Tantalising Townsville

There’s lots of tantalising things in Townsville. I just hadn’t thought they’d be so in my face.”

I woke up in the early morning to a tongue kiss, smack bang on my lips. I turned the other way and tried to ignore him and go back to sleep. It was the fourth time he’d come into the room and tried to get smoochy with me, the fourth time I’d sent him away.

After that I learned to close the door. It was the first of ten nights together.

Meet Jack, the two year old stumpy Cattle Dog and Indie, his Kelpie cross partner in crime, two rambunctious dogs we looked after on our latest house sit in Townsville. They’re smart and affectionate but, we’d been warned, they weren’t particularly well behaved outside the house.

We tried to take them out twice, with no luck. Our new charges were obviously not good with other dogs. We had no choice. Sorry pooches, we’re going exploring and, unfortunately, you’re staying home.

Top things to do in Townsville

Visit Castle Rock

You won’t actually find a castle up here but it’s a great cardio workout. This sheer granite rock is the backdrop to the city. And it’s quite a walk to the top. The many trails range in difficulty and length but we took the Maiden Hair and Goat trail, climbing in excess of 500 steps from the road to the very top.

Rest stop, half way up

When we reached the top we realised there was a perfectly good road we could have driven up. Silly us. But it was good exercise.

Apparently locals use the mountain trails as a training ground. We met an older man coming back down who was in training for the Kokoda Track. I’m continually amazed by the people we meet. Not to mention the breathtaking sprawling views at the top.

Stroll or Swim The Strand

This is more sedate. The two and a half kilometre palm lined promenade that runs along the foreshore and overlooks Magnetic Island is a relaxing way to spend a few hours. One of the highlights on a hot day is a (croc free) swim in the rock pool lagoon.

Or just stroll and soak up the sea vibes, enjoy some fish and chips at The Kiosk or a delicious sorbet at Juliette’s Gelateria.

As part of the Museum of Underwater Art (the only underwater museum in the Southern Hemisphere) don’t miss the first installation called‘ Ocean Siren’, visible from the Strand.

This remarkable statue was modelled on Wulgurukaba Traditional Owner, Takoda Johnson. As an interactive piece, ‘Ocean Siren’ changes colour to reflect live data on sea water temperatures, sending a powerful environmental message to everyone who stops along the boardwalk.

Drive up Mount Stuart

This lesser known lookout is twice the height of Castle Hill at 584 metres high and is about 30kms from the city. It’s worth a drive up the twisty scenic road to be rewarded with spectacular views at the top. And yes; this time we drove!

Experience the Great Barrier Reef

We’ve sailed and snorkelled the reef a few times over the years so we didn’t go out this time. However for first timers Townsville is one of the best ports to access the magnificent World Heritage Great Barrier Reef.

Don’t miss out on Magnetic Island

As we were house and dog sitting we didn’t get to Maggie, as it’s known, but it’s renowned as a fantastic place to spend a few days, to explore, snorkel, hike or cycle around the island. Maybe next time.

Explore Paluma Range National Park

Just 80 kms north west are some of the most gorgeous crystal creeks and rock pools. We visited here before backtracking to our house sit, but it’s an easy day drive too.

Visit the misty mountain village of Paluma, walk the rainforest walk and see the region from above from McClelland’s Lookout. We swam at Paradise waterfall, at Big Crystal Creek and we.visited the beautiful stone arch bridge in Little Crystal Creek. It’s a magical oasis.

Experience Wallaman Falls – Australia’s Largest Single Drop Waterfall

Can you imagine sitting here? It’s awe inspiring and, after a steep, rugged walk to the bottom, it’s worth every hard step.

If you can’t make it to the bottom there’s a great view of the falls from the lookout at the top. But to feel the true power and exhilaration, nothing beats standing at the base, feeling the spray and hearing it’s thunderous roar. Nature is truly breathtaking.

Wallaman Falls is two and a hour hours north west of Townsville and is very special.

OtherTownsville highlights include the Jezzine barracks and foreshore walk, night markets, infinity pools on the Ross River, vibrant street art, botanical gardens and a drive in cinema if you want to catch a flick the old fashioned way. Or head out to Cape Pallarenda, less than 10kms from The Strand, to enjoy great walks.

Meanwhile back at the house

Paws Breathe Relax

Sometimes the simplest things are the best. During our ten days there’s time to relax and read, listen to music, cook up a storm,write and meditate. Hubby catches up on his favourite Netflix series whilst I don my headset and enter my Zen place.

Travelling isn’t just about ticking things off the bucket list. It’s about opening our hearts and minds to all the people, places and experiences that exist beyond our comfort zone.

Jack and Indie are never too far away. Seems their favourite time, aside from mealtimes, is simply chilling out with their humans. They might not be perfect dogs but they love unconditionally so how could we not bond. Jack and I came to an understanding and he learned to keep his tongue to himself.

Wherever you are, hug a human or a dog. Love lots, laugh even more, be grateful for where you are and watch the world mirror you. For when you love life it will love you back.

Enjoy the journey. 💙❤️

Looking out, looking forward and looking within as the journey continues

Reflections at dusk on Riverway Lagoon/infinity pool overlooking the Ross River. Beauty is always reflected.

40 thoughts on “Tantalising Townsville

  1. I used to dog sit, and found it quite rewarding. Each dog is different, but sharing their homes is a fun experience…even when the Norwegian Elkhound shoved me out of my bed. (I had made the mistake of trying to remove her, and I guess she decided that if I didn’t want to share, then I was the one who had to go!) Lovely photos too…the waterfall in particular is breathtaking!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, you painted quite a picture Ann. We love dog sitting, they’re all so different and have their own unique quirks. And it’s great to have more space for awhile too.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It sure is Penn. I can hear the waves from where I sit and the grey of the ocean in the background. One day I’ll write more about it. For now I’m just soaking it in too. 💗

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you had a great 10 days. My running friends in Townsville get up at some ungodly hour and run up and down Castle Hill. I think they’re mad. But then I’ll go out and run in 4°C and they think me equally mad. Hope you make it to Maggie next time. It’s a special place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I laughed when I got to the title “Back at the House” 🙂 Yep, I know what you mean. Funny. Townsville is an interesting destination, and we enjoyed the newish boardwalk with Aboriginal and local outdoor art. Not sure if it is still there, the art, I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful post, Miriam. And it’s really good you got that guy to keep his tongue to himself!! 😉 Too bad for those doggies that they couldn’t play nice…seems they missed out on some pretty special places!
    Sound like you are enJOYing life and going with the flow. Sending lots of good energy and hugs! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lorrie. Yes, it was too bad for those doggies, it would have been nice to take them out, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Thanks for the love and hugs, sending lots back too. xx 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your adventures always have a little bit of everything ~ a great hike and views to knowing when to enjoy and taking it easy. Sometimes heading back to the house is a perfect way to spend the day, especially when some excellent dogs await you. Wishing you further safe travels, Miriam. Take care.


  6. In answer to Tim, I sing Jimmy Buffett stuff whenever we’re in theTownsville region. It just happens, laid back tropics and booze….and all that. So glad you saw the stone arch bridge and Wallaman, they have to be the noisiest falls in the country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I could definitely handle travelling with you L, 😂 lots of fun, and have to agree about the falls too. The whole area is gorgeous.


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