Barefoot luxury in Townsville North Queensland

Sailing the coastline of Magnetic Island.

Sailing the coastline of Magnetic Island. Photo: Pilgrim Magnetic Island

It’s rare to find a holiday spot that does relaxation as well as it does elegance. But it can usually be found in a coastal town that has the best of both worlds – city conveniences with country charm.

In the Townsville North Queensland region, visitors can expect luxury resorts and laidback pubs, chef-hatted restaurants and casual cafes, boutique shops and quirky market stalls.

This is complemented by the region’s main attractions being untouched tropical beaches and adventurous coastal experiences, which are unexpected and authentic in every way.

The Great Barrier Reef and Magnetic Island are just a short boat ride away and the region is treated to 300 days of sunshine every year.

Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty on board a sailing yacht – such as Pilgrim Sailing or Big Mama Sailing to enjoy candy-coloured sunsets overlooking the hidden beaches of Magnetic Island.

Clare Ley operates Pilgrim Magnetic Island sailing tours, which offers lunch time and sunset cruises, private charters and full moon cruises. Most cruises come with antipasto platters or delicious meals sourced from local produce.

The Ville hotel-casino.

The Ville Resort-Casino. Photo: Townsville Enterprises

Some private tours drop anchor at private beaches, where couples can enjoy a picnic with all gourmet food and equipment catered for.

Magnetic Island’s beaches are fringed with palm trees, hoop pines and large granite boulders and are home to Northern Australia’s largest colony of free-living koalas.

It’s an Australian paradise, Ley said.

“The island is so unique. It’s 75 per cent national park so it’s pretty untouched and it hasn’t had the commercialisation that other destinations have had,” she said.

“The nature, the wildlife and the fact you’ve got 23 bays and beaches, and obviously we’re water people, so having that to explore is second to none.”

High-end accommodation in Townsville also makes the most of the coast’s beauty. Positioned on the waterfront, The Ville Resort-Casino has fine Asian dining restaurant Miss Songs, an infinity-edge pool and swim-up bar.

The Ville Resort

The Ville Resort, Townsville. Photo: Townsville Enterprises

At Orpheus Island Lodge, the resort is located on Orpheus Island, so guests can enjoy a secluded experience near the Great Barrier Reef, with resort capacity capped at just 28 guests to ensure exclusive luxury.

Guests can also explore the raw nature of nearby Hinchinbrook Island on guided tours.

Ardo, a new $88 million resort located next door to The Ville, is due to open at the end of 2023 and will offer a day spa, restaurant plus a rooftop pool deck and bar with panoramic views across the Coral Sea to Magnetic Island.

For an outback luxe experience – a stay at the four-star Kernow Charters Towers will have you surrounded by the best of authentic Australia, and experiences to take you back in time with the tales of yesteryear.

There’s plenty to explore in the centre of Townsville, including beauty treatments, yoga and pilates, and quirky cafes and markets and for something a little different, breakfast with koalas.

Boutique shopping and local artisans are also on offer in the Burdekin region quickly gaining the crown for unique giftware and apparel.

Get your dose of arts and culture from the local galleries, theatres and street art. Explore the works of local artists at the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Umbrella Studio, Civic Theatre and Pinnacles Gallery. Or wander the streets, laneways and alleys of Townsville North Queensland to see an impressive range of street art.

Make your barefoot luxury itinerary your own. Townsville North Queensland – Up for unexpected.

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