Townsville. For some it’s a destination, a hashtag, a photo opportunity. But for the lucky few of us, it’s home.
Our own pocket of paradise. A splendorous backyard of sun kissed ocean and warm sandy beaches smack bang between the dusty outback, lush rainforest and one of the seven wonders of the world. The life and landscape of this fortuitous city of ours is one of great history, and great ambition. The 19th century architecture that encapsulates our proud history surrounds our now young and dynamic population, one that is driving our city into a prosperous future.
Our own pocket of paradise. A splendorous backyard of sun kissed ocean and warm sandy beaches smack bang between the dusty outback, lush rainforest and one of the seven wonders of the world.
The life and landscape of this fortuitous city of ours is one of great history, and great ambition.
The 19th century architecture that encapsulates our proud history surrounds our now young and dynamic population, one that is driving our city into a prosperous future.
Each year Townsville welcomes over 130,000 international visitors, all of whom have travelled from far and wide, and spent thousands of dollars, to come and enjoy this glorious splendor of ours that we take for granted each and every day. It’s the spectacle of our natural assets, the kindness and generosity of our people and the endless events and entertainment on offer all year round that continues to tickle that sense of belonging that sees many of these visitors stay a little, or a lot, longer.
So, what is it about Townsville that resonates so deeply within all of us? Tanya Roberts, owner at Michel’s Restaurant, sees the growing change in attitude saying “I’m proud to be a part of the Townsville community. There’s a perception that we can’t do things as well as they do in the south of the State, but I believe locals are starting to stand up and say ‘I am proud to live here’.” And why wouldn’t they. With world-class health and education, phenomenal tourism opportunities, growing job prospects, increased development and a broadening movement of locals who are driving the ‘Townsville’ brand with pride. “Events such as Festival 2018 are an amazing opportunity for Townsville to show locals what can be achieved here,” explains Tanya. “As a community we need to step out of our comfort zone and take advantage of the spaces we have available to us. Townsville’s food scene keeps evolving with exciting new café’s, bars and restaurants opening all the time.” It’s this eclectic mix of modern Australian cuisine unique to the tropics that sees Michel’s, and our hospitality industry as a whole, continue to thrive. Utilising the abundance of local produce from the food bowl in which our city resides Tanya explains that “Locals can enjoy fresh local produce grown or caught in their own back yard,” adding that Michel’s is taking advantage of this growing food culture with a new Executive Chef now running the Michels bustling kitchen. “Its an exciting time for the restaurant with Chef Braden Honnery taking the reins. Braden has been a part of the Michel’s team for over nine years and has a fresh vision that is going to ensure Michel’s becomes one of the premier restaurants in North Queensland.”
With a (literal) sea of opportunities including swimming, paddle boarding, fishing and diving along our endless esplanade, The Strand is unlike anything else. Adorned with alfresco dining, activity stations and grassy spots perfect for a picnic, a hot summers day is cooled with an ice cream and splash at the waterpark. This picturesque post card place compels those with a sense of adventure. The afterglow of a sunset from the top of Jezzine Barracks, that sweeps across a pink hued sky is a sight to behold. And once the sun is settled, the glittering fairy lights that adorn the fig trees, light the way to a energized evening of joggers, socialites and families that revel in the delight and calling of this magical place.
Just a short stroll from the Strand’s edge, is the $40 million redeveloped Ville Resort and Casino. With a long history of entertaining Townsville, the new look Ville Resort and Casino is captivating locals with their fresh and enticing decor that perfectly captures our northern way of life. This rejuvenated concept is connecting with locals who are reaping the benefits of this local icon. The Ville Marketing Manager, Emily Roebuck, says the people of Townsville know better than anyone else just what we have here. “The gorgeous weather, the reef, the Strand, rainforests to the north and the outback to the west. We’re both a gateway to adventure and a laid-back tropical paradise. A small, exciting cosmopolitan city without the inconvenience and hassle of a big city. Townsville has it all, and the locals know it and love it.” The revival of Townsville’s iconic Quarterdeck Bar, is bringing back memories and bringing back locals. Newcomer, Miss Songs, The Ville’s new Asian fusion fine-dining restaurant, is also experiencing a rapidly growing reputation as Townsville’s leading Asian restaurant, and the new and improved buffet restaurant, The Palm House, (which is due for completion in June) will see our locals enjoying the benefits of another fresh and unique dining option. With all of this expansion comes jobs, 400 of them in fact, making The Ville’s resurgence far more than just ‘cocktails and dreams’.
Beyond the sand and sunsets of our Strand promenade is the heart of our city. The place where it all began and continues to unfold. A city center filled with a mix of old and new. Urban street art, an effervescent nightlife, restaurants, bars, art and culture all meet where an endless calendar of events and entertainment continue to draw us in. With new and profound visions for the revitalization of our CBD, new developments are well underway, bringing hope and positivity for a thriving city center. The resilience that our business community and community in general have demonstrated during our more challenging times, is a true testament to the heart of Townsville. That determination and never say die attitude that will see our city continue to move forward.
“In Townsville, you meet someone once and you are no longer a stranger”
Ruth Prideaux, Assistant General Manager for Mercure Townsville, says it’s our local’s positive attitudes and passion towards our city that sets us apart from those in the big smoke.
“In Townsville, you meet someone once and you are no longer a stranger,” Ruth beams. “Everyone is passionate about all that Townsville has to offer and what it stands for.”
Like many in the industry, Ruth takes joy from the rewarding opportunity to interact with both locals and out-of-towners on a daily basis. Boasting a stunning resort-style pool, fresh locally-sourced food in their award winning restaurant and a unique and professional destination for corporate affairs, it’s easy to see why both locals and visitors enjoy all that Mercure has to offer.
“Our restaurant and pool are open to our locals so you can come for a meal and stay for a swim,” Ruth says. “Plus, buying local ensures that the money stays in Townsville.”
Mercure allows you to wholly focus on relaxation here too – an aspect that no doubt keeps those from outside Townsville coming back – thanks to the 100 local staff members employed to cater to their guests every need. Whether you’re relaxing in their resort-style pool, sipping a cool drink on the timber deck or enjoying a delicious, buffet breakfast with colleagues or lunch or dinner with friend and family, you are sure to enjoy your stay. After all – it’s not just about how you explore Townsville, it’s also about how you relax and unwind after a big day in our tropical paradise.
With the beat of our city’s heart sprawling out beyond just our cityscapes, into the tens of thousands of homes and small businesses that sprawl across this sun fueled city, this is a place that offers our locals 300+ days of sunshine and an abundance of opportunities to enjoy them. Our parks and playgrounds, retail centers, sporting facilities, swimming holes and waterways that feed a never-ending lust for fun and adventure filling our suburban streets with those young and young at heart.
It’s easy to see why Townsville is clearly a draw card on both a national and international scale, and with an estimated increase in population of over 300,000 by 2036, there’s only bigger and better things coming our way! So get out there Townsville and live it like a local, love it like a local.