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About Townsville

A couple enjoy the sunset over Townsville

Townsville is a city on the north-eastern coast of Queensland.

With a population of nearly 200,000, it is the largest city in North Queensland and is unofficially considered the capital of the North.

Townsville is the 13th largest city in Australia, and by far the largest population base in Northern Australia.

Townsville is a thriving precinct with access to a variety of world class education facilities, leading edge health care, affordable housing, unique retailing, spectacular events and entertainment, dining precincts and a wide range of outdoor recreation options.

Townsville is in the dry tropics region of Queensland, adjacent to the central section of the Great Barrier Reef and boasts over 300 days of sunshine each year, Townsville’s lifestyle is second to none.

Popular attractions include “The Strand”, a 2.2km world-class beachfront promenade with tropical beach, waterpark, parks cafe & restaurants; Riverway, a riverfront parkland attraction located on the banks of Ross River, Billabong Sanctuary, meet your favorite animals in a tropical bushland setting; Queensland Country Bank Stadium: home to the NRL North Queensland Cowboys, amazing views from Castle Hill, the most prominent landmark of the area and a popular place for exercise; and of course Magnetic Island, with 23 exclusive beaches and bays and two thirds being national park

  • Traditional owners and custodians, the Bindal and Wulgurukaba People are the first people to have lived in the Townsville region. Archaeological sites near Townsville suggest that the land has been occupied for over 10,000 years.

    The Wulgurukaba people tell the story of the creation of a snake who came down through the Herbert River and went out to sea creating the Hinchinbrook Channel and down to what we now know as the Palm and Magnetic Islands. Along the snake’s journey's creation, its body fragmented, leaving parts scattered along the coast. The tail of the snake is located at Halifax Bay, its body lays at Palm Island, while the headrests at Arcadia, on Magnetic Island.

  • In 1770, James Cook visited the Townsville region on his first voyage to Australia, however, he did not actually land there. The first Europeans to record a local landing were Captain Phillip Parker King and botanist Alan Cunningham in 1819. It wasn’t until 1864 that Townsville was officially founded as a port for the fledgling pastoral industry of North Queensland. After the discovery of gold in the surrounding hinterland, the town developed into the de facto capital of North Queensland.

    Townsville is a leading garrison city, with strong military ties dating back to WWII. Here you will find Lavarack Barracks, a large Army base and RAAF site.