Think Tropical North Queensland is all reef beds and beaches? See another side of the Sunshine State with a car hire in Townsville. Just in time for the city’s 150th anniversary, our guide to Townsville’s most exceptional heritage sites will take you on a journey through time, from the Anzac Memorial Park and the iconic Castle Hill to the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics of Queensland.
Standing guard over Townsville’s CBD at a staggering 286 metres above sea level, Castle Hill is undoubtedly the city’s centrepiece – but it’s not just the view from the ground up that makes this monolith impressive. Take the Goat Track to reach the top of the mountain and you’ll soon be rewarded with uninterrupted panoramas from the city to the sea, stretching to Magnetic Island, Cleveland Bay and beyond.
The Townsville Brewery
One of the only post offices in Australia where you can settle in for a pint, this postal-hub-turned-brewpub combines modern craft brewing with Townsville’s rich history. Housed in the heritage-listed Townsville Post Office, this centuries-old institution offers the perfect opportunity to refuel after tackling the climb to the top of Castle Hill, with award-winning lagers, pale ales and wit biers all brewed on-site.
Fancy a bit of local fare with your brew? Take your pick from the Brewery’s two restaurants, which serve up everything from traditional pub classics to a-la-carte cuisine.
Wet Tropics of Queensland
Stretching from Townsville to the tip of the Tropical North, the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics of Queensland covers nearly 9,000 square kilometres of primitive rainforests, with plenty of notable sites located mere moments from the CBD. Explore the ancient landscapes first-hand at Paluma Range National Park, where a collection of waterholes beckon for an afternoon swim, or make the 110-kilometre trek to Girringun National Park, where Australia’s tallest single-drop waterfall resides amidst prehistoric remnants of volcanic rock.
Rather get your fill of flora and fauna without leaving the city limits? Opt for an afternoon exploring The Strand, where the heritage-listed Anzac Memorial Park and Tobruk Memorial Baths fringe the city’s scenic oceanfront. Amble amidst the park’s monuments and perfectly landscaped plant life, or simply swap the swimming holes of the Wet Tropics for a dip in the Olympic-sized swimming pool, where Australia’s sporting elite has trained since 1950.
Another significant heritage precinct flanked by the stunning backdrop of the Coral Sea, this newly-redeveloped public area pays tribute to the city’s diverse military and aboriginal history with indigenous gardens, specially-commissioned art works and coastal walking trails. Scale the boardwalks to reach one of the breathtaking lookouts or explore the historic Kissing Point Fort – a 19th century military bunker built as a defence against Russian soldiers.
Townsville Heritage Centre
The quintessential destination to see Townsville’s multitude of narratives converge, this collection of historic buildings offers a glimpse into the lives of locals as far back as the 1800s. Take a guided tour of the Worker’s Dwelling – an authentic worker’s cottage built in 1884 – or discover the lifestyle of the wealthy elite at ‘Currajong’ – a villa-style residence outfitted with antique furniture collections and artefacts from World War II.
Ready to take a step back in time? Pick up a car hire at Townsville Airport and see the city at your own pace.