What is it like to live and work in Townsville?
Townsville is considered the unofficial capital of North Queensland and as well as hosting a large number of major business and government offices it also remains popular with tourists and backpackers drawn to the nearby Great Barrier Reef.
The city offers a wide variety of reef tourism activities and has outstanding diving and snorkelling facilities. Townsville also has many restaurants and a vibrant pub and night-club scene. Other local attractions include a long garden and tropical beach strip known as 'The Strand', a riverfront parkland attraction called Riverway, a large tropical aquarium and Magnetic Island, a beautiful and popular neighbouring island which consists mostly of national park.
There are a number of parks scattered throughout Townsville and the Ross River that flows through the city is a popular spot for fishing, rowing and water skiing.
The area is known for a hot climate with plenty of sunshine and minimal rain in winter, although flooding does sometimes occur in the summer.
The verdict: While Townsville could be considered a little less sophisticated than some of the other cities in Australia, it is ideally located for those wanting to explore the Great Barrier Reef or Magnetic island. If you don't mind a tourist vibe and you're into fishing or watersports it could be worth checking out.
What are the prominent industries?
While the resources boom led to significant economic growth and continues to remain a key industry, the region's tourism sector is also very strong and has outstripped neighbouring regions.
What is the area famous for?
? Townsville is the only city in the world to refine three different base metals, being copper, zinc and nickel.
? Eddie Mabo learned of the terra nullius doctrine implications while working as a gardener at James Cook University. He later went on to become famous for taking on the Australian government and causing the historic overturning of the legal notion terra nullius.
? Each July the international chamber music festival known as the Australian Festival of Chamber Music attracts numerous acclaimed Australian and international musicians to Townsville.
? Townsville was the home of famous Editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.
Townsville's population currently sits at around 150,000 people. The city experiences a high turnover with many short term workers being brought in by government services and the army base. The area is also popular for fly in/fly out mining workers.
The Australian Army maintains a strong presence in Townsville, with the 3rd Brigade located at the Lavarack Barracks in Townsville itself.
Some key landmarks in the area:
? Seating over 5000 people and hosting many national and international music, trade and sport shows, the Townsville Entertainment Centre is a popular spot for local entertainment.
? Castle Hill, sitting at 292 metres (just short of being classified as a mountain), offers visitors a spectacular view of the city and Magnetic Island from its summit.
? Since its opening in 1978, the Townsville Civic Theatre has been the premier cultural facility for North Queensland.