Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive
Uncover the hidden stories of Townsville’s military past, embark on a hike which will leave you inspired, or head out on the water for a magical encounter with the wildlife of the Great Barrier Reef. With so much on offer, you’ll quickly fill your Townsville North Queensland holiday itinerary.
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.
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.
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 experience. 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 Skipper is also a qualified patrolling lifeguard. 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.
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.
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. As well as offering vehicle access, Castle Hill provides 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. As well as offering an iconic centrepiece for the city and 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
Pleasure Divers Magnetic Island is Magnetic Island's longest running PADI and SSI dive center, offering courses and tours from beginner to professional. Pleasure Divers has been in operation for over 20 years. Located on the picturesque Geoffrey Bay foreshore it is your one stop shop for all your snorkelling and diving needs. With great access to the island's best shore dives including the Moltke Shipwreck and offering trips to the outer Great Barrier Reef as well as the world famous SS Yongala shipwreck. Boasting the only purpose built dive training pool on Magnetic Island, easy access dive sites and world class instructors, Pleasure Divers Magnetic Island is a great place to learn to dive, improve your skills or become a dive professional. Magnetic Island's one stop shop for all your snorkelling and diving needs including equipment hire and servicing, snorkel hire for half day, full day or multiple days with family and student discounts.
Welcome to Magnetic Island’s premier PADI and SSI dive centre. The only dive shop on Magnetic Island with a boat, offering the full dive experience. They offer both SSI and PADI courses and are an official SSI Instructor Training Centre! Learn to dive, continue your education or go pro! Join them for a snorkel or dive trip to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef or dive the No.1 Shipwreck in Australia the SS Yongala. At Pro Dive they believe in customer satisfaction, therefore they promise small groups and a more personalised experience. They also offer shorter travel times so you can enjoy precious time at the reef not just getting to it!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don't use Townsville war memorial's clock tower to check the time: its clock faces have long been replaced by four plaques depicting an eagle, crossed swords, anchor and the seal of the City of Townsville. As early as 1925, the clocks were unreliable as a time-piece and were later removed. The column of rough cut grey granite, supported on a red-white marble plinth and bracketed by 3 white marble fins, was dedicated by Governor Sir Matthew Nathan on ANZAC Day 1924 in what was then known as The Strand Park. Wrought-iron entrance gates and fencing and several war trophy cannons were installed nearby. Public subscription financed the memorial, designed and constructed by monumental masons, Melrose and Fenwick of Townsville. The Strand Park was renamed ANZAC Park in 1934: a metal arch bearing the new name was erected above the entrance gates, in time for the April 25 ANZAC commemorations. The Strand foreshore fronting the Breakwater Marina contains many other memorials including 27 small plinths holding bronze plaques forming an outer perimeter to the WWI memorial. The focus on ANZAC Day activities since the 1920s has become a natural home for formal and civic commemorations in the north Queensland military city.
This secluded beach is a great spot for birdwaters and family outings. With a designated free tent and vehicle camping area and views across the ocean, Toomulla Beach is a perfect beachside retreat. Launch for a day of fishing from the boat ramp. Toomulla Beach is an ideal location enjoy the unwind and escape everyday hustle and bustle.
Tour Townsville has developed an extensive range of regular and custom tours that operate both day and night. Their day tours specialise in telling the story of Townsville and viewing its best scenic sights. They have military history tours of Townsville and others that cover its general history. Their scenic tours take you to their most iconic sights and set you up for a great stay in their wonderful city. Hear stories of the city’s 150 year history and discover the plans that continue to see Townsville North Queensland evolve into one of the largest and most dynamic regional cites in Australia. Their night tour indulges you in wonderful night out, by admiring the work of a local artist at one of Townsville’s boutique art galleries, before taking in the spectacular scenery of Townsville by twilight as you dine at a private venue overlooking the water. After admiring Castle Hill from the water’s edge the evening will conclude at the very top of the Hill where you’ll enjoy the breathtaking view of the sparkling lights of Townsville’s vibrant city. Their city has a story to tell.
Townsville Helicopters provides a range of helicopter services including scenic flights, customised charter and island transfers from Townsville Airport. Aside from Townsville itself, popular destinations for sight seeing and charter are Magnetic Island, The Great Barrier Reef, Hinchinbrook Island and Wallaman Falls; however the choice of destination is almost limitless.
The Maritime Museum of Townsville is best known for its display about the doomed ship SS Yongala, sunk south of Townsville in 1911 with the loss of all 122 on board. The display includes a video recording showing the discovery and archaeology of the wreck, one of the world’s premier wreck dive sites. Other fascinating exhibits include The Women’s War Two display, which provides an insight into the lives of women living and working in Townsville during the Second World War; information about the Royal Australian Navy, the history of Townsville and its port, and the hard hat diving industry of Townsville. A model boat building room, boat shed, small research library and barbecue area can also be found here. The Museum is located on the southern bank of Ross Creek, and is just a short walk to city restaurants and other attractions.
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.
The Townsville Tennis Centre, North Ward is the largest and most modern tennis centre in North Queensland. It is located only five minutes from Central Business District and 10 minutes from Townsville airport. The centre has 12 plexipave tennis courts and all are lit for night play. The centre has also a clubhouse, a bar and barbecue facilities. It caters for corporate social functions, public court hire, coaching of juniors and adults. At the centre a comprehensive junior development program is conducted as well as night fixtures and daytime ladies fixtures and premier league. The public are most welcome.
Enjoy the secluded beaches framed by rocky headlands, coastal woodlands bordering seasonal wetlands, and deep-water lagoons that make this park special. 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 of Townsville Hike across Many Peak Range, enjoy expansive island views while riding the Under the Radar mountain bike trail or walk the trail to enjoy a picnic on secluded Shelley 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. Keep you eye on the skies and you might see brahminy kites and white-bellied sea-eagles scanning for prey.
Wheeler Reef, on the Great Barrier Reef, is an easy boat trip from Townsville in North Queensland. The site offers some of the most pretty reefs for exploring by snorkelers as well as divers of all experience levels. With the reef depth varying from two metres down to 18 metres, there is an abundance of coral and sea life coating every last surface. The impressive lagoon is home to large schools of reef, tropical and pelagic fish, all waiting to explore the many gullies, canyons, caves and swim-throughs that this reef is famous for with you.