The Wallace Folk recently went on an adventure to Townsville. Why Townsville? Mr Wallace had a work trip which was then cancelled. Our flights were booked and my dearest friend now lives in Townsville so we decided to go anyway. It might not be the most obvious tourist destination, but there are plenty of things to do in Townsville with kids. Here’s our top three!
The Strand Waterpark
I’m sure my biggest boys would tell you that of the things to do in Townsville with kids, the best is The Strand Waterpark. It’s a perfect place for kids to cool off and splash about. There’s a huge bucket that fills with water and then dumps on the kids. The big boys loved it! We were only in Townsville for three nights but managed two trips to the Waterpark. I would say that it’s more suited to kids who are 2.5 and over, there’s not a great deal aimed at little kids. The waterpark overlooks the beach, it’s a really picturesque setting. There’s lots of great places for ice-cream along The Strand, we loved Juliette’s.
The Billabong Sanctuary
The Billabong Sanctuary was a huge hit with the boys. It’s a little out of town but well worth the drive. While the setting isn’t amazing, the real charm of the Billabong Sanctuary is the hands on access to the animals. We started with turtle feeding. The turtles literally emerge from the billabong at feeding time and you’re given little pieces of fish to hand feed them. Turns out turtles don’t have great eye sight, so keep your fingers clear! Friendly kangaroos roam free and are keen for a feed.
There are plenty of animal talks about wombats, koalas, snakes and of course, crocodiles. While there are opportunities to pay for photos with the animals (like holding a koala), I was impressed that you can still pat a koala and wombat and hold both a snake and a crocodile as part of the admission price. There was no way I was going to hold a wriggly snake, but it was a laugh to hold the crocodile. Might was well get in on the action! Notice the biggest lad’s hat? We rescued it from childcare for the trip!
The local tip is to get to the Billabong Sanctuary early as it does get rather hot out there. We stayed until the crocodile feeding at 1pm and then called it quits.
Reef HQ is a great indoor activity that is nice and cool. The tanks are shiny and clean and the fish are impressive. There’s turtles, plenty of vibrant coloured tropical fish, sharks and sting rays that swim overhead. I’ve never seen so many baby Nemo fish. The only disappointing thing is that the talks and fish feeding weren’t very well pitched at kids.
While you are there, take a drive to the top of Castle Hill. The views are lovely and it is a great way to get a feel for the layout of Townsville.
Where to stay? While it was nothing fancy, we stayed in an apartment at Mariners North, which suited our needs. The location was perfect, a short stroll to the Strand, and the boys loved the pool.
While not strictly on the list of things to do in Townsville with kids, you’ll need coffee to kick start your day. We experimented a little and decided the best option is Coffee Dominion on Stokes Street.
Where’s your next family adventure?
Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT