Situated on the tropical north coast of Queensland, Townsville is the perfect destination for your next holiday. With the paradise of Magnetic Island right on the doorstep, Townsville is the ideal place for an adventure with friends or an escape for the family.


Boasting 300 days of sunshine a year, national and international events, award winning restaurants and attractions, National Parks and the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, it’s not hard to see why people are attracted to Townsville.

Townsville's History

The first European contact in the area now known as Townsville occurred in 1819 when Allan Cunningham, aboard the survey vessel Mermaid, landed at Cape Cleveland. A further 45 years elapsed before John Melton Black and Robert Towns, after whom the city was named, founded Townsville in November 1864.


Originally, Townsville was a slowly developing seaport serving pastoralists in the hinterland. The discovery of gold in North Queensland in 1867 saw the city develop rapidly and by 1880 it was the port for five major goldfields and the main supply centre of Northern Australia.


Later it became the centre for rich sugar growing districts to the north and south. Today, Townsville is a flourishing modern city and the administrative centre of North Queensland, but still preserves a rich heritage from its golden past.


Visitors can uncover the history of the area by taking part in the Heritage Walking Trails throughout the city.


Trail 1 - Civic Pride

Retrace the growth of Townsville’s CBD, particularly the westward movement, with the expansion of insurance, commercial and banking institutions.  Marvel at the grand qualities of the buildings and how they contributed to Townsville’s emergence as the north’s administrative centre.


Trail 2 - Early Townsville

Trace the 1880s transformation of the original ‘heart of the city’ and port related Flinders Street East. The evolution of single storey timber structures to one and two storey masonry buildings reflects the development of the city’s character in the fabric and function of these buildings.  Visit Reef HQ Aquarium, Cultural Centre and the Museum of Tropical Queensland along the way.


Trail 3 - South Townsville and Port

South Townsville was a hub for industry with many male residents in the suburb employed at the Port and in associated industries.  Reminisce about the early social make-up of the suburb through the architecture and get a snapshot of the daily social interaction between wharfies, seamen, meatworkers and railway workers at one of the many historic pubs in the area.


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