If you’re looking for some of the best dive sites in the world then you’ll want to spend a few days in Townsville. There are so many exciting things to discover off the coast!
You’ll find a few dives centres dotted around the town and they all have daily trips or liveaboards to the dives sites in the area. The trips can be a couple of hours on the boat and the sea sometimes rough so be sure to take a tablet if you get seasick or go on a liveaboard to get the most our of the diving.
There are about 10 different reef systems to explore and the area is home to some of the most diverse sea life on the planet. Other than the normal reef fish and corals you might also see many different species of sharks, turtles, rays and so much more. There are some very exciting and interesting critters to discover too.
Voted the best wreck dive in the world, the 109 metre long S.S. Yongala should be the number one site on your list of dives to do from Townsville. You will need to be an advanced dive to see the wreck as it lies right on 30 metres so be sure to do your certification before you book the dive. The sea life is so huge around the wreck that you’d think there was a McDonalds in the vicinity that they were pigging out on! Expect to see massive sting rays, turtles as big as you, groupers and parrot fish that could swallow you whole (don’t worry, you’re not on the menu) and so many different other things that you won’t know where to look. You cannot penetrate the wreck as it has been declared as a grave site as some of the 124 passengers that went down with the ship are still inside.
Another great wreck dive is the Gothenburg Wreck. Keeper Reef is a great dive with lots of caves and canyons to explore, Shrimp Reef is a colourful coral garden full of sea life and reef sharks and Kelso Reef is a nice shallow dive that snorkelers can enjoy too.
These fantastic dives are waiting for you so be sure to stop in and visit Townsville on your way along the east coast of Australia.
(By Kelly Luckman)
Townsville is thought to be a city but once you there you’ll notice it’s more like a quiet country town. The gateway to many wonderful dive sites and a few Great Barrier Reef islands, you’re sure to find some great things to do on your stay here. The place is full of students and army corps as it has one of the biggest army bases in the country.
The Townville airport has domestic flights from most major east coast cities of Australia such as Brisbane, Sydney and Cairns. There are buses and trains along the coast as well but it’s more economical to fly as it’s a long way.
Accommodation varies considerably depending on your budget. Dorm beds start at $25 a night, $55 will get you a private double room in a hostel and $90 a double room in a hotel. There are no 5 star resorts in town so a top end 4.5 star hotel can be about $200 a night. If you want a 5 star resort experience then head to Magnetic Island which is 25 minutes by boat.
Take a leisurely stroll along the esplanade or to the rock pools lagoon where you can relax in the many nice areas surrounding the lagoon. Sky dive, scuba dive or snorkel on a trip so the many reefs off the coast for some of the best diving in the world. Head to the outback for a horseback experience if you’ve ever imagined yourself as a cowboy or cowgirl. For an interesting adventure try the Townsville ghost tour.
Try the great restaurants around town, from seafood dishes to Greek or Asian, you’ll love the many culinary delights on offer. Chill out in one of the many bars and meet the local diving chatting about their amazing diving experiences.
You can enjoy a good few days checking out Townville and the surrounding areas.
(By Kelly Luckman)