Townsville Travel Tips

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Townsville is a lovely coastal city in North Queensland, Australia. It offers excellent scuba diving opportunities because of its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and from being the main gateway to dive the famous SS Yongala Wreck. The Yongala is considered to be one of the best dive sites in the world, and maybe the best wreck in the world!

Townsville is also the starting point to explore the superb Magnetic Island and the Australian Outback. This relaxing and cosmopolitan city features nice bars, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.

In this page you will find practical information to plan a scuba diving trip to Townsville:

Where to stay?

I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Townsville as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.

Townsville is a big city and you will find all kinds of accommodation from the basic Backpacker style hotel to deluxe resorts right on the beach front. Magnetic Island also has a wide range of accommodation.

Activities and excursions in Townsville

Townsville is great city to visit and the perfect gateway to explore the Australian Outback. There are many activities for non-divers. You can:

  • Relax on the Strand Beach
  • Learn Surfing or Try Skydiving
  • Visit the superb Magnetic Island
  • Go on a day tour on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Explore the nearby Rain forest of the Paluma Range National Park
  • Enjoy the superb view from Castle Hill
  • Visit Pelorus Island
  • Visit the Townsville Aquarium

Magnetic Island Beach Townsville

Photo Credit:

Health and Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Townsville, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

Where is Townsville located in the world?

Townsville is located in Queensland, North East Australia.

See the map below.

Townsville Map

townsville map



How to get to Townsville?

There are several ways to reach Townsville:


The best and fastest way to go to Townsville is by plane. The Townsville International airport is located 10km west of the town centre. Companies that fly there are Qantas Airways and the low cost companies Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Alliance Airlines.

They offer flights to Cairns, Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hamilton Island and Mackay. As the competition between the airlines is high, you can often find cheap flights. Once you are at the airport you can go to the centre by taxi (around $20) or by shuttle bus (about $8).


You can reach Townsville by train from Cairns and Brisbane. However, distances in Australia are really huge and travelling by train can be very long!

You can take the following trains:

  • Brisbane to Townsville, the Sunlander or Tilt Train
  • Cairns to Townsville, the Sunlander or Tilt Train
  • Mount Isa to Townsville, the Inlander Train


The main intercity bus company is Greyhound which offers cheap rates to several destinations throughout the country. But as with the train, the duration of travel can be very long. Special Backpacker buses are also available between the most popular destinations.

Getting Around

You can get around Townsville by bus via the Sunbus as well as by Taxi. It is also possible to rent a car at the Townsville Airport.

If you want to visit the superb Magnetic Island, you have to take the ferry for about 30 minutes.

Townsville Photos

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Scuba diving

You will find all information about sea life, best time to visit, top dive spots, etc. in our review: Townsville Diving

Diving Reviews for this region


Explore the Yongala Wreck, one of the best dive sites in Australia! Access to the Great Barrier Reef.

Townsville Diving Review

Liveaboard Reviews in Townsville

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