Townsville, Australia - Stein Travel
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Townsville

With a magnetic charm and dozens of fabulous attractions and golden sandy beaches, this laid-back little town in the heart of the tropics oozes with character and takes pride in being the unofficial capital of Queensland. Townsville is located on the shores of Cleveland Bay and with views of the picturesque and idyllic Magnetic Island in the distance it's not hard to see why people are so strongly drawn here. Townsville played an active role in the World War II when American and Australian troops were stationed here to cover the Pacific campaign. Japanese bombs were even dropped in the harbour in 1942 but thankfully, there was very little damage to this coastal city. Today an army of local and international tourists visit, drawn to the year round good weather and varied attractions to suit any inclination. Take a trip to the magnificent Magnetic Island to explore the National Park, or take the plunge and do some reef diving to discover the famous Yongala Wreck or Great Barrier Reef to the east. Back on land go on a 4x4 trip into the outback to the west, marvel at the magnificently verdant tropical rainforests dotted with waterfalls to the north, or visit the mango and sugar cane farms in the south. With numerous restaurants and bars, wonderful shopping opportunities and a quiet cosmopolitan feel, Townsville has something for everyone, though it should be noted that saltwater crocodiles are present in all swimming locations here, including the beach so caution should be exercised when swimming.

Information & Facts

Climate

With around 3, 000 hours of sunshine a year Townsville experiences a tropical savannah climate. Its rainfall is not nearly as high as other tropical regions like Cairns, but with the majority of the rain falling in the 'wet season', which runs from November through April, and cool and mild winters that are moderated by the south easterly trade winds, Townsville still experiences very mild winters. July is the coldest month with average daily temperatures reaching 25°C (77°F). The summer months are warm and December is the hottest month with daytime temperatures soaring to 31.4°C (88.5°F). Townsville is prone to tropical cyclones between November and May which form mainly over the Coral Sea.

Getting Around

Townsville's public transport system incorporates bus services operated by Sunbus which provides regular and efficient services between major points throughout the city. Taxis are easily hailed and operate 24 hours a day throughout the metropolitan area. Ferries and vehicular barges operate regularly to Magnetic Island and Palm Island. Car rental agencies can be found in the city and travellers planning on exploring further afield should opt for a rental car.

Language

English is the official language of Australia.

Money

The Australian Dollar (AUD) is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Travellers cheques are also welcome everywhere, but banks take a small commission and it is better to take cheques in major currencies (e.g. US dollars or Euros) to avoid additional charges. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.

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