South of Far North Tropical Queensland lies the Northern Queensland region. The hour-and-45-minute flight from Brisbane and year-round warm temperatures make it one of top tourist areas in the state.
Along the Northern Queensland coastline proudly stands the city of Townsville. Founded in 1864, the town became known as the second capital city of the state after gold was found in the hinterland. Today, it’s known as a key military base and tourist hot spot, with a population of more than 189,000 people.
As the fourth most populous city in Queensland, Townsville has ensured there are plenty of things to do for visitors and locals. For the animal lover, a trip to the Reef Headquarters Aquarium and Billabong Sanctuary is an absolute must, while a day at the Museum of Tropical Queensland will take you back to creatures of prehistoric times. There are also plenty of art galleries, nature walks, The Palmetum botanic gardens, parks and more to keep you busy.
We also highly recommend making the journey 8km offshore to Magnetic Island. To get there, hop on the Magnetic Island Ferry and enjoy the shrinking Townsville coastline as you head to paradise. With 54% of the island being a national park, there are endless walks and lookouts to take in the views. You may even spot a wallaby or koala while you’re out and about.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay on the island, you have a fine choice of holiday villages, backpackers, serviced apartments and resorts. It’s also easy to hire a car if you caught the ferry by foot.
A 90-minute drive west of Townsville is Charters Towers. Back in the day, Charters Towers was the second largest city in Queensland, with the goldrush calling for more than 65 motels and one of the first stock exchanges in Australia. Today, the town holds a comfortable population of 8,100+, with tourists mainly being attracted by the historical and cultural sites.