Townsville helms a vibrant region made up of scenic coastal towns, rich rainforests and rugged bushland. Anchored amid the lush tropical splendour of North Queensland, opportunities for exploration and adventure abound as the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback and island paradises – such as Magnetic Island and Hinchinbrook Island – all sit with within easy reach of the regional centre.
Townsville also hosts a notable number of governmental, community and administrative offices, leading the country city to be recognised as business hub and the unofficial capital of North Queensland.
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As a popular tourist stop-over spot – a gateway to both the Great Barrier Reef and the Outback – Townsville boasts a diverse dining scene, set amid several atmospheres, in a number of enticing locales.
Palmer Street in South Townsville offers a myriad of dining options, from casual alfresco bites to upmarket cuisine. Flinders Street features an assortment of cafes, restaurants and bars, and particularly comes to life after dark. Several take aways and casual eateries can be found housed in arcades off Flinders Street Mall. Gregory Street is a favourite amongst Townsville's cafe set. The Marina’s Sir Leslie Thiess Drive offers a notable array of different dining options. While on the waterfront, The Strand celebrates a unique blend of hotels and boutique retailers with Townsville’s finest restaurants and bars.
The North Queensland capital particularly embraces Australia’s multicultural nature, with a variety of restaurants that serve cuisines from all over the globe. Italian, Indian and Thai, plus many other world fares, are represented on menus in a number of setting throughout the city.
Townsville brims with a number of exciting shopping opportunities. Markets, retailers and shopping complexes dot the city and surrounds, selling everything from clothes to electronic items, and souvenirs to hand-crafted furniture.
Flinders Street Mall is the retail heart of the Townsville. Situated in the city centre, the mall is known for its many boutiques and retail outlets, which are housed in historic buildings. A short walk northwest, the Gregory Street precinct is a must visit to experience the regional centre’s dynamic cafe culture and boutique shopping scene.
As common in most country cities, major shopping centres – such as Castletown Shoppingworld, Stockland Townsville and Willows Shoppingtown – can be found in the suburbs, offering a range of specialty stores, retail outlets, restaurants and services providers. Castletown Shoppingworld in Hyde Park is the region’s most notable shopping centre, housing more than 80 retail stores. Just 7km from the city centre, Stockland in Aitkenvale is fast growing a reputation as Townsville’s hippest shopping centre, with throngs of specialty stores and services. Further out in Thuringowa Central, Willow Shoppingtown also offers a great range of retail opportunities with respected surf ware brands and national fashion icons on display.
Townsville’s seaside foreshore, The Strand is heralded as the city’s swankiest shopping and dining precinct. Located in the trendy North Ward, The Strand enjoys magnificent views of the Port of Townsville, Magnetic Island and Cape Cleveland, and incorporates a jetty, recreational facilities, restaurants, cafes and retail boutiques. The beachfront promenade is also home to a night market.
Conducted on the first Friday of each month The Strand Night Market hawks a large number of quality products, such as clothes and accessories, jewellery and home décor; and hosts a number of food stalls that highlight local delicacies and specialities. The Strand Night Market is complemented by the famous, Cotters Markets – North Queensland’s award-winning arts and crafts market. The weekly market, held on Sunday mornings in Flinders Street Mall, is lined with stalls that sell jewellery, pottery, homemade sweets, plants and fresh produce.