Hometown Series: Townsville, North Queensland, Australia
Introduction: With the current travel restrictions and quarentines in place, exploring our own backyards is becoming more of a trend. This week we continue the hometown series, where we explore all the great attractions from the hometowns of travel bloggers around the world. In previous weeks we explored Delhi in India, Leeds inYorkshire, Ann Arbor in Michigan, and my own hometown Herkimer NY. This week we will dive in to Townsville, Australia as told by local Abbie of One World Wanderer.
Highlights: Townsville has much to offer visitors, from exploring the lovely and picturesque botanical gardens, catching a movie at a drive in theater in Charters Towers, getting up close with nature at Wallaman Falls, enjoying Australia’s coastline at Orpheus Island, to wnadering a rainforest and cooling off in the rainforest’s waterholes.
Townsville, a sunshine destination on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia, is a traveller’s wonder, with so much to discover. From stunning palm-tree lined beaches, to the tropical coral wonderlands of the Great Barrier Reef, to dense rainforest as ancient as time, and the true red-dirt heart of the Outback; Townsville has it all.
You’ll never be bored of things to do in Townsville!
What To Do
There are two stunning, unique, and large gardens in Townsville, each one home to beauty and nature unlike any other, that are must-visits when in Townsville.
Anderson Botanic Gardens is the largest Australian Botanic Garden with a strong emphasis on the dry tropics and native species. With large shady grass areas, the gardens are the perfect spot for a picnic or a day relaxing in nature.
The Palmetum is a unique tropical experience in the heart of Townsville, covering over 17 hectares. It is a botanical garden with a collection of over 300 species, many rare and threatened in their natural habitats. The Palmetum gardens also feature the magnificent ‘Tumbetin Lodge’– a heritage building with a long history, that now serves one of Townsville’s best coffee and brunches.
Red dirt, blue skies, and only an hour inland from Townsville, Charters Towers encompasses the true grandeur of the Australian Outback, with an abundance of incredible things to do. Founded in 1871 after the discovery of gold, Charters Towers was established as a place for prospectors to mine their fortune in the goldfields of North Queensland, leaving behind an establishment of character and history Australians pride themselves on.
There are many must-do things in Charters Towers, but none more than witnessing the release of a blockbuster film at the famous Tors drive-in theatre- one of the oldest and last remaining drive-in theatres in Australia. It’s the perfect way to end a day of travel, where you can enjoy a unique night of stargazing and movies.
While visiting Charters Towers, another must-do experience you can have, is by visiting Australia’s largest herd of purebred Texas Longhorns. Here, you can take a horse-drawn wagon ride back in time to the old west, in the era of the Texas Longhorns, or enjoy oven cooked damper and billy tea served the traditional Australian way.
Wallaman Falls, the largest single drop waterfall in Australia, is approximately two hours north of Townsville and set high in the mountains of the UNESCO World Heritage Wet Tropics. Boasting and impressive 268 metre single drop, the falls are often shrouded in a rainbow-fringed cloud of mist- a sheer display of Mother Nature’s beauty.
To get to the base of the falls, a 3.2km return track offers you many incredible viewpoints to stop and take pictures. While the hike down to the base of the falls is relatively straight forward, pace yourself on the return trip as the incline is definitely more noticeable, particularly if you’re travelling with camera gear or as a family.
Imagine there’s a place where you feel fully submerged in the beauty of the world. A place where the only sounds you can hear are the soft rustle of the trees and the waves crashing against the shoreline. Imagine an untouched wonderland where the only word you can express is, ‘wow.’
Orpheus Island- one of the hidden treasures of the Great Barrier Reef, is just that. Located just 80km north of Townsville and amidst the magical waters of the Reef, Orpheus Island stretches across the immaculate turquoise coastline, comprised of National Parks and World Heritage- listed Marine Parks.
Deep in the heart of the North Queensland lies an abundance of incredible forest locations, fuelled with nature’s finest waterholes, falls, and ancient trees. You can meander along the rainforest walk to see magnificent white figs in Abergowrie State Forest, explore the bank of the Broadwater Creek, swim upstream at Crystal Creek, find seclusion and peace at Jourama Falls, or kick back with a hike through the Paluma rainforest.
Whatever it is you choose to do- the rainforest has the answer for you, and it is waiting.
Abbie Gatherum has been writing her entire life, most actively since 2017 as a freelance writer and travel blogger for her website One World Wanderer. She grew up in North Queensland, Australia, but prefers to chase stories in different countries around the world. Abbie is an aspiring fiction writer who finds solace in the way words create stories about the past, present, and future. She hopes to one day travel to every country and write a collection of tales set in different time periods.
Follow Abbie on her adventures via Instagram!