We arrived in Townsville QLD on the 14th of July 2022. We drove from Newcastle NSW and it took us 24 hours. If you are interested in learning about that long trek, you can find it here.
Our stay was 3 nights from the 14th of July 2022 to the 17th of July 2022. We hadn’t booked or planned anything other than visiting Magnetic Island on the 15th of July.
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Stay In Townsville
When we are travelling we like to vary our accommodations. We to try find unique accommodations when we can. In Townsville, we booked an Airbnb for our time here and I really think we found a unique stay. We booked the Church House – Townsville home with a twist
The location worked for us as we had a car, but if you didn’t have a car, it wasn’t really within walking distance of The Strand. We were really happy to have our car so that we could easily see all the places we wanted to.
What we loved
The church was well laid out with two bathrooms and two bedrooms, you could comfortably have two couples staying here. One of the bedrooms is in the loft and the main bathroom is at the opposite end of the church.
The living area had a large dining table and a really comfortable couch with a really cool TV. I think the TV’s that look like art work really work in spaces like this, as you can have a large TV but it doesn’t feel like it dominates the space.
This place had TWO BATHS!!!!!!! There was one in the main bedroom, right in the middle of the room. It was a cool, very deep round bath. While it had MASSIVE wow factor, it actually wasn’t that comfortable to lay back and relax in.
We ended up choosing to use the bath in the main bathroom. It was a large concrete free-standing bath and we personally found it a lot more relaxing.
We were really impressed with the kitchen. It had a nice large fridge, awesome oven, and stovetop.
The kitchen was well stocked with plenty of plates and utensils to accommodate at least four people. I get really annoyed at AirbnB’s when the kitchen has two or four of everything you and need to wash up every two seconds. The kitchen also had a large island bench. We did cook a few meals here and were impressed with all of the kitchen amenities.
We absolutely LOVED the uniqueness of the church. It had some really nice touches and homages to the church heritage of the place. There were some cute angel figurines, crosses hanging on the wall, and really amazing church windows.
Every aspect of this Airbnb has been well thought out and that is what really adds to the uniqueness. We both were really impressed with this accommodation and would highly recommend it to anyone travelling to Townsville with a car. It would also be perfect for locals looking for special accommodation for a staycation.
Eat in Townsville
We actually found we didn’t eat out that much while we were in Townsville. We had excellent kitchen facilities in the Airbnb and we decided to buy a few things and mostly eat in. We brought some yogurt and snacks with us and on the day we arrived we headed to Otto’s Market to grab some supplies. We had a Woolworths nearby where we also grabbed some supplies.
One of our favorite things to do in a new place is finding a market or an independent supermarket with some different options. Erika did some research during our long drive to Townsville and found Otto’s Market. We immediately knew this was our kind of place. Lots of cheeses, deli meats, and ready-made options. We bought a pumpkin and spinach quiche and a potato bake and had these for a few different meals. The quiche was quite big but we actually quite enjoyed having it for breakfasts. It was really easy to heat up in the oven and we just cut a couple of pieces and popped them on a tray. It took about 20 minutes to heat up and made breakfasts really easy each day.
As mentioned above, we really love finding local farmer’s markets when we travel. We found that Cotter’s Markets were on every Sunday in Flinders St. It closes off part of the street and has food and local craft stalls.
We really enjoyed strolling around these markets. One of the things we really loved about this market was the atmosphere. It was really relaxed and nicley spread out. It didn’t feel like everyone was on top of each other or getting frustrated. There was a bit of a wait for the coffee cart, but noone was getting frustrated or annoyed. I think this is reflective of the feel of the whole city. It’s definitely a much more laid back place, which is really nice.
We ordered a couple of bacon and egg rolls from Wagtails food truck and we were really impressed. All of the food they were making looked really good. They had a few different bagels and the B&E rolls. If you find yourself in Townsville on a Sunday definitely head to the markets and try one of their sandwiches.
After the park run on Saturday, we headed to Baker D North for a coffee and some breakfast. We ordered the ham and cheese croissants. These were sooooo good. We absolutely love a ham and cheese croissant that uses a bechamel sauce with the ham and cheese and this one did not disappoint.
Erika also really enjoyed the iced latte from here. It was located in Cranbrook and was about 10-minute drive away from Riverway. If you are staying in the main part of Townsville you will definitely need a car to get there. It is well worth it though. If you are looking for an authentic french bakery in Townsville, this is it.
Play in Townsville
The main thing we had planned for Townsville was visiting Magnetic Island. It’s the only thing aside from accommodation that we had pre booked. We had booked a car a few weeks before we left Newcastle and Erika and I hadn’t been there before.
We headed to Magnetic Island on the 15th of JUly 2022. We caught the ferry over on a $36 return ticket on Sealink. We just bought the tickets when we arrived at the port. We also paid about $10 to park the car at the port. The ferry took about 25-30 mins and was really easy and comfortable.
From the ferry terminal, we had about a 1km walk to M.I rentals where we picked up our hot pink jeep wrangler. The roof was down and we opted to keep it that way. We are so glad we chose the jeep. It was fun to drive and you really need a car to get around.
Once we collected the car and Erika had grabbed a coffee, we headed off to do the Forts walk. This was a 4km walk through bushland with the chance to see koalas. We were REALLY lucky to see a koala sleeping on a really low branch quite early on in the walk. This made us really happy. We also saw a little rock wallaby on this walk too. It is highly recommended to have the Forts walk on your list of must do’s while on Magnetic Island.
After our walk, we headed to Horseshoe Bay for a quick swim and some fish and chips for lunch. It was really lovely sitting in the sun and enjoying the views of the beach. The water was pretty fresh, but we both did get in.
We also headed to Geoffrey’s Bay to see the rock wallabies. We even found one with a little joey. Then, we spent some time in Nelly Bay, near the ferry terminal checking it out.
All in all, Magnetic Island really lived up to our expectations and even exceeded it. We loved our day on Magenetic Island. After the drive to Townsville and the next day being on Magnetic Island, we definitely needed a quieter day after that.
Castle Hill Lookout
On Saturday afternoon we headed up to the Castle Hill lookout for sunset. We were really shocked by the amount of people walking and running up to the top for their exercise. There was a lot of exercisers on the road on the way up. It definitely shocked us, given it seemed to be 2km straight up and they were all walking on the road.
This lookout was a great place to see a beautiful sunset. On the day we went it was pretty cloudy and overcast so we didn’t get much sun on our sunset. We would recommend taking a jumper as it did get a little cooler and windier up there.
There wasn’t much parking at the actual lookout and we had to park in the overflow car park which was about 100m back down the hill.
We would recommend getting up to the Castle Hill lookout for one of the sunsets of your visit to Townsville.
On Saturday morning we headed to the Riverway parkrun. I really enjoyed this parkrun. It was a 5km loop, which I really like. The others I had done are an out and back style and it can get congested in parts. I also enjoyed the scenery. We ran along the Ross River and it was very picturesque.
Even if you are not interested in Park run, I would recommend heading down to Riverway and enjoying the beautiful parklands. You could even pack up a picnic of things from Ottos Market.
We headed down to The Strand a few times during our Townsville stay. We really enjoy walking by the water, so we walked along The Strand a few times. We also headed down on Saturday night for dinner. Unfortunately, the place we wanted to go for dinner had over an hour wait for a table, so we just grabbed a quick Greek dinner and strolled along The Strand on a balmy evening.
We came across a very large drum circle. It seemed to have nearly 100 drummers all drumming along with the leader. It had such a wonderful atmosphere.
You will definitely want to head down to The Strand at least once during your trip. There are lots of restaurants, pubs, and cafes, as well as that amazing view of Magnetic Island.
Let us know in the comments below your favourite places to eat and things to do in Townsville!