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Illywhacker - Townsville

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ILLYWHACKER'S HOME IN AUSTRALIA - TOWNSVILLE, NORTH QUEENSLAND
Author Peter Aston
Date 2003
Map Ref Northern Australia, Townsville, Qld
Summary

A tour of a cruising yachties ideal stopover, surprising Townsville situated on Australia's northeast tropical coast.

 
illywhacker at home in Breakwater Marina, Townsville

A World Class Cruising Destination

Townsville on Queensland's tropical north coast is located close to the center of the Great Barrier Reef, the 7th Wonder of the World. As such it is also the home of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Administrative Centre, the Institute of Marine Science and James Cook University. It is both a tourist and industrial centre focussed on a wide range of activities many of which are associated with the magnificent marine environment on it's doorstep.

A yacht arriving here from overseas usually will have just completed a Pacific Island cruise and is most likely seeking shelter somewhere on the East coast for the cyclone season. Australian yachts based on the East coast head north in winter (April - November) and often take the time to visit Townsville after a cruise in the legendary Whitsunday Islands. The 2 main places to tie up are Breakwater marina and the Townsville yacht club. Both are busy, popular marinas and often booked solid between April and November. A new marina is being contemplated to meet this extra demand. For those "summering" over during the cyclone season, the climate can be hot and wet but sailing is still OK provided one always keeps an weather eye out ready to duck into the nearest cyclone hole with a few day's notice. For those wishing to tie up and fly to a cooler place, Breakwater Marina is well constructed and considered safe in any cyclone although a direct hit category 5 cyclone has yet to test that theory! Townsville has a busy, modern airport with direct flights to Brisbane, Sydney, Cairns and many country centres.

Townsville itself is an ideal place to stock up or to work on the boat - all services are available and when the day is done the social life is legendary. Breakwater Marina is located in a garden setting, it is adjacent to "The Strand", a spectacular 2.5Km of waterfront parkland designed for walking, jogging, cycling, picnicking and a variety of family activities. The free barbeques are a great temptation to marina liveaboarders for a get together with cruisers from all over the world. It is a good place to swap stories, seek advice on boat repairs or where to stock up or to plan for the next leg in company "across the top" if you are a world cruiser, or to just socialise under the coconut palms.

Local Attractions

We like Townsville because of the availability of locally grown fresh produce, the walking, swimming and the many cultural events. There is also a good library, art galleries and theatres. Offshore the many islands of the Great Barrier Reef offer protected anchorages including reef atolls with no land above the tide mark.

Nearby Magnetic Island has many secluded beaches Queensland style architecture at Palmeton gardens
Tropical vegetation and a wallaby at Palmeton Gardens Wetlands at Riverside Gardens

A Walk along the Strand

An outdoor Art Ephemera was recently held with exhibits positioned along the ocean walkway. Our evening strolls had added interest with these attractive displays.

Mermaids by Fabrics Inc Ruminant Isles by Susan Kneebone
Rock Pool, the Strand with views to Magnetic Island Migration North - painted coconuts by Frank Wapau

 

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email: peter @illywhacker.com
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