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Townsville's Islands and Outback

A sub-tropical destination with easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, rainforests and nearby islands, Townsville offers plenty of variety and unique experiences.


 

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Three-day itinerary
  • Discover Charters Towers, Magnetic Island and the Paluma Range
  • Townsville Airport is a 10-minute drive from the city centre

 

DAY 1: WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES AND OUTBACK ADVENTURES

The World Theatre,
Charters Towers, QLD

Morning
From Townsville, drive 15 minutes south to the Billabong Sanctuary, where you’ll enjoy breakfast and have your photo snapped while holding a koala, python or baby crocodile. Next, a helicopter will take you to Leahton Park near the historic gold-rush town of Charters Towers, where you’ll take a horse-drawn wagon ride through the rugged landscape to view magnificent Texas Longhorn cattle, wild kangaroos and an abundance of Australian birdlife. 

Afternoon
Feast on a traditional outback lunch in the countryside before returning to base on a fleet of quad bikes. Then, it’s a 20-minute trip by road to Charters Towers, where you can try your hand at panning for gold before returning to Townsville for the evening.

Evening
Enjoy pre-dinner drinks at JAM overlooking the Ross River before a degustation dinner for 18 people in the private dining room, featuring local produce and presentations from the head chef. 

 

DAY 2: EXPLORE THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

Magnetic Island,
Coral Sea, QLD

Morning
After breakfast at your hotel, take a catamaran to Magnetic Island. Just 25 minutes off the coast of Townsville and only 52 square kilometres in size, this island lies within the waters of the World Heritage–listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It is home to 23 beaches and bays, and more than 5,000 hectares of National Park filled with koalas, possums and rock wallabies. Follow one of the walking trails through the bushland, then share a casual lunch overlooking the beach at Horseshoe Bay.  

Afternoon
Spend the afternoon enjoying the island’s many activities, ranging from relaxing to heart-racing. You can speed across the idyllic waters of Horseshoe Bay on jet skis; tour the island’s rocky terrain by rally car; relax on one of the many beaches; snorkel on the stunning Great Barrier Reef; or dive the SS Yongala shipwreck, one of the most renowned shipwreck dive sites in the world.

Evening
Take a catamaran back to Townsville for pre-dinner drinks at Mecure Townsville with views of Lake Curralea. Accommodating 250 people for a cocktail function and 70 seated, this room features floor to ceiling plantation bi-fold doors that open up onto the resort.

DAY 3: JOIN A HIDDEN VALLEY SAFARI

Jourama Falls, Paluma Range National Park, Ingham, QLD

Morning
After checking out of your hotel, head an hour’s drive north to the lush, ancient rainforest of the Paluma Range National Park. As the southern gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, the range is home to the Jourama Falls and Mount Spec. Follow the walking trail to McClelland’s Lookout for views of the rainforest and surrounding mountains.  

Afternoon
Continue by road to Hidden Valley Cabins on the western edge of the national park. This award-winning eco-resort runs entirely on solar power and can accommodate up to 20 people in rustic cabins. Enjoy a barbecue lunch at the camp kitchen before joining a Hidden Valley Safari to spy shy platypus as they feed and frolic in the fresh mountain water. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool, or spotting some of the 130-bird species that call this region home. 

Evening
Retire to the Hidden Valley Restaurant for a three-course dinner of flame-grilled meat and other local produce; the restaurant’s signature rump steak is cooked over open flames right in front of your table. After dinner, soak up the sights and sounds of the Australian bush before an optional night safari, where you’ll be able to spot rare nocturnal gliders, possums, wallabies and birds.