Close to Nature in Townsville

Lisa Eriksson from Sweden. Studying a Bachelor of Marine Biology at James Cook University, Townsville Campus

When Lisa was asked ‘what has been the highlight of living in Townsville so far’ this was the response.

I believe most people would answer the question about what the highlight of living in Townsville is with the same four words: the closeness to nature. Don’t get me wrong, the wilderness back home in Sweden is freaking mind-blowing amazing, in ways that can’t be described in words. But so is the nature in Townsville, and best of all – it’s so close. The wonders are literally around the corner. If you feel blue a Monday evening you can walk to The Rockpool in the city and look at the sea turtles, if you’re bored a Sunday morning you can take a 40 minutes’ drive to the waterfall and glide down natures very own waterslides. When you live in Townsville nature is all around you at any given time: The campus at James Cook University is full of kangaroos and Wallabies; The Ross River of crocodiles, turtles and ducks; The ocean of fish, sea turtles, sharks, dolphins; The sky of birds, bats and butterflies. There are palm trees wherever you walk in the city and, most amazing of all, there’s literally a waterfall in the middle of the city. You would think that when you’ve lived in a city as relatively small as Townsville you would have seen it all after five months, but I promise you won’t. I’m starting to doubt that even three years here will be enough time to see and experience everything. And, if you do have time to see it all in the city, the next natural wonder is just a 30-minute ferry ride away at Magnetic Island. And, when you’ve explored everything that the island has to offer, which I promise will take more than a weekend, you can drive up or down the coast to have your mind blown away by places such as Whitsundays, Airlie Beach, Wallaman Falls, Paluma Range National Park and Tully. Yes, Tully! They have an enormous yellow Gumboot in the middle of the town that is not to be missed. Little, little Tully also has heaps of sugar cane fields that are pretty amazing.

Townsville might be a small city and it might feel like a place where you’d get bored fast, but I promise you that if you just allow it the nature here will never cease to amaze you. Just whilst sitting here writing this piece, overlooking the clear blue ocean with a salty breeze gently caressing my skin, the sun burning hot on my back, I’ve seen several sea turtles pop theirs heads up for a hello, I can see the palm trees sway in the wind. As the sun slowly sets behind me giving a pink shade to the town I breathe in the natural wonder that is Townsville.

December 2022