Looking for a laidback tropical lifestyle? Townsville’s year-round sunny skies are calling.
Sitting on the north-eastern coast of Australia, halfway between Mackay and Cairns, Townsville puts you in the perfect spot to enjoy a seaside lifestyle in the Sunshine State.
And if holding the Guinness World Record for being home to a Texas Longhorn steer with the longest horns in the world isn’t reason enough to get packing for Townsville, we don’t know what is.
(Just kidding. We do.)
We also know some of the less appealing parts of Townsville, so you can do your homework before making the move.
Living in Townsville: Pros and Cons
With plenty to see and do around the city and beyond, what’s not to love about charming Townsville? Well, a couple of things. But are they deal breakers? We’ll let you decide.
Pro: The weather is (mostly) beautiful
Townsville welcomes over 300 days of clear, sunny skies every year. If you’re chasing a true coastal lifestyle, this is one of the best spots in Queensland to plant your roots and lay out your towel.
Con: The wet season can be a bit of a bummer
While you can expect some pretty amazing weather throughout most of the year, Townsville’s wet season can bring some intense downpours and winds. North Queensland in general can be more prone to thunderstorms, monsoonal rains, and even cyclones. So while you can enjoy year-round warm weather in Townsville, you should also expect some serious weather warnings on occasion.
Pro: It’s just minutes from beautiful beaches
If it’s sand between your toes you’re after, Townsville’s nearby beaches won’t disappoint. These are some of our favourite places to take a dip:
- The Strand – 6 mins drive from CBD
- Rowes Bay – 8 mins drive from CBD
- Bushland Beach – 25 mins drive from CBD
- Saunders Beach – 32 mins drive from CBD
- Magnetic Island – 20 mins ferry ride from the Breakwater ferry terminal in Townsville
Be sure to observe any crocodile warning signs before swimming.
Con: It can be tough to land a job
In 2015, Townsville was ranked the worst place to find a job in Australia, and it seems gaining employment is still as tricky as ever. Like any city, we recommend securing a position in Townsville before relocating there.
Pro: You’ll never run out of ideas for the weekend
Bored in Townsville? Never heard of it! There are plenty of great attractions and amazing daytrips on offer, perfect for singles, couples, and families. It’s close to Magnetic Island and the Great Barrier Reef, boasts an incredible aquarium brimming with sea life and a sea turtle hospital, and is chockful of buzzing cafés, bars, and restaurants along the trendy Strand esplanade.
Best Townsville Suburbs to Live In
Whether it’s a city lifestyle or a cruisy beachside way of life that appeals to you, there’s a suburb in Townsville to suit everyone.
Alice River – Western Suburb
Half an hour’s drive out of the CBD, Alice River is known as one of the most family-friendly suburbs in Townsville. It’s home to the large Willows Shopping Centre, putting all the essentials at your doorstep. Alice River also boasts plenty of restaurants, leafy parks, cinemas, a bowling alley, and more. And for all you footy fans, it’s also just minutes from the Willows Sports Complex, home to the North Queensland Cowboys. This quiet suburb offers large blocks of land, making it great for families looking for a generous backyard.
Mount Low – Northern Suburb
Another family-friendly suburb with a mixture of acreage and large blocks of land, Mount Low is just 20 minutes from the CBD, and puts you close to the beach for weekend swims. Here you’ll find public and private schools for both primary and secondary students, along with all the necessities like grocery stores and chemists.
Annandale – Inner Suburb
For all you city slickers craving to be close to the action without losing that laidback feel, Annandale is the perfect option. Annandale is great for shopping and offers plenty of schools for the kids. It’s also home to parklands, walkways, and bikeways, ideal for you outdoorsy types.
Townsville’s Dining Scene
Hungry? You’re sure to find something tasty in Townsville. With a booming dining scene that’s only getting bigger, there have never been more delicious dishes to choose from in Townsville’s dining precincts.
Whether breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or anything in between, Palmer Street has award-winning restaurants ready to satisfy your tastebuds. From Indian to Italian, French to Mexican, this dining precinct is a melting pot of tasty cuisines – or you can enjoy some fresh local seafood or grab a juicy steak. Palmer Street is what foodie dreams are made of.
Fancy a meal with a seaside view? The Strand will leave you spoiled for choice with its endless offering of cafés, restaurants, and bars. Whether it’s a Thai curry you crave or you’re in the mood for authentic Italian pizza, The Strand is serving up some of the tastiest food in the city, topped with beautiful ocean views. It also offers some beautiful spots to set up a picnic with your takeaway.
Culture in Townsville
There’s more to do in Townsville than relax on the beach, wander through rainforests, or wine and dine. With a thriving arts and culture scene, there are ample opportunities to enjoy live music and performances in Townsville.
Townsville Civic Theatre
North Queensland’s premier cultural venue, the Townsville Civic Theatre hosts performances in dance, comedy, drama, opera, music, and more. With programs to suit all ages, this is the perfect place to get your culture fix and enjoy works from local and international artists. The venue also houses a bar, so you can enjoy a drink or two before or after the show.
Riverway Arts Centre
Hosting live performances in a relaxed natural setting, the Riverway Arts Centre offers a unique way to catch a show with friends and family. This scenic outdoor entertainment venue has an exciting program ranging from film festivals to musicals.
Museum of Tropical Queensland
With changing exhibitions, events, and activities to experience, the Museum of Tropical Queensland is a popular spot to visit for some weekend entertainment – if not just to escape the heat for some air-conditioning. Learn the history of the people and environment of Townsville, including one of the most significant collections of diving heritage in Australia. The kids will love the Enchanted Rainforest exhibit, where they can enjoy interactive and educational activities.
While Townsville is known for its sunny skies, its rain patterns can be unpredictable during the wet season. Be prepared in Townville’s tropical savanna climate with these tips.
Hot and humid, summer in Townsville generally brings thunderstorms, monsoon winds, and bursts of monsoon rains that can continue into early April. Average temperatures in summer range from 24 to 31°C. Don’t forget your sunscreen, umbrella and mosquito repellent.
Autumn in Townsville sees average temperatures of around 18 – 28°C. This is the windiest time of the year, with average winds reaching over 16km/hr. Interestingly enough, the windiest day of the year is generally April 1st – so be sure to wear full briefs under your dress to avoid looking like an April fool!
Warm and mild, Townsville’s winters bring average temperatures of around 13 – 25°C. Nights can be chilly, so remember to take a jacket if you’re heading out.
Springtime in Townsville brings warmer weather, with average temperatures of around 17 – 30°C. The wet season occurs from November to April, bringing higher humidity toward the end of the season.
Getting Around Townsville
Townsville is easy to navigate and offers clean, modern public transport options to get you from A to B.
The Sunbus runs a regular service to popular spots in Townsville and owns and runs the Hermit Park Bus charter service to cater for occasions and events, such as football games.
Townsville Taxi services the entire Townsville region. You can book online or by calling 13 1008 or 13 TAXI (13 8294).
Take some stress out of your move to Townsville with these 10 tips.
Tags: City Guides