Best Free Things to Do in Townsville

Welcome to Townsville, an energetic city tucked away on Queensland’s stunning coast. Townsville, which is well-known for its beautiful scenery and diverse cultural heritage, provides a wide range of thrilling adventures without breaking the bank. This city has something to offer everyone, whether you’re a fan of nature, a history buff, or just want to soak in the local character. Townsville offers a wide range of alluring best free things to do in Townsville, from exploring the pristine beaches and hiking trails to discovering fascinating museums and taking part in free community events. Prepare to explore Townsville’s top features while keeping your pocketbook satisfied.

1. The Strand

Best for Family-friendly activities
Address The Strand Townsville Queensland 4810

Discover The Strand, Townsville’s bustling beachfront, and immerse yourself in the local culture. The Strand is teeming with family-friendly activities and has a calm yet upbeat atmosphere. The 2.5-kilometer promenade, which is popular with runners, walkers, and kids on bikes and scooters, provides breathtaking views of Magnetic Island. While eating at one of the local eateries or cafés, take in the ocean air. Alternatively, take the entire family out for a picnic or BBQ. The Strand will occupy children for hours with its magnificent playgrounds and well-known Strand Water Park.

After the adrenaline rush of skydiving, go swimming in the ocean or a rock pool, try your balance on a stand-up paddle board, or land on the beach! With a good book and some gelato, relax among the palm palms and take in the breathtaking scenery. The jetty is a fantastic place for anglers to cast a line. Discover Jezzine Barracks at The Strand’s end to learn more about Townsville’s early history. Enjoy the outdoor art while learning about the region’s important military and indigenous history.

What makes them stand out

  • Fantastic place for anglers to cast a line
  • Adrenaline rush of skydiving
  • Stand-up paddleboard

Customer Reviews

The accommodation was nice 🙂
The self-contained room had lots of beds and space and it was cozy and comfortable. Management is lovely and accommodating.
Quiet, within walking distance to shops and the beach, the surrounding area is beautiful.
Ample parking and a smoking area which was a bonus 👌

2. Townsville Palmetum

Best for A paradise for nature lovers
Address University Road Cranbrook Townsville, Queensland 4814


In Townsville, Australia, there is a botanical garden called the Townsville Palmetum, which features a magnificent variety of palm trees and other exotic species. This tropical paradise, which spans over 17 hectares, gives visitors the chance to fully immerse themselves in a variety of international flora. The Palmetum is a paradise for nature lovers and serious photographers alike because of its well-kept pathways and peaceful atmosphere. Wander around the thick vegetation, take in the beautiful palms, and be in awe of the vibrant array of flowers that bloom all year long. The Townsville Palmetum is a mesmerizing location that welcomes tourists to experience the peace and beauty of nature in a breathtaking environment.

What makes them stand out

  • Mesmerising location
  • Nature in a breathtaking environment
  • Well-kept pathways and a peaceful atmosphere

Customer Reviews

This palm garden is beautiful and relaxing to walk through or sit and have a picnic. There are water lilies along the river edge of the Palmetum. There are some huge spiders in there and saw a python just having a snooze in the garden bed. Worth a visit, maybe not on a very hot day. The is a really nice Cafe at the entrance “Absolute Cravings”, the food is amazing and friendly service.

3. Army Museum North Queensland

Best for Instructive experience for guests of all ages
Address Jezzine Barracks, 1 Mitchell St North Ward, Townsville Queensland 4810

Australia’s Townsville is home to the Army Museum North Queensland, a riveting establishment that provides a fascinating look into the area’s military past. The museum highlights the rich past and contributions of the Australian Army through a wide collection of artifacts, exhibitions, and interactive displays. Visitors are taken on an engrossing journey through time, with dioramas depicting important wars and campaigns and vintage weapons and outfits. The Army Museum North Queensland offers an engaging and instructive experience for guests of all ages, putting light on the heroic men and women who have served their country, with trained personnel on hand to provide insights and anecdotes.

What makes them stand out

  • Rich past and contributions of the Australian Army
  • Wide collection of artifacts
  • Dioramas depicting important wars and campaigns

Customer Reviews

Great place to look around. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Some terrific displays and great stories to read. The people who keep medals and memorabilia polished do a fantastic job. Free to enter but it wasn’t hard to leave a donation. So much history. Thanks.

4. Castle Hills

Best for Numerous popular walking trails
Address Castle Hill Road Townsville Queensland 4810

The enormous pink granite monolith known as Castle Hill, which rises proudly in the middle of Townsville and is just a few meters shy of a mountain, is the ideal location for tourists to become oriented. More than 2,500 locals visit Castle Hill’s numerous popular walking trails every day in addition to its automobile access. The journey is certainly worth it to see the 360-degree views of Townsville from the summit. Make sure to have your camera with you because sunrise and sunset are excellent times to take pictures. Castle Hill has a rich history in addition to serving as the city’s unmistakable centerpiece and providing breathtaking views. During World War, visiting American forces used Hill’s vantage point. The tourists famously proposed to destroy the hill and use the rock to construct a bridge to Magnetic Island, according to local lore. On one of the Hill’s corners, a World War II observation bunker serves as a reminder of Castle Hill’s military past. Parking spaces, public conveniences, drink stations, and covered seating areas are available at Castle Hill, where you can also enjoy some of the city’s best views and look across to Magnetic Island.

What makes them stand out

  • Breathtaking views
  • City’s best views
  • Covered seating areas

Customer Reviews

Great views and photo opportunities at this lookout. The sunset is spectacular. The drive up is a little rough at times and there are many bikes and walkers to navigate around.

5. Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

Best for Stimulating environment for visitors
Address Corner of Denham & Flinders St Townsville Queensland 4810


Australia’s Townsville is home to the vibrant Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, which showcases modern visual arts and crafts. The gallery, which is housed in a historic, heritage-listed structure, presents a variety of exhibitions and features the creations of both national and international artists. The gallery offers a stimulating environment for visitors to immerse themselves in a variety of art forms, from paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media projects. This is thanks to its contemporary and large interior. Perc Tucker Regional Gallery presents dynamic community programs in addition to its magnificent permanent collection, producing a thriving cultural center that encourages aesthetic appreciation and creativity in all who enter.

What makes them stand out

  • Creations of both national and international artists
  • Aesthetic appreciation and creativity in all who enter.
  • Variety of art forms

Customer Reviews

Beautiful gallery, portrait paintings in the presents exhibition are beautifully presented. Looking forward to the next exhibition which will be ceramics. In a lovely old building, and don’t forget to take a lift up a floor as there’s more to see.

6. Townsville Town Common Conservation Park

Best for Sheltered beaches
Address Cape Pallarenda Road Rowes Bay Townsville Queensland 4810

In close proximity to Townsville’s core, the park’s wildlife viewing areas, walking trails, and mountain bike routes offer a variety of nature-based recreational activities. The park has sheltered beaches bordered by rocky headlands, coastal woods and vine thickets, and deep-water lagoons, and seasonal wetlands. The area becomes a vast wetland during the summer rains, drawing herds of waterbirds. Hike across the Many Peak Range, ride a mountain bike on the Under the Radar track and take in the broad island views, or take a stroll along the trail to Shelley Beach for a picnic in the stunning seclusion. The park is a birdwatcher’s heaven! Watch flocks of magpie geese, brolgas, finches, wrens, and cisticolas from bird hides and observation posts; up to 280 species have been recorded here.

What makes them stand out

  • Deep-water lagoons and seasonal wetlands
  • Picnic in the stunning seclusion
  • Vast wetland during the summer rains

Customer Reviews

Plenty of water around after the rains.. very pretty! The road is gravel and corrugated, so a bit dusty but keeps the speed down! Quite a bit of bird life around mid-afternoon.

7. Anzac Park

Best for Breathtaking views
Address The Strand Townsville Queensland 4810

Anzac Park, located in Townsville, Australia, is a beloved public area that honors the history of the nation’s armed forces. This calm park with exquisite landscaping serves as a solemn monument to the valiant troops who served and gave their lives in support of the country. Explore the several war memorials at Anzac Park, including the spectacular cenotaph and various plaques that pay tribute to those who fought in various conflicts. Anzac Park provides a tranquil sanctuary where visitors can ponder, pay respects, and understand the significance of Australia’s military heritage thanks to its beautiful green lawns, calm walks, and breathtaking views of Magnetic Island.

What makes them stand out

  • Several war memorials at Anzac Park
  • Heritage thanks to its beautiful green lawns
  • Solemn monument

Customer Reviews

Great park. Well looked after. A good place to walk through or even to sit and have a rest. Close to the beach. Plenty of parking nearby. Interesting to read some of the history nearby about some pilots.

8. Street Art CBD Walking Trails

Best for Selection of eye-catching street art murals
Address On some Locations

For art lovers and inquisitive explorers alike, Townsville’s Street Art CBD Walking Trails offer a vivid and captivating experience. These pathways wind through the city’s commercial core and display an amazing selection of eye-catching street art murals that convert ordinary walls into intriguing works of art. Visitors are treated to a visual feast of vibrant and thought-provoking works by local and international artists as they travel the authorized paths. The Street Art CBD Walking Trails offer a dynamic and constantly changing outdoor gallery that adds an intriguing and modern flavor to the city’s urban scene, ranging from large-scale murals illustrating local wildlife and indigenous culture to abstract and whimsical pieces.

What makes them stand out

  • Provoking works by local and international artists
  • Illustrating local wildlife
  • Indigenous culture to abstract and whimsical pieces

Customer Reviews

What a great way to brighten up a rather ‘dead’ city center and get foot traffic into cafes.
We spent a couple of hours exploring — NB: we didn’t use the augmented reality version.
This was a way of appreciating Townsville’s architecture and Ross River, as well as the various artists’ takes on the region.
Grab a brochure or download an app and you’re off.

9. Lake Paluma


Best for Picturesque surrounding
Address Paluma Dam Paluma Townsville, Queensland 4810

Lake Paluma is a lovely sanctuary that provides a tranquil escape for nature enthusiasts and is tucked away in the dense rainforest near Townsville, Australia. This picturesque freshwater lake, surrounded by soaring trees and tumbling waterfalls, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts seeking peace and stunning scenery. Visitors can take leisurely strolls around the lake’s serene shoreline, partake in picnics amidst the stunning scenery, or even give freshwater fishing a try. Lake Paluma offers a welcome respite from the bustle of daily life, enabling guests to immerse themselves in the tranquility of its picturesque surroundings. Its crystal-clear waters reflect the bright flora.

What makes them stand out

  • Tranquil escape for nature enthusiasts
  • Guests to immerse themselves
  • Crystal-clear waters reflect the bright flora

Customer Reviews

We camped here for one night in December. The sites need to be booked online in advance, but 2 sites are left available for those who haven’t booked and there is a registration system. The drive up is beautiful and we drove through clouds at the Paluma township. The campsite is well maintained. The hybrid toilets are in good condition. There are fire rings. There is not a lot of signage about walks so do your research or simply explore. Campsites suit tents and smaller campers. Very relaxing place. Only about 5 groups of campers when we stayed.

10. Pinnacles Gallery

Best for Dynamic experience
Address Riverway Village Boulevard Thuringowa Central Townsville Queensland 4817

In Townsville, Australia, Pinnacles Gallery is a buzzing gallery that displays a diverse selection of modern art. This gallery, which is a part of the Riverway Arts Centre, provides both locals and art fans with an engaging and dynamic experience. The Pinnacles Gallery, with its contemporary and roomy design, presents a recurring schedule of exhibitions with pieces by regional, international, and national artists. Visitors engage with thought-provoking works of art and explore a wide variety of artistic expressions, from paintings and sculptures to photography and multimedia installations. Pinnacles Gallery, which is dedicated to nurturing creativity and cultural awareness, acts as a center of inspiration for artists by promoting discussion and exploration in Townsville’s thriving art community.

What makes them stand out

  • An engaging dynamic experience is offered to both locals and art enthusiasts through the multimedia installation, which encourages discussion and inquiry

Customer Reviews

A small gallery but worth a quick visit!

Pinnacles Gallery is a good place to start before entering the Pinnacles dessert. From the gallery, visitors can have a lot better understanding of how the pinnacle dessert was formed and therefore making the visit and experience a lot more interesting and meaningful.

Do check out the educational pinnacles gallery!


In conclusion, Townsville is a veritable gold mine of free activities, ensuring that both tourists and residents may enjoy the city’s attractions without going over budget. From the stunning rainforests and rich cultural landmarks to the sun-kissed beaches, this bustling city offers a wide variety of best free things to do in Townsville excursions. So whether you decide to stroll down The Strand, experience the natural marvels of Magnetic Island, or immerse yourself in the rich historical collections held in the region’s museums, Townsville offers a selection of free excursions that will leave you with priceless memories. Accept the allure of this undiscovered jewel by the sea and delight in it.