3 – 4 DAYS
DAY ONE: Townsville
- Reef HQ Aquarium: Start your Great Barrier Reef experience at the National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef and home to the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium.
- Museum of Tropical Queensland: The Museum researches and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of tropical Queensland.
- Billabong Sanctuary: Meet your favourite animals in a tropical bushland setting, on the shores of the billabong, where everyone is guaranteed a rewarding personal experience.
- The Strand: Take a stroll down The Strand – Townsville’s beach promenade. Enjoy the swimming enclosures, kids water park or sit back and soak up the sun at Townsville’s beach.
- Castle Hill: Just metres short of a mountain, Castle Hill is the giant pink granite monolith that stands proud in the centre of Townsville. As well as offering vehicle access, Castle Hill boasts a number of walking tracks, which are frequented by more than 2,500 locals a day! The 360-degree views of Townsville, from Magnetic Island to the Paluma Range, are well worth the journey.
DAY TWO: Magnetic Island
Magnetic Island is situated in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, 20 minutes offshore of Townsville. Over half of the island is national park, with palm-fringed beaches, endless sunshine, koalas, hiking trail, topless barbie cars, snorkelling adventures and the list goes on. There is a small thriving community with more than 2,500 people calling ‘Maggie’ home.
Jump on the ferry for a 20 minute transfer to Magnetic Island.
DAY THREE: The Great Barrier Reef
Snorkel or dive one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders and discover a pristine underwater wonderland. Experienced divers may prefer to dive the SS Yongala, regularly ranked in the Top 10 Best Wreck dives around the world.
DAY FOUR: The Rainforest
Escape the coastal lowland heat and visit Paluma Range National Park or Wallaman Falls.
Paluma: Embrace the natural beauty of the Paluma Range National Park, the southern gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Enjoy a rainforest walk or take a dip in the cool waters under the historical bridge at Crystal Creek. (1.5 hour drive)
Wallaman Falls: Be amazed as you stand in front of Wallaman Falls, Australia’s highest permanent single drop waterfall at 268metres. (2.5 hour drive)
To explore Townsville tourist attractions and operators, please visit the link here.
EXTEND YOUR TRIP WEST
1 – 4 DAYS
DAY ONE: Charters Towers
Step back in time and discover this enchanting outback town, just 90 min west of Townsville. Driving through the streets of Charters Towers is like viewing a living montage of Australian history. When gold was first discovered in 1971 in Charters Towers, it became a gold rush town and quickly grew to become the second largest town in Queensland. Today, the magnificent heritage buildings are testament to the prosperity of years past.
To explore Charters Towers tourist attractions and operators, please visit the link here.
DAY TWO: Drive five hours west of Charters Towers to Winton.
DAY THREE: Winton
Winton has a rich history as the birthplace of Waltzing Matilda and QANTAS and links to the Great Shearers' Strike of 1891, but is just as well known today for something far more ancient...DINOSAURS.
The first prehistoric discovery in Winton Shire was made in 1962, on Cork Station – a fossilized footprint. This led to the discovery of the world’s only recorded dinosaur stampede, now known as the Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways.
Later discoveries, of no less importance, were the then largest dinosaur skeleton found in Australia, a 20-30 ton Sauropod, nicknamed 'Elliot', discovered on a property outside Winton in 1999, and his friends, more Sauropods of varying sizes and types.
In 1895, 'Banjo' Paterson wrote Australia's unofficial anthem Waltzing Matilda at Dagworth Station in Winton Shire, and legend has it that it was first performed in public at Winton's North Gregory Hotel. The Waltzing Matilda Centre is a popular tourist attraction and because of its links to Australia's 'national song', Winton now hosts the annual Bronze Swagman Bush Poetry competition.
To explore Winton tourism attractions and operators, please view the link here.
DAY FOUR: Drive seven hours, returning to Townsville.
EXTEND YOUR TRIP NORTH
From Wallaman Falls continue north and spend the night at Mission Beach (2.5 hour drive) or Paronella Park (2.5 – 3 hour drive).
DAY ONE: Paronella Park to Atherton Tablelands
Paronella Park: Everyone has a dream but not everyone’s dreams a fulfilled. Jose Paronella’s dream was to build a castle. He chose a special part of Australia and created Paronella Park. On 5 hectares beside Mena Creek Falls he build his castle. Paronella Park has received multiple Queensland tourism awards, is State and National Heritage listed and is a National Trust listed property.
Atherton Tablelands is home to breathtaking waterfalls, scenic vistas, impressive lakes, and lush rainforest. A visit to this region promises to be one of great contrast, beauty and exploration.
To explore Atherton Tablelands tourist attractions and operators, please view the link here.
DAY TWO: Atherton Tablelands to Cairns
Descend to Cairns via Kuranda, the village in the rainforest.