We’ve been in Townsville for just over a week now, so it’s probably about time that we give our fellow Adventurers a bit of an update.
We’re going to be in Townsville for around 6 weeks so we’re not going to be sightseeing every single day and we do want to share some of those experiences with the family once they get here. Equally, we’re not going to bore you with stories of broken cupboard door magnets and the subsequent trip to Bunnings, etc.
We really enjoy the Townsville Cotters Sunday market. Flinders Street in the Townsville CBD is closed off for a couple of blocks and street stalls of all sorts are set up for the morning. There are local handicrafts and clothing, street entertainers, plus most of the retail shops are open as well. What really attracts us is the amazing range of fresh fruit and vegetables – much of which we don’t see at home and some of which we simply don’t recognise.
On our first Sunday here there was a Scottish pipe band parade down Flinders Street through the market. The bagpipes certainly bought back memories from my days in school cadets and had many feet tapping. It was quite a bit different to the country music and didgeridoos that we usually expect.
Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms
One place we were looking forward to visiting was the Heritage Tea Rooms at the top of Herveys Range, about 30 minutes out of Townsville. Gabby the GPS failed us on this one and couldn’t find the tea rooms or even the correct road, so we reverted to paper maps for navigation.
The tea rooms are situated in what was originally the Eureka Hotel which was built in 1825 and is one of very few slab sided inns left standing in Australia. It has since been restored but the original colonial feel is still very much in existence, and there are some very old and historic photos and artefacts on display.
The old building is surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens, so we enjoyed our lunch outside with native birds providing a lovely background soundtrack.
On the way back from the tea rooms we stopped at a roadside lookout – the views across to Townsville were amazing.
We also made a brief detour down Black River Rd to the Black River Stadium caravan park. It’s about 20 kms from town but promotes itself as a “seniors” camp with no jumping castles etc, and with having large sites and very competitive rates. We didn’t actually go for a walk around the park, as we often do, but from what we could see there were certainly plenty of big rigs and there appeared to be plenty of room overall. It would be worthwhile considering as an alternative if we couldn’t get into either The Lakes or Rowes Bay, where we are this year.
Kissing Point Fort and Jezzine Barracks
Ann and I often go for a walk before breakfast and last Wednesday we set off in the general direction of The Strand, assuming that there would be a track that would take us all the way there. There certainly is a track and it took us through Kissing Point Fort and Jezzine Barracks. There is a long timber boardwalk, plenty of interpretive signs and a great collection of artworks reflective of the indigenous history of the area.
Kissing Point Fort was completed in 1891 to defend the harbour from the threat of foreign attack – at that time by the Russians. During WW2 it was the Headquarters for 265th Australian Infantry Battalion and landing ship tanks used the beach near the fort to embark and disembark men and supplies.
The walk also takes you through the Jezzine Barracks, a newly redeveloped recreation area that features Jezzine House, which is privately owned, a collection of army huts and the Army Museum of North Queensland.
As the last stage of our walk was reasonably strenuous for a couple of old crocs like us, we needed a rest, so we took refuge in the Odyssey on the Strand, where we both had a delicious breakfast. Once suitably nourished, we returned back to the caravan park by a slightly less strenuous route. Our early morning walk ended up taking nearly 3 hours! Odyssey is a very nice Greek themed café and restaurant so we will probably come back one night for dinner before we leave Townsville.
Walk Along Rowes Bay Beach
Another morning we walked along the beach in the other direction. It was a much flatter walk among some of Townsville’s amazing trees with their huge exposed root systems. There were a lot of people fishing along the beach and we were stunned to see fish literally jumping out of the water. Ann has put in an order for a fishing rod for Christmas! It’s exciting when there is actually something to catch!
We’ve been snapping as we’ve been wandering around town so here’s a collection of some of the sights we’ve seen.
Today – Monday – is actually the Townsville Show Public Holiday. The Show started on Friday night and coincides with the start of Queensland school holidays. It certainly looked very busy over the weekend. Max and June our neighbours here at the caravan park reported back that it was great for 5 year olds who were looking for show bags and rides, but that there really wasn’t much for us oldies to we decided to pass today and go for a long walk in the sun along the Strand instead.