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Townsville is a provincial city in North Queensland, Australia, that has a tropical climate and a population of around 120,000 people. Many travellers stop in Townsville on the popular east coast of Australia route, which occurs from Cairns down to Sydney, and sometimes through to Melbourne.
What to See?
Check out ‘The Saint’ on the side of Castle Hill, which overlooks the city. The story behind this large piece of graffiti is that a bunch of students from James Cook University thought it a great prank to abseil down the side of the rocky outcrop that is Castle Hill and paint a white big Saint, much like the symbol of the popular television series. This happened in the 1970s, and even after repeated attempts by the local council to remove The Saint, it kept cropping up on the side of the mountain. In fact, The Saint became so popular, it’s now a permanent fixture of Castle Hill and is now considered a site of cultural heritage.
Have a look at the Cotters Markets which are on every Sunday morning in the city centre. You can buy all sorts of things there like fresh fruit and vegetables, local arts and crafts and possibly even a stuffed cane toad, which is an introduced pest that wreaks havoc on the local wildlife. While not politically correct, one can buy stuffed cane toads in all sorts of poses, but I’m not sure what your local quarantine service back home might think about them if you carry one back in your bag! that a bunch of students from James Cook University thought it a great prank to abseil down the side of the rocky outcrop that is Castle Hill and paint a white big Saint, much like the symbol of the popular television series. This happened in the 1970s, and even after repeated attempts by the local council to remove The Saint, it kept cropping up on the side of the mountain. In fact, The Saint became so popular, it’s now a permanent fixture of Castle Hill and is now considered a site of cultural heritage.
Where to Eat & Stay?
One of the nicest locations to eat in Townsville is along The Strand, which overlooks Cleveland Bay and has great views of Magnetic Island. One of the more picturesque places to have lunch or dinner on The Strand is the C Bar, which is located right on the water. Very nice to have a few sundowner beers here!
Townsville has a large concentration of bars and clubs in Flinders Street. One can easily pub/club crawl all night if you want to, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. Why not start off with a few nice brews at the Microbrewery in the Flinders Mall, before journeying down Flinders Street to meet some of the locals. If you are a university student, the bar on campus located 15 km away is a good place to spend a Thursday night, but not if you have to turn up to a lecture on Friday morning.
Townsville has a wide range of accommodation in and around the city, from backpackers, hotels, motels and serviced apartments. Sometimes, there might be a shortage if there is an event on in town, but there should be something in Townsville that meets your needs.
Where to go?
For those who are feeling the need for some exercise, Townsville has a number of walks that should suit most athletic abilities. Once of the nicest walks is along the entire length of The Strand, especially first thing in the morning. If you’re really keen, you can walk along the beach which is literally next to the city. If you’re feeling energetic, why not walk up and down the road that ends up at the Castle Hill peak for great panoramic views of the ocean or the city. But don’t do these walks in the middle of summer, otherwise you will feel rather vapourised as the humidity during this time can be a killer.
There are a number of places surrounding Townsville that are worth checking out. If you need a dose of rainforest, nearby Paluma is great for a day trip. Further north in the township of Ingham, you’ll find some great food because of the high numbers of Italian immigrants that settled there in the 1950s. And nearby Mount Stuart is great for the rock climbers who feel like scaling up the side of a mountain for their thrills!
As mentioned above, Flinders Street has a heap of pubs where you can listen to live music if you don’t mind a bout of industrial deafness.
Swimming in the ocean apart from a designated stinger net during summer, because you will most likely die. Summer is box jellyfish season in northern Australia, and swimming in the ocean during this time can be fatal! Yes, seriously. You will see no swimming signs during summer all over northern Australia, so stay safe and swim within the net.