Townsville, the home of Castle Hill and the famed Castle Hill Goat Track is full of fitness fanatics. Phrases like I do the Hill after work every day are common place around here. This will then be qualified by, The Goat Track or the Road?
Walking Castle Hill is one of the fun things to do in Townsville.
Locals refer to any track on the hill (as opposed to the sealed road) as the Goat track, but there are actually four different tracks as listed below.
Castle Hill Walks
Distance Travelled on Castle Hill Walks:
- Walking the Road: 260 metres
- Cutheringa Track: 1360 metres
- Goat Track: 1052 metres
- Dianella Track: 1129 metres
- Ironbark Track: 1774 metres
Castle Hill Goat Track – Cutheringa Track (Cudtheringa)
Cudtheringa the aboriginal name for Castle Hill, was also the name of the 1136m long track we chose to walk.
Pink flowering grasses lined the path and wattle trees were in full bloom.
Looking up from the track, the rock face of Castle Hill is quite imposing, but the shade it gives in the late afternoon is pure bliss.
Castle Hill goat track leads to the base of the rock face but then slides around it – It isn’t necessary to climb the rock face.
View of the Townsville suburbs of North Ward and Magnetic Island from the track.
As kids we had fun squeezing the green fruit until they popped. Only eat the ripe orange fruit as the green is poisonous. The fruit are hidden inside a hairy outer layer.
This flowering shrub was prolific. So prolific that it may be a weed.
The track rounding the bottom of the Castle Hill rock face is one of my favourite parts of the walk.
Burdekin Plums litter the ground, fallen to the track from the trees above.
Native to tropical Queensland and Papua New Guinea, the Burdekin Plum is extremely hardy, surviving long periods without water, which is just as well because the hill is brown and barren looking most of the year.
The photo below shows the Castle Hill goat track hugging the base of the rock face.
A specially placed bench invites a minute’s rest to take in the views of Townsville City, Ross Creek and the industrial Port Area. The landmass in the background is Cape Cleveland not Magnetic Island.
Toward the summit of Castle Hill, the track becomes civilised with wide stairs leading up. People run up these steps, but by the time I’ve arrived, a rest on the bottom step is called for.
Views across Townsville to Mt. Stuart from the top of the track.
Walks departing from the summit carpark. These are all under 30 minutes duration.
- Summit Walk – return track
- Pill Box Walk – return track
- Radar Hill Walk – loop track
I was unfit when we did the Castle Hill Goat Track (Cutheringa track) and it took one hour with lots of photo stops, but it can be done easily in 30 minutes.
Be aware of joggers on the tracks to avert accidents.
Castle Hill is only minutes away from another famous Townsville walk. Walk the Strand Townsville.
Things to Know.
The tracks and road are free to use.
Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to walk the hill.
If the weather is hot you may need a water bottle but there are water coolers at the summit.
A hat and sunscreen may be required.
The track is very rough in places with exposed tree roots, rocks and washed out areas. Snakes would be a possibility also.