Bask in the subtropical sun, adventure out to the Great Barrier Reef, and explore this coastal gem in all its glory: Townsville is an ideal place to start a road trip in Australia.
In this guide, you will find links to fantastic road trip itineraries that include Townsville - all of which are adjustable to your unique interests - suggestions for some great festivals and events to add to your ‘must-see’ list, and some recent articles that will help you get to know the region better.
Remember to check out our ‘On the Road’ section to read up on some important information regarding motorhome camping in Australia. You can also find out where the nearest dump stations are, and some rest areas to pull into, should you need a break from driving.
Itineraries to and from Townsville
Camp out in your motorhome rental at Saunders or Toomulla Beach, or hit the road and explore the incredible east coast.
Sydney to Cairns: East Coast Bliss (or Cairns to Sydney)
While this ultimate Australian east coast adventure usually begins in Sydney and ends in the northern Queensland city of Cairns, the beauty of a road trip is that you can begin and end wherever you like.
Heading south from Townsville
Pick up your motorhome rental in Townsville and follow the itinerary south along the coast to Sydney, taking in some of Australia’s most stunning landscapes and inviting beaches. Before heading off, be sure to hit one of the greatest natural attractions in the world - the Great Barrier Reef. On your way down, pop into the Capricorn Caves, where you will stand in awe and delight inside ancient caverns. Pay a visit to the furry marsupials at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie before reaching the iconic splendours of Sydney. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the sun, sand and surf of this seaside itinerary.
Heading north from Townsville
Head north to Cairns from Townsville for a short 6.5 hour roadie. Detour off the main road to visit the incredible single-drop waterfall at Wallaman Falls, and stretch your legs at the Tyto Wetlands to spot native birds. Visit the golden sands of Mission Beach and explore some of the surrounding villages. Paronella Park is a must-see; get swept away into another world when you visit this stunning castle-like structure tucked into the trees. Just past Cairns is the town of Palm Cove; wander out along the jetty for some beautiful views of the ocean. You may also wish to tack on a trip further north to Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation for some beachy, relaxed fun and exciting tropical rainforest adventures.
Don’t miss: Whatever you do, you must experience the wonder and magic of the Great Barrier Reef.
Events and festivals to check out
Townsville is ideally situated for you to head out in your campervan and experience exciting local events and festivals. With an array of annual festivals in the city and a sprinkling of events in the surrounding area, you’re sure to catch one that suits your fancy.
Every month people gather from Townsville and the surrounding area for a night of world-class entertainment, colour, bright lights and more. Hosted on Queensland’s Magnetic Island, you’ll be dancing into the early hours.
Join thousands of others for a week of Australian culture, food, entertainment, workshops, market stalls and more, at the annual Townsville Cultural Fest.
For 9 days, artists, poets and writers ‘pop up’ all over the city, showcasing their work in the streets and shops of Townsville. Expressly focused on the culture of Northern Queensland, the festival makes use of some of the empty spaces around the city, filling them with beauty and wonder.
Often coinciding with the Pop Up North Queensland festival, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music is a 9-day event in late July. Over 30 musicians take to the stage each year in Townsville, some even holding concerts out on the beach of Orpheus Island, creating a unique atmosphere of music, sand and waves.
Other festivals of note:
Attractions and activities to experience in Townsville
Explore stunning natural sites, wander through eclectic markets, and peruse excellent galleries and museums when you visit the warm and engaging city of Townsville.
Townsville has a great number of exciting sporting events you can attend while you’re in the area. Head to the 1300SMILES Stadium to catch a rugby game, or visit Townsville Stadium for basketball.
Food & Wine
Walk down to the Townsville markets, or book yourself a wine tour; the foodie in you will be well satiated in this Queensland city.
Music & Art
Visit museums, galleries, and catch a show. If you love the music and arts scene, you’ll love what Townsville has to offer.
Townsville’s seaside location makes it perfect for experiencing life above and below the waves. The famous Great Barrier Reef is right on your doorstep, so make sure this spectacular natural phenomenon is at the top of your to-do list.
In addition to an energetic city life, Townsville has some spectacular opportunities to get up close with the nature of Australia.
From colourful sea creatures to stunning views of the whole area, head out of Townsville to see even more spectacular sights.
Australia road trips articles and blogs
A motorhome road trip in Queensland is a journey you’ll remember forever. Arm yourself with knowledge to make all of your travelling memories great ones.
Winter in Australia actually offers some pretty great weather for motorhome road tripping. Learn the ins and outs of planning your holiday during the cooler months.
Pull into an Australian town on your next motorhome rental road trip knowing that you will be welcomed with open arms. With the RV Friendly Town programme, towns and cities around Australia have been pulling together their campervan friendly facilities, so roadtrippers like you have access to everything you need.
Names like Yellowstone and Serengeti come to mind when you ponder incredible wildlife experiences, but in the Northern Territory of Australia, the Kakadu National Park is up there with the best in the world.
Australians may speak English but like any country they have their own slang. Learn some new words before you hit the road in your Australian motorhome rental.