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How To Spend 48 Hours In Townsville

The capital of Tropical North Queensland is known for its stunning views of Magnetic Island. But Townsville is way more than that. It’s home to a vibrant food scene, year-round sunny skies and heaps of attractions.

Whether you’re looking to cuddle a koala, go on a mini-hike, lounge in the sun at the rock pool or learn about all the creatures of the Great Barrier Reef, Townsville has got you covered. Pack the bathers and the sunscreen because we made an epic guide to 48 hours in Townsville.

Arrival in Townsville

 

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Jump off the plane at Townsville Airport and throw on the sunnies. Vacation mode: On. It’s an easy 10-minute drive from the airport to CBD and it shouldn’t cost you more than $17 with Uber. Townsville has the luxury of being a walkable city, so you don’t need to worry about renting a car. Plus, you can always Uber within the CBD and Strand area for about $8.

As for accommodation, we recommend looking into Rambutan. It’s walking distance to the city’s best restaurants, wild nightlife and scenic beaches. It offers dorms, hotel rooms or self-contained villas, according to your budget. The best part? Rambutan hosts a rooftop pool and bar, making it the perfect place to unwind.

 

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It’s gonna be a good weekend.

Day 1 in Townsville

Morning

 

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Wake up to that bright and shining Queensland sun and start your morning with a walk up Castle Hill (bonus points if you go before sunrise). The awkwardly tall, orange rock sits in the centre of the city and there are 15 routes to the top.

Head for the popular Cudtheringa track at the bottom of Castle Hill Road, across from the carpark. It’s a 1.1km one-way, playful route to the top that’s a great heart-pumping workout with views over Magnetic Island. Snap a pic at the top and say “good morning” to the city of Townsville.

Work up an appetite? Refuel at Betty Blue and the Lemon Tart and order the waffles. They’re gigantic and usually come with a heaping scoop of ice cream. Yum.

Afternoon

 

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Kick back and soak up the North Queensland sun at The Ville’s brand new Splash Bar. It’s like one of those fancy Miami beach clubs with an Australian flare. You’ll find lush cabanas, an enormous pool and a swim-up bar, all with a beautiful view of Magnetic Island. Snag a pool day pass for $55 or turn it up a notch by renting a poolside cabana for $295.

When you’re feeling peckish, walk upstairs to Quarterdeck and dig into one of their quirky and savoury pizzas. Our favourite? The Duck, Duck, Fig.

Night

 

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Take a quick siesta, then dress in your best to show off that fresh, glowing tan. Begin the night at the Seaview Hotel for a mean feed, cheap beers, live music and local scene.

Keen to keep the party going? Head to Flinders Street and dance the night away at one of its many clubs such as Mad Cow, Heritage Exchange, or Flinder’s HQ. Each club offers different levels of fun depending on your mood. If you decide to stay at Rambutan, the walk home is only a few steps away. Score!

Day 2 in Townsville

Morning

 

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Shake off the previous night’s shenanigans and take walk along Flinders Street to discover the Cotter’s Market. It’s North Queensland’s largest arts and crafts market open from 8:30am to 1pm every Sunday. You’re sure to find a nifty souvenir here.

 

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Stumble into Born Wild for a classic Australian breakfast. Go all out with the Big Breaky By Kymbo — a plate filled with eggs, bacon, beans, beef sausage, spinach, mushrooms, tomato, hash brown and toast. What a feast!

Afternoon

 

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One of the great things about Townsville is its proximity to the Great Barrier reef — making it home to the Reef HQ Aquarium. For $28, get up close and personal to sharks, turtles and eels, and learn about the different types of wildlife that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef. It’s open from 9:30am to 5pm every day.

If you’re more of a land creature (and depending on if you have a car), take a 20-minute drive to Billabong Sanctuary to hold a koala, cuddle a wombat and feed a kangaroo. Seriously! Entry is $37 and it’s open from 9am to 5pm.

Afterward, take a stroll along the iconic Strand and grab a coffee and gelato at Juliette’s. Bring your camera because that view of Magnetic Island is stunning.

Night

 

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While you’re on the Strand, head to Longboard Bar and Grill to end the weekend with their epic Sunday Sesh. Live music starts at 4pm and the beers flow until 9:30pm. Be sure to go all out and order a kilo of their signature Buffalo wings for $30. Yes, a kilo. Yes, for real. While you devour the wings, watch as the sun sets on a crazy 48 hours in Townsville.

Come back another time to visit Magnetic Island.

(Lead image: Visit Townsville, Australia / Facebook)