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Castle Hill

Catch the sea breezes on this pink granite landmark in the city’s heart and enjoy 360-degree views of the city’s harbor and across to Magnetic Island.

Castle Hill is the pink granite outcrop that has been a prominent Townsville icon since the town was built in its foothills. As seen from below, the colored hill is an impressive sight, especially at sunrise and sunset when its deepening pink hues make the monolith look spectacular. Stand on its summit for unrivaled views of the region, with Magnetic Island across the bay and the Ross River meandering through the suburbs below and spilling out into Cleveland Bay.

At 938 feet (286 meters), Castle Hill falls just short of making this monolith a mountain. It was known to the Aborigines as Cutheringa. In 1864, during early European exploration of the Ross River area, Andrew Ball named it Castle Hill. To save its vegetation, much of Castle Hill was declared a reserve in 1888.

Facing the northern cliff face from below, look up to see a large graffiti. The Saint is the lasting result of a 1962 prank by students of the local James Cook University. On the northern-most peak of the three-peaked summit is a 1942 bunker that served as an observation post during World War II.

Dotted with water reservoirs and radio communications installations, the hill still serves the town in more than one way, although its main use remains that of a recreation reserve. You can potentially find 300 plant species and 50 bird species on the hill, including nesting peregrine falcons and brahminy kites. Also look for rock wallabies, which can often be seen hopping around.

Head to the summit at your own leisure to familiarize yourself with the town. Many locals use the tracks for their daily exercise, especially the Goat Track, leading from the lower northern slopes to the top of the cliffs. The Summit Walk has a steep set of stairs, if you’re keen to get in shape.

Drivers can follow winding Castle Hill Road to the summit of the second peak. To the east, view the pink granite bluffs overlooking The Strand, the city’s bustling foreshore. See the nearby stone monument for Robert Towns, the city’s founder. Come here just before sunset and bring a picnic or takeout with you, to see a sea of lights come on over the town as you dine.

Castle Hill is located just above downtown Townsville and has many access point. Facilities include parking spaces, public toilets, water fountains and shaded benches.


Guide to Exploring around Castle Hill


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Lodging Near Castle Hill

See all 136 Hotels near Castle Hill
$60
Madison Plaza Townsville

Madison Plaza Townsville

409 Flinders St., Townsville
4.1
of 5, from 1,422 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Townsville, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Catholic Diocese of Townsville. Museum of Tropical Queensland and Maritime Museum of Townsville are also within 15 minutes.

$93
Oaks Gateway on Palmer

Oaks Gateway on Palmer

2 Dibbs Street, South Townsville
4.4
of 5, from 715 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Situated on a river, this luxury apartment is within a 5-minute walk of Maritime Museum of Townsville and Perc Tucker Regional Gallery. Museum of Tropical Queensland and Cultural Centre Townsville are also within 15 minutes.

$70
Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville

Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville

334 Flinders Street, Townsville
4.3
of 5, from 169 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Townsville, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Maritime Museum of Townsville, and Museum of Tropical Queensland. Cultural Centre Townsville and ReefHQ Aquarium are also within 10 minutes.

$79
Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville

Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville

8-10 Palmer Street, South Townsville
4.7
of 5, from 2,273 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly South Townsville hotel is located in the business district, within a 10-minute walk of Maritime Museum of Townsville, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, and Museum of Tropical Queensland. ReefHQ Aquarium and Cultural Centre Townsville are also within 15 minutes.

$63
Summit Motel

Summit Motel

6 Victoria Street, Townsville
4.3
of 5, from 130 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Townsville, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of Catholic Diocese of Townsville, Queens Gardens, and Perc Tucker Regional Gallery. Museum of Tropical Queensland and Maritime Museum of Townsville are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$85
Rydges Southbank Townsville

Rydges Southbank Townsville

23 Palmer Street, South Townsville
4.0
of 5, from 769 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of South Townsville, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Maritime Museum of Townsville and Perc Tucker Regional Gallery. Museum of Tropical Queensland and Cultural Centre Townsville are also within 15 minutes.

$81
Central Kensington Apartments

Central Kensington Apartments

1-3 Kingsway Place, Townsville
4.5
of 5, from 548 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Townsville, this apartment is within 1 mi (2 km) of Catholic Diocese of Townsville, National Trust Heritage Centre, and Perc Tucker Regional Gallery. Maritime Museum of Townsville and Museum of Tropical Queensland are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$78
Clarion Hotel Townsville

Clarion Hotel Townsville

201 Sturt Street, Townsville
4.5
of 5, from 88 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Townsville, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Catholic Diocese of Townsville and Perc Tucker Regional Gallery. Museum of Tropical Queensland and Maritime Museum of Townsville are also within 15 minutes.