Townsville, Queenslands third largest city, provides a large coastal position, park lands, attractions, a cafe and restaurant scene, as well as a lofty Castle Hill.
The Great Barrier Reef proximity has allowed Townsville to be recognized as a `center for research into marine life and home to the Reef’s headquarters. The underwater observatory is both educational and visually breathtaking. Townsville is also home to a major armed forces base and James Cook University, giving Townsville an exciting night life, mostly along Flinders Street. There is also Jupiter’s Casino, famous for flashing neon faux fireworks, cinemas and nightclubs. For dining with a view, C Bar which has a broad outdoor deck, is your place.
The buildings around Cleveland Bay are to remind natives of the heritage of Robert Towns. Mr. Towns was known for kidnapping kanakas from their lands and bring them to Australia to work for almost nothing. In 1868 government outlawed kidnapping and began putting government ships on all Kanakas ship to ensure that their emigration was voluntary.
Magnetic Island is 8km offshore, was named by Captain Cook who believed that magnetic fields generated from the granite boulders were causing problems with his compass. It has 12,000 acres of mountainous terrain and is a great place for a day trip here or overnight stay. Sandy bay, great for swimming and snorkeling, has spectacular views from old WWII forts.
Bowling Green Bay National Park is a coastal park that offers much for the self-sufficient visitor. Granite Mountains blend with a variety of landscapes including saltpans and mangrove country. Walk along Alligator Creek to see cascades and waterfalls. It is possible to stay overnight on the campsite and then go spotlighting to glimpse brush tail possums and sugar gliders.