Townsville was such a surprisingly beautiful city. With Magnetic Island so close its a place we would definitely come back to visit and stay awhile. Having stayed on Magnetic Island a few years ago, we didn’t visit this trip, instead we stayed at Rowes Bay Caravan Park right on the beach with a magnificent view of Magnetic Island across the water. They dont take bookings except for their units, and they encourage people to keep extending for as long as they like. This worked well for us as we kept busy exploring Townsville and visiting a physio for Tim’s shoulder injury.
The esplanade and strand along the beach front has been developed into a draw card for locals and tourist alike. It is fantastic, dotted with sculptures and artwork, grassy areas, picnic areas, free BBQs, play equipment, exercise equipment, basket ball rings, beach volley ball courts and balls, coffee shops, twilight markets, everything imaginable to draw people to the area. Lots of dog walking, pram pushing, jogging, roller blading, cycling. Such a wonderful atmosphere. Two sections of the beach have stinger nets and are lit with spot lights for night swimming. We rode our bikes along the bike path from Rowes Beach, through the town, out past the harbour to Jupiters Casino (not that we went in side).
The Rock Pool is a man made, free to enter and patrolled by Surf Life Savers. It’s the size of ten olympic swimming pools and sea water is pumped into the pool 24 hours a day through a filter that stops stingers and marine life. The entire volume of water is replaced every three hours. A great place to cool off.
On the site of the old Jezzine Barracks and Kissing Point Fort, which were handed over in 2009 from the Military to the Council, are now gardens and walkways with Magnetic Island and the sea as its back drop.
The Heritage area includes an Ethno-Botanical garden depicting the history of the local aboriginal people with sculptures and art work by local aboriginal artists inspired by traditional aboriginal elders stories.
We found this little thing on the path, it pulled itself along with its head at quite a pace. Not sure what it is.
Other spaces depict early settlers in Townsville. Kissing Point Fort tells its own history, built in 1891 to defend against Russian invasion, its most recent military involvement was during WW2, in particular the battle of the Coral Sea. The artwork and sculptures of the bombing of Townsville in WW2 are embedded in the pathways, so well done. Townsville still has a military base, Chinooks often flew over head and various other military aircraft.
Behind Kissing Point Fort are the old Jezzine Barracks, only a few of the buildings remain. One is used for art classes, one as an art gallery selling local artists work. The largest is now the Military Museum. If you visit, take a few hours, it is only small but is packed with information. The people at the front desk are very happy to help anyone access information about family who served in any of the wars, this was of particular interest to me as my dad has served in WW2 in the Pacific, France and the Middle East.
ANZAC Park and Boat Harbour.
The town of Townsville is nestled around the base of Castle Hill. Again with Military history, this is now a fabulous look out with walking tracks so you can see the full 360o views of Townsville with the coast line and Magnetic Island to the North East, and the Great Dividing Range to the South West.
This is the scenery as we headed out of Townsville toward our next stop at Broadwater Camp Ground, in Abergowrie State Forest.
Take care, until next time. Helen and Tim