Having left the Burdekin Region and Bowen, I continued north on my road trip up the Queensland coast. It was day 7 when I arrived in Townsville. Townsville is the fourth biggest city in Queensland behind Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast with a population of something like 170,000 as at 2012.
I arrived just as it was getting dark on the Saturday evening, so didn’t get to have a look around until the Sunday morning. For the first time on this road trip since I’d left though, grey clouds were gathering. Ross Creek was not looking at its best…
Townsville, as it says in my post Sunny Days: England Versus Australia Compared, gets 3139 sunny hours per year, second only to Perth in the Australian cities on my list. So please don’t think Townsville is always this dull, it really isn’t.
One of Townsville’s most popular attractions is The Strand…
The Strand is a lively beachfront promenade walk overlooking the ocean and Magnetic Island. It has a lagoon, a park, a pier, restaurants and at the southern end takes you past Townsville Sailing Club and towards Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre.
Let’s take stroll along The Strand…
The Strand took a bit of a bashing in 1998 from Tropical Cyclone Sid, so had a bit of work done before reopening in 1999. Then Cyclone Tessi crossed the coast about 75 kilometres to the northwest of Townsville in April 2000, but not much damage was done on that occasion.
Yes, by the time you get to Townsville you are very much in the cyclone zone.
Townsville was established in 1865 and as you can see from some of the buildings, it has quite a bit of history. If you like old historic pubs, Townsville is the place for you…
Sunday morning was a different story though, the town centre was very quiet indeed…
What’s Townsville really like?
Anyone who has been following my road trip will know by now that I don’t judge the places I have passed through on this adventure, how could I? One or two days is nowhere near long enough to understand what it would really be like to live in any of these places.
I do know though that there is a fierce rivalry between Townsville and Cairns in North Queensland, I’ve had many comments about it, mostly on my page about Queensland.
For those who want to know what Townsville is like from people who have actually lived there, I have reproduced a couple of comments here from that page.
The first is from Chris, originally posted July 20, 2015:
Townsville and Cairns are both very liveable cities with good infrastructure, culture, a wide variety of restaurants, clubs, cinemas , museums, art gallery etc. Both their airports are significant regional hubs, and Cairns airport is international.
Educationally both cities boast excellent school, university and adult education facilities. The job prospects aren’t brilliant at the moment but I think that’s a state situation. Both cities are hot and humid in the wet season (Cairns more than Townsville) and glorious for about 8 months of the year otherwise. I’ve lived in Townsville for 10 years, my son lived on Cairns for 6 years. Both are great places to live and work- take your pick.
And Bob- youv’e been threatening to come North for some time! Give it a go- you won’t be disappointed!
No, I wasn’t disappointed.
And this one is from Steve, posted September 17, 2011:
“Hi Bob, you did ask me to comment on Townsville and being a verbose sort of fellow, I thought I’d share with you my observations up until now.
There is a fierce rivalry between Cairns and Townsville and it does seem odd to be playing for the opposition now. Cairns has an unfair advantage in it’s location being in the ‘wet’ tropics surrounded as it is by mountains covered in rainforest.
Townsville has mountains too but being in the ‘dry’ tropics, they look as if they have been napalmed in comparison. On the waterfront front (I was going to change that but I like the syntax, however wrong), Townsville wins there with the Strand – 2.2 kms of beach and a river compared to Cairns mudflats at low tide. I have to add however, that the beaches only 10 – 15kms north of Cairns are some of the best in Australia.
Geography aside, there is little to differentiate between the two – population and cost of living is almost identical but Cairns is a ‘holiday’ city and my best description of Townsville is a ‘functional’ city (the corollary of that being that Cairns is ‘dysfunctional’ -some of the tourism operators there may agree at present with the Aussie dollar being so strong it’s putting them out of business).
Will I stay in Townsville?
I have no choice, I signed up for a two bedroom, fully tiled and airconditioned unit with seperate remote controlled garage on Friday – cost? $199,000 – for that price, I’d live in Wittenoom in NW W.A. and play amongst the asbestos but luckily, I don’t have to . Townsville rocks!”
That definitely sounds like a thumbs up for Townsville.