As the unofficial capital of North Queensland, the coastal city of Townsville has numerous family-friendly attractions.  See this list for the top 10 things to do in Townsville with young children.


A great place for a stroll. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.

What is there to do and see?

1. Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium and the Australian Government’s national education centre for the Great Barrier Reef.  Explore interactive exhibits perfect for younger children while learning about the Great Barrier Reef.

2. The Strand 2.2km of beachfront path perfect for walking, cycling and running.  Enjoy taking a walk with your kids or even riding along the path.  The Strand night markets, held the first Friday of each month is also a great experience with young children.

3. Playgroups – If you’re up for some adult socialisation, why not consider joining a playgroup? There’s plenty all over the region that meet regularly, allowing you to socialise with other parents and your baby to socialise with other babies.

Check out www.playgroupqld.com.au

4. The Rockpool – a free public seawater swimming pool, perfect for swimming in with young children.

5. Magnetic Island – a picturesque mountainous island about 8km off the coast of Townsville.  Explore the island with a variety of walks showcasing the island’s natural beauty as well as a number of forts used during WWII.  These walks also allow visitors to see wild koalas in their natural habitats.  Spend your day snorkelling along the coast of the island and swimming in the crystal clear water and be sure to view sunset over the spectacular Horseshoe Bay.


Storytime is a great way to bond and help with language development.

6. Museum of Tropical Queensland – a museum of both natural and general history of the Townsville and Tropical Queensland area.  The museum offers family-friendly exhibits with guided tours making it both informative and great for younger children.

7. Paluma Range National Park – filled with beautiful freshwater swimming holes and waterfalls ideal for swimming and exploring.  Lookouts and quiet beaches also make this a must-see place that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

8. Billabong Sanctuary – an 11 hectare wildlife sanctuary located just south of Townsville and is one of Australia’s best interactive wildlife experiences.  Enjoy interactive talks and feeding of Australia’s native animals, a great experience for people of all ages.

9. Queens Gardens – 4 hectares of lush heritage-listed gardens set against Castle Hill.  Queens Gardens are ideal for leisure and recreation and are great to relax and spend a couple of hours.

10. The Strand Water Park – a free public waterpark on the Strand which is interactive and great for young children.

11. CityLibraries Townsville – The local libraries have plenty happening for the littlest residents of Townsville. Head on over for Baby Rhyme Time, Storytime and Messy Play, happening at various times throughout the month.

12. Castletown Townsville – Head on over for Story Rhyme Time and Mums and Bubs Pilates Classes happening on a monthly basis, run together with CityLibraries Townsville.