Gday Travelers! Last time I got up to Townsville, Queensland, I had just one day to explore the city. With this years trip I made sure I had a little bit more time to explore and find out more of what Townsville had to offer. Well, by a little bit more time I mean two days. But I made sure I packed a lot in.
If you’d like to read about last years trip to Townsville, you can do that here – 24 Hours in Townsville.
My first morning Townsville was a fairly early start. I wandered down to the The Strand (the Townsville Beach front area) to soak in the sunshine, defrost from a cold Sydney winter and grab some breakfast at one of the beach from cafes.
After some much needed bacon and coffee, it was time to stretch the legs. I ended up walking the entire length of The Strand, taking a lot of photos of the beach and the views out over Magnetic Island, which is just off the coast. I haven’t made it over to Magnetic Island yet. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to get back up to Townsville and spend a bit more time up there in the not to distant future. Then I’ll be able to have a day trip over to the island.
I ended up at the Barracks, at the northern end of the Strand, I was hoping the Military Museum would be open. Unfortunately it wasn’t. Turns out it’s only open every second day. But that was ok, since it was a very good refreshing walk in the warmth. The Barrack’s offered some great views of both The Strand and Castle Hill. It’s also a good place to walk around, find out a bit more about Townsville’s history.
Here’s a collection of a few more photos I took on my walk along The Strand.
Reef HQ Aquarium
After exploring The Strand. I headed back down to the Reef HQ Aquarium. Townsville being at the bottom end of the Great Barrier Reef, it’s the closest I was going to get to exploring the sea life of the reef on this trip. The aquarium was really well setup. Although not quite as big as I was expecting. That’s probably more to do with the other aquariums I’d visited in Sydney and Melbourne being exceptionally large.
Instead the Reef HQ in Townsville was very much focused on the sea life in the local area. A great way to spend an hour of so learning about the Great Barrier Reef and some of the other wildlife in the area. It also wasn’t very expensive, well compared to the other aquariums I’d visited. In terms of value for money it was very good aquarium.
For more information about Reef HQ Aquarium, check out their website – www.reefhq.com.au
To wrap up my first day in Townsville, I wanted to do something a little more action packed. So I headed out to Pitstop Karting center just outside the city. While not really the thing you’d specifically go to Townsville for, Pitstop Karting was one of the more impressive karting facilities I’ve been too. While the track is very big. It sure was a lot of fun.
Pitstop Karting was really well setup, in addition to the Go-Kart’s, it also had a proper driving simulator. For anyone interest in cars and motorsports, it’s really worth the trip.
Unfortunately, it’s a little hard to take photos and drive Go-Kart’s so I don’t have any photos of the center. I ended up leaving the camera gear at the hotel. But I highly recommend a visit if you are looking for something a little different in Townsville.
For more information about Pitstop Karting, check out their website – www.pitstopkarting.com.au
Australia’s Tallest Waterfall
My second day in Townsville was all about investigating the natural wonders that Townsville and the surrounding areas had to offer. I kicked off the morning with a 2 and half hour drive out to the tallest free falling waterfall in Australia, Wallaman Falls.
In the week leading up to my trip to Townsville I noticed an Instagram post from another travel blogger featuring the falls. So I added it to my to do list for my trip. I wish I could remember who it was so I could give them credit.
When I left Townsville, the city was bathed in sunlight. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. As I got closer to the Girringun National Park, the clouds rolled, I started to get a little concerned if I would be able to see anything when I got there.
Thankfully when I arrived the clouds parted just enough to get a couple of photos. I ended up with about a 15 minute window before the clouds closed in and it was a complete white out. Sometimes you’ve just got to have a little bit of luck with these things.
I was hoping to walk down to the bottom of the falls and get some more photos. But with the heavy cloud cover/fog. I thought it would be smarter to come back to the falls on a clearer day. But it did make for some unique and stunning photos. Unlike anything I’d seen before.
With a clouds closed in on the Falls, it was time to make my was back to Townsville. The drive back had an interesting variety of wildlife. I could hear the Cassowary’s in calling in the forest, but I didn’t see any. Well other than the one on the sign below.
While the main road back to the highway, went straight through a farm with cow’s treating the road like a paddock. To be fair though, it probably was their paddock before it was a road. Just another unique feature of the trip.
There was also Crocodile warnings on all of the creek crossings. If I was a little more familiar with the area, I probably could have got a couple more photos of Crocodiles in the wild. But it was probably smarter and safer to stay in the car like it did.
The drive back to Townsville, passed through the town of Ingham. Ingham featured Lee’s Hotel or as it’s probably better known, the original pub with no beer. It seemed as good a place as any to stop in and grab some lunch. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, it turns out that they do indeed have beer now. The pub was also a little more modern than I was expecting. Seems it was rebuilt in recent years. But you can find out all about that, including the tale of Slim Dusty’s song The Pub with No Beer when you visit Lee’s Hotel for yourself.
Crystal Creek Falls
Since I didn’t get to explore the Wallaman Falls properly. When I saw the sign for Crystal Creek Falls, I thought I would go and check those out instead. While of the main Bruce Highway, it was really easy to find. It turned out to be a good collection of smaller waterfalls and swimming holes. If I’d know about them prior to making the trip I would have brought my board shorts and a towel.
It would be an ideal spot to cool off on a hot summers day. In fact as I was leaving a few car loads of backpackers rocked up and jumped in for a swim. Instead I had a camera, so I took a variety of photos of the different sections of the falls.
With my time coming to an end in Townsville, I thought I’d do as the locals do and hike up the goat track to the top of Castle Hill Lookout. As much as I like to walk, a lot, particularly when I’m traveling. It was quiet a challenge hiking up to the top, but a good challenge. It took me just over 30 minutes to get to the top. I ended up just making it just in time for sunset.
If it wasn’t for the cloud cover off in the distance it would have ended up with some stunning photos of the sunset. It wasn’t all bad, I spent a bit of time walking around the different vantage points and took a few photos looking out over Townsville as the sun set. Before making the hike back down to the bottom in the dark.
While I was in Townsville I stayed at the Ridgemont Executive Hotel, at the base of Castle Hill. Right near the start of the goat track. I found it was relatively convenient. I could walk down to the CBD and Flinders Street to find a variety of food and pub options. It worked out alright, although having a car certainly helped.
If you’d like to check out some of the other options around Townsville, have a look at these Townsville accomodation options via Booking.com.
If you’d like to know more about Townsville, here is a couple of other blog posts I’ve put together.
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