6 Things To Do In Townsville That Prove It Should Be At The Top Of Your Domestic Travel List


It’s been a big year. And on top of everything, your IG feed has probably been flooded with pals traipsing through Europe and Bali.

You deserve a holiday, too. And if the stress of organising a visa and getting your passport renewed sounds like an ordeal, a domestic trip to one of Australia’s glorious natural delights should be on the cards.

If you’re stuck for ideas, let me present North Queensland’s gem, Townsville.

Now, you can do the usual beach holiday stuff there — sip cocktails by the pool at a resort, lie blissfully on some white sand and eat yourself silly at a top-tier restaurant. But, if you’re looking to spice things up a bit, there are heaps of unique activities on offer that you can also sink your teeth into.

Here’s a rundown of some of the stuff you should check out while planning a visit.

Explore Magnetic Island

Paying a visit to Magnetic Island is an absolute must when up in Townsville. However, the best way to get the full scope of the extraordinary island is by booking a tour with Aquascene or Magnetic Island Sea Kayaks.

By booking a tour, you’ll be able to safely interact with native wildlife (the island just happens to be home to the largest colony of Koalas in the world, so we’re sure you’ll bump into a few), head to secluded beaches and even circumnavigate the island. On top of that, you’ll be able to indulge in snorkelling, eco-fishing and general water frolicking too.

Heading to Magnetic Island to make The Great Island Trek — an iconic 25km race in September each year — is also a solid option. You can trek, walk or run across the island to see secluded bays, spot koalas in the wild, and brush up next to sea turtles once you make it to the sand.

Honestly, just watching the video below healed me, so imagine what actually being there could do for you.

Sail Around The Coast

If you’re obsessed with TikTok’s Coastal Grandmother aesthetic but can’t quite capture it in your inner-city sharehouse, you should consider booking a sailing tour.

Services like Pilgrim Sailing or Big Mama Sailing offer all-inclusive sailing cruises and private charters on a whopping, luxury 58-foot yacht. I imagine it’d be kind of like this scene from The White Lotus but without all the awkwardness.

A sailing adventure around Townsville is the best way to soak up the sunset views of Magnetic Island, and you’ll also get to tuck into locally sourced food and wine while you’re living it up too.

Eat Yourself Silly

Townsville is fast becoming one of the country’s most sort after culinary destinations. It’s got everything from gorgeous little cafes with live jazz, to fine dining ops that serve up the freshest seafood on the planet. Some of our picks are California Taco, Hoi Polloi, Bridgewater and A Touch Of Salt. 

There’s also a bunch of breweries to try out, including Townsville Brewery, Tiny Mountain Brewery, Magnetic Island Brewery, Tan Lines (gin distillery), if that tickles your fancy too.

Check Out The Museum Of Underwater Art

I’ve truly never seen anything like this. The Museum of Underwater Art isn’t your typical walk-in and peruse museum. It’s a bunch of installations of sculptures and artworks located on The Strand and at John Brewer Reef (approximately 80 kilometres off the coast).

All of the works tell an important story about the culture of its First Nations people, as well as spark a meaningful conversation and solution to reef conservation. You can check out this video here for more info on the whole project.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/6xQPbggR6Jc” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

Go On A Texas Longhorn Tour

If you’re a fiend for anything a little yee-haw, but also want a slice of the Aussie countryside, look no further than Texas Longhorn Tours, located in Charters Towers (about 90 mins from Townsville City).

The experience will allow you to get up close and personal with none other than a ‘uge herd of genuine full-blood Texas Longhorns, Asian Water Buffalos, American Bisons and a bunch of other four-legged creatures.

Your tour guide will give you a fully-fledged rundown of each species as you make your way through the ‘safari’, and you’ll also break for a traditional Aussie smoko when the heat sets in.

I mean, look at these bois! You can make a day of it for only $86 too, which is a bloody bargain if you ask me.

Discover The North Australian Festival Of The Arts

The North Australian Festival Of The Arts is Townsville’s month-long premiere event that features hundreds of different performances, experiences, and venues for the community for folks to enjoy. Think comedy performances, live music, burlesque dancers, circus acts — you name it.

Next year’s event kicks off on June 13th and runs until July 9th, so there’s plenty of time to get your itinerary sorted.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by NAFAtsv (@nafa_tsv)

There you have it, folks. If this isn’t enough to get you to Townsville, I don’t know what will. There’s so much more on offer than I’ve even scratched the surface with here — from e-bike tours to Wild Hinchinbrook Adventures. You can suss it all out here and start planning your getaway now.