There’s a vibrant nightlife in Townsville, and it’s no wonder, there’s lots to celebrate in this smart Coral Sea-meets-outback-meets-rainforest city. Public swimming pools and grassy, tree-lined parks dot the water’s edge and, perhaps surprisingly, you can expect gourmet treats, Zen-inspired waterfront dining and local breweries, frequented by a youthful population that’s a mix of students, defence force personnel (the Australian Defence Force has a large base here) and sophisticated locals. The Yongala shipwreck is located just 90km from Townsville, and local dive operations lead regular diving expeditions out to this internationally regarded site.
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Reef HQ Aquarium
Townsville's excellent aquarium is a living reef on dry land. A staggering 2.5 million litres of water flow through the coral-reef tank, which is home to sharks, rays and over 100 fish species, plus brilliantly hued coral. Kids will love seeing, feeding and touching turtles at the turtle hospital. Talks and tours throughout the day focus on different aspects of the reef and the aquarium.Adjacent to the aquarium, you can continue to experience life underwater at the IMAX cinema.
The IMAX cinema is next door to the Reef HQ.
Arcadia village has the island's main concentration of shops, eateries and accommodation. Its main beach, Geoffrey Bay, has a reef at its southern end (DERM discourages reef walking). By far its prettiest beach is Alma Bay cove, with huge boulders tumbling into the sea. There's plenty of shade, along with picnic tables and a children's playground here.If you head to the end of the road at Bremner Point, between Geoffrey Bay and Alma Bay, at 5pm, you can have wild rock wallabies – which have become accustomed to being fed at the same time each day – literally eating out of your hand.
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