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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 16, 2020
Headline for Top 5 Things to do in Townsville – Queensland’s hidden destination
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Things to do in Townsville – Queensland’s hidden destination

Townsville is one of the best alternative destinations Australia has to offer. It's not crowded or overrun with tourists like Cairns or Port Douglas but offers an equally authentic experience.


Visit Magnetic Island

Located just 8km from the shore of Townsville, Magnetic Island can be reached in 20 min by boat. Due to its close proximity, it is a favourite destination with both locals and tourists alike. The island is the perfect example of tropical bliss with white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, shallow bays and large areas of pristine wilderness. The island is a nature reserve and is home to koalas and many other species endemic to Australia. Many visitors simply like to walk around the island exploring its many trails while others can't wait to jump into the water. Snorkelling is another one of the most popular activities here.


Reef HQ aquarium

Though it is considered as the largest living coral aquarium in the world Reef HQ isn't exactly all that big. It is, however, a stunning work of presentation and pioneering innovation as it seeks to exhibit an accurate representation of the Great Barrier Reef were you to dive and see it. The aquarium is often praised for its great conservation work and their method of placing as many species in a common tank rather than in various separate tanks and preserve a sense of how the marine life would actually live in the ocean. Reef HQ has hammerheads, rays, groupers and a wide assortment of fish and corals.


Explore the Outer Great Barrier Reef

If a simple trip to the aquarium won't satisfy your appetite for adventure and you want to personally explore the largest natural structure in the world; the Great Barrier Reef, don't hesitate go for it – it is truly an awe-inspiring experience which forces you to take a step back and marvel at the wonder of nature's creation. There are so many top-tier accommodations in Townsville, Australia. Hotels of the calibre of Oaks Gateway Suites amongst others are worth checking out when planning your trip as it will be much easier to get a safe and responsible diving excursion booked through your hotel – it's the best way to get a discount also.


Hike up to Castle Hill

Every city has that one special viewpoint in Townsville that spot is Castle Hill. Located right in the city's central business district this hill stands nearly 300m tall and offers an unparalleled view of the surroundings. It's a favourite place for the locals to go on walks and hikes. The trails are easily navigable and the trek isn't too tiring though it is indeed very rewarding in the end.


The Museum of Tropical Queensland

A very unique museum as its name suggests – the Museum of Tropical Queensland does not simply stick to the general formula of typical historical exhibits but instead puts great emphasis on the natural history of rainforests, maritime exploration, ancient animals that dwelled in the tropics and most importantly the eco-systems of the Great Barrier Reef.