It’s no secret that Australian Summers are hot and where we live in Townsville North Queensland that is definitely the case. With temperatures etched into the 30’s and a humidity (85%) that looks better as a test result, I’ve decided to share five of my favourite ways to beat the heat.
We’ve used these tips from when our kids were small and still use them today.
Get on Board for some Island Time
One of the winning things about Magnetic Island, is it’s many bays that face every which way. There will always be a bay catching the ocean breeze and the She Oaks and Beach Almond trees that line the beaches provide shady retreats. Access the Island via a 20 minute Sealink Ferry ride from the Breakwater Terminal on Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, or take your vehicle with up to five (legally seated) passengers on the Fantasea Vehicle Ferry which departs from the opposite side of the river in Ross Street, South Townsville. Topless cars and scooters are available to rent on the island.
She Oak on the beach at Florence Bay, Magnetic Island.
- Also known as Maggie, most born and bred Townsvillians refer to Magnetic Island simply as The Island.
- It is cheaper to buy Island Bus Tickets at the Sealink Ferry Terminal in Townsville, than on the Island bus.
- Sealink Passenger Ferry Deals here.
- Fantasea Magnetic Island Car and Passenger Ferry. Reduced early bird on line week-end price out of school holidays $129 including regular sized vehicle, driver and up to 4 legally seated passengers.
- Must do – Forts Walk – view koalas in the wild.
Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun. That’s why you’ll find the sane members of the population walking the Strand after the Summer sun has set. There’s nearly always a breeze at the Strand and it just seems cooler!
After walk Tips.
- Sip a cool beverage in an open air bar
- Dive bomb the rock pool
- Fly through the night air on the rock pool flying fox
- Indulge at one of three ice-cream bars along the Strand.
Cool off in the safety of the filtered sea water at Rock Pool, ocean swimming enclosures or the Tobruk Memorial Baths.
The Strand Water park cools down kids of all ages.
An hour’s drive north of Townsville, this waterhole is a particular favourite of ours and possibly everyone north to Ingham. Refreshingly cold mountain water tumbles over rocks to form the deep lagoon, before forming rapids on it’s way to the Coral Sea. Then there is the added attraction of a rally driver dirt access road that meanders over low creek crossings and through tropical fruit farm scenery.[pinit]
- String up a tarpaulin for extra shade
- Pack a picnic lunch
- Jump from a rock face into the obligingly deep swimming hole beneath
- Expect Kookaburras and Lace Monitors (goannas) in the picnic area
- Stay late to enjoy your own private waterhole
- When arriving from Townsville turn left before Frosty Mango, take the second right at signage (partially gravel road).
- No glass allowed near the waterhole.
- Day use and Camping areas, BBQ and Amenities Block. Wet Tropics Website Link.
Big Crystal Creek Rock Slides
These natural slides are found further along the same road, beyond a small parking area and gate. Pedestrians bypass the gate and follow the bitumen road turning left onto a bush track which follows the creek until reaching the large flat rocks that border the slides. Join the ride where water rushes between the rocks before plunging into the deep cold water pool below – it’s crazy addictive fun – the size of the adrenalin rush depending on how much rain has fallen.
- Wear old shorts over your bathers – the rocks are smooth but with repeated sliding can wreck your bathers.
- Exercise caution on the surrounding rocks which are dangerously slippery when wet.
- Take an Esky (Cooler)
- Closest amenities are at Paradise Waterhole
Back in town there are two lagoon pools at Riverside in Thuringowa, Townsville, and they’re free. Surrounded by huge shady trees, BBQs, a riverside walk, coffee shop, Art Gallery and Performance Centre, they are understandably popular in Summer. The lower lagoon has shallow areas for small children while the upper one has a roped off lane for swimming laps outside of school holidays.
Upper Lagoon Pool – Riverway – Townsville
- Lifeguards on Duty during opening hours.
- Bring a picnic lunch for an all day stay.
Reef HQ Aquarium is the World’s Largest Living Coral Reef Aquarium. The whole complex is air-conditioned with an on-site cafe – you see where I’m going with this don’t you. You could literally spend all day watching baby turtles and tiny sea-horses in the display tanks, sharks in the predator tank, or being mesmerized by marine life going about their daily business around the life sized coral bommies.
- The entrance ticket allows you to come and go at will in the space of one day.
- Waterview Cafe (reasonably priced)
- Reef-in Gift Shop.
- Check out their School Holiday activities
- Ticket and Membership prices.
The Museum of Tropical North Queensland
Located beside Reef HQ this Museum is inspired by the ill fated HMS Pandora. It’s a peaceful and interesting and cool place to visit. I love fossicking around in the Pandora gallery and oggling the full size galley replica; wandering through the Discover Tropical Queensland gallery and the enchanted rainforest. Kids will have fun experimenting in the Science centre, and the cafe offers river views from massive floor to ceiling windows.
River views from the Museum windows.
- Opening Hours and Prices.
- The whole complex is air-conditioned.
- Gift Shop on site.
Castle Hill Lookouts
Driving to the summit at night is much cooler than climbing the hill as many residents do in early morning and late afternoon – plus a night visit includes a bonus City lights show. Think Lookouts on three sides and a short semi-circular hilltop viewing path starting from and returning to the Carpark. There are city views to Mount Stuart from the carpark; a straight longish staircase leading up to the main viewpoint over the coral sea and the viewpoint in the photo below which is only a couple of steps up from Carpark level.
- Be prepared to use insect repellent.
Perc Tucker Gallery
Dive into this air-conditioned art gallery and enjoy culture in a friendly atmosphere. Located in Flinders Street CBD, Perc Tucker, the gallery named after a beloved local politician, always has something of interest going on.
- Check out both levels and displays boxes in the stairwell are worth a peek too.
- Free Entry
- Calendar of Events.
I often blog from our Verandah, surrounded by rainbow lorikeets or Dunk Island (Ulysses) Blue Butterflies flitting around the Euodia and other native trees. It is shaded by the trees and captures the breeze. Living in the Tropics is all about knowing how to beat the heat.
SHARE YOUR TIPS ON BEATING THE SUMMER HEAT IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.
Add your link to a Travel Post below.