Townsville#5 in Best Things To Do in Great Barrier Reef
Price & Hours
- 3.0Food Scene
Located by the central section of the Great Barrier Reef, Townsville is conveniently situated between Cairns and the Whitsunday Islands. It sits a short ferry ride away from Magnetic Island and Palm Island, but visitors will find an array of attractions to explore within its city limits. Reef HQ Aquarium – the largest living coral reef aquarium in the world – overlooks Ross Creek by Breakwater Marina, and The Strand – a beachfront promenade that features bike paths, picnic spots, a water park, a fishing pier and various restaurants and bars – is ideal for a leisurely stroll and swim.
Previous travelers said The Strand is a must-visit for families, citing its ample playgrounds and free water park as highlights. Many also enjoyed the views provided at the top of Castle Hill (a large pink granite rock formation located just west of the downtown area) but cautioned that the walk can be a bit strenuous for visitors who are not in shape. Other standout sights include the animal-focused Billabong Sanctuary and the historic Jezzine Barracks.
Townsville is free to visit 24 hours a day, but fees apply for some of the city's attractions. Metered street parking and free parking lots are available throughout Townsville's central business district, or visitors can use Sunbus' shuttles to get around the area. Bus fees vary by zone but start at 1.70 Australian dollars (about $1) per person. Several hotels, shops and eateries can also be found in the city center. Check out Townsville's official website to learn more about things to see and do in and around the city.
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