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Situated in the beautiful sun drenched locale of North Queensland, Townsville is a vibrant port which is famous for its laidback atmosphere, thrilling experiences and exquisite seafood. Wetlands, rainforest, coral reefs and the wilds of the outback are all just an hour or two away from this idyllic township, meaning an unforgettable excursion is always around the corner. Central Townsville is an intoxicating blend of classical 19th century buildings, and modern, spectacular structures such as a wealth of museums, a world-class aquarium, and its massive sporting stadiums. A recent renovation campaign means that Townsville has become even more of a vital metropolitan hub.
Townsville is not just defined by its city centre however. The splendid climate means that this unique port is blessed with an average of 320 days of sunshine a year, with absolutely minimal rainfall. With outstanding natural features such as the Ross River and the Hinchinbrook Island National Park soaking up all this sunshine, cruisers can be sure that the thrills of the city are not the only things to explore.
Reef HQ Aquarium
This incredible aquarium fits in with the township's unique, quirky aesthetic amazingly well. Completely devoid of the typical tourist magnet atmosphere, visiting this staple of Townsville's culture makes for an informative, entertaining, and thrilling day out. The centrepiece of the vivid sights on offer include a living reef enclosed within a tank which is home to 120 multi-hued fish species, a shark tank containing a shipwreck dating back to 1911, and an Imax theatre containing a towering 18m screen.
For an exciting look at Australian wildlife, make sure to visit this eco-certified wildlife park. Just 11 miles away from Townsville centre, this amazing animal sanctuary offers up close and personal viewings of everything from dingoes and koalas, to colourful cassowaries and crocodiles. Feeding, shows and talks are set up every half-hour, giving visitors an eye-opening look at the local wildlife. With 11 hectares worth of enclosures, rainforest sanctuaries and observation decks to explore don't be surprised if this amazing wildlife park takes up hours of your time with its unique sights and sounds.
Museum of Tropical Queensland
With a wealth of interactive displays, unique exhibits, and kid-friendly activities, this sprawling museum is a perfect place to while away an afternoon. Detailed models populate exhibits that cover the entire history of Queensland, from the prehistoric reign of the dinosaurs to the current efforts to conserve the splendour of the Great Barrier Reef and the lush rainforests upon the island shores. The attractions are too numerous to list fully here, but the Mind Zone Science Centre.
For curios, crafts and knick-knacks that are sure to astonish even the most hardened cruiser, head to the Strand Night Market, which features vendors from all over the region. For a more intimate atmosphere, head to the Mary Who Bookshop, which has a huge selection of rare travel books and classics.
Townsville, like much of Australia, possesses a superb pedigree of exquisite seafood. A Touch of Salt serves up delectable dishes featuring crab, crayfish, mussels and shrimp, all garnished with gourmet seasoning, as well as specials of melt-in-your-mouth lamb shanks and cheese soufflé. Make sure to sample from the extensive wine list, as well as enjoy the exceptional service.
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