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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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Map

Lodging Near Castle Hill

See all 215 Hotels near Castle Hill
Aquarius on the Beach $87
Aquarius on the Beach

Aquarius on the Beach

75 The Strand, North Ward
     
    4.4
    of 5, from 1,157 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Queens Gardens, Army Museum North Queensland, and Museum of Tropical Queensland. Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal and Cultural Centre Townsville are also within 1 mi (2 km).

    Oaks Metropole Hotel $90
    Oaks Metropole Hotel

    Oaks Metropole Hotel

    81 Palmer Street, South Townsville
       
      4.4
      of 5, from 1,026 reviews
      4.5 out of 5.0

      Situated near the beach, this luxury apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Maritime Museum of Townsville, Museum of Tropical Queensland, and Cultural Centre Townsville. ReefHQ Aquarium and Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal are also within 1 mi (2 km).

      Madison Plaza Townsville $59
      Madison Plaza Townsville

      Madison Plaza Townsville

      409 Flinders St., Townsville
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 1,493 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in the heart of Townsville, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Catholic Diocese of Townsville, Museum of Tropical Queensland, and Maritime Museum of Townsville. Cultural Centre Townsville and ReefHQ Aquarium are also within 15 minutes.

        Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville $71
        Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville

        Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville

        334 Flinders Street, Townsville
           
          4.3
          of 5, from 202 reviews
          4.5 out of 5.0

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

          Quest Townsville on Eyre $105
          Quest Townsville on Eyre

          Quest Townsville on Eyre

          19-21 Leichardt Street, North Ward
             
            4.5
            of 5, from 82 reviews
            4.5 out of 5.0

            Situated near the airport, this luxury apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Queens Gardens and Catholic Diocese of Townsville. Museum of Tropical Queensland and Cultural Centre Townsville are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Ridgemont Motel $66
            Ridgemont Motel

            Ridgemont Motel

            15-19 Victoria Street, North Ward
               
              4.1
              of 5, from 156 reviews
              3.5 out of 5.0

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

              Rydges Southbank Townsville $65
              Rydges Southbank Townsville

              Rydges Southbank Townsville

              23 Palmer Street, South Townsville
                 
                4.0
                of 5, from 808 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Located in the heart of South Townsville, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Maritime Museum of Townsville, Museum of Tropical Queensland, and Cultural Centre Townsville. ReefHQ Aquarium and Catholic Diocese of Townsville are also within 1 mi (2 km).

                Comfort Inn Robert Towns $52
                Comfort Inn Robert Towns

                Comfort Inn Robert Towns

                261 Stanley Street, Townsville
                   
                  4.0
                  of 5, from 190 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

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