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Townsville is the perfect place to live, work and play!

Located in the dry tropics with an average daily temperature of 28 degrees, and a daily rush hour of less than 20 minutes, Townsville's lifestyle is second to none.

From the reef and its tropical islands, to lush rainforests, and endless natural beauty – Townsville is all about easy living with plenty of big city benefits.

Townsville is home to Australia’s largest garrison city, world-class events, leading education providers, cutting-edge health facilities, affordable housing, and a global bustling port.

Read on to find out more about the northern lifestyle including Cost of Living, Climate, Education and Recreation.

Learn About North Queensland

Cost of Living

Townsville offers the benefits of city living within reach of a wide variety of lifestyle benefits and conveniences without the price-tag. With an average commute of less than 20 minutes in the city,  Townsville North Queensland offers affordable housing, schooling, childcare and transport costs. 

Sources: Domain, ABS, Moovit, Care for Kids, Townsville Bulletin

Housing Costs

Median House Prices
Townsville $427,500

Sydney $1,421,413

Melbourne $941,698

Brisbane $920,046

Median monthly mortgage payments
Townsville $1,517

Sydney $2,427

Melbourne $2,000

Brisbane $1,863

Median weekly rent
Townsville $490

Sydney $759

Melbourne $569

Brisbane $632

Median weekly household income
Townsville $1,621

Sydney $2,077

Melbourne $1,901

Brisbane $1,849

Getting Around

Average commute time (minutes each way)
Townsville 10-20 min

Sydney 46 min

Melbourne 47 min

Brisbane 44 min

Schooling & Childcare

Cost of childcare Capital Cities

Townsville $120.71 /day

Sydney $172.69 /day

Melbourne $155 /day

Brisbane $141.12 /day

Cost of childcare Townsville regions

Townsville $109.97 /day

Charters Towers $108.66 /day

Hinchinbrook Shire $89.25 /day

Burdekin Shire $80.33 /day

Average Private School Fees

Primary School $1,500 - $9,200 + ancillary costs and uniforms

Secondary School $2,276 - $12,380 + ancillary costs and uniforms


A tropical savannah climate, North Queensland’s weather is characterised by a wet season in summer between November and April, and a dry season in winter from May to October.

Despite being close to the tropics, Townsville receives less rain than other tropical areas and its winters enjoy mostly fine weather with south-easterly winds. When rainfall does occur, downpours are heavy but brief.

The average climate in Townsville North Queensland is typically a tropical 28 degrees with average rainfall of 728mm

Summer (December-February) 25°C to 30°C

Autumn (March-May): 18°C to 30°C

Winter (June-August): 15°C to 25°C

Spring (September-November): 18°C to 30°C

Transport & Connectivity

Townsville Airport

Townsville Airport is the gateway to North Queensland, welcoming 1.7 million passengers to the region annually.

As North Queensland’s regional hub, Townsville Airport connects Townsville and capital cities with regular direct flights to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Darwin, as well as regional centres and remote locations. Serviced by Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, airnorth, rex and Bonza, the airport is located 5km west of the city centre.

Connection through Cairns International Airport provides direct flights to Indonesia, Singapore, Bali and Japan.

Townsville Airport is also home to the QAL-owned Northern Australian Aerospace Centre of Excellence (NAACEX), a purpose-built hangar precinct for aviation-related businesses.

Flight times from Townsville Airport
  • Brisbane 2hrs
  • Sydney 2.5hrs
  • Melbourne 3 hrs
  • Darwin 2.75 hrs
  • Cairns 1 hr
  • Mackay 1 hr
  • Adelaide 3 hrs
  • Sunshine Coast 2 hrs
  • Rockhampton 2 hrs
  • Mount Isa 2 hrs
  • Cloncurry 1.5 hrs
  • Toowoomba 2 hrs
  • Longreach 2.5 hrs

Getting Around North Queensland by Sea, Rail and Road

By Sea

Townsville is a unique and welcoming destination for cruise ships with a near new and dedicated cruise terminal at the Port of Townsville in the Quayside Terminal just south of the city centre.

SeaLink and Magnetic Island Ferries operate from Townsville providing regular ferry services to Magnetic Island for both residents and visitors alike. SeaLink is a passenger only service making the short 25-minute trip about 20 times per day. SeaLink also runs a variety of tours and packages, including a day trip to Orpheus Island via the Palm Island Group. Magnetic Island Ferries is a car ferry service which runs an average of 8 trips per day and requires pre-booking.

By RailTOWNSVILLECairns 4hr 15minsMount Isa 10hrs Ingham 1hr 20minAyr 1hrCharters Towers 1hr 30minAirlie Beach 3hr 25minBrisbane 15hr 30minsDriving Times from Townsville

Queensland Rail operates regular passenger services between Brisbane and Cairns on the Spirit of Queensland with four weekly return services per week and stopping in Home Hill, Ayr, Giru, Townsville and Ingham.

Queensland Rail also operate the Inlander service from Townsville to Mt Isa with two weekly return services.

By Road

The North Queensland region is well serviced by the Transport and Main Roads network offering connectivity via the Bruce Highway, Flinders Highway, Hervey Range Road, the Lynd Highway and Gregory Development Road.

The Northwest of Queensland is famously known for several scenic drives, including Overlander’s Way which takes you from Townsville, 1,081km inland to Tennant Creek along the pioneering journey linking the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef with the rugged Outback, across the breadth of Queensland. From dazzling reef to the ochre-tinged outback, Overlander's Way leads you past incredible sights both modern and ancient and manmade.

Schools & Childcare

North Queensland offers an excellent range of childcare and school facilities with more than 100 Primary and Secondary schooling options across the region. With both public and private schooling options available, as well as specialty schools for all learning and development needs, students in the region are exposed to some of the best facilities and education programs on offer.

Not only is North Queensland well equipped with quality early childhood care and schools, the availability of placement in daycare and private schools is achievable and the costs are a fraction of those in the capitals.

North Queensland Schools at a Glance

  • 43,273 Students
  • 88 Primary Schools
  • 67 State Schools
  • 3,816 Teachers
  • 22 Secondary Schools
  • 38 Private Independent & Catholic

For full information on all schools in North Queensland visit the Department of Education Schools Directory. You can search for schools by a wide variety of criteria including state, private or independent; primary or secondary; boarding capacity or single sex schools. Each listing provides full details on the school and contact information.

The Queensland Government edMap shows the catchment boundaries for our State schools which may dictate eligibility for attendance.

Childcare and Kindy

Townsville and the broader region have more than 168 child care places available ranging from daycare, preschool or kindy and out of school care. All of the childcare places in Townsville, Burdekin, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook have some level of immediate availability.

To research childcare and kindy facilities, costs and availability visit Care for Kids, Starting Blocks and the Early Child Education and Care site by the Queensland Department of Education.

University, Training & Further Education

For school leavers or those wishing to up-skill, Townsville also offers world-class tertiary and training opportunities. Townsville is home to two internationally renowned universities and two TAFE campuses with a fast-growing reputation for innovation, science and technology.

James Cook University is Queensland’s second oldest university and is ranked 1st in the world for Marine and Freshwater Biology, and 2nd in the world for Biodiversity Conservation. JCU has over 20,000 students and continues to be ranked 5 stars for graduates’ employment in full time work.

Visit James Cook University

CQ University is the largest university in regional Australia. CQ University introduced a Townsville Campus in 2015 providing vocational certificates through to Bachelor degrees and PhDs. The Townsville Campus works with key organisations and industries to tailor programs and facilities to build the region’s future workforce.

Visit CQ University

TAFE Queensland provides vocational education and training in Townsville provides over 200 training programs, ranging from Certificate through to Advanced Diploma level. There are campuses across North Queensland including Townsville, Charters Towers and the Burdekin.

Visit TAFE Queensland

TEC NQ is an independent registered training organisation (RTO) that offers nationally accredited x through the provision of full time apprentice training, VET in Schools programs, short courses and training. Trainers are trade qualified and industry experienced. With a focus on face-to-face delivery and hands-on practical assessments, Tec-NQ delivers quality trades training for apprentices across Queensland.

Visit TEC-NQ

The Queensland Skills Gateway provides access to information on vocational education and training available across Queensland. The website allows you to search and browse information including courses, training providers, government funding and career pathways.

Visit Skills Gateway Training
Registered training organisations in North Queensland

North Queensland has a comprehensive range of registered training organisations and group training organisations that offer courses and modules in many fields. Find exactly what you are looking for using the Federal Government's national register of vocational education and training.

Health Services

Townsville offers both private and public hospital services. The Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS) is one of the largest emergency departments in Queensland and coordinates the emergency recovery service for North Queensland.

THHS is the largest tertiary hospital in Northern Australia. Major specialist areas include:

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Largest children’s services outside of Brisbane
  • Paediatric oncology
  • Cardiac catheter lab
  • Major oncology service
  • Five Linear Accelerator treating cancer with high energy x-rays
  • PET scanner
  • Digital hospital
  • Medical Research Centre
  • Specialised birthing centre

THHS also encompasses regional hospitals in Ayer, Charters Towers and Ingham – all of which have 24-hour emergency care, a range of patient services and links to the Townsville specialist network of physicians and treatment.

Mater Health Service North Queensland is part of a large network of Queensland private hospitals with two campuses in Townsville. Major specialist areas include:

  • Cardiac Care
  • Orthopaedics
  • Perinatal Care
  • Children Care
  • Women’s Health
  • Allied Health Unit



North Queensland is home to two national, premiership winning sporting teams – the Toyota Cowboys (National Rugby League) and JCU Townsville Fire (Women’s National Basketball League). Townsville also has an extremely active sporting community due to the year-round enviable weather.

The region is home to the Queensland Country Bank Stadium, a state-of-the-art 25,000 seat stadium hosting NRL games as well as offering an exceptional drawcard for North, and a drawcard for entertainment and sporting events including recent music events, State of Origin and international women’s and men’s soccer.

Activities and Attractions

North Queensland is the gateway to the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, Wet Tropics Rainforest, tropical islands, wetlands, National Parks and historical, military and outback experiences. Majestic Magnetic Island is only a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville. The city’s beachfront, The Strand, provides a 2.2km beachfront promenade that was custom built for family and recreational enjoyment. Other major attractions include TYTO Wetlands, Castle Hill and Queens Gardens, Hinchinbrook Island, Yongala Wreck, Venus Gold Battery and Paluma rainforest.

Culture, Events and Festivals

Live theatre, music and the arts feature prominently in North Queensland. Townsville enjoys two major art galleries – Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Pinnacles Gallery – and is home to a globally-recognised contemporary dance company, Dancenorth.

The Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre hosts major concerts, conventions and indoor sporting events, while the Townsville Civic Theatre holds local, national and international performances. The region’s calendar boasts many special events and festivals, including the internationally-acclaimed North Australian Festival of Arts, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Supercars, the Australian Italian Festival and the Charters Towers Goldfield Ashes – the largest amateur cricket carnival in the southern hemisphere.

Check out the regional pages on this site for more detail on the regional attractions and regular events specific to the area.

For more information about things to do, events and travel to North Queensland, visit

Diverse and Multicultural Community

We would like to acknowledge the traditional owners on the land on which we live, the Wulgurukaba and the Bindal people as well as other aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. Townsville is known for its rich cultural heritage and diversity from Italian, Japanese and Chinese migrants, to our pacific and Asian neighbours, International students and Refugees who all contribute greatly to this region. Townsville is a proud refugee resettlement location. With an overseas constituent of 14%, the multicultural community represents more than 155 different countries. 

Townsvilel North Queensland - Total persons (Usual residence in 2021)  
Ancestry Number %
English 86,370 36.9
Australian 86,365 36.9
Irish 25,895 11.1
Scottish 23,871 10.2
Australian Aboriginal 17,556 7.5
Italian 15,489 6.6
German 12,220 5.2
Torres Strait Islander 4,806 2.1
Filipino 3,241 1.4
Chinese 2,873 1.2
Dutch 2,836 1.2
Indian 2,466 1.1
New Zealander 1,974 0.8
Greek 1,563 0.7
Maori 1,450 0.6

Townsville Council has Sister City agreements with six cities:

  • National Capital District Commission of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • Shunan - Japan
  • Iwaki - Japan
  • Changshu - China
  • Suwon - Korea
  • Foshan - China

Key Community Clubs include:

  • North Queensland Hindu Community Inc
  • The Townsville Chinese Cultural Club Inc
  • Townsville Italian Club
  • Greek Community Centre
  • Townsville Islamic Society
  • HORN of Africa
  • Filipino Australian Affiliation of North Queensland