Walkabout The Strand in Townsville
The Strand is a pretty, palm-tree lined walkway in Townsville, a coastal city in North Queensland. It runs for two and a half kilometres along the foreshore, offering sweeping views of the Coral Sea and Magnetic Island. A few of Townsville’s most popular attractions lie at either end of The Strand, and there are many delights along the way: prime picnic spots, excellent children’s playgrounds, and some of the best restaurants in the city. If you’re bringing the kids, be sure to stop in at The Strand Water Park; entrance is free, and standing under the giant blue bucket is a must-do.
The Best Time for a Swim in the Sea
Townsville is blessed with a balmy, tropical climate. June and July are typically the coolest months, with an average temperature of about 19°C, while the hottest months are December and January, when the average temperature rises to about 27°C. The ideal time for a beach vacation in Townsville is in June, July, or August, when the weather is at its most mild: blue skies, pleasantly warm days, and cool nights. September is typically the driest month, though the humidity starts rising around this time of year, and thunderstorms become more frequent in October. October also sees the beginning of “stinger season,” when the marine population of Irukandji and large Box Jellyfish reaches its highest level. It is possible to swim at The Strand during stinger season, but only safe to do so in the areas enclosed by nets. Monsoon season begins in December and lasts until early April, though Townsville sees less rainfall than other cities in North Queensland due to its fortunate position on an “east/west” section of the coastline.
Fun From One End to the Other
At the northern end of The Strand, you will find the Jezzine Barracks, a 15-hectare heritage site celebrating Townsville’s military history, as well as The Strand Rockpool, a seawater swimming pool with a children’s playground. The southern end of The Strand runs directly up to Reef HQ, the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. At this end of The Strand you can also fish off the pier or catch the ferry to Magnetic Island, a bit of paradise for snorkelers and hikers. The trip out takes about 25 minutes, and if you happen to miss the last return voyage to Townsville, you’ll find many places to spend the night; accommodation on the island ranges from luxury hotels to backpackers’ hostels.
Rooms with Sea Views
Whether you’re planning a family vacation or a romantic weekend, you will find just the right sort of accommodation in Townsville, including a good choice of hotels near The Strand. The Ville Resort – Casino, a popular choice on the higher end, is located on the breakwater, and offers fantastic views toward Magnetic Island, as well as a luxurious infinity pool and a handful of restaurants. Families and couples looking for a homey spot a few steps from the shore might try the Beach House Motel; located right at the heart of The Strand, the Beach House Motel offers both traditional guest rooms as well as studio apartments with well-equipped kitchenettes. And now for something completely different: Rambutan, about five minutes on foot from The Strand, is a “glampackers” hostel with chic four-bedroom villas.