Townsville & Magnetic Island, Queensland

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Australia, Oceania, Travel | 0 comments

Townsville & Magnetic Island, Queensland

In the Australian winter it’s common for people to head to north Queensland for some sunshine and warm weather, previously I’ve done so and gone to the resort town of Port Douglas.

Unfortunately Townsville was experiencing some unseasonably cold and rainy weather, which meant our boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef was cancelled, but we still had a great time exploring somewhere new.

We stayed in a lovely 2 bedroom apartment located across from the ferry terminal and an easy walk into town.


Where to Eat / Drink

Cbar on The Strand has a lovely deck over the water, a great setting to enjoy a nice meal and a bottle of wine.  Stick with the fish and you can’t go wrong, the Asian offerings are not as good.

The Brewery is located in what was the original Post Office Building on Flinders Street, and has been transformed into a micro-brewery pub and restaurant.  Eat at their restaurant Malt rather than the bar food, they can get busy so make a reservation.  A nice historical setting, good food and reasonably priced drinks make this a must do.

For brunch head to Jam Corner, literally on the corner of Palmer Street.  Offering a unique twist on classic dishes like eggs bennedict, the flavours are excellent and service is good.

We also tried MJ&Co, however their poached egg was cooked through and there was nothing special about it.  Across from MJ&CO is Coffee Dominion who specialise in ethically sourced coffee, a great place to get your caffeine fix and feel good about it.

A hidden spot for a nice brew is at Hoi Polloi, a small hole in the wall down a Melbourne style graffiti filled alley.


Coffee at Hoi Polloi

Coffee at Hoi Polloi


What To Do

Visit the Perc Tucker Gallery on Flinders Street with free admission and changing exhibitions of local artists.

On Sundays wander through the Flinders Street markets, the street becomes pedestrian only and many vendors set up stalls selling produce, jewellery, crafts and more.

The Queens Gardens offer a tranquil spot to take a stroll or sit for a while.

Follow the Strand to the Jezzine Barracks, and cool off afterwards with a dip at the nearby rockpool.


The Queens Gardens

The Queens Gardens


Outside of town

We hired a car for the day from Avis, and explored some nearby areas.

First up was Riverway where there are huge lagoon pools overlooking the river that would be a great place to bring the kids.  There’s also the Pinnacles gallery, however we were there on a Monday when the gallery is closed.

We drove to Hervey’s Range Heritage Tea Rooms for lunch, a gorgeous heritage property with a family run cafe.  The food is simple (think meat pies and quiches) and tasty, and the coffee is good.

To end the day we drove to the national park to visit Crystal Creek near Paluma where there is a waterfall that on a warmer day would be lovely to have a swim.


The heritage property at the Team Rooms

The heritage property at the Team Rooms


Crystal Creek

Crystal Creek


Magnetic Island

Our day on Magnetic Island was the highlight of the trip, and I would highly recommend staying on ‘Maggie’ as the locals call it.

We took the ferry which is about 20 minutes, there are two ferry operators we used Sealink who offer a ferry and bus ticket for $35, you can use the bus to get around the island.

Horseshoe Bay is a sweeping bay with cute cafes, shops and holiday houses for rent.

We had a long lunch at The Early Bird cafe, it’s small so reserve a table to avoid missing out.  Outdoor tables, fresh food, friendly staff and magazines to peruse.

After lunch it was time for a horse ride through the rainforest and down to the beach, at the beach there’s the option of taking your horse into the water.  This was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget.  The ride was enjoyable with more experienced riders having canter, good staff and the horses obviously well looked after.

To end a wonderful day we had dinner at Barefoot Art Food Wine restaurant, sitting on the balcony watching while the sun set over the bay with glorious pink streaking through the sky.


Emma watching sunset


Emma in water peace


Pink sunset horseshoe bay

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