, as well as an area for breeding of marine anemonefish and selected freshwater fish.
Arcadia is perfectly situated in the smallest of the four main bays on Magnetic Island, and is surrounded by the prominent Alma Bay and Geoffrey Bay. Geoffrey Bay is a Marine National Park Zone - which means no fishing or collecting - but is great for exploring during low tide. The old barge jetty is a great spot for feeding rock wallabies at dusk. Alma Bay is a very popular swimming spot for local and visitors alike. The Arcadian Life Saving Club patrols the beach on weekends and public holidays. Public amenities include a gas barbecue, picnic tables, shaded children's playground, changing areas and toilets. Alma Bay is famous for its ANZAC Day Commemorations. Real-life soldiers from the Thirty-Fifth Field Squadron (Reservist Engineers) annually re-enact the events that took place and make a dawn landing right on the beach.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is Australia’s tropical marine research agency. AIMS plays a pivotal role in providing large-scale, long-term and world-class research that helps governments, industry and the wider community to make informed decisions about the management of Australia’s marine estate. The Australian Institute of Marine Science's National Sea Simulator (SeaSim) is a world-class marine research aquarium facility for tropical marine organisms in which scientists can conduct cutting-edge research not previously possible in Australia. Members of the public are invited to join a free tour of their Cape Ferguson facility every Friday between March and November. Tours begin at 9.30am and end at approximately 11.45am. They include presentations on AIMS’ current research and a guided walk around the facilities, including a tour of the ‘world’s smartest aquarium’, the National Sea Simulator. Numbers are limited. Bookings are essential and close at 4pm on the Wednesday before the tour. Sturdy, closed footwear and a hat to protect against the sun are required. They also advise you to bring drinking water. A lunch is available for guests to purchase at the cafe after the tour. Please inform reception if you intend on staying for lunch when booking.
Situated on the north side of the mighty Burdekin River, 85 kilometres south of Townsville, the prosperous rural community of Ayr is the main town in the Burdekin Shire. This is prime sugar country, with about 80,000 hectares of land under sugar cane, and an annual production of about 1.25 million tonnes of raw sugar. The district also contributes one-third of the nation's mango harvest and is a major producer of melons and many other fruit and vegetable varieties. Nearby is Alva Beach, offering miles of unspoilt sandy coastline and is a popular spot for beach fishing, birdwatching and windsurfing. It's also a close launching point for a dive tour to the world famous dive wreck, the 'SS Yongala'. Yongala is Australia’s largest and most intact historic shipwreck and gives you the opportunity to come face to face with the charismatic mega marine life of the world heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The Burdekin sits on a vast natural aquifer which is artificially replenished with water from the Burdekin River. A rich network of creeks and mangrove lined estuaries make the area a mecca for fishing and crabbing. The Burdekin is a known hotspot for fighting fish, the barramundi, as well as estuary species such as mangrove jack and trevally. The surrounding wetlands offer excellent birdwatching opportunities, with over 280 species being recorded in the area. This includes the cotton pygmy-goose, which is listed as endangered in New South Wales. The spectacular Burdekin River Bridge is the district's best known landmark and is the longest crossing of its type in the country. Known as the Silver Link, it is the only bridge in Australia built without a firm foothold.
Balgal Beach forms part of the popular Northern Beaches district of Townsville North Queensland. Offering a superb sand beach and secure swimming in the stinger net from November to May, Balgal is ideal for a relaxing day by the ocean or a fun way to spend time with the whole family. The area is also a renowned river fishing location. For those wishing to explore deeper and head out to the Great Barrier Reef, Balgal Beach provides excellent boat ramp facilities and easy access to the spectacular Palm Island group. There are a number of licensed cafés and accommodation available in the area including holiday units and designated tent camping and vehicle camping areas.
Big Mama Sailing is owned and operated by a small family (Stu, Lisa, Fletcher and boat dog Coco). They offer a personalised and memorable sailing experience for up to 12 guests maximum. They are based in Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island but are happy to pick up and drop off at Breakwater Marina, Townsville for private charters and group bookings of six or more guests. Bring your own alcohol is welcome. Big Mama is a beautiful and well maintained Adams Ketch. They live on board, so they are welcoming you into their home. Big Mama has plenty of deck space to relax in a bean bag, a comfortable inside saloon area or join in the fun and action of sailing and other water activities. All meals and food are freshly prepared on board and are delicious, wholesome and plentiful. Big Mama is an unforgettable experience.
Billabong Sanctuary offers Australia’s Best Interactive Wildlife Experience! Located just 20 minutes south of Townsville on Highway 1A , Queensland, it features native animals in natural habitats of eucalypt forest, rainforest and wetlands. As a small boutique park, it specialises in memorable personal experiences. Get up close to a koala, pat a wombat, pose with a python, pat a dingo, and feed the cassowaries. You could even hold a baby saltwater crocodile! Free-ranging kangaroos will hop up for a pat. Most interactive experiences are free-of-charge and you can use your own camera to capture the moment. Throughout the day friendly Rangers present dynamic and impassioned wildlife talks, which are both inspiring and entertaining. Twice-daily croc-feeding shows are thrilling to watch, as these mighty reptiles power out of the water to snatch their food. The focus on conservation has earned Billabong Sanctuary Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation.
If your interests include machinery or history, make sure you visit the Brandon Heritage Precinct. With plenty on display, the complex is the base of the Burdekin Machine Preservationists. This group of machinery enthusiasts are happy to welcome visitors to view their collection of machinery, tractors and other relevant items of interest. The Brandon Heritage Precinct contains a Workshop area, Steam Shed and Blacksmith Shop and displays a collection of machinery that was used in the Burdekin District. The Burdekin Machine Preservationists have completed their restoration project of a 1910 Marshall C Class Tractor. This tractor, which is on display at the complex, is the only one of its class left in the world. Tours can be taken through the complex on Mondays between 9am and 4pm when the Burdekin Machine Preservationists are in attendance. Suggested entry is gold coin donation. They have a wealth of mechanical knowledge, so feel free to ask lots of questions.
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
Just one hour's drive south of Townsville is the Burdekin Shire - the sugar capital of Australia, fishing mecca, bird watching paradise and traditional homeland of the Gudjuda Aboriginal people. The Burdekin region is one of the only districts in Australia which still employs the traditional practice of burning cane prior to harvesting. During crushing season, the Burdekin horizon is often lit up by the spectacular sight of these cane fire burns. The widely-renowned Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships are held within the region, giving spectators the opportunity to walk through a paddock of burnt sugarcane, enjoy the food, drinks and activities on offer for the whole family and witness the pure grit and determination as competitors cut through tonnes of burnt sugarcane. The district is made up of the neighbouring towns of Ayr and Home Hill and includes over a dozen other smaller centres. It is as famous for its rich, flat farmlands as it is for its amazing waterways and scenic beauty. The Burdekin maintains a healthy reputation for its friendly residents, great specialty stores and boutique shopping and a laid-back lifestyle. The Burdekin River Bridge, which links Ayr and Home Hill, is the districts best known landmark. Known as the Silver Link, the 1,103 metre crossing is the only bridge in Australia without a solid footing and is longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. An Engineering Heritage National Landmark award was unveiled of the southern side of the bridge in 2010. The district is a well known fishing mecca, with access to barramundi, mud crabs, other estuary species and off-coast reef fishing. The Burdekin is also the closest point to the world famous SS Yongala wreck. Ranked as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, the SS Yongala gives divers first hand encounters with manta rays, bull sharks, turtles and barracudas. If you are seeking a more relaxed experience while in the Burdekin take a swim or relax at Alva Beach.
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.
The Burdekin River Bridge is the district's best known landmark. Locally known as the Silver Link, it is a road and rail bridge which also has a pedestrian walkway. The bridge makes an excellent subject for architectural photos or a great location for holiday snaps. Taking 10 years to complete, the bridge was opened in 1957. It replaced a low level traffic bridge and a rail bridge. Remnants of the old rail bridge can be seen just downstream from the Burdekin River Bridge. Visitors wanting to experience walking across the Burdekin River Bridge are asked to park near the Burdekin Diorama. This is on the southern side of the bridge. You can then walk along the pedestrian walkway onto the bridge. During the crushing (sugar cane harvesting season) this gives you a good view over the sugar cane bins in the holding yard of the Inkerman Sugar Mill. For more detailed information on the Burdekin River Bridge, see the Burdekin Diorama, or call into the Gateway Visitor Information Centre in Home Hill.
Located in the main street of Ayr - only one hour's drive south of Townsville - sits one of Australia's finest little proscenium arch Theatres. Every year, the Burdekin Theatre plays host to hundreds to live performances, conferences, meetings, festivals, exhibitions and local events. The Burdekin Theatre is undeniably the home of arts and entertainment in the Burdekin. Ensure you leave enough time before or after attending the live performance, conference or meeting as there is a number of art pieces to discover within the Theatre grounds.
Bushland Beach is a beautiful stretch of beach in a suburban area, with visitor accommodation and facilities available. Ideal for fishing, swimming, walking and water activities. Low tide uncovers an old wooden shipwreck. The beach is well serviced with a resort, barbecue facilities, playgrounds and a boat ramp. Bushland Beach is part of the Northern Beaches area of Townsville, located 25 minutes drive from Townsville's central business district. Access to Bushland Beach is via a turnoff along the Bruce Highway.
Cannon Park is a lifestyle centre including a six screen cinema complex and a fantastic selection of cafes and restaurants. Located diagonally across from Willows Shopping Centre on Hervey Range Road and Riverway, it also houses Townsville's only Kingpin Bowling Lounge and laser skirmish and is nearby to a roller skate rink and indoor sports complex.
Cape Pallarenda 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.
Just metres short of a mountain, Castle Hill is the giant pink granite monolith that stands proud in the centre of Townsville - a perfect place for visitors to orientate themselves. Castle Hill offers vehicle access as well as a number of popular walking tracks, which are frequented by more than 2,500 locals a day! The 360-degree views of Townsville at the top are well worth the journey. Be sure to have a camera on hand, particularly for sunrise or sunset as these are photo opportunities that shouldn't be missed. Apart from being an iconic centrepiece for the city and a lookout for spectacular scenic views, Castle Hill has a significant history. The Hill's vantage was used by visiting American soldiers during World War II. According to local legend, the visitors famously offered to demolish the hill and use the rock to build a bridge to Magnetic Island. A World War II observation bunker sits on one corner of the Hill reminding visitors of Castle Hill's military history. Castle Hill facilities include car parking, public amenities, drink fountains and shaded seating to enjoy while taking in some of the best views of the city and across to Magnetic Island.
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.
Central Village showcases sidewalk cafes, open air dining, a pedestrian plaza, as well as abundant patron car parking. It's an ideal location to start your night out or take the family for dinner and a movie. Central Village includes: Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinemas, Flamin Good Pizza, Grand Central Cafe, Guzman Y Gomez, Hog's Breath Cafe, Sushi Kiyo, Snap Fitness and Touch of Utopia.
Constructed by the RAAF in 1943, the No 211 Radar Station on Charlie’s Hill was one of twenty radar installations along the North Queensland coastline. These operated to give an early warning of approaching enemy aircraft during World War II. When visiting this historic site, igloos of reinforced concrete which provided bomb-proof protection for the radar equipment can still be seen. The wooden towers which supported the transmitting and receiving aerials have been removed. However, foundations from various structures near the igloos may still be found. The buildings are listed in the Queensland Heritage Register because of the site’s historical and military significance. Charlie’s Hill is a six minute drive south of Home Hill. Travelling along the Bruce Highway, look for the signs on the left, just after Iyah Creek. Turn onto Charlie’s Hill Road and travel about 1.5 kilometres, until the hill is visible on the right. The access to the hill from the road is an unsealed track. The site is maintained by the Burdekin Shire Council.
Take a step back in time and discover the enchanting town of Charters Towers, just an hour and half west of Townsville. Driving through the streets of Charters Towers is like viewing a living montage of Australian history and heritage. Gold was first discovered in the outback town of Charters Towers in 1871 by Aboriginal horse boy, Jupiter Mosman. It quickly became a booming gold rush town, with over 65 hotels and more than 25,000 people moving to the region. Charters Towers become the second largest town in Queensland and was renowned for having everything a civilised person could want and as a result nicknamed "The World." Today you can still see evidence of those early days with many museums, tours and colonial architecture depicting the past. Charters Towers offers a number of magnificent heritage buildings which are testament to the prosperity of the early 1980s. The heritage listed Stock Exchange Arcade, The World Theatre, City Hall and the Post Office Tower will have you reaching for your camera. The cemetery, which was established in 1895, is the resting place of Jupiter Mosman. Don't forget to visit the iconic drive-in cinema for flicks under the stars, the Towers Hill lookout for vast outback landscapes, the Venus Gold Battery to discover the largest surviving Battery relic in Australia and pan for gold at the Miners Cottage. For something a little different and a truly outback encounter head to Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours and Safaris to sample damper and billy tea and meet 'JR,' the 2013 Guinness World Record holder for the bull with the longest horns.
Charters Towers Cemetery was established in 1895. It is the resting place for a number of interesting local characters including Jupiter Mosman who, as local lore has it, was part of the party that discovered gold at Charters Towers; Doctor Leonard Redmond who discovered Australian dengue fever; Fredrick Pfeiffer owner of the rich Day Dawn PC Mine and James Knenniff who was the last bushranger in Queensland. The Charters Towers Visitor Information Centre has the cemetery records for both the Pioneer and Charters Towers cemeteries. If it is family history you are seeking, why not contact the Charters Towers and Dalrymple Archives Group or the Charters Towers Family History Association Incorporated? These groups aim to promote and preserve research into local and family history for the benefit of the community.
The dining scene in Townsville North Queensland has come alive with Townsville's first creative laneway precinct, City Lane, offering a bevy of dining options to tempt everyone's taste buds. City Lane is a sophisticated, New York inspired precinct complete with street art, funky décor and an atmosphere to match! The City Lane precinct truly is the day to night dining solution. The seamless combination of a somewhat contrasting collection of bars and eateries just works! City Lane has brought sophistication, vibrancy and style into the heart of Townsville City and is a 'must visit' while in Townsville North Queensland. Dining options within City Lane include: Born Wild, Donna Bionda, Sakana, Shaw and Co, The Courtyard, TheTaphouse and Zizigo Korean Cuisine.
Discover North Queensland's freshest produce, award winning arts and crafts and a collection of local stalls, entertainment and gift ideas at Cotters Markets. Held every Sunday from 8.30am until 1pm. The markets offer ultra-fresh fruit and vegetables, stunning jewellery, original art works, massages, woodwork, stuffed toads, home-baked cakes, gifts for all occasions and entertainment. Come along and check it out!
Experience the thrill of a live cattle auction, held every Wednesday at the Dalrymple Sales Yards. The Charters Towers region is the largest cattle producing Local Government area in Australia with beef produced on 250 commercial properties running around 600000 head of cattle collectively. Dalrymple Sales Yards sell over 100000 head of store and prime cattle per annum and host North Queensland's premier bull and horse sales. The quality of the animals sold through the Dalrymple Sales Yards is evidenced by the recent sale of a bull which fetched a record price of AUD145000.
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.
Magnetic Island is an angler's dream with a catch virtually guaranteed! Sit back, throw in a line and enjoy the rush of reeling in your latest bite. What a catch it can be; 22-pound Coral Trout and 44-pound Spanish Mackerel are among the trophies happy fishermen have taken home. If you want to gain some local insight, take a fishing tour. This is also a great option to explore areas only accessible by boat. Alternatively, head to one of the local stores and grab some fresh bait to try your luck at one of the beaches, rocky points and inshore waters. In these spots you are likely to discover bream, flathead, whiting, queen fish and trevally; not to mention the incredible beach views and rocky settings the environment offers. Head to Nobby Head, the rocks of Bright Point or the Picnic Bay Jetty for some of the best fishing locations. If you have a boat some of the best fishing spots around Magnetic Island include Middle Reef, West Point, Orchard Rocks and Palmosa and Argonant wrecks near Horseshoe Bay. Boats are available for hire if required and boat ramps are located in Picnic, Nelly and Horseshoe Bays.
Discover an island with a Jurassic outlook which abounds in flora, fauna, palm fringed beaches and extensive mangrove lined waterways. Hinchinbrook Island offers extensive flats and channel systems which are home to many prime tropical sportfish. This region boasts one of the few places in Australia where that much prized fly fishing adversary, the Permit (Snub Nosed Dart), can be targeted with some level of anticipation. Fishing with the majestic backdrop of Hinchinbrook Island is spectacular enough, but to be able to target good quality sportfish including barramundi, mangrove jacks, trevally, queenfish, salmon, fingermark, grunter and cod, makes this a fishing experience you'll never forget. Due to the magnificent mangrove environment, relative isolation in comparison to waters closer to Cairns and the lack of fishing pressure, this region is renowned for producing quality sportfish that are of a better average size than more heavily fished locations. The surrounding areas of Lucinda and Cardwell also offer great land based fishing with Duncan Wharf, Lucinda Wharf, Taylor's and Forrest Beaches being popular hot spots.
Known as the restaurant and nightlife precinct of Townsville, you will find an excellent choice of international cuisine and fun bars and pubs to visit on Flinders Street East. The choices of restaurants range from Chinese, Japanese, Mexican and Italian as well as an Irish pub. Come along with family and friends for a great day out!
Make your way down Townsville's Flinders Street and discover local clothing designers, eclectic souvenirs and gifts, beauty options and a wide array of café and dining options. City Arcade is a new edition to the Flinders Street shopping collection, offering a selection of creative, alternative boutiques alongside sophisticated convenience service offerings.
Escape life's hustle and bustle and spend some time relaxing on Forrest Beach. Enjoy the long sandy beach front which overlooks Orpheus Island and the Palm Island group, or take a swim in the patrolled beach which also features stinger net protection during the summer months. Forrest Beach has a hotel/motel, caravan park and self-contained units. There are a small number of shops where essential items can be purchased.
If you like shopping in independent boutiques and looking for the latest style in homewares you are going to love Gregory Street in Townsville. Running off The Strand, this street has an eclectic mix of boutiques, homewares, cafes and restaurants and you can spend an enjoyable few hours browsing through the stores. Revive with coffee and cake or a long lunch in one of the many cafes along the strip.
Groper Creek is a laidback location, where you can sit back, relax and unwind. You can launch your tinnie from the boat ramp, or fish from the jetty. The area is well known for its fantastic fishing and crabbing. Groper Creek is located towards the mouth of the Burdekin River about 15 kilometres from Home Hill. Head out along Groper Creek Road and you'll travel past sugar cane farms, and through a wetland area full of birds and wildlife. Have a look around the Groper Creek settlement, at the huts built high on stumps. The kiosk and the public phone box are also up high. Bring your camera, as these buildings have their own personality! With the caravan park on the banks of the creek, if you decide to stay longer, check in, set yourself up and enjoy the surroundings.
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.
Learn about the history of the Hinchinbrook region and discover a treasure chest of historical artefacts at the Herbert River Museum. Located on Macrossan Street in Halifax, the Museum offers an interesting step back in time and is co-located with the local gallery. For those wanting to view more of their Local History, the Herbert River Museum and Gallery can be found in the old Shaw's Building, Macrossan Street, Halifax.
Hinchinbrook Adventures provides aerial scenic tours of the Hinchinbrook region. Their scenic tours showcase the regions natural beauty and offers their clients a chance to view all of the natural wonders in a timely and exciting way. They also offer a Helifishing tour into the remote and untouched wilderness of the Herbert River Gorge. This experience is unique to their company and immerses the client into this special location offering a very unique fishing experience. Hinchinbrook Adventures also operate a Mother ship fishing charter that operates in the magnificent Hinchinbrook Channel fishery. This fishing mecca is renowned for its many species of prized fish. This charter is an awesome way of accessing its many and varied fishing locations.
Which Jurassic Island can only 40 people explore at any one time? Although the biggest island on the Great Barrier Reef, Hinchinbrook Island is completely uninhabited. To protect the Island's biodiversity and prevent damage to the environment just 40 people are permitted to stay at any one time. If you have a desire for adventure, Hinchinbrook Island is your ultimate playground. It offers spectacular hiking and camping along the famous 32 kilometre Thorsborne Trail, internationally rated one of the top 10 walks on the planet. You will discover rainforests of Milky Pine, Palm Figs, and vines, with more than 66 species of birds, 22 species of butterflies, 29 different mangroves and many varieties of fish and crustaceans. To start your hiking expeditions on Hinchinbrook Island take a short ferry ride or private charter from Lucinda or Caldwell. Another way to explore Hinchinbrook Island is by paddling along the outside coast in a kayak. Voted as one of the top 10 places to see by Kayak in Australia, the views are nothing short of spectacular and the long sandy beaches and extensive mangrove areas make Hinchinbrook Island an environmental haven for turtles, dugongs and many other marine creatures. Hinchinbrook Island is the perfect place to restore body, mind and spirit. This is the Island to choose if you want peace, beauty, tranquillity and a hint of adventure.
Situated on the southern side of the Burdekin Bridge (known as the Silver Link) with an economy driven by sugar and agriculture, Home Hill offers landscapes dominated by lush green canefields as well as access to some of North Queensland's finest produce. Start your experience in Home Hill with panoramic views of the regions towns, farmlands, wetlands, waterways and coastline from Inkerman Hill. Take in the pristine beauty provided by nature's greens and blues and enjoy a skyline that seems to go on forever. Other attractions include the historic World War Two radar stations which can be found on Charlies Hill and for a step back in time take a stop at Tom's Toybox to view a private collection of working farm machinery from yesteryear. The township of Home Hill was established in 1913 from land carved out of the Inkerman Downs Station and is located just 12 kilometres south of Ayr. The two towns are linked via the Burdekin Bridge, the districts best known landmark standing at an impressive 1,103m long and larger than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. To walk across the famous landmark, park near the Lion's Diorama at the southern approach to the bridge and head to the pedestrian walkway. While in Home Hill, visit the Ashworth's Tourist Centre to discover murals that depict the district's rural life and view original Islander artworks at Zaro's Cultural Gallery. Visit the Silver Link Interpretive Centre, which opened in 2007 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Burdekin River Bridge. Located in the main street of Home Hill, the centre tells the history of the bridge through more than 120 photographs. The Comfort Stop in the centre of town is a clean, modern facility with free restroom, shower and barbecue. There is ample parking for caravans and motorhomes.
Horseshoe Bay is the premier location for watersports on Magnetic Island offering activities to excite the whole family. Along the shores of Horseshoe Bay is an array of equipment hire options including jet skis, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and more! The Bay also provides a great swimming enclosure as well as fantastic fishing and sailing opportunities, along with a shady foreshore with magnificent views across the rocky outcrops and blue ocean waters. If you are looking for a new way to explore the Island, why not consider a horseback ride from the bush to the beach. Swim with your horse in the cool clear waters of the Coral Sea and create a memory that will last a lifetime. After getting out on the water, sit back and relax at one of Horseshoe Bay's restaurants, cafes or bars. The selection of shops and eateries along the Horseshoe Bay beachfront is an ideal location for a meal with an ocean view. Alternatively pack a picnic and make use of the sheltered picnic tables while the kids enjoy the nearby playground facilities.
Their two hour guided bush and beach tours are perfect for all rider levels, offering a relaxed ride with plenty of instruction for beginners and a more exciting ride for experienced horse people. Rides include a great mix of bush and beach trekking, with the opportunity to unsaddle and experience the sensation of riding bareback in the ocean. You will be well looked after with experienced local guides, quality equipment and well trained, quiet horses to suit all riders. They also cater for children’s pony rides.
Where can you discover a taste of Italian life in Townsville North Queensland? With more than half Ingham's population being of Italian descent it isn't surprising that the township is often referred to as "Little Italy". Settled in 1864, Ingham is the heart of the local sugar cane industry, where many Italian migrants came to work, and has one of the largest sugar mills in Australia. The annual Australian-Italian Festival in August brings thousands of visitors to the town to enjoy Italian wine, cuisine, music and culture. Today, the town is just over an hour's drive from Townsville and offers a unique collection of culture, fresh produce and vast green landscapes. Upon arrival in Ingham be sure to visit the TYTO Wetlands and Information Centre. This location is a bird lover's paradise with the wetlands walk providing easy viewing of more than 230 different bird species including the Eastern Grass Owl. Enjoy an early morning or late afternoon walk when hundreds of agile wallabies come out to graze. Just a short drive southwest of Ingham provides an opportunity to discover the awe-inspiring Wallaman Falls, Australia's highest permanent single drop waterfall. Forming part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area, Wallaman Falls sits amongst the beauty of the lush green rainforest. Take in the views from above at the look out, or venture a little closer by taking the walking track to the base. Either way, Wallaman Falls is a great location to enjoy a picnic lunch and to discover the local wildlife. A little further north of the town is the pristine Hinchinbrook Island, a nature lover's paradise. The region includes many recreational National Parks and State Forests with some of the oldest rainforests on earth and many endangered plants and animals. Keep an eye out for the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly and the rare and ancient cassowary bird. Enjoy exploring in the cooler months from April to September.
Located on Sir Arthur Fadden Drive, the Ingham Cemetery depicts the area's strong Mediterranean influences with a magnificent display of tile mausoleums. Undoubtedly, the southern European mausoleums in the Catholic section of the cemetery are quite noticeable. The older style mausoleums are constructed from white stucco and marble, the traditional materials, and contain gothic style windows and doors. The more recent ones are more commonly flat-roofed with parapet surrounds and finished with terrazzo and tiles.
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.
Inkerman Hill, a 10 minute drive south of the township of Home Hill, has recently been upgraded! With funding received through the Queensland Government's Scenic Lookout Upgrade Program, the Burdekin Shire Council is now able to provide their valued visitors a more enjoyable experience. The road up to the lookout has widened and the carpark improved. With a new lookout platform, shelters, toilets, interpretive and directional signage, you must check it out! This has to be put at the top of the to-do list when visiting the region with a walking track for those who wish to stretch their legs and a breathtaking view once you reach the top.
A significant site for both the Australian military and local Aboriginal People, the Jezzine Barracks are now open to the public and include coastal boardwalks, artwork, traditional plantings and parklands. The 15-hectare heritage precinct commemorates the military and Aboriginal heritage of the Kissing Point headland through 32 specially commissioned public artworks, extensive interpretive signage and the restoration of significant elements of the Kissing Point Fort complex. The space includes a coastal walkway connecting Rowes Bay and The Strand, observation decks up at Kissing Point Fort, traditional plantings along the ethno-botanical walk, the Crossed Boomerang Amphitheatre, Norman and Brigadier North parklands and the Kennedy Regiment Plaza. The Traditional Owners of Garabarra are the Wulgurukaba people and the Bindal people, who retain an enduring 'connection to country' despite the impact of non-Aboriginal settlement in the area. For thousands of years Garabarra was the centre of a common food foraging area for local Aboriginal people - an area with immeasurable cultural and spiritual values. The Fort was established in 1870 after the British withdrew from the colonies and it was in continuous military use from 1885 to 2006. In 2007 a community trust was established to keep this land in public hands.
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.
Located off Townsville, Keeper Reef offers a wonderful dive for those that love to explore healthy coral gardens. It is easy to get lost at this dive site as the coral gardens are divided by ridges and bommies, creating a coral maze. Some of the best corals at Keeper Reef are the beautiful gorgonians and spikey soft corals. Going no deeper than 16 metres divers will see schools of fusiliers, coral trout, rabbitfish, batfish, turtles, whitetip reef sharks, sweetlips and barramundi cod. There are also plenty of ledges to investigate, which are home to crayfish, rock cods, squirrelfish and shrimps.
Lake Paluma is an attractive lake surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest. It provides a water supply for approximately one third of the year. Weather proof shelters for day use with barbecues are available and camping sites for longer stays. Swimming and non-motorised vessels are allowed. If you are lucky you may see a platypus, peregrine falcon or eastern water dragon. Due to the popularity of Lake Paluma as a camping destination, there are a limited number of camp sites available and you must pre-book a permit. Access is via a 12 kilometres gravel road just past the Paluma township. All rubbish taken in must be removed, and no domestic animals are allowed.
Lake Ross stores over 200000 million litres of water and supplies up to 80 per cent of the region's potable water supply. The dam wall stretches 8.3 kilometres across the Ross River flood-plain (longest in the Southern Hemisphere) providing an additional flood mitigation benefit to the downstream community. In recognition of its habitat values, Lake Ross is listed as a Wetland of National Significance. The extensive shallow margins of the lake provide habitat for a diversity of water birds. The lake is also surrounded by thousands of hectares of unspoilt open savannah teeming with wildlife. Over 220 species of bird have been recorded on or around the lake to date.
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.
Lodestone Reef is a popular dive site off Townsville visited by day boats that both snorkelers and divers will enjoy. This lovely reef has pretty hard coral gardens in the shallows that are overflowing with reef fish. This is a good location to see anemonefish, butterflyfish, angelfish and blue tangs. If you can look pass all the colourful fish you will also see octopus, nudibranchs, sea stars and many other invertebrate species. In deeper water at Lodestone Reef are coral canyons and bommies to explore in depths to 25 metres. In this area are wonderful soft corals, gorgonians and sea whips, plus larger reef residents like reef sharks, stingrays, sweetlips, gropers, trevally, barracuda and the occasional turtle.
Directly opposite the southern tip of World Heritage listed Hinchinbrook Island is the sleepy seaside hamlet of Lucinda. The eye-popping pride of Lucinda is a six kilometre jetty stretching far out into the Coral Sea. The jetty is the world's largest bulk sugar loading facility and is so long it actually curves with the earth. When conditions are right, you can sometimes see the dugongs and sea turtles at play. With the fertile Hinchinbrook Channel to the north and Coral Sea to the east, Lucinda is Shangri-La for keen anglers. Mangrove jack, coral trout, big juicy mud crabs and the fighting barramundi are all in plentiful supply. Hire a boat and head out to sea or try your luck in the estuary, mangroves, off the beach, or over the side of the jetty. Looming large off the coast, breath-taking Hinchinbrook Island is a pristine natural wilderness, home to the famous Thorsborne Trail, internationally rated one of the top 10 walks on the planet. From Lucinda you can embark on a Hinchinbrook safari and explore the Island's mist-shrouded mountains, waterfalls and freshwater pools. Lucinda is a two hour drive north of Townsville, and a three hour drive south of Cairns. Accommodation in the area includes motels, hotels, caravans and self-contained cabins.
Directly opposite the southern tip of World Heritage listed Hinchinbrook Island is the sleepy seaside hamlet of Lucinda. The eye-popping pride of Lucinda is a six kilometre jetty stretching far out into the Coral Sea. The jetty is the world's largest bulk sugar loading facility and is so long it actually curves with the earth. When conditions are right, you can sometimes see the dugongs and sea turtles at play. With the fertile Hinchinbrook Channel to the north and Coral Sea to the east, Lucinda is Shangri-La for keen anglers. Mangrove jack, coral trout, big juicy mud crabs and the fighting barramundi are all in plentiful supply. Hire a boat and head out to sea or try your luck in the estuary, mangroves, off the beach, or over the side of the jetty. Looming large off the coast, breathtaking Hinchinbrook Island is a pristine natural wilderness, home to the famous Thorsborne Trail, internationally rated one of the top 10 walks on the planet. From Lucinda you can embark on a Hinchinbrook safari and explore the Island's mist-shrouded mountains, waterfalls and freshwater pools. Accommodation in the area includes motels, hotels, caravans and self-contained cabins.
Situated near the southern end of World Heritage listed Hinchinbrook Island, the Lucinda bulk sugar terminal boasts the longest service jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. At 5.76 kilometres long, supported by more than 660 concrete and steel pylons, the jetty is nothing short of an engineering masterpiece with its length actually following the curved contour of the earth. Sugar takes 22 minutes to travel along the conveyor from the on-shore storage to the shiploader. The single berth can accommodate fully loaded Panamax class vessels and the major cargo destinations are Canada and Malaysia. The jetty enables Lucinda to receive the largest ships used in the raw sugar trade. Adjacent to this amazing structure is a small service jetty which is popular with anglers who don't have their own boat. Pelagic species such as Spanish mackerel, giant trevally, queenfish, northern bluefin tuna are there for the taking and some anglers have even been lucky enough to land small black marlin.
Escape to a tropical island paradise surrounded by secluded bays, golden beaches and activities to excite everyone. With 23 beaches and bays and just a 20 minute ferry ride from Townsville, Magnetic Island has the natural beauty and serenity of an untouched paradise within a thriving community. The rocky granite headlands fuse with sheltered bays and beaches, studded with majestic hoop pines, which create a dramatic and spectacular coastline. Over two-thirds of the Island is classified as National Park, providing a haven for native wildlife including rock wallabies, koalas, possums and more than 100 different bird species. The Island has a range of accommodation including hotels and resorts, self-contained apartments, bed and breakfasts, holiday house rentals and backpacker hostels. Getting to Magnetic Island is easy with a passenger ferry and car barge available. Once you have docked, it is straight into island life. Explore at your own pace, take the bus, hire a scooter, jet ski or topless car. For those who love outdoor adventures explore the wilderness by riding or walking along the networks of tracks available. There are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy including boat trips, parasailing, snorkelling tours, bus tours, water sports, golf, diving expeditions, jet skiing, great fishing and horse riding.
Magnetic Island is a popular destination off Townsville for day trips or an extended stay. The island has many sheltered bays that are great to snorkel or dive, as they have a surprising amount of coral and some great marine life. Florence Bay, Arthur Bay, Alma Bay, Nelly Bay and Geoffrey Bay are all popular dive sites with a good variety of hard and soft corals in depths to 10 metres. The coral gardens in these bays are home to a wide range of reef fish and also a good place to see stingrays, crayfish, moray eels, nudibranchs, wobbegong sharks and the occasional epaulette shark. In Geoffrey Bay divers can also explore the wreck of the Moltke, a 50 metre long three-mast barque scuttled in 1911. The wreck rests in 8 metres, 100 metres off the beach, and is covered in corals and fish.
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. 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.
Magnetic Islands BEST Bus Tours provide a comprehensive, personal day tour of beautiful Magnetic Island. Commentary by a friendly, knowledgeable local tour guide covers, wildlife, flora, geology, folk lore, attractions and more. Many creatures are sighted and there is even interaction with some. They depart from right outside the Island ferry terminal at 10.05am and return by 2.45pm, seven days a week.
The original (3 hour) circumnavigation of Magnetic Island. Established in 1996, Magnetic Jet is Australia's first self drive tour company. Tours are designed to showcase the incredible, rugged beauty "Maggie" has to offer. Cruise the entire island coastline, riding luxury personal watercraft, (maximum, two average size people per ski), comfort/safety is paramount, opportunity to swap as drivers, if sharing. The scenery, breathtaking; the rock formations will amaze; the experience, exhilarating. All equipment supplied, instruction/tuition by local tour guide with over 20 years’ experience, chance wildlife encounters (including whales July - Sept). Top End Tour (2 hours); view the North East and North West aspects of Magnetic Island (approximately one third of coastline). Enjoy stunning scenery of Five Beach Bay, Balding and Radical Bays, Orchard rocks, Turtle nesting grounds and the thrill of offshore action. Perfect for day trippers with limited time; couples with younger families or larger groups. Family Owned/Operated, taking pride in their commitment to quality, affordable tourism. A privilege to share this amazing experience with people from all over the world, for the past 22 years, preferring the personal touch, talking directly to customers. Tours daily, weather pending, Families welcome (minimum age 6/7). Advance phone bookings highly recommended.
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.
The history and culture of Mungalla tours begins at the grand Mungalla Station homestead where they introduce you to 45,000 years of Nywaigi Aboriginal Culture. Hear their stories and learn to throw a boomerang or spear. Then board the bus for a short trip to the original homestead site where they'll introduce you to Irish settler James Cassady and his family who were the first European settlers on Mungalla and advocated for Aboriginal people and allowed their ancestors to remain on their traditional lands. As you view the remnants of the original Mungalla site hear the pioneering stories of these settlers and let your thoughts drift back in time and consider the glory of old Mungalla. Return to the homestead to experience the truly amazing Captive Lives story that documents the unbelievable story of Aboriginal people displayed as human curiosities throughout the circuses of Europe and America. This amazing exhibition toured nationally and was seen by over 300,000 Australians. Interact with Aboriginal people as they share this wonderful story with you. Add their optional eco-tourism package to your tour where they show you their efforts to regenerate their wetlands and save endangered species. Group tours a speciality.
The award-winning Museum of Tropical Queensland provides a snapshot of this diverse region of North Queensland, from World Heritage listed rainforest and reefs to the story of the shipwrecked HMS Pandora, the ship sent to capture the Bounty mutineers. The Museum's family-friendly exhibitions and displays explore life in the tropics from prehistoric times to modern day. Located in the heart of Townsville, the Museum has temporary and permanent exhibitions to captivate visitors and their school holiday programs offer something for kids of all ages. The Great Gallery is dominated by a replica of the HMS Pandora, the ship sent by the British Admiralty in 1790 to capture the Bounty and her mutinous crew in Tahiti. Tragically, on her return journey in 1791, Pandora hit the Great Barrier Reef and sank. She remained undiscovered for 186 years and today, objects recovered from the wreck are part of this permanent exhibition. Dig a little deeper into the stories behind the exhibitions and displays with a daily program of talks and tours starting at 10.30am. Paid street parking is available outside the Museum, and free parking (time limits apply) is available on The Strand, about 200 metres from the Museum.
Journey back to the late 1880s and discover a quaint collection of heritage houses and their stories at the National Trust Heritage Centre. The three heritage houses featured at the centre have been furnished and restored to their original period glory and include a Worker's Dwelling (1878), a grand villa residence known as The Currajong (1889) and an early North Queensland farm residence known as The Farmhouse (1921). Guided tours are available.
For that once in a lifetime experience, every time, Nautilus Aviation offers one of the best ways to see the world’s natural wonders just outside their doorsteps. With over 25 years of commitment to exceptional service, Nautilus Aviation has over 25 state-of-the-art helicopters across its bases in Queensland (Cairns, Townsville and Horn Island), the Northern Territory and New South Wales. Now also proudly operating Sydney’s ‘Westpac Surf Life Saver Rescue Helicopters’, Nautilus Aviation is one of the largest General Aviation helicopter company in Australia. Departing daily, in Queensland guests can jump on board a scenic flight, enjoy a reef and rainforest day package, escape to a secluded sand cay, cast a line with HeliFish, design a tour of their own or, for the more adventurous, take the controls and fly themselves! The sky is no longer the limit, it’s your new playground! Fly with Nautilus Aviation and 'Experience the Difference'.
A holiday on Magnetic Island is likely to start on Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island's main residential bay. Nelly Bay is the first point of access for the passenger and car ferries and is an easy location to access bus transfers, taxis, hire vehicles or jump on board a guided tour. Most of the Magnetic Island's shopping and amenities are located in Nelly Bay, and it's also a great place to go for that early morning run or a leisurely walk. It is a fantastic spot to go swimming or snorkelling on the fringing coral reef. Towards the northern end of the beach, you will find a children's playground and a coin-operated barbecue area and, further along, sheltered picnic tables and toilets.
North Queensland Tours is a tour operator in Townsville, with a history in providing quality small personalised touring experiences. They offer a range of guided tours; small group rainforest adventures and high tea tours from Townsville, North Queensland. Itineraries range in length from half-day tours to full-day tours. Not only can North Queensland Tours take you on guided tours, they can book a number of tours and experiences across, North Queensland, Australia where professional and friendly staff are able to advise you on opportunities to suit your interests - you won’t pay more than with the provider. At North Queensland Tours you have the opportunity to speak with a local to help plan and book your stay.
North Ward is one of the oldest and most popular suburbs of Townsville. Wedged between towering Castle Hill and the deep blue Coral Sea, North Ward overlooks the tourist drawcard of Magnetic Island and the Port of Townsville. North Ward is home to The Strand, a bustling seaside foreshore brimming with chic restaurants and cafes, legendary Queensland watering holes and glorious ocean views. The Strand offers a safe swimming beach, rock pool, palm fringed landscaping, children's free fun water park, barbecues and picnic areas and a network of bike paths and walkways. The beaches have stinger enclosures (November to April) and there is good fishing to be had from the pier. The suburb of North Ward also contains fine examples of early Queensland architecture including pre-war hotels and church buildings dating back to the late 1800s. Jezzine Barracks, located at the end of The Strand, is a perfect outing for history buffs with access to the Military Museum and a collection of outdoor sculptures and walkways that provide historical insight into the days of the war and Townsville's development. Head up to Kissing Point Jezzine Barracks for some of Townsville best ocean views. Not far from The Strand and Jezzine Barracks is Queens Gardens, one of three fine botanical gardens in the city. Established in 1870, Queens Gardens includes a formal rose garden, two small hedge mazes, a rainforest walk and a small aviary featuring peacocks, lorikeets and sulfur-crested cockatoos. North Ward is just minutes from the Townsville City Centre and offers a range of accommodation options including backpacker hostels, units and motels.
The Old Brandon Church is the place to go if you love historic buildings. Formerly Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, the building is listed on the Registers of both the National Estate and the National Trust of Queensland. This excellent example of a 'carpenter Gothic' church has stood on two sites in Brandon. After severe damage from cyclone Aivu in 1989, it was purchased by the Burdekin Shire Council, and in 1991 moved to its present site. It has been loving restored and is an excellent subject for structural photography. On Mondays, combine your visit to see this beautiful building with a visit to the Burdekin Machinery Preservationist's shed right next door. The Old Brandon Church is an hour's drive south of Townsville, and five minutes north of Ayr.
Uncover a secluded Great Barrier Reef Island that offers immaculate coastlines and a tranquil tropical escape at Orpheus Island. Located just off the coast of Ingham in North Queensland, Orpheus Island is renowned for its exclusivity, beauty and spectacular fringing reefs. The majority of the Island is comprised of pristine National Park set amongst the turquoise waters of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. With limited accommodation options and access via helicopter or private charter, Orpheus Island provides a true escapism for visitors. Stay at Orpheus Island Resort for pure luxury. Arrive by helicopter and be transported to a tropical indulgence complete with gourmet dining in some of the most spectacular settings imaginable. Relax in comfort or let the staff arrange a full day of activities for you to explore the Island further. For a more low-key accommodation option, the National Park has three camping spots. Ideally located on the Great Barrier Reef, Orpheus Island is a magical location for fishing, snorkelling and diving with the dive sites showcasing 1100 of the 1500 species of fish on the reef.
Located on the city's south bank, Palmer Street captures the essence of international cuisine and is a prime location to start your night, or day, boasting award winning restaurants for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Whether you desire Indian, Asian, Italian, Mexican, modern Australian or locally caught seafood, this is Townsville's premium eating strip. Palmer Street is also home to a number of accommodation options ranging from hotels to serviced apartments and backpacker accommodation. The central location and wide range of dining options makes it an ideal spot to stay, eat and shop! Stroll along Palmer Street to admire the historical buildings and boutique shops and visit the Maritime Museum.
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.
Pelorus and Orpheus Islands are a popular location for day trips off Townsville. Part of the Palm Island Group, 80 kilometres north of Townsville, access to these continental island is from Lucinda. All around Pelorus and Orpheus Islands are rocky reefs covered in hard coral, soft coral, gorgonians and sea whips in depths from 12 metres to 25 metres. The coral coverage on these sites is surprisingly good, considering how close these islands are to the mainland. Popular dive sites around the islands include Bat Caves, The Maze, Moon Pools, Trenches and Black Coral Wall. At these sites divers can explore ledges, gutters, bommies and walls. Typical marine life in the area includes turtles, reef sharks, gropers, barramundi cod, batfish, stingrays and a good range of reef fish and invertebrates.
Pelorus Island, located 800 metres north of Orpheus Island in the Palms Island group, is an untouched, pristine environment accessible by private boat or on a dive tour. Pelorus Island offers spectacular fringing reefs accessible straight off the beach, which make for a remarkable snorkel or dive experience on the Great Barrier Reef. For outdoor explorers camping is permitted on Pelorus Island, however all equipment must be carried with you as there is no access to fresh water and camping facilities are not available. No permit is required.
Housed in one of Townsville’s finest heritage buildings, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery is a dynamic visual arts centre and has a significant collection of North Queensland art. It is Townsville’s foremost gallery with an exciting and diverse program of local, national and international exhibitions, with a special focus on exhibitions featuring North Queensland artists. Floor talks, lectures, education programs and performances of music, theatre and dance supplement exhibitions. The Perc Tucker Regional Gallery is located in the heart of the city centre on the corner of Flinders Mall and Denham Street.
With a sweeping beach, tranquil setting and the iconic jetty, Picnic Bay on Magnetic Island is a spectacular location to enjoy a relaxing swim, beachside dining or a spot of fishing on the jetty. Snorkel and explore the abundant marine life of Picnic Bay or see what you can spot from above while taking a stroll along the jetty. If you are lucky, you might spot a turtle or a shy dugong. With a number of shopping, dining and accommodation options, Picnic Bay is well suited to meet everyone's holiday desires and budgets. Enjoy a meal along the beachfront at one of the dining outlets or pack a picnic and find a shady spot to take in the picturesque views! Picnic Bay is also home to Magnetic Island's only golf course. With breathtaking views and curious wildlife including koalas, wallabies and birdlife, a game of golf on Magnetic Island will be one you never forget. The two bays either side of Picnic Bay are well worth visiting. Cockle Bay is where you will find the wrecked City Of Adelaide, and Rocky Bay is a local hot spot for sun-lovers and one of the Island's top beaches for swimming and snorkelling.
Pilgrim Sailing offers small personalised lunchtime and twilight sailing cruises around Magnetic Island on a beautiful 58 foot yacht. Pilgrim is also available for private charter for the day - perfect for families or groups of friends to get together and explore the island. Activities on charters can include sailing, snorkelling, exploring on the beach, whale-watching (in season). Pilgrim Sailing has been in business since 2010 in Sydney and since 2015 has expanded into Queensland for the winter seasons (April to October). The business is owned and operated by a down to earth couple - Paul and Clare. Pilgrim, the yacht, is one of a kind, custom built to the highest standards. She is loved by sailors and non sailors alike.
Pinnacles Gallery is a dynamic art space committed to offering a diverse exhibition program with a strong community focus. Pinnacles Gallery is located in Townsville's premier Riverway precinct in Thuringowa, providing a perfect backdrop for you to enjoy local and touring exhibitions of visual arts, craft, social history and more. Once you have browsed the latest exhibition, take a swim in Riverway lagoon, stroll along the riverfront under the shade of the large rain trees or catch a performance at the Riverway Arts Centre.
Entrenched in a deep history from the days of the gold rush, Pioneer Cemetery located in Charters Towers, gives an interesting insight in the hardships faced by the pioneers of the time. Containing graves from those who were buried between 1872 and 1895, mining accidents, fires, murders, child birth and general hardship are some of the reasons that there are more than 5000 people buried in the early cemetery. Cemetery records are available for viewing at the Charters Towers Visitor Information Centre.
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.
Embrace magnificent views of vast blue skies and boundless green scenery from Pipers Lookout. Travel up Hervey Range Road from Thuringowa Central, past the suburbs of Rangewood and Rupertswood to find Piper's Lookout near the top of the Range. You will be rewarded with stunning views over the bushland below Hervey Range and out to the ocean.
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.
Raven Tours offers unique and diverse bus tours into nature and history. Small groups of guests are often the friendliest, creating a fun and relaxing journey. Raven Tours is a Townsville based business that is focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction - they will do everything they can to meet your expectations.
Discover Ravenswood, an old gold mining settlement, set amongst the rolling hills of the outback. Ravenswood is a small township approximately 130km south-west of Townsville and 90km north-east of Charters Towers and is a living tribute to the history and heritage of western Queensland. Mullock heaps, tall chimneys, poppet heads and discarded mine machinery pepper the countryside, reminiscent of the town's century-old glory. Beautifully restored hotels and public buildings will give you a glimpse of what the town was once like. Take the time to stop and explore because there's more to this historic town than you would expect and the locals are only too happy to tell you all about it.
Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium is the the world's largest living coral reef aquarium and the Australian Government's national education centre for the Great Barrier Reef. Immerse yourself in the underwater viewing tunnel offering magical views of a living coral reef and the predators that prowl the water depths. Discover beauty and wonder of the Great Barrier Reef. Home to the world's largest living coral reef aquarium, the 2.5 million litre coral reef exhibition will open your eyes to an amazing world filled with thousands of charismatic marine creatures. Appreciate the challenges faced by Reef HQ Aquarium's Turtle Hospital patients and how you can play a role in protecting marine turtles in the Great Barrier Reef. The turtle hospital operates and promotes the C.A.R.E (Conserve. Act. Rehabilitate. Education) philosophy playing a key role in raising community awareness. Join their experienced and friendly interpretation staff on one of Reef HQ Aquarium's premier visitor experiences. Let their volunteers inspire you as they share their passion for the Great Barrier Reef.
Located in Townsville on the magnificent Ross River frontage, Riverway offers a dynamic combination of residential, commercial, cultural, sports and leisure activities. The precinct provides an exciting environment to enjoy a variety of water-based and waterfront activities. With two huge swimming lagoons, the Riverway Arts Centre, Pinnacles Gallery, the Riverwalk, public art, village spine, restaurant, and parklands, there truly is so much to explore. Other quality restaurants, cafes and shops are part of the commercial precinct planned for construction in addition to a national-standard cricket and AFL sports facility. The area is a year round visitor destination with an annual calendar of events including festivals, Christmas festivities, New Year's Eve, Australia Day Celebrations, as well as food, wine, art and sporting events. The picturesque promenades, glorious Ross River, spacious parklands and state of the art Arts Centre, Gallery and Sports Centre are all venues used to host a range of public events.
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.
The Ross River hosts a wide range of sporting and leisure activities. Riverwalk, a three metre wide pathway which overlooks the beautiful Ross River, runs along the river and provides numerous opportunities to enjoy its natural beauty. The Riverway, Loam Island and Pioneer Park developments offer a dynamic combination of residential, commercial, cultural, sports and leisure activities. With two huge swimming lagoons, Riverway Arts Centre, Pinnacles Gallery, the Riverwalk, public art, village spine, restaurant and parklands there are plenty of activities here for everyone. The area is a year round visitor destination with an annual calendar of events including festivals, Christmas festivities, New Year's Eve, Australia Day Celebrations, as well as food, wine, art and sporting events. The precinct provides an excellent environment to enjoy a variety of water-based and waterfront activities. Skiing, wakeboarding and fishing are all popular activities on the water. Ross River also offers some excellent bird watching opportunities, particularly from Pioneer Park, Loam Island, Apex Park and Dam Park.
Established in 2013 by a group of friends and adopted island locals, what began as a middle-of-the-night conversation amongst dreamers, quickly became the reality that is Sandi’s. As a young and dynamic team stemming from all corners of the globe, they have always had one common goal – to provide a relaxed, friendly venue where you can unwind and enjoy the beauty that is Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island. With a focus on providing exceptional food – prepared using high quality, local seafood, meat and produce – at affordable prices, there is something to appeal to everybody; from families, tourists and locals alike. They specialise in premium Cape Grim Black Angus Steaks, fresh local seafood, authentic German specialities and so much more, all created by their native Bavarian chef and co-owner Andreas Thiele. Their goal is to not only offer exceptional food and drinks but to provide a venue catering to all the wants and needs of their valued patrons, friends and visitors. With this in mind, they offer free wi-fi. So no matter where you’re from, you can keep up to date with what’s going on in your part of the world. They look forward to welcoming you.
Saunders Beach is part of the Northern Beaches precinct of Townsville. Saunders Beach has a residential community and some commercial accommodation. The beach is largely untouched and visitors still literally have the beach to themselves. With over six kilometres of beach to discover, take a long refreshing walk, drop a line in to fish, and claim a piece of paradise to yourself. Have lunch at the Cafe or Take-Away and store under a magnificent fig tree, then relax at the beautiful Saunders Beach Park. Stay on the beach at the Retreat House or Ocean View Units. A boat ramp is also available for the keen fisher. Saunders Beach Park is also a designated limited free vehicle camping area.
Unleash your inner scientist at the new Sciencentre at the Museum of Tropical Queensland. A discovery-zone with plenty of fun where you can get hands on with more than 20 interactive exhibits and discover how science challenges the human body, exercises the brain and stimulates the senses. Explore the world of science through play. Follow your curiosity, ask questions, test your ideas and use your imagination in this exciting, interactive and experience-rich environment. Challenge your friends, solve puzzles and learn about how science is a part of the things we do every day. Be curious. Be a scientist at Sciencentre.
When the sun goes down, South Townsville's Palmer Street comes alive! Following the river, this after-hours hot spot is brimming with groovy cafes, lively pubs and fine dining restaurants, sophisticated cocktail bars and hip hotels. The atmosphere buzzes in this precinct located just across the river from Townsville City Centre. There is plenty to see and do during the day too! South Townsville is home to the city's Maritime Museum. The pride of the Museum is a display of the SS Yongala, which sunk in 1911 drowning all 122 people on board. The wreck, off the coast of Townsville, is now one of the world's premier wreck dive sites. Visitors to the Museum can take a guided tour of a real naval patrol boat, the HMAS Townsville, anchored near the mouth of Ross River. The kids will also love the extensive display of hand-made model boats that the Museum has on offer. Accommodation at South Townsville includes backpacker hostels, motels, self-contained units and a number of well-known hotel chains.
Situated near Cape Bowling Green off the coast between Townsville and Ayr, the SS Yongala is possibly the best wreck dive in the world. The ship, at 110 metres long, is one of the largest, most intact historic shipwrecks, as well as one of the most intriguing maritime mysteries - after sinking in 1911, the SS Yongala lay undiscovered for more than half a century. Due to being the only reef formation in the region, the ship attracts a much higher amount of sea life than other dive sites. Everything about the SS Yongala is massive: huge fish, enormous structures of coral and with so much of the ship still intact, it makes for a stunning sight and one that won’t compare to anything else. You will find eagle rays, turtles, giant Queensland gropers, schooling barracuda, sea snakes and much more living on board the SS Yongala.
Imagine back to the days of the 1800s, when the gold rush was at its prime and the township of Charters Towers was the second largest city in Queensland. An arcade was designed by Sydney architect Mark Day and built by Sandbrook Brothers of Sydney in 1888 for local civic leader and businessman Alexander Malcolm. Known then as the Royal Arcade, it housed one of Australia's first regional stock exchanges, the Charters Towers Stock Exchange from 1890. At one time the price of gold was set in that very Arcade, an indication of the importance of the Charters Towers' economy at the time. Today, the stockbroker's offices have been converted into shops and make for an interesting insight into the buildings history. Wander through the Don Roderick Gallery, enjoy the building's magnificent architecture and don't miss the "Calling of the Card," a ghostly reminder of Charters Towers' golden days.