Townsville, a gateway to Australia’s future

Townsville's future is looking bright thanks to its unique location.

“No other region of comparable size has the connection into the future prosperity of the Australian nation as Townsville,” says Australian demographer Bernard Salt.

So, what makes this city in Queensland’s north so special? Location, location, location. The truism of all real estate gurus applies equally to Townsville which is blessed in many ways.

Let’s start with its location as a gateway to three of Australia’s most iconic experiences – the reef, the rainforest and the outback.

Not any old reef but the Great Barrier Reef, and not any old outback, but one that can offer experiences such as touring a Texas longhorn cattle ranch. And not any old rainforest, well actually one of the world’s oldest rainforests.

The region also has one of the most diverse economies in regional Australia and is considered a leading renewable energy and green hydrogen hub. In short, Townsville has what the world needs to power itself in the 21st century at its doorstep.

Townsville is on the doorstep of the nation’s critical mineral and energy raw materials.

A new $5 billion transmission line is being built that will unlock $740 billion in untapped minerals in the North West using renewable energy.

Locally generated renewable energy will also power the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, Northern Australia’s first environmentally sustainable advanced manufacturing, processing and technology estate.

Then there is the SunHQ Hydrogen project, an integral link in a chain to produce hydrogen-powered trucks.

These future proofing projects are not the only feathers in Townsville’s cap with the city home to world-class health and education facilities James Cook University and Central Queensland University and marine research facilities at the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

Throw in one of Australia’s largest defence hubs and a booming agriculture belt and you begin to see what Bernard Salt was talking about.

That economic confidence is spilling over into the accommodation sector with Townsville’s first luxury hotel, Ardo, set to open at the end of the year.

Townsville will welcome luxury hotel Ardo at the end of the year.

The $88m luxury development will offer 132 rooms and suites, world-class dining, a day spa and rooftop restaurant and pool deck featuring panoramic views across the Coral Sea out to Magnetic Island.

Sitting alongside Ardo is Morris Group’s other Townsville resort, The Ville, with Ardo guests able to use The Ville precinct’s amenities including the oceanside swimming pool with swim-up bar. Also nearby is the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre.

“With Ardo joining The Ville, and the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre on the Breakwater, what we’ve created will enhance the precinct, and become the region’s leisure and entertainment hub,” says Chris Morris, the Group’s executive chairman.

Hilton is also heading to Townsville with The Hilton Garden Inn set to offer 166-rooms in a new-build seven-storey development located on the western side of the Queensland Country Bank Stadium. These new accommodation offerings add to the range of hotels already in town including brands such as Mercure and Rydges.

Townsville is also home to a thriving dining scene including three Hatted restaurants.

Day trips to the Great Barrier Reef are a must if time allows.

A big drawcard for the city is its accessibility to some of Australia’s most stunning natural landscapes. Take a day tour to the Great Barrier Reef or closer to home, Magnetic Island offers a tropical island paradise experience that is only 20 minutes away by ferry.

For underwater enthusiasts, the Museum Of Underwater Art Ocean is a bucket list experience. A series of underwater installations by world-renonwed underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor create a platform to share the stories of the reef and the culture of its First Nations people, while highlighting the importance of reef conservation.

Townsville offers easy access to spectacular rainforest with the Paluma Range National Park the southern gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Slightly further afield in Girringun National Park, Wallaman Falls is the Southern Hemisphere’s highest permanent single-drop waterfall.

Heading inland, Charters Towers offers a fascinating insight into Australia’s gold rush era. Or go back in time even further and explore the stories of the region’s Traditional Owners, the Ngwaigi people, on the Indigenous tour of Mungalla Station, just an hour and a half’s drive north of Townsville.

Texas Longhorn Tours is run by Michael ‘Mick’ and Lynda Bethel.

One experience not to be missed is a tour of a working Texas Longhorn farm under the canvas of a horse drawn wagon.

Townsville has plenty of venue options but groups often take advantage of the tropical weather and head outside for one of the many out of the ordinary sites available for groups including Castle Hill, Jezzine Barracks, The Ross River Quarry and the Hervey Range Rodeo Grounds.

There is no doubt Townsville is looking ahead with a new degree of confidence which underpins its already enviable conferencing and events credentials.

There has never been a better time to tap into the city’s burgeoning industrial, healthcare and educational hubs and learn from the region’s thought leaders who are set to shape the nation’s future economic prosperity.

Direct connections from most major capital cities and services by all major airlines including Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Bonza, Alliance, Skytrans and Rex make the task of bringing groups to Townsville even easier.

The team at Townsville Convention Bureau have always believed in Townsville’s ability to surprise groups with the region’s event capabilities. But with the newest wave of investment, Townsville’s reputation to deliver beyond expectations has just been turbocharged.