As winter creeps across the southern states, Townsville is the balmy oasis you’ve been dreaming of. Expect average June temperatures hovering in the mid 20s, idyllic beaches, natural marvels, grand architecture, and an enviable foodie scene that will have you saying, ‘Melbourne-Shmelbourne’.
Whether you’re here for a night or a week, these are Townsville’s must-dos.
It’s a no-brainer: pack your togs and head to Townsville’s bustling waterfront for a dip. Now that ‘stinger’ (jellyfish) season is officially over, there’s no better time to melt away winter blues in these warm, turquoise waters. Being outdoors is hungry work if you’re not used to tropical humidity. Our solution: head to Juliette’s across the road for a (probably) lifesaving gelato!
Wherever you are in Townsville, you can’t miss Castle Hill towering on the horizon. Sporty locals love to tackle its slopes on foot, but if you prefer your panoramic views minus the huffing and puffing, you can drive up to the summit. Why not grab a pizza from nearby Tony’s Pizza and chow down on cheesy goodness as you watch the sunset?
Two hours and a half out of town, Wallaman Falls is tucked away down a winding path in lush rainforest. Be warned: the trek feels deceptively gentle going down, but the climb back up isn’t so easy. At 268 metres tall, Wallaman Falls is Australia’s highest, permanent, single-drop waterfall, and gazing up at it from below is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Magnetic Island is only a half hour’s ferry ride away from Townsville, but this slice of paradise feels blissfully secluded. The beach on the main drag at Horseshoe Bay is charming, but we recommend heading to the remoter, and infinitely more beautiful Arthur Bay, on the island’s east coast. It’s easy to see why snorkelers and photographers adore this enchanting pocket of ‘Maggie’.
Otto’s Fresh Food Market
Thanks to its range of out-of-this-world baked goods, coffee, and a gourmet grocer, Otto’s Fresh Food Market is the perfect place to chill out and stock up on picnic supplies. A warning (and we speak from experience here): soft cheeses won’t last long in the Townsville sun – but after a nibble you’ll realise they were never destined to last too long anyway.
What beach paradise would be complete without a cocktail menu? Venue-wise, Townsville spoils you for choice, but we love to wind down with an elegant beverage (or two) at bespoke cocktail bar Hooch and Fellow on Flinders Street.