Cathrine Jensen: A guide for when you have time off – Townsville


This is one of the longer posts, but hopefully, you are going to find it useful. The post is going to be about all the fun stuff, next to studying OF COURSE. I have been a couple of places myself, that I can really recommend and then I have thrown some extra in there, that I have heard other people talk very nicely about.

Activities during the day (some are day trips)

  • Billabong Sanctuary: Is an Australian Native Wildlife Park just outside Townsville. For a European like me, who has never seen an animal more exciting than a brownish bird in a tree, this is a really nice place! They do a lot of “animal shows” where they tell you about the animals and you are allowed to interact with them as well (FOR FREE 😊). They have a bus transfer that takes you from uni to Billabong and back for 52 dollars, including the entrance fee – very convenient for people who are not lucky enough to have a four-wheeled friend.


  • Crystal creek: Is a beautiful place around 1-hour drive from uni! Really amazing place, that I can really recommend. There’s both Big- and Little Crystal Creek, where Big Crystal Creek has rock slides and rocks you can jump off and Little Crystal creek is a nice place just for swimming. If you enjoy nature and want a calm swim, I would go to Little Crystal Creek, if you want more action, I would go to Big Crystal Creek.

  • Magnetic Island: Amongst residents of Townsville, known as Maggie, for me known as Paradise on Earth. I went there within the first week of being in Australia, absolutely amazing! I’m definitely going back .. Soon. This is a place you must see.


  • The Strand: For a day off The Strand is really nice, during stinger season (Yes, they are here) they have nets so you can go swimming as well. Otherwise, if you are not crazy about water, the view is beautiful as well.

  • Reef HQ: Is the dry version of The Great Barrier Reef. It is the biggest Coral Reef Aquarium in the world, and is a very nice place to go and they do good things for injured sea turtles. They have a lot of beautiful fish, guided tours of the turtle hospital and there is a touching pool for kids – or people like me, who just wants to touch everything.
  • King Pin: Is the place to go for laser tag and bowling – get ready, enough said!

  • Hike up Castle Hill, the Hill behind Flynn, feed the turtles at Ross River and get out on the water in an outrigger: In town, there is this big hill, you can’t miss it, called Castle Hill. If you want some exercise it is a really nice hike, I would recommend going in the early morning hours, otherwise it is going to be too hot, and you are going to look like a fried chicken when you come down. If you don’t want to go all the way to town, the hill behind Flynn is really nice as well. You can also walk to Ross River and feed the turtles, they are very friendly and don’t bite – or haven’t done it yet at least. If you want to try something different, challenging, but fun at the same time, Townsville Outrigger Canoe Club is the place to go. You can try it every Sunday for 6 weeks for free, so there is really an opportunity to go and figure out if it is something you wanna do. I’m going three times a week, and I can tell you, watching the sunset from an outrigger on the water, is incredible.


  • Place I have not been, but can recommend: Cardwell Rock Pools, beautiful natural pools, to go for a swim. Launch Zone, if you are crazy about trampolines and acting like a crazy person (me) this is the place to go. Wallaman Falls, the highest permanent single-drop waterfall in Australia, another one you just must see. I haven’t been there yet, but I’m definitely going to! Riverway Lagoons, is freshwater pools, near Willows Shopping center.

Activities during the night

  • Food places: Cactus Jack’s Saloon, a nice place on Flinders St. that serves both food and drinks, not too expensive so it is perfect for the wallet of a student. Max Brenner Chocolate Bar, DO I NEED TO SAY MORE? Go there. Juliette’s Gelateria, if you didn’t get enough from Max Brenner you can get your needs fulfilled here – amazing gelato! Aaand if you join the JCU student association you get discounts. Long Board Bar and Grill, I haven’t actually been there, but some of my fellow postgrads have, they approved it, so hopefully you do too – I have heard it also works for undergrads.
  • The Strand: Yes, I copied the title from above, but The Strand is also really nice at night. There is a lot of restaurants down there so you can enjoy a nice meal while looking at the sunset. Did someone say date material, I think they did.


That was all, for now, I hope you find it useful and if you are wondering who I am, here is a link to my introduction post:

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