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Tour The Tropics In Townsville
townsville qldThere is no better place to visit than Queensland's Townsville if beauty, adventure and city life are what you are after. Townsville is unique because there is a convergence here of all the differing landscapes that make Queensland such an unique and diverse state. The city itself is actually bordered by pristine, palm-lined beaches, and boasts the incomparable Great Barrier Reef just to its east. Head west for several hours and you will be transported into the real 'outback' country. To the north are some of the most dense and well-known rainforests in the world, not to mention the beautiful islands near Mission Beach. And last but not least, in the south you will find a great selection of sugar cane and mango farming communities.

When the mention of Townsville comes up in conversation, it is usually shortly followed with the mention of Magnetic Island. This is no doubt because no visit to these parts of the state is complete without a trip out to this dramatically beautiful Island. Just a twenty five minute ferry ride will take you to the rocky granite headlands that characterise the island. Upon landing you can choose from twenty three bays and beaches where you can swim, snorkel or just soak up the sun. If you journey to the centre of the island, you will come across Mt Cook, a tall mountain covered in thick forest that offers a myriad of bushwalking tracks. Accommodation options range from the cheap to the luxurious, so why not stick around and enjoy the sunshine of Magnetic Island for a little longer than a day.

If you soon tire of the coast, hop into your campervan and strike out south west to the town of Charters Towers. The drive will only take about ninety minutes, but the changes in scenery over this time are striking. The wide open spaces become a little wider, the vegetation gets a little drier, but the Queensland ambience and distinctive beauty of the Australian countryside remains the same.

Charters Towers is an old established gold rush town, and its heritage and history is clear from the moment you drive in. The architecture is simply stunning, with over 60 buildings holding some significance within the city. The presence of the gold mining days can still be strongly felt so it is a good idea to take some time to explore the town and learn a bit about its history. For something a little different head out to the Burdekin River or Dam and try fishing for some of the game fish barramundi, which put up a good fight and make an even better meal.

Heading in a northerly direction from Townsville is another popular touring option. A two and a half hour drive through banana plantations and cane fields will brings you to the bustling yet relaxed beach town of Mission Beach. This tropical paradise is closely met with the golden sands of the beaches, providing the unique opportunity of enjoying time on the beach with dense vegetation just a few metres away. The residents here are keen ecological preservers, creating a shining example of how tourism can be tied in with caring for our natural environment.

Australian wildlife also flourishes in these surrounds, so be sure to keep an eye out and your camera ready for cassowaries, crocs, koalas and kangaroos. There is an endless array of other activities on offer, from jet skiing to kayaking to scuba diving, so any holiday to Mission Beach is guaranteed to be filled with excitement and adventure.

Townsville and its surrounding regions just cant be surpassed when it comes to destinations for your next holiday.

Christine Barton

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