Townsville, Australia's largest tropical city, has become the premier destination for visitors wanting to see the 'real' North Queensland.

This city of about 200,000 people is a charming blend of old and new with modern facilities which include an international casino, entertainment and convention centre, theatres, world-class museums, restaurants and accommodation to suit all tastes.

However, unlike many other tourism centres, it has retained its heritage in the form of well-preserved civic, commercial and domestic buildings dating back to the region's European settlement in the mid 19th century.

Because it is located in the dry tropics, Townsville consistently records more than 300 dry, sunny days each year perfect weather to enjoy a diversity of experiences ranging from the excitement of local evets such as the annual Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Troy Dunn bull-riding festival, sports such as rugby league, basketball and marlin fishing through to a tour of the world's largest living reef aquarium at Reef HQ, a cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef or Yongala Shipwreck or a visit to the stunning rainforest on the nearby Paluma Ranges.

Visitors also enjoy visiting Magnetic Island, just 20 minutes from the city centre by ferry.

Here, more than 2,000 koalas roam free in an idyllic tropical setting offering superb views, palm-fringed beaches, a wide variety of accommodation and plenty to see and do including bush walks to inspect World War II fortifications.

The authentic gold rush city of Charters Towers is just 90 minutes west of Townsville and is a virtual time capsule of Victorian, Edwardian and colonial Australian architecture.

The Towers can be reached on day-trips and marks the start of the true Aussie outback.

Other interesting regions easily accessible from Townsville include the Burdekin Shire, with the vibrant sugar town of Ayr at its centre, and northern centres such as prosperous Ingham with its Italian heritage, Hinchinbrook Island - Australia's largest National Park island and the tropical playground of Mission Beach.

Townsville typifies North Queensland's relaxed tropical lifestyle and is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, rainforest National Parks and the outback.

We hope you enjoy our 'Life in the Tropics' when you visit Townsville in North Queensland - it can only be described as paradise.



Sightseeing Opportunities (Half Day)

  • City Explorer tour including Castle Hill
  • Magnetic Island tour - with options including jet ski tours / horseriding tours / Bungalow tours / Bungalow Bay Koala
  • Tropicana Guided Adventure Co - Magnetic Island and Townsville
  • Billabong Wildlife Sanctuary Tour
  • World Heritage Rainforest tours
  • Sealink trasfer to Magnetic Island
  • Reef HQ and turtle hospital - the world's largest living coral reef aquarium
  • Museum of Tropical Quuensland
  • Indigneous Experiences 

Sightseeing Opportunities (Full Day)

  • Magnetic Island tours
  • Outback tour to Charters Towers and Ravenswood
  • White water rafting
  • Rainforest and waterfalls tour
  • Highlands Tunnel Tour including Hervey's Range Heritage Tea Rooms

Dining (Best Restaurants for Lunch and Dinner)

There is a diverse range of restaurants offerinf fresh North Queensland cuisine around Townsville. Take a wander down the Palmer Street dining precinct to find establishments offering cuisine, prepared using the freshest local seafood and produce.

  • A Touch of Salt
  • Aqua Restaurant (Jupiters Townsville)
  • Australian Hotel
  • Brewery Cafe
  • C Bar & Cafe
  • Cowboys Leagues Club
  • Essence (Jupiters Townsville)
  • Jamaica Joe's Diner Bar & Lounge
  • Celsius Restaurant (Mercure Inn)
  • Michel's Cafe & Bar
  • Molly Malones Irish Pub
  • The Pier Restaurant & Bar
  • Quarterdeck on the Marina
  • Seaqulls Restaurant
  • Southbank Grill (Rydes Southbank Townsville)
  • Stokes Street Bar & Grill (Holiday Inn)
  • Sugartrain (Ibis Hotel)
  • Watermark Townsville

Evening Entertainment

For nightlife head to Flinders Street where you will find the majority of the cities night clubs in this one area.

  • Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre
  • Townsville Civic Theatre
  • Jupiters Townsville Hotel & Casino
  • Reading Cinemas
  • Birch Carroll & Coyle Townsville 5 Cinemas

Best Hotels

  • Jupiters Townsville Hotel & Casino
  • Holiday Inn Townsville
  • Hotel Ibis
  • Rydges Southbank Hotel
  • Quest Townsville (serviced apartments)
  • Mercure Inn Townsville
  • Townsville Plaza Hotel
  • Peppers Blue on Blue Resort (Magnetic Island)
  • Mantra One Bright Point (Magnetic Island)

Best Beaches

  • The Strand (Townsville)
  • Pallarenda (Townsville)
  • Horseshoe Bay (Magnetic Island)
  • Alma Bay (Magnetic Island)
  • Picnic Bay (Magnetic Island)
  • Saunders Beach (Thuringowa)
  • Balgal Beach (Thuringowa)

Golf Courses

  • Rowes Bay Golf Club (Pallarenda)
  • Townsville Golf Club (Rosslea)
  • Willows Golf Club (Kirwan)
  • Townsville Mini Golf (West End)


  • Barrier Reef Dive Cruise & Travel
  • SV Boat Charters
  • Townsville's Barra Fishing Farm


  • Woodstock Scenic Horse Trail Rides (Woodstock)
  • Bluey's Bush & Beach Rides (Magnetic Island)

Bush Walking

  • QPWS Reef and National Parks Information Centre (Pallendra)
  • Magentic ISland offers a vairety of bush walks over 25km's of interpretive walking trail in the National Park. One of the more popular is the Forts Walk to experience the observation points built to protect Townsville during WWII.

Other Sporting Activities

There are an array of different sporting options available in the region ranging from tennis courts, public swimming pools, to volleyball and squash courts.

Best Shopping Areas

  • Flinders Mall : 3 kilometres from the port
  • Castletown : 4 kilometres from the port
  • Stockland : 7 kilometres from the port
  • Willows : 14 kilometres from the port



Working hours

Customs Officers 24 hours
Quarantine Officials 24 hours
Immigration Officials As for Customs

Customs and Immigration

Passenger Manifest Three copies at the first port of call with one copy to Immigration with the passengers card one copy to Customs and the third copy to remain on board the ship.
Embarking Passenger Manifest 3 copies - 1 to Customs 1 to Port 1 stays
Crew Manifest 2 - 1 at first port to Immigration 2nd stays.
Stores List 2 (Aust. Customs Service and Sydney Ports Corporation
Customs Declaration (Ship) 1 (Australian Customs Service)
Customs Declaration (Crew) 2 (Australian Customs Service)
Forms Comments All forms listed above are produced at the first Australian port of call and then one copy of each form travels on board the ship to be produced at subsequent ports.
Customs Declaration (Passengers) One at first Australian port of call only.

Port Health

Health Declaration One (pratique) at first Australian port of call only


Ground Operations

The following Ground Handlers are ACA members and supply superior ground handling services throughout Australia.

Port Approach


Arrival Departure Restrictions No
Tidal Variation MHWS: 3.07m, MHWN: 2.22m,
Highest Astronomical Tide 4.01m
Prevailing Currents Queensland Coastal current
Prevailing Winds  
Length of Channel 2.9 nautical miles (Sea Channel)3.5 nautical miles (Platypus Channel)
Depth of Channel 11.9 metres 

Depth and breadth of turning basin

Location of Turning Basin N/A
Diameter 440 metres (maximum)
Depth 11.6 metres Inner Harbour
Other points


Pilotage Name Port of Townsville Limited
Pilotage Address PO Box 1031 Townsville QLD 4810
Pilotage Phone No 61 7 4760 2173
Pilotage Fax No 61 7 4760 2257
Is Pilotage Compulsory Yes unless the Master is the holder of a current Certificate of Exemption
Position of Pilot Pickup Alpha
Distance from Berth 8 nautical miles
Pilot VHF Channel 16, 67 and all working frequencies
Description of Pilot Boat 15 metres in length, white and yellow,
Pilot Hours 24 hours, 7 days per week, subject to notice.
Pilotage Fees 8.7 cents per GRT for the first 20,000 GRT
  5.4 cents per GRT over 20,000 GRT to 40,000 GRT
  3.4 cents per GRT over 40,000 GRT
  Minimum charge $312


Port Services

Shipping agents

The following ACA members offer superior service throughout the region.

Port Operations/Services

Inchcape Shipping Services
Telephone +61 7 4724 2477
24 hour contact +61 428 775 028
Services Contact: 
Wilhelmsen Shipping Services
24 hour contact +61 4467 707 114
Services Contact John Fergus


Are tugs available Yes
Are tugs compulsory Sole discretion of Harbour Master
Tug operator`s name North Queensland Marine Towage Pty Ltd
Tug operator`s fax 61 7 4721 1380
Ship or tug lines Both
Tug working hours 24 Hours


Working hours 24 hours
Port officials
Working hours 24 hours
Overtime If required


For details of suitable stevedores, please contact the Shipping Agent


For details of several quality, competitively priced provedores please contact the Shipping Agent.


Telephones Yes
How many 1
Notice required Yes


Fuel Grades Fuel oil 467 571 Dieseline
Quay or barge Quay
Suppliers Shell Australia


Fresh Water Yes
Exquay or barge Quay
No of hoses 2
Capacity per hose/hour N/A
Tonnes per hour guaranteed 25 - 82
Type of connect Female
Connect size in inches 4 inches

Dry garbage

Dry garbage Yes
Barge alongside No
Containers available No
Size of containers N/A
Number available N/A
Incineration or dump Incinerator
Facilities to transport N/A

Wet garbage

Wet garbage Yes
Ship or shore pump N/A
Sludge disposal N/A
Sludge details N/A


Port Charges Passenger Liners - exemption from tonnage dues for the first 24 hour period only

Repair facilities

Nearest dry dock Brisbane - Cairncross Dockyard Wharf/Dry Dock
Length 310 metres
Maximum Tonnage 85000 T
Divers Available Yes
Engineering facilities Yes


Dredging undertaken Yes
Dredging when Annually


Port Operator

Port operator

Name Port of Townsville Limited
Address PO Box 1031 Townsvile QLD 4810
Telephone 61 7 4781 1500
Web Site
Email Address

Berth details

Berth Number 10
Maximum draft 12.2 metres
Tidal variation 3.07 metres
Berth length 300 metres (maximum length of vessel)
Guaranteed berthing for cruise ships Yes
Are other ships able to dock No
Cargo ships at dock No
Security fences Yes

Nearest ports

Australia Cairns
Nearest Overseas Port Port Moresby



Terminal facilities

Terminal Building Yes Undercover Fully Airconditioned
Meet and Greet Facilities Yes
Toilet Facilities Yes
Telephones No
Availability of Maps and/or Brochures Yes
Souvenir Shopping Yes
Money Exchange No
Is the US Dollar Accepted? Sometimes


Closest Airport to Pier Townsville Airport
Distance to Airport 10 km
Transport to Airport Yes
Can Passengers Walk to Town Yes
Drive Time from Pier to Shuttle Stop 4 minutes
Distance from Pier to Town Centre 3 km
Are Shuttle Buses Necessary Yes
Suggested Shuttle Stop in Town Flinders Mall
Availability of Taxis at Pier Yes
Availability of Public Transport at Pier Yes
Other Forms of Transport at Pier Yes

Tour buses

Distance from Ship to Tour Buses 50 metres
What is the Normal Coach Capacity 12-54
Are Tour Buses Air Conditioned Yes
Are Refreshments Provided on Buses No
Are Cold Towels Provided on Buses No
Are Step Stools Provided on Buses Yes

Multi-bay bus and taxi rank area including excellent turn around spaces


Tourism operators in Queensland: