Townsville and surrounds


The Townsville geographic area of the North Queensland region is made up of Townsville, Charters Towers, the Burdekin and Whitsundays. We've compiled some information below to help you decide where you might like to teach in the region.


Townsville is a major regional city which provides all the modern conveniences of a big city without the commute time.

Known as the second capital of Queensland, Townsville offers a laid-back tropical lifestyle where you'll have access to boutique shopping, spectacular events and entertainment, urban street art and a wide-range of dining precincts – from alfresco dining to coffee on The Strand to a thriving night life in the many laneway bars and eateries.

Nature lovers will be at home in Townsville, which has an average of 300 days of sunshine each year to explore the many local natural wonders with their family, partner and friends. In your downtime, you'll be able to explore the tropical islands, wetlands, the Great Barrier Reef, wet tropics rainforests and beachfronts all at your doorstep. Townsville is just a short ferry ride from the picturesque Magnetic Island and its many beaches and forts walk through the national park.

You can also spend your weekends front row at a Cowboys home game or be trackside at the Townsville 400 V8 Supercar event.

No matter what your ideal lifestyle looks like, Townsville offers a diverse range of historical, military, outback, island, active and tranquil experiences to suit anyone.

For more information about what it's like to live in Townsville, visit the Townsville City Council website.


Townsville fun fact

Townsville is Australia's largest garrison city. It hosts the largest Army Base in Australia as well as a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base, Townsville Field Training Area and Port of Townsville's Berth 10 designed for the Royal Australian Navy.

Charters Towers

Located just an hour and a half west of Townsville, the outback town of Charters Towers will captivate history lovers.

Charters Towers quickly grew to become the second largest town in Queensland after a chance discovery of gold in 1871. Prospectors rushed to the town and discovered over 200 tonnes of gold over the next 36 years. You won't find hordes of prospectors looking to find their fortune in the gold fields today, so the pace is much more relaxing. The magnificent heritage buildings remain in the heart of the town and are a standing reminder of its memorable Australian gold-mining history and heritage.

In your downtime, explore the Overlander's Way​ which runs through the town, take in the views from Towers Hill Lookout, visit the iconic drive-in cinema, pan for gold or do a tour to meet some Texas Longhorn cattle.

The town is a living tribute to the history of western Queensland and a fantastic place for teachers to start or progress their career.

Learn more about Charters Towers and surrounding areas from Charters Towers Regional Council.


Charters Towers fun fact

You won't find a Hollywood sign in Charters but you will find The World. In the late 1800s, the town had a population of approximately 25,000, which was significant at a time when the total population of Australia was only about 3 million. The locals referred to it as 'The World' because it had everything you could possibly need... there was no reason to travel anywhere else!

The Burdekin

Famous for being the sugar capital of Australia, the Burdekin district is located about a 1 hour drive south of Townsville. Nestled in the delta of the Burdekin River, its 2 popular townships, Ayr and Home Hill, are linked by the iconic Burdekin Bridge. The region produces the biggest sugar cane crops in the country, together with a diverse selection of vegetables and tropical fruits.

Along the coast, you'll find Alva Beach, a popular launching spot for dive boats heading out to explore the S.S Yongala shipwreck. This shipwreck has been ranked as one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world because of its abundant mega-marine life and corals. The Burdekin region is also a popular spot for fishing, well-known for its barramundi, mud crabs, other estuary species and off-coast reef fishing.


Burdekin fun fact

The twin townships of Ayr and Home Hill are just 12km apart, linked by the landmark Burdekin Bridge. Also known as the Silver Link, the 1,103 metre bridge is the longest of its type in Australia. Construction was completed in 1957 and although it took hundreds of men 10 years to build, not a single life was lost in the construction.


 The Burdekin photo gallery

The Whitsundays

The Whitsundays is in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, stretching from Proserpine in the south to Bowen in the north; west to Collinsville and east to Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday islands, an archipelago of 74 green islands and sandy atolls surrounded by tropical blue waters.

Bowen – the northern jewel in the Whitsundays crown

Bowen, home to the Big Mango, is a leisurely 45-minute drive from Airlie Beach. With Instagram-worthy beaches, beautiful bays and a warm tropical climate, it’s perfect for teachers looking for a laid-back lifestyle by the water.

Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands

Airlie Beach is the gateway to the infamous Whitsunday Islands seen on many travel brochures promoting Queensland. With soft, white sands, crystal clear waters and spectacular corals, you could make this popular travel destination your home.

Learn more about living in the Whitsundays from the Whitsundays Regional Council.


Whitsundays fun fact

You can walk to the reef! Bowen is the perfect place for beginners and children to try their hand at snorkelling.


Ingham is a tropical paradise located an hour and a half north of Townsville. There is plenty to love about living and teaching in Ingham. On your weekends, relax in the beautifully peaceful Ingham Memorial Botanic Gardens, bask in the natural beauty of the TYTO Wetlands or follow the Hinchinbrook Heritage Trail to learn the history of the area, which includes its rich Italian history. With over half of Ingham's population being of Italian descent, it is no surprise that it is often referred to as 'Little Italy'. The annual Australian-Italian Festival in August brings thousands of visitors to the town to enjoy Italian wine, cuisine, music and culture.

A short drive south will take you to the awe-inspiring Wallaman Falls, Australia's highest permanent single drop waterfall, or travel north to the pristine Hinchinbrook Island, a nature lover's paradise.

 Ingham photo gallery

Rural schools

There are 2 rural schools situated in the Townsville and surrounds area of the North Queensland region.


Just an hours' drive inland from Bowen, this relaxed town is known for its mining history and traditional country Queensland hospitality. From camping trips and scenic drives, to fishing and water sports on the dam, Collinsville has everything you need to build a home!

Collinsville State School is 1 of the 3 school communities at the heart of this rural town. When you join the Collinsville community, you will be a part of a family of teachers who happily give their time to building lasting relationships with students, their families and the wider community. The school is led by a teaching principal who is assisted by teaching staff, teacher aides and administrative support. Specialists visit the school weekly to support the delivery of science and art. The rural setting of the school is enhanced by well-landscaped school grounds, spacious playing areas, a multi-purpose court and quality playing equipment. The school boasts a parade room, an art room and gallery, 2 computer laboratories and a library/ICT Learning area.


Greenvale is a small community north of Charters Towers. Built in the 1970s to house workers for the (now closed) Greenvale Nickel mine, the town now has a much smaller population of about 150. If you're looking for a close-knit outback community with no traffic jams (unless you count the odd cow or two!), Greenvale should be on your short-list.

Greenvale State School is a vibrant small school catering for students from pre-Prep to Year 6. The staff are caring, experienced and committed to meeting the individual needs of every child, creating a happy, secure environment to all 'grow and learn together'. The school has a positive reputation in the education and wider community for very distinctive reasons, which include extra-curricular activities, such as their Sporting Schools program which runs once per week as part of the Physical Education program. They value the maximisation of student's core learning time.

Remote schools

There is 1 remote school in the Townsville and surrounds area of the North Queensland region.

Palm Island

Palm Island is an Aboriginal community, located northeast of Townsville in the Great Barrier Reef, also called by the Aboriginal name 'Bwgcolman'. The island has an active art community and works can be seen on display at the Palm Island Artists Centre all year round. Fishing, whale watching, horse riding and bush walks are popular past times, as well as snorkelling the abundant coral reefs that surround the island.

Bwgcolman Community School aims to help students maintain a strong cultural identity while also developing the skills to participate in the global community. Respect, responsibility and safety are at the forefront of everything they do. The school's Resource Centre provides space for a library and computer and multi-media rooms, while the multipurpose hall houses a kitchen, sports shed and space for students to play undercover.


 Townsville and surrounds teachers' stories

Last updated 30 August 2023