Townsville, Australia Cruise Port
Tucked between Halifax Bay and Cleveland Bay is the bustling and beautiful cruise port of Townsville, Australia. Located on Queensland's northeastern coast, its flanked by the famous Great Barrier Reef and is called "the unofficial capital of North Queensland" by local residents. With approximately 320 days of sunshine a year, little wonder it's become popular among tourists as well as with Australians. The city provides plenty of attractions and activities that can be found within wilder parts of the country (such as the outback) while still providing a cosmopolitan feel for those looking for great shopping and restaurants. For those who want to get a taste of the Great Barrier Reef without ever leaving dry land, the Reef HQ Aquarium shows fish life in the Reef, featuring both large and small marine creatures. With so much to do, here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Townsville, Australia:
The Strand Beach or more popularly just The Strand, this stretch of sand in front of the city's main waterfront area provides an excellent place for swimming, thanks to calm waters sheltered by nearby Magnetic Island. You'll also find a recreational park, swimming lagoon (called The Rockpool), restaurants, and more.
At the center of Townsville is the pink granite monolith called Castle Hill, which dominates the city skyline and provides magnificent views of Magnetic Island and Cleveland Bay. While easy enough to drive up, the walk is a popular activity during cooler weather; many locals walk it regularly for exercise.
The culturally significant Jezzine Military Barracks include coastal boardwalks, artwork, traditional plantings, and parks. Originally established in 1870, the fort became important to both the Australian military and local Aboriginal people. Whether interested in history or culture, the barracks have something for everyone.
Want to hold a koala or pet a dingo? Head over to the fantastic interactive wildlife Billabong Sanctuary. Home to more than 100 species of Australian mammals and reptiles, the billabong (lake) at the park's center also attracts visiting animals. Take a gander at kangaroos, crocodiles, wombats, and many more.