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Safe Swimming, Wondrous Wildlife, and Space to Play - A Family Guide to Townsville

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With year-round warm weather, lots of outdoor spaces for kids to let off steam, and a child-friendly attitude, Townsville offers all you need for a vacation that’s relaxing for all the family. There are plenty of opportunities to get acquainted with the local wildlife, lots of free stuff to do, and you’ll find more than enough restaurants that welcome kids.

Parks and playgrounds in Townsville


The Strand is a great spot for families. At more than 2 kilometers long, it’s dotted with playgrounds, picnic areas, and paths for cycling and rollerblading. The kids will love the free water playground, and there are lots of spots where you can grab something quick and easy to eat. Riverway, the 11-kilometer parkway that stretches along the Ross River, has safe lagoons for swimming, picnic spots, a skate park, and playgrounds.


Juliette's Gelateria


Beachside Juliette’s has yummy ice-cream, made on-site using local ingredients where possible. Coffee and light meals - to eat in or to go - are also served.


Landsborough St., Headland, Townsville QLD 4810Tel: +61 7 4772 5565


Juliette's Gelateria website




You’ll also find lots of public art along Riverway, as well as the Arts Centre, Pinnacle Gallery, and Tony Ireland Stadium. The regular and free “Riverway Movie Night” shows films under the stars for all the family.


Thuringowa Central, Townsville QLD 4810. Riverway website

Safe swimming in Townsville


A coastline sheltered by Magnetic Island and the Great Barrier Reef means there’s generally no surf at Townsville’s ocean beaches, making them ideal for swimming with kids. The Strand has enclosures to protect against box jellyfish, which can make swimming in open waters dangerous in these parts. You’ll also find enclosures at most other beaches. The Riverway Lagoons have shallow water for little ones, and timber decks where mom and dad can relax in the shade.


The Rockpool


The Rockpool at The Strand’s northern tip is a sheltered artificial swimming area. The kids can let off steam in the playground while you have a relaxed swim. There are also picnic and barbecue spots.


The Strand, Townsville QLD 4810.


The Rockpool website


Fish Inn


Fish Inn overlooks the Rockpool and serves burgers, as well as fish, seafood and chicken schnitzel. It does delicious post-swim breakfasts, and has a special menu for kids with favorites like “eggy bread.”


54 Howitt St., North Ward, Townsville QLD 4810. Tel: +61 7 4771 3474


Fish Inn website


Townsville animal encounters


Townsville offers great hands-on opportunities for you and the kids to get acquainted with local wildlife. Billabong Sanctuary is set in natural bushland and is home to over 100 native species. You can meet both slippery and furry residents, and watch many of them running wild. At Reef HQ you'll encounter the myriad colourful marine creatures that call the Great Barrier Reef home. A tunnel allows you to go underwater without getting wet, and watch fish, turtles, sharks, and manta rays swim above you.


Billabong Sanctuary


At Billabong you can pet koalas and wombats, and even hold a friendly crocodile or python. Bring a picnic, or grab a Billabong Burger at Blinky Bill’s Café. There's also a pool when you feel like a cooling dip.


Bruce Highway, Nome, Townsville QLD 4816. Tel: +61 7 4778 8344


Billabong Sanctuary website


Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium


Reef HQ has special kids’ tours and activities that are both fun and educational. You can also pay a visit to the sick and injured patients at the Turtle Hospital.


2-68 Flinders St., Townsville QLD 4810. Tel: +61 7 47500 800


Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium website