Townsville in North Queensland is encouraging families to spend their holidays in Australia rather than head overseas, to experience some of the wonderful holiday opportunities on offer in Australia.
Did you know that Townsville is flanked between two World Heritage listed sights – the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics, has Australia’s tallest single drop waterfall, and boasts one of the best places in the nation to see koalas and platypus in the wild?
Families can let their curiosity run wild, with a huge range of experiential attractions and tours … there’s so much to see and do!
We put together a list of the top 10 things to do in Townsville to keep curious kids entertained … and this is just the beginning!
Top 10 experiences to keep curious kids entertained
1. Walk, snorkel and cuddle a koala – picturesque Magnetic Island, just 20 minutes off the coast of Townsville, is two-thirds of National Park with 24 kilometres of walking trails, 23 beaches and bays and northern Australia’s largest colony of wild koalas. Located on the island is Koala Bungalow Bay, a haven for rock wallabies, possums, more than 100 species of birdlife and you can also cuddle a koala.
2. Explore the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet – Reef HQ is the largest coral reef exhibit in the world and is made up of 2.5 million litres of water, with hundreds of underwater inhabitants. It also has an in-house turtle hospital and leopard shark breeding program.
3. Spot a platypus – Hidden Valley Cabins, located in the World-Heritage listed Paluma Range, is Australia’s first carbon neutral resort, powered 100 per cent by solar energy. Tour the Paluma range and discover stunning landscapes, mountainous terrains and waterfalls, and take a platypus safari tour in one of the best platypus viewing locations in Australia.
4. Sleep next to a crocodile – Billabong Sanctuary is home to Australia’s iconic wildlife and you can cuddle another koala or wombat, view live crocodile feeding or roll up your sleeping bag and take a ‘snap nap’ next to the resident four-metre crocodile.
5. Discover world famous shipwrecks – the Museum of Tropical Queensland and Maritime Museum of Townsville houses an impressive collection of artefacts from the S. S Yongala and H.M.S Pandora, where budding historians can get a first-hand glimpse of life on-board and learn about the history of the wrecks without getting wet.
6. Learn about the world’s oldest continually surviving culture – the Nywaigi Aboriginal people have inhabited the Townsville/North Queensland region for 45,000 years. Tours tell personal stories of the amazing history and culture. Throw a boomerang, weave a basket and indulge in a traditional Kup-nurri meal.
7. Eureka! We’ve struck gold – Charters Towers is home to one of the largest gold rushes in Queensland history and you can still see signs of those early days, marvel at the World Theatre, learn about the first working stock exchange in the world and pan for gold at the Miner’s cottage.
8. Where flora and fauna abound – Town Common, just 10 minutes outside Townsville’s CBD, is a 7,413 acre haven flourishing with deep water lagoons, mangroves, coastal woodlands and sheltered beaches to investigate.
9. Take a canvas covered wagon ride – west of Townsville, Leahton Park is a 1100 acre property, home to the largest herd of purebred Texas Longhorn cattle in Australia. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride to observe the Longhorns in their natural environment, indulge in a traditional Aussie ‘smoko’ and meet Jonny Reb – the longest horns of any Longhorn in Australia and holder of the 2011 Guinness World Record.
10. Australia’s rich history – Townsville played an integral role in the Battle of the Coral Sea and World War II, as the base for more than 50,000 American and Australian troops, with historical experiences located throughout region.
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