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Exploring Townsville

The sun shines on the North Queensland coastal city of Townsville no fewer than 320 days per year. Not only does Townsville enjoy constantly warm and dry tropical weather, it is conveniently located no more than two hours’ journey from Australia's world famous Great Barrier Reef, outback, and rainforests. Townsville has become a popular jumping-off point for excursions to the Great Barrier Reef and the nearby Magnetic Island, much of which is national park land.

Most of Townsville's own attractions are situated on the coastal Strand along the Pacific Ocean or the Riverway parkland on the Ross River's banks. There are a total of over 3,000 rooms in all of the city's hotels, from the upscale beachfront Oaks M on Palmer to the more modest Chifley Plaza Townsville. Visitors unable to see the Great Barrier Reef in person can see some of the reef's sea creatures and plants at the ReefHQ aquarium, while the Museum of Tropical Queensland was constructed around relics from HMS Pandora, a British warship which sank beneath the Pacific Ocean surface in 1791.

Sights nearby

Two major Queensland motorways, the Flinders and Bruce highways, intersect in Townsville. The ring road presently surrounding the city is to become Townsville's official National Highway route. Ferries frequently travel to Magnetic and Palm islands.

The Strand
Views of Magnetic Island, Cape Cleveland, and the Port of Townsville are just a few of the reasons why this North Ward foreshore is such a popular gathering spot. The beach ranks among the cleanest in Australia and features a space net which stands nine metres high. Palm trees grow above the paths, picnic spots, and places to drink and eat along this picturesque promenade. Night markets are held in Strand Park on the fourth Friday of every month.

A foreshore pathway links this stretch of Condon riverfront parkland to the Thuringowa Central business district. The main road leading to Pioneer Park, Village Boulevard, is a popular walking path. An arts centre with a grass roof, a stadium capable of holding more than 10,000 people, and the Riverway's Village shopping and dining precinct are all part of this 10km long attraction on the Ross River's banks.

Visitors wishing for an up-close look at the Great Barrier Reef while on dry land can see up to 120 species of fish, 130 species of coral, and countless other marine creatures at the world's biggest living coral reef aquarium. A pneumatic wave machine makes the water motions in the coral reef exhibit, among the world's few aquariums which are open to the weather. An IMAX theatre and the Museum of Tropical Queensland are situated alongside this unique aquarium in the same complex.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

Gregory Street is filled with casual cafés and outdoor dining establishments, while more formal Australian and international restaurants are situated on Palmer Street. The waterfront views from the Strand's cafés and restaurants are hard to beat. Flinders Street East is Townsville's main nightlife district. On Sundays, Cotters Market occupies all open spaces at Flinders Street Mall, Townsville's biggest shopping hub. Sunday is also the day when homemade sweets, crafts, and produce are sold at the over 120 stalls at the Willows Weekend Markets. The city's two other major shopping centres, Stockland Plaza and Castletown Shoppingworld, each contain more than 135 shops.

Public transport

Jupiters Townsville Hotel & Casino is ideal for anyone wishing to stay near Townsville Airport, just 10kms west of the city centre, or the Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal. Sunbus Townsville operates the main bus service which travels throughout Townsville and its surrounding areas, but the Hermit Park Bus Service also travels between the central business district and Bushland Beach. The Tilt Train is the main rail service linking Townsville to Cairns and Brisbane. Taxis are available throughout the city 24 hours and the main taxi stand is located at Flinders Street Mall.

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