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Townsville North Queensland 2019 Events Guide

Whether it’s on the beach, stage, or field, be prepared to experience world-class events in spectacular settings. V1 - BULE01Z01FB


MARCH 4X4 FUN DAY (CHARTERS TOWERS) 10 Mar

DESTINATION ADVENTURES YOGA TROPICAL HOLIDAY 4–6 Apr

CHARTERS TOWERS COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL 3–5 May

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 16 Mar

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS CANBERRA RAIDERS 6 Apr

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS GOLD COAST TITANS 3 May HOME HILL SUGAR BOWL 4–6 May

MOUNTAINFILM ON TOUR 2019 – TOWNSVILLE 27 Mar

GROOVIN THE MOO MUSIC FESTIVAL 5 May GOLD CITY CAMPDRAFT 10–12 May

BURDEKIN JUNIOR NETBALL CARNIVAL 30–31 Mar

ELLIOT’S REVENGE TRAIL RUN 7 Apr HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS WORLD TOUR 2019 10 Apr NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS MELBOURNE STORM 12 Apr

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS CRONULLA SHARKS 30 Mar

MTBA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS | MARATHON 2019 10–12 May MAY 4X4 FUN DAY (CHARTERS TOWERS) 12 May

DUST N GOLD RODEO (CHARTERS TOWERS) 13 Apr

BURDEKIN GROWERS RACE DAY 18 May

APRIL 4X4 FUN DAY (CHARTERS TOWERS) 14 Apr

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS PARRAMATTA EELS 18 May

ANZAC DAY MARCHES & CELEBRATIONS 25 Apr ADVENTURETHON MAGNETIC ISLAND STAGE RACE 27–28 Apr

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THE NORTH AUSTRALIA FESTIVAL OF ARTS 1 Jul – 31 Aug

PALM CREEK FOLK FESTIVAL 6–9 Jun

INGHAM SHOW 2019 4–5 Jul

THE TEN TENORS PRESENT LOVE IS IN THE AIR 7 Jun CHARTERS TOWERS MOTOR SHOW AND SWAP MEET 7–9 Jun NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS MANLY WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES 8 Jun

SUPERCARS WATPAC TOWNSVILLE 400 5–7 Jul JULY 4X4 FUN DAY (CHARTERS TOWERS) 14 Jul INGHAM AUTOFEST 19–21 Jul

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS WESTS TIGERS 14 Jun

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS 20 Jul

GOLD COAST SUNS VS ST KILDA (AFL) 15 Jun

TOWNSVILLE LADIES DAY 20 Jul

BURDEKIN SHOW 26 Jun

HEART OF THE GOLDFIELDS RODEO 20 Jul

TOWNSVILLE SHOW 28 Jun – 1 Jul

THE PALUMA PUSH 21 Jul

DAM FINE RALLY 29 Jun NECK OF THE WOODS MUSIC FESTIVAL 29–30 Jun

THE TWO BAYS TRAIL RUN 25 May

STRAND EPHEMERA 26 Jul – 4 Aug

ECO FIESTA 2019 26 May

AUSTRALIAN FESTIVAL OF CHAMBER MUSIC 26 Jul – 8 Aug ADVENTURETHON TOWNSVILLE 29–30 Jun

SPIRIT AND SOUL FESTIVAL 28 Apr BURDEKIN SUGAR RUSH 28 Apr

MAGNETICON POP CULTURE EXPO 1 Jun

PINT OF SCIENCE 20–22 May

BURDEKIN AUTO FESTIVAL 2019 27–28 Apr

A TOUCH OF TASSIE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL 31 Mar

JUL

JUN

MAY

APR

MAR

FIND YOUR PERFECT NEXT TOWN

SWEET DAYS, HOT NIGHTS FESTIVAL (BURDEKIN) 26 May

U18 STATE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019 – MEN 30 Jun – 2 Jul

TOWNSVILLE CUP 27 Jul MAGNETIC ISLAND TO TOWNSVILLE SWIM 28 Jul CHARTERS TOWERS SHOW 28–30 Jul

Front cover image: Daniel Wallwork, Earth Fish. Epoxy-urethane paint, steel, marine ply, plastic car bumpers, 230 x 340 x 50 cm. Exhibiting work in Strand Ephemera 2017. Photograph: Alana Edwards


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See the full events calendar at

POP UP NORTH QUEENSLAND 2–10 Aug

DANCE TROPICS DANCE – DANCENORTH 5 Oct

AUSTRALIAN ITALIAN FESTIVAL (INGHAM) 3–4 Aug

MAGNETIC ISLAND TRIATHLON 6 Oct

MCDONALDS TOWNSVILLE RUNNING FESTIVAL 4 Aug

BURDEKIN WATER FESTIVAL 7 Sep

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS BRISBANE BRONCOS 8 Aug

INGHAM SUGAR CITY RODEO 14 Sep

TOWNSVILLE CULTURAL FEST 16–18 Aug

TOWNSVILLE TRIATHLON AND MULTISPORT FESTIVAL 17–18 Aug + 24–25Aug A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (INGHAM) 22 Aug NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS PENRITH PANTHERS 23 Aug CAPE PALLARENDA TRAIL RUN 2019 25 Aug NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS VS CANTERBURY BULLDOGS 29 Aug

SEALINK MAGNETIC ISLAND RACE WEEK 29 Aug – 4 Sep TOWNSVILLE EXPO 2019 30 Aug – 1 Sep INGHAM GOLD CUP 31 Aug

THE GREAT ISLAND TREK (MAGNETIC ISLAND) 21 Sep

OCTOBER 4X4 FUN DAY (CHARTERS TOWERS) 13 Oct TOWNSVILLE ROCK FESTIVAL 25 Oct

NOVEMBER 4X4 FUN DAY (CHARTERS TOWERS) 10 Nov

STABLE ON THE STRAND 18–22 Dec

HALLOWEEN DANCE – RAVENSWOOD 26 Oct TOWERS RUSH (CHARTERS TOWERS) 27 Oct

A TOUCH OF NEW ZEALAND FESTIVAL 22 Sep

PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDERS (PBR) AUSTRALIA GRAND FINALS 15–16 Nov

ADVENTURETHON CHARTERS TOWERS 22 Sep EWAN RACES 26–28 Sep

QUEENSLAND COUNTRY HOME HILL HARVEST FESTIVAL 2–9 Nov

GLENDI GREEK FESTIVAL 12–13 Oct

INGHAM MARAKA FESTIVAL 26 Oct

NORTH QUEENSLAND ELITE RODEO 17 Aug

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TOWNSVILLENORTHQUEENSLAND.COM.AU

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PALUMA DAM GOOD TRAIL RUN 2019 27 Oct

INGHAM FAMILY RACE DAY 16 Nov

NEW YEARS EVE CELEBRATIONS 31 Dec

2019

The Strand, Townsville by Megan MacKinnon

V1 - BULE01Z01FB Events, dates and venues are subject to change without notice. Please see townsvillenorthqueensland.com.au for the latest listings.

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Markets

Riverway Moonlight Markets Third Friday of the month, Feb–Dec

Lucinda Market Second Sunday of the month, May–Sep

Renegade Handmade (Marion School Hall) Second Sunday of the month, Feb–Dec

Forrest Beach Markets Fourth Sunday of the month, May–Sep

Label Traders Markets (Mundingburra State School) Third Sunday of the month, all year round

Cotters Markets, Flinders Street by Rob Parsons

Townsville Region Cotters Markets (Flinders Street) Every Sunday, all year round

Balgal Beach Markets First Saturday of the month, all year round Horseshoe Bay Markets (Magnetic Island) Second and last Sunday of the month, all year round.

Mercer Lane Markets (Ingham) First Saturday of the month, Feb–Dec

Charters Towers Region QCWA Markets First and third Sunday of the month, all year round Charity Markets (Centenary Park) Fourth Sunday of the month, Feb–Nov Ravenswood Winter Markets (Imperial Hotel) First Sunday of the month, Mar–Oct

Hinchinbrook Region

Pentland Markets Third Saturday of the month, May–Sep

Magnetic Island RSL Night Markets Every Friday, all year round

Conroy Hall Markets (Ingham) Second Saturday of the month, all year round

Burdekin Region

Strand Night Markets First Friday of the month, Feb–Dec

Raintree Markets (Ingham) Third Sunday of each month, Feb–Dec

Willows Rotary Markets Every Sunday, all year round

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Townsville North Queensland 2019 Events Guide

Plantation Park Markets (Ayr) First and third Sunday of the month Mar–Dec


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Local insights: The creative edition Every place has a story and every person’s perception of it is different, but some use their creativity to share their interpretation in unique ways. That’s why we asked three of Townsville’s artists how Townsville North Queensland inspires them…

Brenda Stone

Martina Ah Sam

Lisa Bower – Designer and

Contemporary Artist

Indigenous Painter

maker at Bower Bird Jewellery

Q Where do you find inspiration in

Q Where do you find inspiration in

Q Where do you find inspiration in

Townsville North Queensland?

Townsville North Queensland?

Townsville North Queensland?

A I go up high with a drone, so I can look down at the patterns and take inspiration from the ocean. The richness of colours along our coast and the vast shades of ocean have a major influence on my artworks.

A I find inspiration out in nature. It could be out the back with a cuppa under the mango tree, or going for a walk on the many beautiful tracks around Townsville.

A Saunders, Balgal and Pallarenda Beaches. What I see and find at each one is so unique. At one it’s shells, at another it’s the washed up coral. Then there’s anywhere I can find vegetation. We have some beautiful gardens in Townsville, especially Anderson Gardens, Queens Park and Palmetum.

Q Where’s your ultimate sunrise/sunset spot in Townsville North Queensland?

A On top of Castle Hill, especially when you’ve dragged your butt up there for the exercise! So rewarding!

Q Where can we see/buy your work? A The Drill Hall Studio. Q Which other local artist/s would

Q Where’s your favourite spot in North Queensland, and why?

A My family’s favourite place to holiday every year is Magnetic Island. It’s absolute paradise. Q What’s the best kept secret in Townsville?

A The magnificent swimming holes at Crystal Creek, with beautiful pristine water from the mountain.

you recommend?

A The Drill Hall Studio hosts over 120 local artists, authors, potters, sculptors, and painters, so you’re bound to find creativity there!

Q Which other local artist/s would

A Renegade Giftshop and Renegade Handmade Market. Q Where is your favourite place to eat?

A There are a few – brekky at the CBar, brunch at The Cat’s Meow, lunch at Otto’s and Masala for a casual dinner.

you recommend?

A Shirley Dawson is a local Aboriginal artist and her paintings have sold all over the world.

Q Where can we see/buy your work? A Umbrella Studios, a wonderful gallery for local artists.

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Q Where can we see/buy your work?

Townsville North Queensland 2019 Events Guide

Q Where’s your ultimate sunrise/sunset spot in Townsville North Queensland?

A Wherever the horizon is vast and I can see all the colours – the forts on Maggie Island are pretty spectacular.


Sweet Days, Hot Nights in the Burdekin by Madison Magatelli

Lifestyle events to make you feel like a local If festivals of food and arts fill your heart, then this melting pot of cultural events will have it overflowing with homegrown tasty and talented delights.

1. Cotters Markets Every Sunday Morning There’s jumping castles and face painting for the kids, and coffees and pastries for mum and dad. This is where you’ll find Townsvillians whiling away Sunday mornings, browsing the collection of North Queensland’s freshest produce, award winning arts and crafts, local stalls, entertainment and gift ideas.

2. Sweet Days, Hot Nights (+Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships) 30 May – 1 June 2019 When visiting the rich agricultural region of Burdekin, there’s no better way to celebrate its sweet lifestyle than sprawling out on a picnic blanket under the stars to witness the sugar cane crushing season’s first fire. Add to that a test of hand cane cutting skills and endurance, live music, workshops, wholesome food, and good ol’ country hospitality, and you’ll feel like part of the family.

3. Dancenorth Year-round Performances Dancenorth is an international touring contemporary dance company based in Townsville. Dance performances are held year-round showcasing bold, adventurous and critically acclaimed contemporary dance.

4. Strand Ephemera 26 July – 4 August 2019 Townsville’s already picturesque beachfront promenade plays host to a nationally significant outdoor sculpture festival. As if that’s not enough, it’s accompanied by musical and theatre performances, workshops, guided tours, and a photographic competition for the shutter-bugs amongst visitors.

5. Australian Festival of Chamber Music 26 July – 3 August 2019 The Australian Festival of Chamber Music present the finest musicians from around the world in a wonderfully unique and innovative program of 30 concerts set in the tropical temperatures of Townsville’s outdoors.

Experience the magic of classical music in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. More than 30 musicians from around the world will perform in Townsville this winter.

TOW N SV I L L E 2 6 J U LY T O 4 AUGUST 2019

BOOK ONLINE OR CALL 1800 449 977 HOLIDAY PACKAGES 1300 799 342

AFCM.COM.AU

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Townsville North Queensland 2019 Events Guide

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Festival 2018 Image courtesy of Townsville City Council

Arts are taking over Townsville

national and locally renowned talent and will create the foundations for an annual Arts and Culture Festival in Townsville.

Townsville is pumping up the volume on its already thriving creative scene for an entire month. If you’re in town in July, you’ll find arts in all Townsville’s eclectic and unique spaces.

Townsville will be buzzing with excitement throughout July as the North Australian Festival of Arts hits two of Townsville’s most magical locations, as well as an accompanying Fringe Festival held throughout the city.

North Australian Festival of Arts hits Townsville

ignite Strand Park among a myriad of talented local acts. Local and regional artists will feature heavily throughout the festival, showcasing North Queensland’s raw talent. Townsville’s vibrant Arts and Culture scene will be front and centre with Theatre Inc bringing acclaimed shows to life in the Spiegeltent. With countless acts and workshops from locals and guests including Townsville’s Dance North, Strand Park is set to be a buzz of activity throughout July.

The North will draw the curtains for theatre and arts lovers in 2019 as Townsville steps into the spotlight to become home to the region’s newest month-long festival.

The North’s edgy biennial sculpture festival, Strand Ephemera, will make a glorious return in 2019 as a part of the North Australian Festival of the Arts.

The North Australian Festival of the Arts (NAFA) will entrench Townsville as the Arts capital of the North as Townsville City Council welcomes locals and visitors to enjoy the festivities on offer.

The exhibition focuses on ‘ephemeral’ or short-lived pieces and is designed to be on show over a ten day display. Artists are encouraged to use inexpensive and recycled materials in their sculptures to convey their unspoken message.

The month-long festival off the back of the Supercars Watpac Townsville 400 will ensure Arts lovers and Townsville locals can be proud of an annual event which will continue to showcase our city as a world class destination.

The Strand

The festival will run throughout July and provide entertainment for theatre and music lovers as well as an array of art exhibitions and workshops.

One of the Festival’s major acts has been announced as hit punk cabaret act Bernie Dieter’s Little Death Club.

Visitors can expect over 30 unique artworks scattered along the length of the Strand from local, Australian and international artists who will compete for the major $10,000 prize.

Receiving rave reviews at both the Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, Little Death Club is set to

The eclectic and habitually monstrous collection of sculptures stops people in their tracks to admire the talent,

NAFA will feature international,

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The iconic Spiegeltent that brought Queens Gardens to life for Festival 2018 will make a return to Townsville with a new location, located beachside at Strand Park.

Townsville North Queensland 2019 Events Guide


Pimlico State High School, Legacy Of Lanterns, Glazed ceramics, discarded plastic, found objects, 180 x 300 x 300 cm. Exhibiting work in Strand Ephemera 2017. Photograph: Alana Edwards

workmanship and even to interact. The 2019 Strand Ephemera can expect to not only impress Townsville locals but entice visitors to the region with over 155,700 people in 2017 venturing down to the Strand over 10 days to check out the outdoor exhibition.

Queens Gardens Only a short stroll from The Strand, Queens Gardens provides the perfect location to continue the North Australia Festival of Arts. Set in the gardens below the iconic Castle Hill, evening concerts will be conducted under the garden canopy with the edition of a festival bar and a variety of food trucks and market stalls. The Australian Festival of Chamber Music will again delight audiences

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in the gardens with its feature performances, as a part of their regional concert program.

Northern Fringe Festival Accompanying July’s month of festivities is the Northern Fringe Festival, encompassing the likes of local performers and acts scattered throughout the city. Townsville City will become a bustling hive of activity as restaurant precincts, cafes and businesses will host acts ranging from poetry and theatre to live music and comedy and all in between. The Northern Fringe Festival will feature free events, artistic flair, up and comers and innovative talent with something for everyone.

Tanya Coventry with Bowen State High School, This Heart within me Burns, 500 x 500 x 400 cm, Driftwood, sea plastic, wire. Exhibiting work in Strand Ephemera 2017. Photograph: Samuel Smith.

TownsvilleTickets.com.au MackayTickets.com.au ToowoombaTickets.com.au BrisbaneTickets.com.au GoldCoastTickets.com.au CairnsTickets.com.au DarwinTickets.com.au HOMEGROWN QLD COMPANY

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Townsville North Queensland 2019 Events Guide

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Groovin the Moo, Townsville by Joseph Mayers

Let us entertain you

Get your dancing shoes on, your hands in the air, and you’ll be coming back year after year.

We might be a bit biased, but we don’t think anyone’s going to argue with us when we say you won’t be sorry when you tick these action filled Townsville North Queensland events off your list.

Groovin the Moo 5 May 2019 Groovin the Moo is a regional festival favourite; one that brings national and international artists to folks that normally have to travel to the big smoke for such moo-tivating lineups. Getting to Groovin is generally part of the fun; often involving road-trips with pals and a playlist designed to prep the vocal chords for epic sing alongs.

Supercars Watpac Townsville 400 5–7 July 2019 Get a taste of the real-life fast and furious, at the Supercars Watpac Townsville 400 when it takes to the streets of Townsville. Rivalries are intense, motors are fine tuned, drivers are focused, fans are guaranteed to be exhilarated, and every fraction of a second counts with championship points on the line.

North Australian Festival of Arts

Supercars in Townsville by Megan MacKinnon

July 2019 Townsville is giving Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals a run for their money. A beachside Spiegeltent and a month of festivities will breathe art filled life into Townsville; with music, theatre, art exhibitions, workshops, and over 30 interactive outdoor sculptures.

MAGNETIC ISLAND RACE WEEK 2019 29 August - 4 September

Sailing - Social Events - Father's Day Funday

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Townsville North Queensland 2019 Events Guide

magneticislandraceweek.com.au


North Queensland Toyota Cowboys home game at 1300SMILES Stadium

Magnetic Island Race Week 24 August – 4 September 2019 Queensland’s Season of Sailing culminates in this finale of first class sailing on the crystal clear waters of Cleveland Bay. Magnetic Island Race Week brings together the excitement of competitive sailing, with a shore-side program of live bands and partying galore, in a week long regatta.

Professional Bull Riding (PBR) National Finals 15–16 November 2019 This is the final and deciding chapter of the PBR year-long race for National Titles. It’s a showdown like no other – twenty-two riders all eager for glory as they strive to overcome the power of the most extreme bucking bulls. This is an eight second, head to head battle of power and agility.

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Catch up on Cowboys News Cowboys’ NRL games at 1300SMILES Stadium provide the perfect occasion to spend time with family or get your friends together to cheer on the best team in the greatest game of all!

Home ground farewell The Cowboys farewell their longtime home ground in 2019 with a celebration program paying tribute to 1300SMILES Stadium, the club’s home since 1995. Top of the wish list for coach Paul Green and his team will be to give their foundation home ground the send-off it deserves – an epic season before the big move to the new North Queensland Stadium from 2020.

Fresh look 2019 will see a new-look Cowboys lineup take the field after an exciting off-season campaign. Signings include Queensland and Kangaroos incumbent Josh McGuire and winger Nene Macdonald, while

up-and-comers Kurt Baptiste, Tom Opacic and Dan Russell will be working for a place in Coach Green’s game-day 17. Crowd at Groovin the Moo

Saturday night fever Six Saturday evening games at 1300SMILES Stadium have been scheduled for 2019, including a season-opening clash with the Dragons. The Round 1 blockbuster is one of 12 games to be hosted by the Cowboys, concluding with a Round 1, 1995 rematch with the Bulldogs. All signs point to a blockbuster 2019 season for the Cowboys!

Be there live! Cowboys’ full season membership is the best way to be part of the action. Full season members receive a reserved seat or general admission access to all 12 home games, plus exclusive merchandise and benefits. Want to see what it’s all about first? Single game tickets let you experience the thrill of watching the Cowboys live in action. You’ll soon find out why North Queensland loves the Cowboys!

Townsville North Queensland 2019 Events Guide

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Townsville Tri Festival

Townsville North Queensland’s best active events Don’t be a bench warmer! Clock up the kilometres, give your Garmin a workout and start ticking off those New Year’s resolutions with this mustdo list of sporting events in Townsville North Queensland. From first timers to endurance enthusiasts, there’s an event for every fitness level! Just make sure you allow plenty of time pre and post race day to check out the region’s other fantastic trails, walkways and active adventures (see Insider’s Guide pages 24–26).

Why do one sport, when you can do Multisport?

Adventurethon Townsville (29–30 July 2019)

Townsville Triathlon and Multisport Festival (17/18 + 24/25 August): Swim, bike and run in paradise in a double weekend of multisport madness! The Townsville Triathlon and Multisport Festival’s new format festival will see a series of events over two weekends. The first weekend will feature on-road racing and the second will see off-road events. With a vibrant atmosphere, spectacular course and distances to suit all fitness levels, this is one event not to miss!

Adventurethon Charters Towers (22–23 September 2019)

Want more multisport events? ‘Tri’ these... Adventurethon Magnetic Island (27–28 April 2019)

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Townsville North Queensland 2019 Events Guide

Magnetic Island Triathlon (6 October 2019)

Run like the wind So you’ve been tracking your kilometres, monitoring your cadence and is our favourite Spotify playlist ready to go… now it’s time to put all that training into action at one of Townsville North Queensland’s iconic running events: McDonalds Townsville Running Festival (4 August 2019): This is the largest running festival in the region. Featuring stunning beach vistas along


Hawkings Point, Magnetic Island by Jesse and Belinda Lindemann

the entire run, you’ll quickly forget about your pumping heart rate with views like this! Distances range from 2.5km right up to the marathon. Fun fact: This is Australia’s second oldest running marathon, and with a strong history, you know it’s got to be a good one!

Burdekin Sugar Rush (28 April 2019): Make like Forrest Gump and head to the Burdekin Sugar Rush, just south of Townsville, to witness a community running event that will take you through some of the highlights of this agricultural and farming region. Trail Runs (See calendar for all dates): Forget pounding the pavement and run off road at one of Townsville’s Trail Runs hosted by Outer Limits. You’ll get a great sense of achievement whilst exploring some of the region’s most stunning trails!

Just keep swimming

Townsville Running Festival

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Magnetic Island to Townsville Swim (28 July 2019): Calling all swimmers! The Magnetic Island to Townsville Swim is an 8km open water race starting on a spectacular beach on

Magnetic Island and celebrating your finish on The Strand beachfront in Townsville. Do it alone, or grab some mates and split the swim as a team.

Namaste Yoga Tropical Holiday – Destination Adventure (4–7 April 2019): Island Adventures + Yoga Retreat = YES PLEASE! Explore stunning Magnetic Island while discovering your yoga talent on the Destination Adventure Yoga Tropical Holiday. Prepare for three days of great yoga, amazing food, local company and spectacular scenery. You’ll finish up feeling refreshed, revitalised and totally zen!

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Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

Create holiday memories to last a lifetime while discovering why North Queenslanders are some of the happiest people you’ll meet. V1 - BULE01Z01FE


Welcome to Townsville North Queensland With our city boasting over 300 days of sunshine a year, Australia’s premiere natural attractions at our doorstep and an outstanding lineup of events year-round you’d be hard-pressed to find a location more worthy of being dubbed the events capital of Northern Australia.

GOLD COAST *

Last year proved to be a colossal and extremely successful year for events in Townsville, amplified by hosting the Commonwealth Games event Festival 2018, proudly highlighting just what our region could do given the opportunity. With momentum already built Townsville will be propelled into an events bonanza in 2019, with Townsville City Council announcing the debut of the North Australian Festival of Arts among a huge lineup of events which will continue to solidify our city as a world class tourism and events destination. The Townsville region certainly has more than enough to keep you and your family entertained. Take a hike through our Heritage listed rainforests, paddle amongst nature on the Great Barrier Reef or put your feet up on a tropical island before venturing into one of the many events scheduled throughout the year. I know that you’ll enjoy the splendour that our City has to offer for 2019.

Cr Jenny Hill Mayor of the City of Townsville

Front cover: Jourama Falls by @mycolourfulworld_ Inside front cover: Townsville City at sunset from Mount Stuart by Megan MacKinnon

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Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

*EFFECTIVE FROM 03 APRIL 2019

Getting here Whether you’re planning your next holiday, a business trip or visiting friends and family, Townsville Airport has you covered. With more than 180 direct flights to Townsville each week servicing a number of major airlines departing from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Toowoomba, Longreach, Mount Isa, and the Gold Coast, Townsville Airport is your gateway to North Queensland.


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Jump on board! Embark on a Queensland Rail Travel holiday and discover Queensland’s beauty, the way it should be seen. Relax in comfort onboard our traditional and modern trains – you can dive into a book, plug into your onboard entertainment, or simply enjoy a chat with fellow travellers while our friendly staff look after your needs. Feast your eyes on the setting sun, while our driver safely delivers you to your destination, and our team see to your dinner and overnight comfort. Drift off in comfortable seats, while Mother Nature produces another gorgeous sunrise, we’ll take care of breakfast.

Getting to tropical Townsville from inland Queensland couldn’t be easier aboard The Inlander. As you leave the earthy hub of Mount Isa, sit back and relax in comfortable seats, or head to the lounge and marvel at the rugged beauty of Charters Towers and the Great Dividing Range.

With its innovative RailBed and all-inclusive service, the Spirit of Queensland travels between Brisbane and Cairns. From Brisbane, stop along the way to experience the stunning Fraser Coast or Whitsundays, or why not take a relaxing day journey to Townsville from Cairns in a Premium Economy Seat.

Mount Isa to Townsville Twice a week

Cairns to Townsville Five times a week

Discover

Queensland by Rail

Discover the incredible history of a railway line constructed over 125 years ago aboard the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway. The iconic train winds its way past ancient rainforest and towering waterfalls, through 15 handmade tunnels and across 37 towering bridges, to Kuranda.

Step back in time aboard legendary rail motor, the Gulflander, also known as the ‘Tin Hare’. Built in 1891, the Heritage-listed railway line, affectionately said to go from ‘nowhere to nowhere’ remains the only railway line still measured in miles.

Cairns to Kuranda Twice a day

Normanton to Croydon Weekly

queenslandrailtravel.com.au | 1300 551 581


Regional adventures

Approximate travel times from Townsville CBD Ayr (Burdekin) 1 hour

18

Ingham (Hinchinbrook) 1.5 hours

CAIRNS

22

TOWNSVILLE

Charters Towers 1.5 hours

23

19

17

PALM ISLAND

21

INGHAM

Queensland

8

BRISBANE

20

Magnetic Island 20 minutes

MAGNETIC ISLAND

2

3

6

TOWNSVILLE

Regional Holiday Checklist:

7

Burdekin

1

5

11

4

12

AYR 9

Experience one of the world’s best wreck dives – the SS Yongala Shipwreck

10

Enjoy the pristine sandy coastline of Alva Beach Taste the Mediterranean in one of the many delis

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CHARTERS TOWERS 50km

Wet a line and discover the fantastic fishing opportunities in the region

Charters Towers Areas:

Townsville

Burdekin

Charters Towers

Hinchinbrook

Palm Island

Discover the workings of the gold rush with a visit to the Venus Gold Battery

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Townsville

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SS Yongala Ship Wreck dive site

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Paluma Rainforest and Crystal Creek

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Charters Towers

Meet the Texas Longhorns and take a safari tour

3

Northern Beaches

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Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours and Safaris

Catch a flick at the Tors Drive-in Cinema

4

Alligator Creek

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Tors Drive-in Cinema

Pan for Gold at The Miners Cottage

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Hervey Range

16

Ravenswood

6

Magnetic Island

17

Ingham

7

Moltke Ship Wreck

18

Hinchinbrook Island

19

Wallaman Falls

dive and snorkel site

20

Jourama Falls

9

Ayr

21

Palm Island

10

Home Hill

22

Pelorus Island

11

Alva Beach

23

Orpheus Island

8

snorkel site

Lodestone Reef

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Hinchinbrook Explore Australia’s largest single drop waterfall – Wallaman Falls Discover the Hinchinbrook way of life through art with a visit to the Mercer Lane Mosaic Sample local produce and visit a local Italian delicatessen Bird watch at the TYTO Wetlands Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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Swimming on Magnetic Island by @mycolourfulworld_

Hottest 100 – Townsville North Queensland style Hitting that holiday sweet spot is different for every traveller. Whether it’s hiking a jurassic trail or diving the wonders of the reef, whatever your style, we’ve collated (in no particular order) Townsville North Queensland’s best of the best experiences in this holiday hot list. 1 Get the lay of the land from atop Mount Stuart, with panoramic views across Townsville.

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2 Even if you’ve only got one day to spare, jump on SeaLink or Magnetic Island Ferries to Magnetic Island – it’s only 20 minutes offshore! 3 Prost! Otto’s Fresh Food Market brings a German-inspired atmosphere and a colourful plate, lovingly prepared by the in-store chef. 4 Fancy a pub with no beer…. outrageous! That was once the case for The Pub with No Beer at Lees Hotel in Ingham, made famous by Slim Dusty. Thankfully, this predicament is no longer, so head on over and grab a cold one. 5 If it’s a night on the town you’re after, put on your dancing shoes and head to Flinders Street East. 6 Feed a freshwater croc and cuddle up to a dingo at Billabong Sanctuary.

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

7 Enjoy two-for-one pizzas at Donna Bionda, $2 tacos at The Courtyard, or fill a table, and your tummy, with Korean, dumplings, gyros, or tapas on City Lane’s Tasty Tuesday. #nomnom 8 Tick off an Australian wonder when you road trip two hours north-west of Townsville to Wallaman Falls – the highest permanent single-drop waterfall in the country. 9 Discover the flourishing bommies and historical wreck relics that lie beneath the waters off Magnetic Island on a self-guided snorkel trail. 10 You can always rely on Townsville’s Beachfront, The Strand, for delivering hours of family fun. Spend a day to-ing and fro-ing between the rock pool and water park before cooking up a feast on the free BBQs.


View to Magnetic Island from Castle Hill, Townsville by Megan MacKinnon

11 Catch a sorbet sunset from the best spot in Charters Towers, Towers Hill. 12 The Burdekin is home to Australia’s most successful professional female golfer, Karrie Webb. If you’re stopping by Ayr, enjoy a round at her local golf club. 13 Make like a local and get your caffeine fix from the funky Hoi Polloi Espresso Bar down Denham Lane.

16 Get your superfood kick-start with an acai bowl from The Beet Bar or Squeeze Me. 17 Take your camera on a landscape adventure through the farmlands and lush green canefields of The Burdekin. 18 Strike out (in the best way) at Kingpin Bowling or the Townsville Tenpin & Fun Centre. 19 Eat all the Peking Duck you can handle at Miss Song’s, accompanied by some tasty cocktails before trying your luck at the casino. 20 Go old-school on date night at one of the region’s drive-in movie theatres – Tors Drive-in Cinema in Charters Towers or Stardust Drive-in in Ayr.

Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium, Townsville by Megan MacKinnon

14 Have a hands-on encounter with creatures of the Great Barrier Reef at the world’s largest living coral aquarium, Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium. 15 Hop on a trike tour with Crikey Trikey Joy Rides, because as well as seeing the sights in style, it’ll be the only time you have a good excuse to wear a leather jacket in North Queensland.

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meet JR, the bull with the longest horn spread in the world according to 2013 Guinness World Records.

21 From navigating the high seas aboard the HMS Pandora, to uncovering stories behind Indigenous artefacts, get hands-on amongst the collections at the Museum of Tropical Queensland. 22 Slide into Sunday morning at Cotters Markets. Grab a coffee or fresh juice, and browse locals’ stalls, food vans, and stores. Tip: All friendly, leashed pups are welcome. 23 Grab a scoop of creamy deliciousness at Juliette’s Gelateria on The Strand. 24 Don your cowboy boots on a horse-drawn wagon ride with Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours & Safaris to

JR at Texas Longhorns, Charters Towers by Megan MacKinnon

27 Don’t forget your camera as you stalk the alleys and laneways of Townsville uncovering the city’s secrets through street art. 26 For a short and sweet cardio fix, hit up the Goat Track on Castle Hill. 25 Tuck into the best breakfast in Australia (as crowned by the Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence) at JAM on Palmer Street. 28 Bid in a cane toad race at the Arcadia Village Hotel on Magnetic Island. It’s all in good fun and proceeds are donated to the Surf Life Saving Club. 29 Let art fill your heart, with exhibitions at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Pinnacles Gallery, Umbrella Studio of Contemporary Arts and Aluminium Art.

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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Hinchinbrook Island at sunset by Megan MacKinnon

30 Head to the rooftop bar at glampackers resort, Rambutan, to feast poolside on tacos, fried chicken, and lazy cocktails.

35 Become a master of the waves and winds when you learn to kitesurf with Intheloop.

44 Whether you’re a lap enthusiast or err towards lazy lounging, head to the Riverway Lagoons to cool down.

36 Uncover the spooky past of Charters Towers on a ghost tour through the old city centre after dark.

45 Pour your own brew at The TapHouse craft beer bar in City Lane.

37 Ahoy nautical buffs, you’ll get a kick out of the Townsville Maritime Museum. It even has its own model boat building room and lighthouse.

Diving the SS Yongala Shipwreck, The Burdekin by Achim Wetz

31 The SS Yongala is a total bucket-list shipwreck, but if you haven’t got a dive certification yet, you can start from scratch and tick off all the certifications in one trip with either Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive or Yongala Dive.

38 Knock back a bottle of Whitbread’s fizzy goodness. The Charters Towers company is one of the oldest surviving small-town manufacturers of soft drinks – serving for the past 120 years. 39 Go topless (by car, that is) when you hire a Topless Car and drive around Magnetic Island. 40 Vroom vroom your way to victory on the track at Pitstop Karting.

46 Feel the nostalgia with vintage pinball, retro console games and themed cocktails at Empire Alternacade and Events. 47 Mountain bike through the open woodland and rocky shores of Cape Pallarenda on the ‘Under the Radar’ trail. 48 Go back in time to the gold rush era of Charters Towers on a tour at the Venus Gold Battery. 49 Celebrate the rich history of Townsville on a self-guided walking heritage tour of the city. 50 Make an entrance worth bragging about when you jump from 14,000 ft and land on the beach at The Strand or Magnetic Island with Skydive Townsville.

32 After just 1.5 hours on the Charters Towers Historical Walking Tour, you’ll have a trivia master’s knowledge of the town’s golden days and a new appreciation for 1800s architecture.

41 It’s not often one seeks out a giant carpet snake, but you’ll want to take a look at the 60-metre artwork of Gubulla Munda, the Aboriginal totem and protective spirit for the Birri Gubba people in The Burdekin.

33 Spend four days hiking through changing landscapes from rainforest to paperbark country on Hinchinbrook Island’s Thorsborne Trail.

42 Take your fishing adventures to new heights when you scout the most untouched locations via helicopter with Hinchinbrook Adventures.

52 Cross your fingers and hope to find a nugget when you pan for gold at The Miner’s Cottage in Charters Towers.

34 Fish off the jetty at Picnic Bay on Magnetic Island. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a turtle or a dugong!

43 Learn to sail at the Townsville Yacht Club on their social Wednesday Twilight Sails.

53 Bay hop to local snorkel and fishing hotspots around Maggie on a half-day tour, or bring shipwreck stories to life on

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Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

51 During the crushing season, watch a cane fire burn in The Burdekin, the sugar cane capital of Australia.


Wheeler Reef Sand Cay with Townsville Helicopters by Megan MacKinnon

a two hour Sunset and Shipwreck Tour with Aquascene Charters. 54 Rise for a morning paddle with Magnetic Island Sea Kayaks. Starting at Horseshoe Bay, you’ll drift over coral gardens before stopping at a secluded bay for a tropical brekkie.

59 Take adventure to the next level with Townsville Helicopters, and witness the reef from above – you can even land on the sand cay at Wheeler Reef to feel like the only people in the world. 60 Ride bareback through the ocean on a horse riding tour at the Horseshoe Bay Ranch on Magnetic Island.

55 Explore Jezzine Barracks’ scenic coastal boardwalk, ethnobotanical trail, and over 30 specially commissioned art installations commemorating the military and Aboriginal heritage.

61 Taste test the award-winning cold ones brewed around the clock at The Brewery.

56 Treat your better half to a night of fine dining in Townsville City’s premier foodie strip, Palmer Street.

62 The platypus safari at Hidden Valley Cabins has a 98% success rate of spotting these duck-billed cuties, earning them the title of one of the top six places in the country to spot them. 63 Discover the stories of Townsville on a military, city lights or scenic tour with Tour Townsville. 64 Pop into the Army Museum on the military history trail at Jezzine Barracks.

Sunset sail with Big Mama Sailing, Magnetic Island by Jesse and Belinda Lindemann

65 Head to the TYTO Wetlands observation deck at dusk to spot the resident birds which the wetlands were named after – the endangered Eastern Grass Owl (Tyto Capensis).

57 Hop aboard Pilgrim or Big Mama Sailing for a sunset cruise off Magnetic Island.

66 Treat your pooch to a day of sun and sand at the off-leash Pallarenda Beach.

58 Embrace your inner mozart and head to Radical Bay to enjoy stunning views while you play your favourite melody on the beachside piano.

67 Tempt your taste buds at City Lane, where you’ll find everything from a Mexican cantina and sushi bar to Italiano and paleo delights.

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Koala on The Forts Walk, Magnetic Island by Jesse and Belinda Lindemann

68 Spot wild koalas when you hike through military history on Magnetic Island’s Forts Walk. 69 Try ice-cream and sorbet flavours made from almost every fruit you could think of at the Frosty Mango. 70 Rest assured you won’t find snappy reptiles at Alligator Creek, just crystal-clear swimming holes and hikes through the landscapes of Mount Elliot. 71 Drink the infamous Kopi Luwak coffee at Hervey’s Range Heritage Tea Rooms. One of the most expensive coffees in the world, it’s produced from coffee beans digested by an Asian civet cat – yes, it’s cat poop coffee! 72 Have brekkie with the koalas at Bungalow Bay Village on Magnetic Island. As well as having a morning snuggle from these cuties, you can stuff your faces with an Aussie-style breakfast of jaffles and toad-in-a-hole.

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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Aerial view of the Stone Bridge at Crystal Creek by @photobohemian

73 Birdwatchers will be in paradise at the Town Common Conservation Park – up to 280 species have been recorded here. 74 Spend two days trekking through ancient palm-filled gullies and open forests on the Wet Tropics Great Walk. 75 The Ross River is the perfect backdrop for a weekend stroll or cycle. 76 Meet the rock wallabies on Magnetic Island when you take to the National Park walking tracks.

79 If you’re in need of a nature escape, head to the misty mountain village of Paluma, where freshwater crystal creeks and Wet Tropics Heritage-listed Rainforest walks await. 80 Jump on a jetski with Townsville Watersports to discover beautiful bays and coves, or even Cape Cleveland Lighthouse. You may be lucky enough to encounter sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, or even whales. 81 Mosey along Mercer Lane’s Mosaic Artwork in Ingham. Over 2,000 locals and visitors placed the tiny tiles as a tribute to the town’s cane cutting history. 82 Head to the Magnetic Island Stage Door Theatre for a night out complete with dinner and a show! With live singing, hilarious comedy and tongue-in-cheek impersonations, this is a dazzling live performance you’ll be talking about for years to come!

Queens Gardens, Townsville City by Megan MacKinnon

83 Hire a boat from the kind folks at Townsville Boat Hire and take the family out for a day of mud crabbing and fishing in the local creek systems.

77 From palms and pandanus to cacti and succulents, plant lovers will be in heaven exploring the city’s botanic gardens – Anderson Park, Queens Gardens, Dan Gleeson Memorial Gardens and The Palmetum.

84 Did you know it’s estimated over half the population of Ingham is of Italian descent? Stock up on Italian delicatessen continental delights at Lou’s Food Emporium or JK’s Deli.

78 No boat? No worries! You can reel in a Barra and learn how to wakeboard all in a day with Crackajack Sportfishing Adventure in the Burdekin region.

85 Be cool. Real cool. Go ice skating at Warrina Ice Skating Rink – yes, you read that right, an icy escape from North Queensland’s tropical temps.

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Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

Camping beneath the stars by Jesse and Belinda Lindemann

86 Pitch a tent and enjoy a night under a million stars at one of the region’s camping spots. Paluma, Bivouac Junction, Broadwater and Burdekin Falls Dam are a few local favourites. 87 What do you get when you mix talented local designers with a crafty shopping space? Renegade Handmade Gift Shop, that’s what. It’s a haven for lovers of handmade jewellery, homewares, and fashion. 88 Take pleasure in the amazingness of the Great Barrier Reef, with guided easy access shore dives tailored to any experience level, with Magnetic Island’s longest running dive operators, Pleasure Divers. 89 Rock climbing enthusiasts will love Hot Rocks, Townsville’s premier indoor rock climbing centre, or touch base with the Rock Climbers Association of North Queensland to tag along to an outdoor rock climbing adventure.


Shopping on Flinders Street, Townsville CIty by Rob Garwood

90 On the hunt for some new threads and homewares? Hit up Townsville’s Gregory, Palmer, and Flinders Streets; or Ayr’s main street for boutique shopping ‘til you drop. 91 Stretch your legs on the Mount Inkerman Nature Trail. At just 2.2km return, the natural terrain track winds its way through bushland to the summit, with breathtaking views once you reach the top. 92 Fill your day with water sports fun at Magnetic Island. Tube rides, catamarans and jetskis are all available along Horseshoe Bay. 93 Experience the ultimate mix of old and new, exploring heritage buildings through virtual reality technology with Charters Towers Historical Tours.

94 Cozy up at Hooch and Fellow and let a cocktail guru pour you the perfect drink mixed with care and precision. 95 Hear of tales from another era and how life was in the times of the Outback’s Gold Rush with Raven Tours.

99 Lounge in luxury on a cabana at The Ville’s Splash Bar. 100 See the Insta-famous SS Adelaide, Australia.com’s most liked post of 2018. 186,502 (and counting) likes can’t be wrong! This shipwreck off Magnetic Island is a sight to behold.

96 Embrace the great outdoors, and take journey through rainforest terrain, thick woodlands, gorgeous waterfalls and swimming holes at Paluma Range National Park. 97 Try the award-winning Fairy Floss Windmill, at Shaw & Co. It’s a zesty mix of vanilla vodka, elderflower liqueur, cranberry and apple juice, topped with strawberry fairy floss. 98 Enjoy a romantic island hideaway at the all inclusive (and very exclusive) Orpheus Island Resort.

SS City of Adelaide wreck, Magnetic Island by @mitchraephotography

Keeping Townsville moving for over 37 years! We supply services ranging from: • Local Charter • Interstate Charter • Long Distance Charter • Conference & VIP Services • Sporting Group Transfers • School Excursions • School Services • Local Tours • Mine Transfers V1 - BULE01Z01FE

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Lovers Bay, Magnetic Island by Jesse and Belinda Lindemann

Set your ‘out of office’ – it’s time to hack your public holidays Welcome to 2019, the ideal year to hack your public holidays so you can turn 10 annual leave days into 32 glorious days dedicated to nothing but sunshine, RnR and bragworthy adventures. Lock in your leave and prepare your ‘out of office’ email before your co-workers catch on! From beaches to rainforests (and don’t forget a trip to the outback) you’ll feel like a modern-day explorer with a holiday every few months. Here’s how to make the worries of work a distant memory in 2019!

beaches on Magnetic Island. So, while you are at your desk staring at a screen, I’m beach hopping in a pink topless car and spotting koalas along the way. I have well and truly eased into Island time, so I may take a while to reply to your email #sorrynotsorry.”

Topless Car on Magnetic Island by @barekiwi

APRIL Wind into Island Time Public Holidays: 19–22 April (Easter), 25 April (Anzac Day) Days to take annual leave: Get in early and take off three days (23,24 & 26 April) for a 10 day break! Where to go: Magnetic Island You’ve made it through the first quarter of the year – high fives to you! With 10 days off, this is the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind into island time! From hiking and koala spotting to snorkeling, sailing and even bareback horse-riding, Magnetic Island truly is a perfect holiday paradise. Since you’ll be here for ANZAC day, make sure you attend the incredibly moving dawn service at Alma Bay.

Magnetic Island by @mycolourfulworld_

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Out of office: “Thank you for your email. I am currently where you’d rather be, enjoying sunshine and

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

Magnetic Island was ranked Australia’s most Instagramworthy destination in 2018. Here are our top five picture perfect moments: 1. Explore the shipwrecks of Magnetic Island on a sunset tour with Aquascene Charters. Discover the stories of these beautiful ships and cruise along the stunning Island shoreline. 2. Spot koalas and explore Magnetic Island’s WWII history on the Forts Walk. This walk offers some of the Island’s best views. 3. Go topless! Hire a topless car, that is. These photogenic Barbie inspired cars are plenty of fun to drive. 4. Find a secluded beach. It’s easier than you might think. With 23 bays and beaches on the Island, you’re almost guaranteed to find one all for yourself. 5. Jump on board an adventure sail to explore some of the best beaches and secret places on Magnetic Island. Try your hand at stand up paddle boarding or dive in for a snorkel.


Little Crystal Creek by Megan MacKinnon

it one long holiday. Where to go: Paluma, Wallaman Falls and Hinchinbrook Island

Jourama Falls by @mycolourfulworld_

MAY Chasing waterfalls Public Holidays: 6 May – Labour Day (QLD ONLY) Days to take annual leave: Take 3,7,8 May off for a six-day adventure holiday or join it with your April leave to make

Pack up the car and prepare for a mini road trip! Start your adventures at Paluma National Park and pitch a tent at the Paluma Dam. Ensure you take good shoes to explore the rainforest walks and a pair of swimmers, so you can swim under the stone arch bridge at Little Crystal Creek. Keep watch for rare birdlife and enjoy a night under a million beautiful stars while roasting marshmallows over a campfire #romanticmuch. Out of office: “Sorry I can’t hear you over the thundering sounds of Wallaman Falls! Yep you guessed it; I am spending an extended long weekend chasing waterfalls in North

Queensland. Since I’ll be exploring stunning rainforests, camping by pristine lakes, hiking one of the best trails in the world and swimming in crystal clear waterholes, I may be slightly distracted and unable to reply to your email until I return to the office.”

Zoe Falls, Hinchinbrook Island by @mycolourfulworld_

Head for the hills * All day breakfast, light lunches

* Scones & sweets, tea & coffee (including Kopi Luwak) * Licenced venue, walking trails * Enjoy the peaceful surrounds of the heritage listed tea rooms and spacious gardens

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37 Thornton Gap Rd, Hervey Range Ph 47780199

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Turtle at the SS Yongala Wreck by Achim Wetz

You’ll need to be self-sufficient on this hike and have to book in advance (only 40 permits allowed at once), but that is all part of the adventure and we promise this is one hike you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Great Barrier Reef is nothing short of spectacular and the advantage of heading to the reef from Townsville is there’s no crowds, pristine reef and a dive crew who will be able to teach you all about this magical natural wonder.

BONUS: Squeeze all of the above around the Groovin the Moo festival on 5 May 2019.

Now you could simply conquer the reef in a day trip, (which is still epic), or you could go ALL out and experience a live-aboard trip. A live-aboard will enable you to sleep on the reef and spend all the waking hours exploring some of the best spots on the Great Barrier Reef, with the final day spent diving the famous SS Yongala (when you experience this one, you’ll understand why it is ranked one of the best in the world).

OCTOBER Wallaman Falls, Hinchinbrook by Megan MacKinnon

Next stop: Wallaman Falls. But on the way, make a quick stop for an ice cream at Frosty Mango. Wallaman Falls is the tallest single-drop waterfall in Australia and whilst the sight from the look-out is spectacular, allow yourself some time to venture to the base, where you’ll get the best views and perspective of just how powerful this waterfall is. For a completely different view book in a helicopter scenic flight with Hinchinbrook Adventures and be one of the few to experience this spectacle from above. For the final four days of your May holiday, we’ve got a perfect wilderness escape. Trek the world famous 32km, four-day Thorsborne trail on Hinchinbrook Island. You’ll get to experience incredible landscapes of cloud-cloaked mountains, junglelike rainforest, melaleuca swamps and pristine white beaches.

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Get a glimpse of the Great Barrier Reef Public Holidays: 7 October (Queen’s Birthday QLD, Labour Day NSW) Days to take annual leave: Take either the Friday or Tuesday off to make it a four-day holiday. Out of office: “I was recently made aware of a small orange fish named Nemo who went missing. Being the soft heart I am, I’ve decided to take some time away from the office to jump onboard a dive mission to the Great Barrier Reef to help find him and his mates. There is a strong risk that I will fall deeply in love with diving and the reef during this mission, but it’s a risk I am willing to take. Also, there is no Wi-Fi on the reef, so I am not contactable until my return.”

Not a diver? That’s ok, you can use a live-aboard trip to obtain your certification, giving you a great excuse to return again and again.

Where to go: The Great Barrier Reef It’s been on the bucket list for a while, and now is the time to tick it off! The

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

Snorkelling at Keeper Reef by @cleocohen


View from The Quarterdeck at The Ville Resort–Casino by Megan MacKinnon

Townsville and the Burdekin to see you through the remainder of the year. Townsville offers plenty to keep you busy, from walks up Castle Hill to street art trails and attractions like Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium and the Museum of Tropical Queensland. But to make sure you get time to recover from the year that was, spend some time on The Strand, doing as much (or as little) as your heart desires. Castle Hill summit, Townsville by Jesse and Belinda Lindemann

DECEMBER Dashing through the sand Public Holidays: 25 December (Christmas Day), 26 December (Boxing Day) and 1 January (New Year’s Day)

The Strand is also the best vantage point for New Year’s fireworks and celebrations. If you need a good spot to cool down on a hot summer’s day, head to Riverway Lagoons for a dip!

local favourites for cocktails. Forgot a few Christmas presents? That’s ok, we suggest heading to Ayr in the Burdekin to enjoy boutique shopping at its best. You’ll be surprised to find such a shopping mecca in a small town. With fashion, children’s wear, fresh produce and incredible delis, you’ll have just as much fun finding the perfect gift as your family and friends will have opening it! While you’re in the area, why not take a trip to Alva Beach for a relaxing afternoon of sand and sunshine before catching the sunset at the top of Mount Inkerman.

Days to take annual leave: Take off 27, 30 and 31 for an eight-day holiday. Out of Office: Hi-ho, hi-ho it’s a beach holiday I go! I’m currently out of the office rounding out 2019 enjoying the best of a North Queensland summer – beaches, sunshine and good food. Santa will find me in Townsville, and I’ll see you in the New Year! Where to go: Townsville and the Burdekin There’s no better way to conclude a busy year of work (and holidaying) than a bit of RnR! To finish off 2019, we’ve got a chilled-out guide to the best of

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Riverway Lagoon by Megan MacKinnon

Ditch the thongs and swimmers and enjoy a night on the town in Townsville. Catch a performance by Dancenorth, enjoy a meal on Palmer Street or in the City Lane dining precinct before finishing up with cocktails at The Quarterdeck or Hooch and Fellow – two

Mount Inkerman sunset, The Burdekin by George Pedley

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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Building sandcastles at Alma Bay, Magnetic Island by Megan MacKinnon

‘Kick it’ with the kids We get it – travelling with kids isn’t always the easiest of tasks. The car is packed to the brim, the radio is blasting The Wiggles, and you’re asked almost every hour, “Are we there yet?” But don’t put your family holiday on hold or in the too-hardbasket. We’ve got you covered with some of the best activities to keep the kids entertained and help create amazing holiday memories in Townsville North Queensland!

The Best of the Outdoors Riverway & Pioneer Park Located on the banks of the Ross River, Pioneer Park is the ultimate in kid friendly outdoor fun. With sporting fields, BBQ areas and two large swimming lagoons, you can spend the whole day enjoying this picturesque spot. If you happen to be visiting on a Saturday, why not take the family along to the free weekly 5km Park Run! Plantation Park Burdekin With lush green lawns, walking tracks and a man-made lagoon, Plantation Park is a great place to tire out the children. If you head there on the first and third Sunday of the month, you will catch the local Burdekin Plantation Park Markets.

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Alma Bay, Magnetic Island No Townsville North Queensland holiday is complete without a visit to Magnetic Island, and Alma Bay would have to be a favourite spot for locals and visitors. The beach is patrolled on weekends and public holidays and has a barbeque, picnic tables, shaded playground, change areas and toilets. The Strand You’ll be hard pressed to find any ‘must do’ list for Townsville without this local hot spot. The Strand, a thriving beach foreshore, with 2.5km of walkways, stunning views across to Magnetic Island, outdoor gym equipment, a waterpark and more playgrounds than the kids will know what to do with. Enjoy the shade of the palm trees with a gelato and a good book, whilst the kids swim and splash at the patrolled beach.

The Strand Jetty by Megan MacKinnon

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

Rock Wallaby at Geoffrey Bay, Magnetic Island by Kobie Rhodes

Rock Wallabies, Magnetic Island It doesn’t get much cuter than watching the kids interact with the furry little rock wallabies at Geoffrey Bay. Pick up a bag of wallaby feed from the nearby newsagency and make sure you have a camera on hand – these little guys love getting up close and personal! Soroptimist Park & Pallarenda Ahoy there! Bring along your best pirate talk as the kids explore the shipthemed playgrounds at Soroptimist Park, Rowes Bay. With slides, climbing obstacles, swings, walking paths, picnic tables, barbeques and even a basketball hoop, this park area has something for every age! Jump on the push bike or drive to the end of Rowes Bay to find Pallarenda Beach, where a stinger net is set up during summer and low tide provides a fun environment for kids to spot hermit crabs and find interesting shells.


Feeding wallabies Billabong Sanctuary by Budd Photography

Centenary Park Step back in time to the days of the Gold Rush when you visit Centenary Park in Charters Towers. The park features a gold discovery monument as well as picnic tables, a children’s playground, liberty swing and lit walking tracks. TYTO Wetlands, Ingham TYTO Wetlands in Ingham is where arts and culture meets nature. As well as offering a year round calendar of activities and events, this is a great place to relax and unwind with the kids. Ingham is home to some amazing delis – so make sure you stop by one to top up your picnic basket.

While the kids will be amazed by the fish, sharks and turtles, you’ll be impressed by how much they learn at this fantastic attraction. Warning: It’s possible the children will yell Nemo and Dory multiple times during your trip. Museum of Tropical Queensland From navigating the high seas to discovering the stories behind Indigenous artefacts, the Museum of Tropical Queensland features a number of fascinating exhibitions and collections that explore life in the tropics from prehistoric times to the modern era. The kids will love the hands-on displays – it might be hard to drag them away! Billabong Sanctuary Feeding a kangaroo or cuddling a koala must be every child’s dream! With more than 50 native animal species calling Billabong Sanctuary home, this family owned park offers hours of fun and entertainment for children (and parents) of all ages. Plan your day to ensure you catch one of the park’s regular animal shows – the kids will be amused, and might learn something new too!

Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium by Monique Searle

Local Attractions Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium If your kids can recite the entire script from Finding Nemo, then take them to Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium.

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Drive-in Cinemas Ever wished you could experience a Drive-in cinema like Danny and Sandy from Grease? Well Stardust Drive-in, Burdekin and Tors Drive-in, Charters Towers have you covered. With movies to suit the whole family and plenty of popcorn, it’s a great way to relax and watch a movie under the stars.

Matt Scott with his sons Hugo and Wil

Matt’s family favourites Not only is Matt Scott a muchloved North Queensland Toyota Cowboy, he’s a dad to two adorable little boys, Hugo and Wil. Here are his top spots to keep the kids entertained. Favourite place to go exploring? Jezzine Barracks and The Strand. Great place to ride bikes, see wildlife, and maybe grab a quick babyccino or ice-cream while we are there.

Rainy day activities? Reef HQ Aquarium or the Museum of Tropical Queensland (especially if the dinosaurs are in).

Favourite park? The boys like the park at Pallarenda. Nice and quiet and lots to see and do!

Favourite day trip location? Magnetic Island. Whether it’s with the boys, or just Lauren and I. We love to swim at Alma Bay, explore the Forts Walk, and grab lunch and a drink at one of the local pubs.

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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Otto’s Fresh Food Market by @elsas_wholesomelife

The right bite

away deli platter or a pretzel donut for dessert.

‘just feed me’ option, it’s an easy way to spend an evening.

Nothing reflects the Townsville region’s multicultural vibe and growing food and bar scene like a list of its best culinary pit stops.

City Lane Fancy a pulled-pork burger at The Courtyard, or some tapas at TapHouse? Maybe Korean, Italian or Japanese? Don’t rush into a decision too quickly, stop for a drink and enjoy the eclectic laneway atmosphere first.

Bridgewater Bridgewater is one of the newest dining venues to hit the Townsville food scene. Offering diners a touch of coastal elegance through locally sourced produce and décor.

Seafood, glorious seafood The Pier Uninterrupted ocean views are a big drawcard for this iconic Townsville restaurant, complemented by a mouthwatering seafood menu, you’ll quickly realise why The Pier is a hot favourite.

Cactus Jacks Tex Mex Bar & Grill If you fancy Mexican matchsticks, fiery fajitas and chocolate nachos, Cactus Jacks is the place for you!

Palm House (The Ville Resort–Casino) This is a buffet with a difference. It’s fresh, it’s fun, and it’s all about local produce. With a fantastic selection of fresh and cooked seafood options at dinner, why limit yourself to just one serve of prawns?

Kid Friendly Cowboys Leagues Club With a fabulous new outdoor play area and great value-for-money kids meals, it’s a winner.

Cheap and Cheerful Longboards Bar & Grill Southern style tacos and waffle fries, icy cold beers, and stunning Strand views – what more could you ask for? Otto’s Fresh Food Market Our advice when visiting Otto’s… Make sure you’re hungry! It’d be a waste of a trip if you didn’t try something from their breakfast menu, have a nibble on a pastry, stay for a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich for lunch, and then pop back for their super popular Taco Tuesday dinner. Before heading home, make sure you’re armed with a take

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JAM JAM is one restaurant you can visit for breakfast, lunch and dinner without getting bored. Featuring a modern Australian-inspired menu, an impressive wine list and delectable desserts.

Miss Songs at The Ville Resort–Casino by Budd Photography

Something Special

CBar Located right on the beach, the kids can go and explore The Strand while Mum and Dad supervise from the table. No technology required, just sun, sand and good food.

Miss Songs (The Ville Resort–Casino) Classic Chinese dishes with a modern twist. Get a group together and order the banquet – you won’t be disappointed!

Arcadia Hotel Located on Magnetic Island, Arcadia Hotel has a games room and epic pool the kids can enjoy. Keep an eye out for their additional school holiday activities too!

Shorehouse With an Asian-inspired share platter menu, ocean views, trendy styling and

Celsius Restaurant Located poolside at the Mercure Townsville. Relax. Swim. Eat. Repeat.

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide


Early Bird Café on Magentic Island by @elsas_wholesomelife

When visiting the regions Hinchinbrook The locals here know how to do good Italian food. Visit JK’s Deli for lunch, stock up on the best Italian cheeses and cold meats at Lou’s Emporium, stop in for a cake and coffee at Heaven Scent or enjoy dinner at Enrico’s. Burdekin Claredale Pastures Café is a genuine paddock to plate experience – all meat is grass fed, free range and free from nasties. Try a bit of everything with their Ploughman’s Lunch Platter and finish up with Raelene’s famous Lemon Meringue Pie. Charters Towers Visit the historic Stock Exchange and grab a bite to eat at the café. The Cattleman’s Rest Steakhouse showcases local beef at its best, and if it’s a classic

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Australian pub meal you’re after, head to the Enterprise Hotel and see if you can finish one of their parmies.

Townsville’s Best Bars Rambutan The Quarterdeck Hooch and Fellow The Brewery

Dining at Peppers Blue on Blue byMegan MacKinnon

Magnetic Island Breakfast at Early Bird Café, lunch at Barefoot Art Food Wine, dinner at Peppers Blue on Blue. There are so many dining options on this tropical island – be prepared to eat like a king!

The Quarterdeck at The Ville Resort–Casino by @melissavanderhaak

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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Scallops at Bridgewater images by Megan MacKinnon

Local Recipe: BBQ Townsville half shell scallops with walnut, pomegranate & coriander salsa Matt Merrin has played a huge part of the Townsville food scene for over 13 years. As owner and Chef at JAM and Bridgewater, we asked him to share a favourite recipe that highlights our region’s local produce.

Ingredients

Scallops

24 half shell scallops* Dill sprigs Salt flakes 1 lime / lemon

1 Pre-heat your BBQ, brush the scallops with a little vegetable oil, place the scallops on the grill flesh side down. Cook for approximately 2–3 minutes and remove from the heat.

Salsa

2 Place a spoon of salsa on each scallop. Finish with a sprig of dill and pinch of salt flakes.

100gm walnuts, crushed 1 pomegranate, seeded 1 ½ cup coriander, finely sliced 150ml extra virgin olive oil Juice ½ lime / lemon Pinch sumac 1 clove garlic, finely diced ¼ red onion, finely diced

*Scallops can be purchased locally from Cleveland Bay Seafoods on Ingham Road, Townsville.

Preparation Salsa 1 Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, refrigerate until required.

Matt Merrin at Bridgewater

Restaurant + Bar 2/2 Dibbs St, Townsville

P: 4420 4000 www.bridgewaterq.com.au 20

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide


An idyllic tropical island escape Set on picturesque Magnetic Island, Peppers Blue on Blue Resort is ideal for a tropical Queensland getaway. Relax and rejuvenate with resort-style rooms, two idyllic pools and a delectable onsite restaurant.

Take a Tropical Escape From $145*per night Including full buffet breakfast, 10% off dining at Boardwalk Restaurant & Bar, WiFi and in-room movies. Use Promo Code: TTNQ

To book, call 1300 737 444 or visit peppers.com.au/blue-on-blue *Conditions apply. WiFi includes up to 500MB. Valid for sale and travel until 27 June 2019. Valid in a Hotel Room, with a 2 night minimum spend of $290.

Discover the best of

Magnetic Island

4 DAY ISLAND EXPLORER from $699pp* twin share

sealinkqld.com.au * T&C’S APPLY V1 - BULE01Z01FE


Nelly Bay Marina, Magnetic Island by Jesse and Belinda Lindemann

Two days, two ways on Magnetic Island Family weekend away

Romantic island adventures DAY ONE

8am: Forts Walk

7am: Go topless!

After a stunning 45min cruise with Magnetic Island Ferries, we drove off the car barge and headed straight for the Forts Walk. The kids loved running ahead to spot koalas and were surprisingly excited to learn about the Island’s involvement in WWII.

A quick 20min ferry with SeaLink Queensland landed us on our island paradise! We picked up a topless car from Tropical Topless Car Hire and began exploring the coastlines with the wind in our hair – the ultimate way to wind down to Island time!

12pm: Beachside lunch

9am: Hit the water

Time to rest and refuel! We enjoyed lunch at the Picnic Bay Hotel, complete with seafood and stunning beachside views. Afterwards, we enjoyed a wander along the iconic Picnic Bay Jetty where the kids threw out their fishing lines.

From exploring the land to the sea, we headed to Horseshoe Bay to explore by jetski! If you think the coastlines are stunning from the land, you ain’t seen nothing yet – we had a blast zooming around the headland to discover ‘Lovers Bay’!

2:30pm: Bungalow Bay

4:30pm: Sunset sail

We ended the afternoon with a wildlife tour at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village. We interacted with our favourite Aussie animals by holding a croc and cuddling a koala, and learned how the local rangers care for the Island’s native wildlife.

We slowed things down with a sunset sail aboard Big Mama Sailing. The spectacular views were complemented by drinks and nibbles as guides Lisa, Stu Fletcher and dog Coco welcomed us to their floating home.

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Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide


Magnetic Island by Jesse and Belinda Lindemann

Overnight at Peppers Blue on Blue

Overnight at Amaroo on Mandalay DAY TWO 8am: A local guide

8am: Exploring beneath the surface

We kicked off day two aboard Aquascene Charters and explored the local secret spots of Magnetic Island from the water. As a family-owned business, tour guide Adam knew just how to keep the kids entertained with swimming, snorkelling and feeding wildlife – a truly memorable experience.

12pm: Ice-cream time! After a big morning on the water, we bee-lined for the Arcadia Pub. There was a pool for the kids, great

We joined the local legends at Pleasure Divers to dive a little deeper and show us the amazing fringing reefs around the Island. With our snorkelling equipment sorted, we visited both Nelly and Geoffrey Bay and spent the morning spotting fish, coral and even giant clams! food and even better views. Afterwards, we all enjoyed delicious ice-creams next to the famous Bikini Tree in Arcadia.

12pm: Beers ‘n’ burgers With some calories burnt, we headed to Base Backpackers in Nelly Bay for lunch, and boy did it deliver! The food was delicious, the

3pm: Alma Bay

5pm: Hawkings Point

After a big weekend, we found paradise right across the road at Alma Bay. Between the park, playground, patrolled beach, and snorkelling spots, it was the perfect spot for the parents to relax while the kids explored. There was no better way to wind down and soak up the best that Magnetic Island has to offer.

Our new friends from Base Backpackers suggested Hawkings Point for a spectacular sunset to wrap up our weekend. It was only a 1 hour return walk from Picnic Bay which was well worth the views over a few small bays and across to the mainland – the perfect spot to reflect on our amazing weekend, if only it had lasted longer!

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atmosphere incredible, and we met plenty of new friends swapping Magnetic Island must-do’s while we soaked up the sun!

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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The Forts Walk, Magnetic Island by Megan MacKinnon

Active adventures Ditch the burpees and forget the fad diets, here are some active adventures that you (and your fitness tracker) will actually enjoy. From spotting koalas to scaling mountains and everything in between, you’ll be clocking up the steps and taking in the best that nature has to offer with these holiday activities.

I spy koalas

Castle Hill, Townsville by @mycolourfulworld_

Conquer the Castle Hike: Castle Hill, Townsville Active Level: Medium Distance: 5.2km return Approx Step Count: 6,864 Why? The views! Top tips: Tackle Castle Hill in the early morning or late afternoon to beat the heat. Take water and don’t forget the camera – you’ll want photos at the top. When more than 2,500 locals venture up Castle Hill daily, you know the view at the top will be worth the climb. Start from Gregory Street, near Townsville City and walk along the road to the top or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, explore one of the many dirt trails. Either way once you get to the peak you’ll be rewarded with 360° views of Townsville and across to Magnetic Island.

Castle Hill’s Goat Track by Rob Garwood

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Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

Hike: Forts Walk, Magnetic Island Active Level: Medium Distance: 4km (2 hours return) Approximate Step Count: 5,280 Why? Koala spotting, spectacular ocean outlooks and WWII history Top Tips: If you see sticks on the ground in the shape of an arrow, chances are it’ll be pointing in the direction of a recently sighted koala. Locals leave these markers to make koala sighting easy for everyone. What do you get when you combine WWII history with stunning ocean vistas and regular sightings of koalas? The Forts Walk on Magnetic Island! Magnetic Island has the largest colony of koalas in Northern Australia and the best location to spot these resident locals is on the spectacular Forts Walk. On this walk you’ll also be awarded with some of Magnetic Island’s best views and fascinating WWII fortifications, this is one not to miss!

Bungalow Bay Koala Village by Lauren Bath


The Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island by Melissa Van der Haak

by the people who know best – Queensland Parks and Wildlife). Lace up the hiking boots and prepare for four days of exploring the spectacular wilderness of Hinchinbrook Island. With only 40 permits allowed at any one time, you’ll most likely have the entire place to yourself.

Mountain Biking: Douglas Reserve Active Level: Trails to suit all levels Distance: 30km of trails purpose built for mountain bikers Why: Something for everyone!

Hinchinbrook island aerial by Megan MacKinnon

Move over Jurassic Park, Hinchinbrook is here Hike: Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island Active Level: Very High Distance: 32km (allow 4 days and 3 nights) Approximate Step Count: 42,240 Why? Described as the ‘holy grail for walkers’ (Lonely Planet) Top tips: Catch a ferry from Lucinda and be prepared to live completely selfsufficient for four days. This is a grade 5 hike, so make sure you’re well trained to tackle this one! Hinchinbrook Island will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back into a prehistoric time! With epic mountainous terrain, meandering creeks and stunning waterfalls, it’s no wonder the Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island is considered world-class, and the best hiking experience in Queensland (as voted

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good base level of fitness but isn’t too technically challenging and you will be rewarded with stunning scenery and spectacular ocean views. For a more difficult, intermediate grade trail try the Smedley’s Hill Track, a 7km loop off UTR that continues to offer unbeatable views with a great flowing downhill run.

Zoe Falls, Hinchinbrook island by Megan MacKinnon

Boasting approximately 30km of cross country trails, the Douglas Mountain Bike Reserve offers 18 individual trails ranging from smooth surfaces ideal for beginners through to rocky, steep and technical climbs and descents.

Ride off road Mountain biking: Pallarenda Active Level: Medium Distance: Under the Radar – 17km and add on Smedley’s for an additional 7km Why? Mountain bike trail with coastal views – you don’t get to see this often! If you want a scenic ride then Pallarenda is for you, offering some of the best views of the Coral Sea. The Under the Radar (UTR) trail – a 17km single track loop – will take you through woodlands, past mangroves and alongside WWII fortifications. This trail requires a

Mountain biking by Steve Dickinson, Adventure Magazine

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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The Strand and Castle Hill, Townsville by Megan MacKinnon

Healthy bites

Regional short walks

The Beet Bar – the masters of superfood bowls. Born Wild – clean eating and whole food meals. Raw Energy – food that will make you feel great. SqueezeMe Townsville – fresh juices and amazing acai bowls.

View from The Forts Walk, Magnetic Island by Amber Toms

Otto’s Fresh Food Market – locally sourced fresh food and produce markets (also plenty of sweet treats to reward yourself… it’s a holiday after all).

Mount Inkerman, Burdekin

Just keep swimming If hikes and bikes aren’t your style, then why not dive into one of the many swimming options in the region: 50m Olympic Pools: Tobruk Memorial Baths, The Strand Long Tan Memorial Pool Northern Beaches Leisure Centre Hinchinbrook Aquatic Centre – Ingham Kennedy Regiment Memorial Pool – Charters Towers Open Water Swims Riverway Lagoon The Rock Pool The Strand (Stinger Nets available from Nov to May) Alma Bay, Picnic Bay and Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island

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Towers Hill, Charters Towers

Beet Bar bowls by @elsas_wholesomelife

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

Wallaman Falls, Hinchinbrook


View from the top of Zoe Falls, Hinchinbrook Island by Megan MacKinnon

A local’s guide: Islands and reef Islands Townsville North Queensland is home to a number of stunning island options to suit everyone’s holiday desires. Here’s our guide to find out which one’s the best for you!

relics along the Forts Walk, and adrenaline junkies can enjoy exploring on a jet ski tour. For some serious rest and recovery, take in the views with a sailing trip, play a round of golf at Picnic Bay or simply sit back and relax on one of the 23 bays and beaches. The Island is accessible via SeaLink Queensland passenger ferry, Magnetic Island Ferries car barge or via helicopter to indulge like a VIP, accommodation options range from luxury resorts to hostels to suit everyone’s budget.

misting mountains to sandy beaches, wetlands, woodlands, rainforests and everything in between, not to mention the pristine waterfalls and swimming holes to explore along the way! Lucinda is your quickest link to reach the Island, with day trips and scenic helicopter flights also available.

Orpheus Island

For lovers of luxury:

Orpheus Island

View from The Forts Walk, Magnetic Island by Megan MacKinnon

For absolutely everybody:

Hinchinbrook Channel by @mycolourfulworld_

Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island proves that one island escape really can please everyone. Nature lovers can spot some of Northern Australia’s largest colony of koalas living in the wild, explore over 20km of walking trails through National Park and discover fringing coral reefs leading straight off the beach. History buffs can get a glimpse into Magnetic Island’s pivotal role in WWII exploring the well-preserved V1 - BULE01Z01FE

For the ultimate adventurer:

Hinchinbrook Island

Despite it being the biggest island along the Great Barrier Reef, Hinchinbrook Island is completely uninhabited with only 40 people permitted to camp on the Island at any one time to protect its biodiversity. The Island’s claim to fame is its world-renowned 32km Thorsborne Trail, a 3-4 day self-sufficient hike, famous for its diverse terrain - from

Orpheus Island offers 1,300 hectares of untouched National Park, unique wildlife and amazing reef experiences at every turn. The best way to explore everything the Island has to offer is by booking into its luxury resort, capped to indulge just 28 guests at a time. You won’t have to worry about a thing with all-inclusive meals, watersports equipment and more – perfect for the lovers of exclusive and tranquil holidays. Alternatively, explore the Island on one of Sealink Queensland’s seasonal day trips or make your own way with self-sufficient camping amongst the National Parks.

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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Snorkeling at Lodestone Reef by @khyorchard

Great Barrier Reef Townsville North Queensland is your ticket to the central section of the Great Barrier Reef which has less boating traffic and impact from human activity, giving visitors access to some of the most diverse coral and marine life at some the best sites in the world.

Trips are available with both Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive, and Remote Area Dive from Townsville, or Pleasure Divers on Magnetic Island. For snorkellers who like to be closer to land, you can explore the stunning self-guided snorkel trails along Magnetic Island’s Nelly and Geoffrey Bays. Join Pleasure Divers for a guided experience or pick up a handy swim card on the Island to follow the trails and learn about the coral and marine life you may discover along the journey.

wrasse, giant gropers, sharks and migrating humpback whales. Join Yongala Dive in Alva Beach for your quickest link to the wreck, with direct tours also departing Townsville and Magnetic Island.

Reef HQ Aquarium by Megan MacKinnon

To learn about the reef

Snorkeling by @khyorchard

Get up close and personal There’s no arguing that one of the best ways to see the Great Barrier Reef is by getting up close and personal with a snorkel and diving trip. Hop aboard a day trip to experience amazing coral gardens, canyons and bommies and a variety of marine life. Stay a little longer on a multi-day live-aboard for unlimited access to the water, or if you’re interested in becoming a certified diver, complete a diving course with one of our operators – where better to learn than the Great Barrier Reef?

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SS Yongala Shipwreck by Achim Wetz

Tick off your diving bucket list Did you know that Townsville North Queensland is home to one of the world’s best wreck dives? Certified divers can tick the SS Yongala Wreck off their bucket list and explore the site’s pristine shipwreck, array of hard and soft coral and spectacular marine life, including turtles, marble rays,

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

Take a walk through Townsville’s Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium to explore the world’s largest living coral aquarium, learn about the reef and its threats, meet thousands of charismatic marine creatures and interact with a number of daily talks and tours. Right next door, visit the Museum of Tropical Queensland’s Secret Language of the Reef exhibit to learn how coral and marine creatures communicate, find out how corals live and grow and explore the museum’s coral collection, one of the largest in the world.


Centipede Reef off Townsville by Megan MacKinnon

Experience the reef without getting wet Get up in the air and see the Great Barrier Reef from a different perspective on a scenic flight with Townsville Helicopters or Nautilus Aviation. You can even land on a secluded sand cay to enjoy the reef all to yourself – truly unforgettable.

Our top tips to care for the Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef is far more than a holiday destination. You can make a big difference with simple changes. Pledge to become a citizen of the Great Barrier Reef to take action and measure your positive impact on the reef: Ban the bag: always remember your reusable shopping bags. Hold the straw: purchase a reusable straw or ditch them altogether to reduce plastic waste. Carry your cup and BYOB: minimise your waste with reusable coffee cups and water bottles.

Wheeler Reef sand cay by Megan MacKinnon

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Wheeler Reef sand cay by Megan MacKinnon

Find out more at www.citizensgbr.org

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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The Burdekin farmland by Megan MacKinnon

Three things you didn’t know about the Burdekin:

The passenger ship SS Yongala sank in 1911 whilst en route from Melbourne to Cairns as she steamed into a cyclone. It was deemed one of Australia’s worst maritime disasters with 122 passengers (and a horse) lost at sea. Today, the SS Yongala is renowned for being home to mega marine life. You’re likely to encounter giant gropers, giant marble rays and giant trevally, and will be swimming amongst large schools of barracuda, eagle rays, turtles, sea snakes, bull sharks and so much more.

Ahh, the Burdekin, just one hour drive south of Townsville, it’s known for far stretching fields of green and home to some of the nation’s best fruit and vegetable produce. But, here’s a few things you may not know about the bountiful Burdekin:

It’s home to one of the world’s best diving experiences Yep, that’s right - divers from across the globe have the Burdekin on their bucket list as it’s home to the SS Yongala.

SS Yongala Shipwreck by Achim Wetz

BURDEKIN

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Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide


Stardust Drive-in Cinema, Ayr by Budd Photography

You’ll uncover some of the region’s best boutiques You might be surprised by the boutiques you’ll find scattered throughout the main streets of Ayr in the Burdekin. This small town punches well above its weight when it comes to fashion, baby boutiques and specialty cafés.

Burdekin cane fire by Madison Magatelli

It’s one of the only places in Australia that still burns cane These spectacular cane burns happen before harvesting because an abundance of water in the region makes the cane too leafy to cut. Catch the first fire of the season at the Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival.

The Burdekin region has recently had a splash of colour With incredible street artworks making an appearance throughout Ayr and Home Hill, have a camera handy as these masterpieces make for awesome profile pics!

Feel nostalgic as you enjoy a flick under the stars at Ayr’s Stardust Drive-in Theatre. No car? No worries? Pull up a beanbag and throw back some popcorn as you enjoy a movie like they did in the old days.

Say cheese and prepare for a delectable visit to Dal Santos This deli is nothing short of ah-mazing and an absolute haven for lovers of traditional Italian and quality antipasto platters (but really who doesn’t love a good antipasto?) So you went a little overboard at Dal Santos… we can’t say we blame you. To work off those extra calories take a walk or ride to the top of Mount Inkerman. Trust us – the view will be worth it!

Burdekin street art photograph by Budd Photography

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Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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Hinchinbrook local insights Just a short 1.5 hour drive north of Townsville, with a mandatory stop at Frosty Mango, uncover a natural paradise and tranquil escape in the regional area of Hinchinbrook. For this mini road trip you’ll need nothing but a thirst for adventure and an appetite for antipasto! Here are the highlights of Hinchinbrook you won’t want to miss:

Chasing waterfalls TLC said “Don’t go chasing waterfalls...” But we disagree, especially when you are in waterfall territory. Whilst the drive to the main township of Ingham is only 1.5 hours from Townsville, make sure you allow plenty of time for a detour and stop into both Paluma National Park and Jourama Falls. These falls are a nice teaser for your waterfall finale at Wallaman Falls, an almighty 268m single drop waterfall – the largest in Australia!

The ultimate outback escape It was once the second largest city in Queensland, a bustling metropolis and the ultimate destination for those wanting to strike gold. Today, the charming Outback town of Charters Towers, a short 1.5 hour drive from Townsville, is a little more humble, with glimpses of yesteryear evidenced in the architecture and told through the stories of local legends.

Visit JR and the Texas Longhorns Don your favourite pair of jeans and a wide brimmed hat to really feel the country vibe at Leahton Park, home to Charters Towers very own Texas Longhorns. Meet owners Michael and Lynda and explore their working cattle station. Experience billy tea and take a ride on a horse drawn wagon to meet some of North Queensland’s most

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Top Tip: Walk to the base of the Falls for the best views. Take plenty of water and allow 2 hours return.

Reel it in The Hinchinbrook region is renowned for its incredible fishing. With several charter companies providing the ultimate fishing adventures, you’re just about guaranteed to reel in a whopper! If you’ve got your own boat or you just want to stay as close to the water as possible, then we recommend Hinchinbrook Resorts Lucinda. Perhaps you might like to try something a little more adventurous? Jump on a heli fishing tour with the crew from Hinchinbrook Adventures and discover the most exclusive fishing locations.

Pasta and antipasto are the specialities in this little Italy. Pop into one of the many delis for a picnic lunch or enjoy a walk through the town’s art galleries and Mercer Lane street art before enjoying a bite at one of the specialty cafés.

Refuel in Ingham You’ve probably worked up an appetite with all that nature and adventure! Ingham is home to a large community of Italian descent, which means just one thing – amazing food!

unique cattle, including 2013 world record holder for having the longest horns – JR.

Get a glimpse into the ways of the golden days with a visit to the Venus Gold Battery It’s the largest and last surviving battery relic in Queensland and is jam packed with history.

Fishing at Lucinda, Hinchinbrook by Megan MacKinnon

Burn off the pub carbs with a stroll up Towers Hill. Early morning at sunrise is the best time to spot rock wallabies and experience the golden rays poking over the horizon. With interactive exhibitions along the walk, you’ll be discovering great stories and also clocking up those 10,000 steps #multitasking.

History, outback and a pub on every corner! Grab a cold one and enjoy the cool evening breeze at one of several pubs on offer in Charters Towers.

Spend a night in the luxury apartments of Kernow Charters Towers. This converted mental asylum is now home to stunning accommodation with rooms complete with outback vistas. With more expansion on the horizon this property will soon feature a crystal clear lagoon, tavern and glamping as well!

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

Beneath the stars in Charters Towers by Megan MacKinnon


Saturday 15th June 2019 REGISTER HERE www.porcupinegorgechallenge.com.au OR CALL 07 4741 2900 19th Annual Hughenden Porcupine Gorge Challenge

Over $4000 Prize Money and Perpetual Trophies

#visithughenden #porcupinegorgechallenge

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Discover why #townsvilleshines

SS City of Adelaide, Magnetic Island

Castle Hill, Townsville

It is no surprise that this was Australia’s most instagrammable place of 2018!

For breathtaking views of Townsville, it’s worth the walk to the top!

@mitchraephotography

@mycolourfulworld_

Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island

For an epic hike paired with a secluded swimming paradise.

Orpheus Island

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Discover Australia’s largest single-drop waterfall.

@mitchraephotography

Texas Longhorns Wagon Tours

Explore a luxury private island with immaculate coastlines.

Home to the largest purebred herd of Texas Longhorns in Australia.

@_markfitz

@barekiwi

@jamesvodicka

SS Yongala Wreck, Burdekin

Wallaman Falls, Hinchinbrook

Forts Walk, Magnetic Island

Little Crystal Creek, Paluma

Dive one of the world’s best wreck dives.

A walk that rewards you with stunning views and historic WWII fortifications.

Chase cascading waterfalls and wander through the rainforest.

@colbaker

@los.travel

@workfortravel

Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide


Snap the most insta-worthy places of Townsville North Queensland to avoid a “pics or it didn’t happen” situation. When you have that perfect picture, use #townsvilleshines to share your favourite places and secret spots. Discover impressive moments, find more #inspo for your next holiday or book a Townsville North Queensland adventure at townsvillenorthqueensland.com.au.

Wheeler Reef Sand Cay

Towers Hill, Charters Towers

Alma Bay, Magnetic Island

Visit an exclusive white sand cay with crystal clear waters

The best spot to view a sunrise or sunset over Charters Towers.

23 bays and beaches waiting to be explored

@_markfitz

@workfortravel

@meandmytravelbugs

Discover the best of

Magnetic Island 3 day island escape from $299pp* twin share

thisismagneticisland.com.au *

Borobi on The Strand, Townsville Image credit Romy Bullerjahn V1 - BULE01Z01FE

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Townsville North Queensland Insider’s Guide

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Profile for Townsville Enterprise

2019 Events and Insider's Guide  

Whether it’s on the beach, stage, or field, be prepared to experience world-class events in spectacular settings.

2019 Events and Insider's Guide  

Whether it’s on the beach, stage, or field, be prepared to experience world-class events in spectacular settings.