Townsville, Australia's largest tropical city, has become the premier destination for visitors wanting to see the 'real' North Queensland.
This city of 165,000 people is a charming blend of old and new with modern facilities which include an international casino, entertainment and convention centre, theatres, world-class museums, restaurants and accommodation to suit all tastes. However, unlike many other tourism centres, it has retained its heritage in the form of well-preserved civic, commercial and domestic buildings dating back to the region's European settlement in the mid 19th century.
Because it is located in the dry tropics, Townsville consistently records more than 300 dry, sunny days each year perfect weather to enjoy a diversity of experiences ranging from the excitement of local evets such as the annual Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Troy Dunn bull-riding festival, sports such as rugby league, basketball and marlin fishing through to a tour of the world's largest living reef aquarium at Reef HQ, a cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef or Yongala Shipwreck or a visit to the stunning rainforest on the nearby Paluma Ranges.
Visitors also enjoy visiting Magnetic Island, just 20 minutes from the city centre by fast catamaran ferry. Here, more than 2,000 koalas roam free in an idyllic tropical setting offering superb views, palm-fringed beaches, a wide variety of accommodation and plenty to see and do including bush walks to inspect World War II fortifications.
The authentic gold rush city of Charters Towers is just 90 minutes easy drive west of Townsville and is a virtual time capsule of Victorian, Edwardian and colonial Australian architecture. The Towers can be reached on day-trips and marks the start of the true Aussie outback.
Other interesting regions easily accessible from Townsville include the Burdekin Shire, with the vibrant sugar town of Ayr at its centre, and northern centres such as prosperous Ingham with its Italian heritage, Hinchinbrook Island - Australia's largest National Park island and the tropical playground of Mission Beach.
Townsville typifies North Queensland's relaxed tropical lifestyle and is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, rainforest National Parks and the outback. We hope you enjoy our 'Life in the Tropics' when you visit Townsville in North Queensland - it can only be described as paradise.