Townsville and its neighbour, Magnetic Island, are something of hidden gems in terms of Australian travel that allows visitors to experience the best of a destination combining both history and a stunning reef environment into a single, enjoyable package.

Australia Townsville Map

Townsville is a city that may not get much play on the international stage, yet it serves as a great gateway not only to all of the stunning marine wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, but to a variety of other landscapes as well. As an added bonus, it’s also generally far less crowded than some of the more similar commercial destinations resulting in a much more relaxed getaway.

Lush ancient rainforest, vibrant green national parks, longstanding military landmarks and an increasingly energetic city in itself are all on the table here. The majority of the region’s highlights are within easy reach for travellers looking to explore, all wrapped up in a package that tends to be far less “touristy” than its nearby neighbours Cairns and Port Douglas.

Those looking to hit the water for some enjoyment will be in their element here, as Townsville and its surrounding waters are home to some of the best snorkel and dive sites in Australia just off the coast. Also, with the spectacular Magnetic Island just a short ferry ride away, you’re never to far from a laid-back oasis.

If you’re after more of a taste of “real Australia” while still gaining access to a stunning island environment, then Townsville checks all the boxes here. Couple all of the above with a variety of unique attractions and tours available – including aquariums and other wildlife facilities, Texas Longhorn safaris, wreck diving, historical walks and much, much more, Townsville is an underrated yet highly enjoyable North QLD travel itinerary item for any visitor.

Whatever your reason for visiting Townsville, you’ll find everything you need to know about travelling to this part of Far North QLD broken down in our detailed sections below.

Looking to book a range of experiences in Townsville?

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