The best of Townsville with kids

Sunshine, wildlife and heavenly beaches: get set for the family holiday you’ve been dreaming of!

A wombat turning on the cute at Billabong Sanctuary, outside of Townsville. Image credit: @youngadventuress/Townsville Enterprise
  • Jetstar
  • June 2021

Part of Townsville’s charm is that it’s easy to get to but feels like it’s a million miles away. Get set to relax, recharge and rejoice in a tropical family holiday that you and your kids will never forget.

Hang out at the Strand

The Strand is one of those all-inclusive attractions with something for everyone, but its ‘kid appeal’ is off the scale. Lovely beaches, a sheltered rock pool that looks like something from a Golden-Age Hollywood movie, parks, playgrounds, and loads of space to run amuck combine to make this picturesque foreshore precinct a family favourite. Head to the Strand Water Park for all the aquatic action they can handle, have a picnic at Strand Park, and grab a gelato from local institution Juliette’s. This is outdoor entertainment at its most laidback.

Little girl having fun at the Strand Water Park, Townsville. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Making a splash at the Strand Water Park is obligatory! Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Meet the marsupials of Magnetic Island

No family holiday to Townsville is complete without a stay on Magnetic Island. Dreamy beaches with crystalline waters calm enough for the littlest toddlers? Tick. The magic of being immersed in unspoiled nature? Tick. The chance to hang out with incredible wildlife? Absolutely! The Forts Walk is where you’re most likely to encounter koalas in the wild, while the island’s famous rock wallabies congregate at the old Geoffrey Bay ferry terminus. To meet a cavalcade of Aussie animals up close, don’t miss the enchanting Bungalow Bay Wildlife Park.

One of the adorable rock wallabies at Geoffrey Bay (Magnetic Island). Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
If you think this rock wallaby is cute, wait til you see them in real life! Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Delve into the Museum of Tropical Queensland

Not only does this harbourside museum provide welcome respite from the midday heat, its child-friendly galleries will keep your kids captivated for hours. From an interactive shipwreck display to a life-sized reproduction of a Platypterigius (a prehistoric sea creature whose fossilised remains were found in outback Queensland), the museum mixes fun, fascination and education in a way that school sometimes can't! Throw in a mind-boggling array of bugs, birds and other species native to the Northern Queensland rainforest, and you’ve got a surefire winner.

The Museum of Tropical Queensland is a great place to learn about this fascinating region. Image credit: Megan Mackinnon/Townsville Enterprise.

Talk to the animals at Billabong Sanctuary

It’s almost an unwritten law for family holidays in Queensland: the more native critters, the better. Billabong Sanctuary can help with that! This multi-award-winning, eco-accredited wildlife park is home to a thriving population of furry, feathered and scaly residents. Check their website for details on all the amazing interactive and educational shows they put on throughout the day. Whether you watch crocodiles feed, join the Dingo Walkabout, pose for photos with a koala and/or marvel at the spectacular bird show, you can be sure the kids will go wild for Billabong Sanctuary.

Kids feeding the turtles at Billabong Sanctuary, near Townsville. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.
All creatures great and small: the animals of Billabong Sanctuary will charm the whole family. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Get a taste of the Wild West at Texas Longhorn Tours

From the Townsville tropics to the Texan Wild West in less than two hours? Sounds like complete bulldust, but that’s what you'll get if you head to Texas Longhorn Tours near the historic outback town of Charters Towers. Jump on a Safari or Wagon Tour, where you’ll learn about the fascinating history of these spectacular animals, see their massive, gravity-defying horns at close range and visit the ‘Longhorn Love Shack’. You'll also meet a bevy of other exotic bovines, from Asian Water Buffalo to African Ankole Watusi. Cowabunga!

Texas Longhorn Tours, giving you a taste of the Wild West in the Queensland outback. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.