Townsville is a port town in Australia which appeals to many people because of its relaxed atmosphere. One of its main attractions lies off the coast, Magnetic Island, which for a large part is a national park. In Townsville you can, however, also visit a few things, including a large tropical aquarium (Reef HQ) and the Museum of Tropical Queensland, which displays for example objects from a sunken British warship. There's also a long sandy beach near Townsville.
The city has approximately 165,000 inhabitants.
Townsville is located in the northeast of Australia, on the Pacific Ocean about 350 kilometers south of Cairns. The Ross River flows through the city and on its banks a large recreational park has been laid out. Thanks to a dam 30 kilometers upstream, the river also provides Townsville's drinking water.
Townsville's port plays an important role in the export of products from the hinterland: minerals, beef, wool, sugar and wood. Part of those minerals (zinc and copper) is processed in Townsville. The city also imports nickel from Indonesia, the Philippines and New Caledonia to convert into semifinished products. Tourism has grown in recent years. People appreciate the relatively (compared to for example the Gold Coast) quiet beaches.
Townsville Airport is situated 10 kilometers west of the center. There are only domestic connections with for example Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns. From the center, the airport is reachable by rental car via Saunders Street followed by Boundary Street and Woolcock Street. The way and exit to the airport are clearly signposted.
Townsville has good public transport. To highlight the amount of sunshine the city receives, the city's transport company is called The Sunbus. Additional buses are deployed during special events (including important Australian football matches). Rail connections are less frequent: The so-called Tilt Train of Queensland Rail runs three times a week to Cairns and Brisbane. The Sunlander calls at these same cities twice a week.
Townsville has a very orderly street pattern and, in general, it's not difficult to find a parking place for your rental car. You can also easily make trips to destinations in the surroundings. Townsville lies on the Bruce Highway (freeway A1) which runs to Cairns north of Townsville, and to Mackay and Brisbane south of town. Via this freeway, or via the new Ring Road, you can also reach the so-called Northern Beaches. Flinders Highway (A6) runs to Charters Towers and Mount Isa inland.
Townsville has a large choice of accommodations. Like in many Australian cities, there are spacious and good facilities for backpackers, but also people looking for midrange or luxurious hotels, can find a suitable room. Besides in the town itself, there are many hotels, resorts and apartments on the Northern Beaches, as indicated by the name, north of Townsville. Here you can also find campsites and motor-home sites.
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