There was a news report last week aboiut a man in Queensland who had died from a snakebite after helping to remove a snake which had coiled around his friend’s leg. It happened at Koumala, a town 60km south of Mackay, shortly after 6.30pm on last Saturday evening. They were at Koumala State School, attending a celebration for the school’s 100-year anniversary.

By sheer coincidence, we stopped at that State School and the war memorial next to it last week. I had a nice chat to one of the  staff memnbers  as she was putting out the garbage bins. She told me the story of how they celebrated Anzac Day with a horse rider in traditional Lighhorse uniform and had over 500 people at the service. I had taken a photo of the school as I was attracted by the colours of its mural on the wall and plants in its garden. What a coincidence!

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Down the road from our hotel in Cairns was a group for nice ‘Queenslander’ style houses. Before we left to drive to Townsville, I took a couple of photos of these grand old ladies. Their architectural style is quite unique.

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I don’t have too much to say about  our trip south to Townsville because I’ve covered this area in previous posts as we travleeld north. We did stop in Innisfail again for a coffee and I was interested to see that its Art Deco style of architecture had also been applied to the town’s water tower. It looked splendid in its orange and blue art deco colours.

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Near Mission Beach was the little town of El Arish that I wrote about a week, or so, ago. There are just a few houses in the town with a grand old pub and a large RSL Hall in keeping with the town’s origins as a soldier settlement village ater WW1. The old railway station is now a museum. I can’t help feeling sorry for those poor buggers who survived the horrors of that war and were then rewarded with the back breaking task of establishing a farm in what was then the middle of nowhere.


We passed a house some days ago that had a very attractive garden of tropical plants. We were convinced that it was to the north of Cairns and we searched diligently for it as we drove back from Cape Tribulation without any success. However, our memories were playing tricks on us – it was actually to the south of Cairns and we found it again on our trip back to Townsville. The garden is beautifully set out and maintained and the plants which we think are called Crotons make for a very colourful garden


When we reached Townsville, we were sad to find that two of the things that we most wanted to see were unavailable. There is a good military museum here at the Jezzine Barracks but it was not open on Mondays. As well, the famous Aquarium that highlights life on the Great Barrier Reef will be closed for renovations for the next few years.

Instead, we went sighseeing to some of Townsville’s highest lookout points. The first was at Mt Stuart, about 20 kilometres by road and 540 metres high. It provides good views from the Rotary Lookout just below Telstra’s communication towers. The road up the mountain is a nine-kilometre long winding road that runs along the edge of the firing range of the very large military base below. The view across to Magnetic Island clearly shows how much of a sprawling city Townsville really is.


Just near the centre of town is a tall bluff named Castle Hill.The views of the cirty from there are even better. There are several lookouts at the peak that give wonderful views of the city and the coast, including one that still has a remaining WW2 bunker .


The Strand is one of the prestigious streets along the waterfront with many high-value buildings. It stretches for over a kilometre but at the city end is the now semi-derelict Queens Hotel. It’s just over the road from the Anzac Memorial Park. This huge building was built progressively from 1902 through to the mid-1920s. It is an extraordinary building which, in the 1920s and 1930s, was known as the best hotel in North Queensland. There is something of the British Raj about it with its cupolas and long verandas. It would not be out of place in India or Singapore. In its day it was the place where wealthy graziers, coming to the coast for business or pleasure, would stay in luxury.


Townsville has long been home to one of the batallions of the Royal Australian Regiment. It now hosts a Brigade size military unit. Perhaps, because of that military association it has an impressive war memorial.


At the bottom end of Flinders Street, the city’s main street, are a collection of grand old buildings The create an impressive streetscape.


There are three major public parks in Townsville and we chose to visit Anderson Park. It is actually more of an arboretum with impressive stands of trees that grow in this area of the country. We enjoyed an hour taking in the serenity of this park and its impressive tree scapes. These tropical tree species are very different from those that we know in our more temperate environment in the south.




We finished off the day by having dinner with my friend Anita who I met on a photography trip to Tasmania last year. She is a very skilled photogrpaher and it was good to catch up again and swap photography stories.

One thought on “Townsville”

  1. We have fond memories of Townsville, it’s a very interesting place.
    Your beautiful weather continues. It’s 26c here today.
    Cheers, Tony and Marg

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