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The history of Townsville

Townsville is located on Queensland north-eastern coast in Australia. Neighbouring the central part of the Great Barrier Reef, Townsville is Australia’s biggest city north of the Sunshine Coast.


Once upon a long, long time ago, Townsville was like so many other Australian towns – a barren piece of land. But to Robert Towns, a wealthy business man from Sydney who was passing through the area it wasn’t just any piece of land, he saw the land’s potential. It was near the ocean, and to Towns that was an attractive feature.


So far, wool merchants and cattle product traders had to travel to Bowen, about two hundred kilometers away. If Towns could make this land his, a local port would save significant time.

Robert Towns traveled to the claims office at once where he met John Melton Black who also wanted to lay claim to the land, but lacked livestock. The two men agreed to a joined venture and while Black developed the land, Towns put up the financial support. They named the development Castletown, on account  of a huge rock that looked like a castle when viewed from the ocean.


Some time later, when Governor Bowen and Robert Towns visited the new Queensland town, the settlement was officially named Townsville in acknowledgment of Towns financial support.

Financial support that was much needed as Black arranged for coffee, cotton, maize and sugar plantations. Black consequently became Townsville first Mayor, but eventually left the town.


When gold was discovered at Cape River in 1867, in Ravenswood in 1868 and also in Charters Towers in 1871, the population and economy in Townsville grew by leaps and bounds.


By 1870 Cobb & Co ran a coach system and took people from Townville to the goldfields of Ravenwood and Charters Towers. Passengers had a choice. One journey took approximately 21 hours with an overnight stop, the other took 15 hours with no stopover. Either way, a journey not to be underestimated as passengers frequently died of hunger, thirst or exposure to the elements.


Today, Townsville is a modern town that attracts tourist from around the world. It offers hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping possibilities and a network of convenient transportation.

With the luxurious Mariners North holiday apartments offering the only oceanfront holiday accommodation in Townsville, why not pay a visit and stay a few night sand learn more about this beautiful, history-filled part of Australia.