Enjoying over 300 days of sunshine each year, Townsville is the largest tropical city in the country and the second-largest city overall in Queensland. Thanks to its location in the tropical northeast, the town is a gateway to some of Australia’s best outdoor attractions, while its strong economy and development offer the comfort and convenience of a big city lifestyle.
Best of all, property here is still affordable – and prices are expected to continue rising 9% until at least 2021. You may want to call your estate agents, have a sit down with your lawyers, and consider buying some property. Here are some things to consider about living in Townsville.
Scenery and attractions
If you love sand, surf, and sun, then The Strand is your perfect beach hangout. Offering a relaxed and casual vibe, this two-and-a-half kilometer stretch of foreshore is where locals go for beach barbeque, picnics, and other dining options. Kids can enjoy many playgrounds, water parks, and rock pools. Older kids and adults alike will be able to bike along the sand, learn paddle boarding, or lounge around enjoying the view of Magnetic Island.
Townsville also features the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium, Reef HQ. It offers an outstanding experience and education about the Great Barrier Reef, including conservation efforts at the Turtle Hospital. If you’re not quite in the mood to go outdoors or underwater, you can bring the kids here instead for a great time.
When you feel like exploring the outdoors, you’ll be glad to have Townsville as your base of stay. It’s known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Magnetic Island. Nearby lies Castle Rock, a hill of pink granite offering 360-degree views of the surroundings. National parks such as Girringun or Blackwood National Park offer a more challenging hiking or camping experience.
Arts and culture
Although it’s more renowned for its beaches and outdoor offerings, the city has several excellent art galleries. The Townsville Civic Theatre and Riverway Arts Centre are among the premier performing arts venues in the region. It also supports The Strand Ephemera, an annual 10-day exhibition of outdoor sculpture using inexpensive, ephemeral materials. Permanent art in public spaces around the city is also encouraged, with over 70 public artworks on display.
As the home of the biggest army base in Australia, Townsville also offers several exhibits and tours on our military history, such as Kissing Point Fort and the Jezzine Barracks.
Cost of living
The attractions of the city are among the best in the world, but so often it ultimately comes down to whether living here will be sustainable for you. Townsville’s economy is growing, but more so in specific industries. Construction of the North Queensland Stadium and other infrastructure projects are forecast to bring in more jobs in that sector over the next few years. It has also been strong in mining, healthcare, and public administration over the years. However, if you’re looking for employment in other industries, it can be difficult to land a job.
Recent trends indicate that Townsville is currently more of a rental market, with prices of rent on the rise even as the population continues to grow. Housing prices had been trending down since a peak in 2008, but vacancy rates have dropped nearly half since 2017 – signs of a coming upturn in property values. It might be the case that within this year or the next would be the best window of time to buy property and make a living in this rapidly growing city.