Australia’s East Coast offers great activities and adventures for all ages. In North Queensland cities like Brisbane and Cairns are well known by international tourists, but let’s not forget about our beautiful Townsville.
With the Strand, the Reef HQ, Castle Hill and the Museum of Tropical Queensland, travellers and locals can relax and learn more about our beautiful country. If you have some spare time and a set of wheels, the following day trips from Townsville will be a great opportunity for you to explore some off Australia’s nature and get out of the city.
When you are driving towards Cairns, you won’t have to go far to go to one of the amazing natural pools and swimming holes, waterfalls and quiet camping areas for the weekend.
Paluma National Park
Roughly 45 minutes from Townsville is Paluma, a National Park with amazing mountain views and the iconic “old bridge” of Little Crystal Creek. You can go swimming at Big Crystal Creek, do some bush walks and visit the local café
Cardwell Spa Pool
If you don’t mind a longer drive, The Cardwell Spa Pool is around 2 hours drive form the Townsville city centre. Its blue water is amazing and invites you for a swim. Bring some lunch and enjoy a nice picnic after having a dip.
You can stop at the “Cardwell Rainforest & Reef Visitor Centre”, have a walk on the jetty and find out about the catch of the day from the locals fishing.
Driving towards Brisbane are many attractions and sightseeing opportunities.
If you want to go for a swim in nice, refreshing and natural water, but don’t want to drive all day, Alligator Creek is the place to go.
Close to Cape Cleveland, Cungulla is a locally known jewel for fishing and beach driving. Get the boat ready and enjoy the beautiful rivers and cast the line for some great fish. Or get the 4×4 out for a drive on the beach.
Right on Townsvilles’ door step lies the Burdekin region famous for its sugar can and other agriculture. Although it is famous for its diving experience to the SS Yongala Wreck right of Alva Beach, just 15 minutes away from Ayr.
The small country town of Ayr is well known for backpacker to work for their 88 days to qualify for a second year Working Holiday Visa. You can visit the local Plantation Park, Nature Display or enjoy the view from Mount Inkerman.
At the end of every day you might be lucky to see one of the famous cane fires.
Driving towards the outback of Australia can be just as amazing as the beaches of the coast.
A historic outback town 1.5 hours away from Townsville is Charters Towers. Booming in the 19th century because of the gold rush the town is famous for its heritage buildings and the life stock markets. You can try to find gold yourself at the “Miners Cottage” or watch a movie at the drive in cinema.
Ravenswood & The Burdekin Dam
The Burdekin Dam is a great place for a day trip from Townsville or even a weekend away from the city. There are different ways of getting to the Dam, but if you don’t have a 4×4 or at least all-wheel drive, going towards Charters Towers and turning towards Ravenswood is the best option. Don’t just drive to the Dam, but enjoy the view form the Sarsfield Pit Lookout and maybe have a stop at the local pub on your way.
The Northern Part of Queensland is famous for its beautiful island and the Great Barrier reef. Ferries are available to most of them. Cars are not always permitted on the islands, so make sure to do your research and be prepared to bring the essentials like water, food, hat, sun cream and appropriate clothing for long walks.
When you use google to find out more about Townsville, you can’t get past information about Magnetic Island. Leaving from the port close to the city centre you can take a ferry to explore the island. Take your own car or rent one of the famous topless Barbie cars. Most of the island is National Park and you will have the opportunity to see some of Australia’s wild life close and without fences.
Between Cairns and Townsville Orpheus Island is surrounded by fringing reed. Tours are making it easy to enjoy a day, for example SeaLink organises trips with snorkelling, swimming and lunch.
Another Island on the way up to Cairns and just as beautiful is Hinchinbrook. Great for a day trip or a weekend, the island offers great walk and amazing views. Hinchinbrook Island is one of Australia’s largest national parks.