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Located on Queensland’s Tropical North Coast, Townsville enjoys a relaxed ambience and is surrounded by national parks, rainforests and fertile agricultural land.
Cape Cleveland, Cleveland Bay and Magnetic Island were all named by Captain James Cook when he sailed past in 1770, on his way to near calamity just off Cooktown. Townsville was named after Robert Towns, an entrepreneur and mariner who, along with John Melton Black, established a rendering works to service their extensive cattle and sheep stations that then turned into a small settlement. The town grew steadily, but it was the arrival of Australian and United States military personnel during the Second World War in the 1940s that really provided the momentum for Townsville to grow even more rapidly and become North Queensland’s largest and most important commercial and administrative centre.
217,897 (2011 census)
Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port
Our handpicked Shore Tours are a must for any guest.
You can see an excellent representation of the region’s ecology at Townsville’s Palmetum or the botanic gardens at Anderson Park. Closer to the city centre, Queens Gardens also has an excellent collection of tropical flora species. A visit to Townsville’s Reef HQ and the Museum of Tropical Queensland is another excellent way to become acquainted with the area’s unique natural environment and indigenous population.
There’s much to see and do in Townsville, with its museums, the world’s largest coral reef aquarium and fascinating, compact downtown area. If architecture is your thing, some fine 19th century buildings are located along Flinders Street East. There are also a number of urban heritage trails in the city that will give you a vivid insight into Townsville’s past.
A walk along The Strand, which skirts the foreshore of Cleveland Bay is well worthwhile. To cool off, take a dip in The Strand’s beach or rockpool, or simply sit back and relax in a waterfront cafe.
Beautiful Magnetic Island is just offshore from Townsville. To get there you can take a ferry, or join our “Sail Magnetic Island” tour. Spend the day relaxing on one of the secluded bays or beaches, discover one of the excellent walking tracks or visit the historic World War II forts.
Your ship will dock alongside the wharf at Suter Pier in Townsville port. It is an approximate 10-minute drive from the pier to the centre of town.
Taxis are available pier-side and throughout the city. It is an approximate 10-minute drive from the pier to the centre of town.
Townsville has a superb range of restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes featuring the latest fusions of Australian, Asian and international cuisine. Since Townsville is a port city, you can’t really go past the local seafood. There are plenty of eateries right on the waterfront, especially along The Strand.
Quarantine authorities do not generally allow food such as fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products and sandwiches to be taken off the ship however commercially packaged confectionery, chips and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection.
Townsville is one of Queensland’s major centres of indigenous art, so it’s a great place to hunt out the very best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts. Don’t forget, Townsville is also North Queensland’s major commercial centre, so just about anything you’d care to buy is available here. Fancy some traditional Aussie outback gear? Townsville is where jackaroos and jillaroos from hundreds of kilometres away come to do their important shopping.
Townsville’s climate is tropical. The weather is warm and sunny pretty much year-round. However, in summer it is particularly hot and humid. Fortunately, regular rain showers help to cool things down. In the higher terrain it can be a little cooler, and there’s usually a sea breeze out on the reef and the islands. Make sure you stay hydrated and sheltered from the sun.
Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted. Automatic teller machines can provide currency to foreign card holders.
Public telephones are available at the pier and throughout the city. Mobile coverage is generally available.
To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please wear comfortable flat soled shoes, lightweight clothing and a hat. You are also advised to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, an umbrella or waterproof jacket and bottled water. Don’t forget your swimming gear! Snorkelling equipment is available for hire or purchase onboard the ship.
There are a range of tours available for you to really get the most out of your time in Townsville. Tours can be booked onboard at the shore tours desk and are subject to availability. Passengers are required to meet at a specific location for each shore tour departure. Please refer to your tour ticket for the correct time and place.
Coral is an extremely precious marine organism. In an effort to preserve its natural beauty and habitat please avoid touching it in all circumstances. During your time ashore we also ask that you dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.