With a magnetic charm and dozens of fabulous attractions and golden sandy beaches, this laid-back little town oozes with character and takes pride in being the unofficial capital of Queensland. Townsville is located on the shores of Cleveland Bay and with views of the picturesque and idyllic Magnetic Island in the distance it's not hard to see why people are so strongly drawn here.
Townsville played an active role in World War II, when American and Australian troops were stationed here during the Pacific campaign. Japanese bombs were even dropped in the harbour in 1942, but thankfully there was very little damage to the coastal city. Today an army of local and international tourists visit, drawn to the year-round good weather and varied attractions to suit any inclination.
Take a trip to the magnificent Magnetic Island to explore the National Park, or take the plunge and do some reef diving to discover the famous Yongala Wreck or Great Barrier Reef to the east. Back on land go on a 4x4 trip into the Outback to the west, marvel at the magnificently verdant tropical rainforests dotted with waterfalls to the north, or visit the mango and sugar cane farms to the south.
With numerous restaurants and bars, wonderful shopping opportunities and a quiet cosmopolitan feel, Townsville has something for everyone, though it should be noted that saltwater crocodiles are present in all swimming locations here, including the beach, so caution should be exercised in the water.