Living in Townsville: Complete Guide from Schools to Safety

July 4, 2024
living in townsville

Key takeaways:

  • Townsville offers a mix of urban and natural lifestyles with affordable living.
  • The city has diverse educational options and strong employment opportunities.
  • Key industries include tourism, mining, education, and government services.
  • Outdoor activities and community events enhance Townsville’s appeal.

Imagine waking up every day in a place where the sun shines bright, where Castle Hill views are at your doorstep and the Great Barrier Reef is just a short trip away. Yes, living in Townsville offers all of these things.

Welcome to Townsville, a city in North Queensland where urban meets tropical.

The Charm of Townsville

Townsville is laid back with all the perks of a city. It’s a great place for families, students, and retirees alike.

With a diverse economy, good schools, and heaps of fun things to do, Townsville has something for everyone.

The Townsville population in 2023 was around 201,000 meaning it’s a relatively small town – but that makes for a strong local community.

Top 4 Highlights

  1. Castle Hill: This iconic hill has stunning views of the city and is a popular spot for walking and sightseeing.
  2. Magnetic Island: Just a short ferry ride away, this island has beautiful beaches, wildlife, and a break from city life.
  3. Great Barrier Reef: Townsville is the gateway to this natural wonder of the world, perfect for snorkelling, diving, and marine life.
  4. World Class Education: Home to James Cook University and other top institutions, the city is a hub for education and research.

Why Move to Townsville?

Living in Townsville

Living in Townsville means outdoor adventures and urban comforts. The city’s location is central to Northern Australia, with jobs and a strong local economy.

The weather is warm all year round with a dry season that locals love. However, the heat and humidity can be challenging, especially during summer. The dry season also leads to the city being called “Brownsville” due to the lack of greenery.

Top 3 Benefits

  1. Diverse Suburbs: Whether you like the coastal life of North Ward or the peacefulness of Belgian Gardens, Townsville has a suburb for everyone.
  2. Affordable Living: Compared to other Australian cities, Townsville gives you more for your money on property and living costs.
  3. Active Lifestyle: With national parks, outdoor activities, and day trips to Charters Towers and Airlie Beach, it’s easy to stay active.

What to Look Forward to

Living in Townsville means you’ll get a mix of urban and natural. Here’s what to expect:

Outdoor Activities

Townsville’s natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle are the main attractions:

  • National Parks: The city is surrounded by beautiful parks for walking, picnicking, and wildlife watching. Alligator Creek offers a taste of the region’s natural charm.
  • Water Sports: With Cleveland Bay and the Great Barrier Reef on your doorstep, diving, snorkelling, and fishing are popular.
  • Day Trips: Head to Charters Towers and Airlie Beach for a change of scenery.

Community and Amenities

Townsville’s community and facilities make for a comfortable life:

  • Public Transport: The city has a good transport system, making commuting easy.
  • Traffic: Traffic is generally better than in larger southern cities, but the infrastructure could use improvements, according to some Reddit users.
  • Entertainment and Dining: Enjoy a lively nightlife with bars, restaurants, and cafes serving delicious cuisine.
  • Shopping and Services: From markets to large shopping centres, you’ll find everything you need.

Housing Market and Property Trends

Living in Townsville

Property Prices and Supply

Townsville has something for every budget and lifestyle. Here’s what’s available:

  • Affordable Real Estate in Townsville: Compared to Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Townsville’s property prices are more affordable, perfect for first-time buyers and families.
  • Best Suburbs: North Ward and Belgian Gardens are the most popular for their coastal proximity and amenities.
  • Rental Market: Townsville’s rental market is busy, but you’ll find a wide range of rentals from apartments to family homes.

Market Trends

According to Your Investment Property Magazine, the median sale price in Townsville City is $715,000 for houses and $369,500 for units. The median growth in Townsville City over the past 12 months is 34.97% for houses and 1.11% for units.


Townsville is growing with new developments coming on board:

  • Diverse Industries: The city has a range of industries so there’s stability and opportunity.
  • Infrastructure Projects: Recent investment in infrastructure like the Queensland Country Bank Stadium has boosted the economy and job market.

Job Market and Economic Growth

Living in Townsville
Source of this chart:
  • The rate of unemployment peaked in 2016 and has declined since.
  • The rate dipped in 2017 before rising again in 2018.
  • COVID impacted Townsville’s tourism market, reducing job opportunities.
  • Fewer backpackers and seasonal farm workers mean more jobs in the city.
  • Transitory jobs and FIFO work contribute to employment data shifts.

Employment Opportunities

Townsville has a strong job market across many sectors:

  • Diverse Economy: The city’s economy is robust, with key industries in education, healthcare, tourism, and government administration.
  • Education Services: James Cook University significantly contributes to the job market with roles in academia and research.
  • Local Economy: Townsville’s economy supports businesses ranging from small enterprises to large corporations.

Major Employers

  • Queensland Government: The state government is a major employer, offering numerous roles in public services.
  • Healthcare: Townsville Hospital and other healthcare facilities provide many employment opportunities.
  • Military: Air Force Bases in the region contribute to the job market with roles in defence and support services.

Schools Around Townsville

Townsville offers a variety of educational options for families, ranging from government catchment schools to private institutions. Here’s a detailed look at the schools in and around Townsville City, QLD 4810.

Government Schools Around Townsville

School NameLocationTypeGradesGenderStudent Count
Townsville Central State SchoolNorth Ward 4810Primary0 – 6Co-Ed230
Townsville South State SchoolSouth Townsville 4810Primary0 – 6Co-Ed128
Townsville West State SchoolWest End 4810Primary0 – 6Co-Ed133
Townsville State High SchoolRailway Estate 4810Secondary7 – 12Co-Ed759

Private Schools Around Townsville

School NameLocationTypeGradesGenderStudent Count
St Joseph’s Catholic School, The StrandNorth Ward 4810Primary0 – 6Co-Ed370
St Patrick’s College TownsvilleNorth Ward 4810Secondary7 – 12384
St Patrick’s CollegeNorth Ward 4810Secondary7 – 12Co-Ed404
St Patrick’s CollegeNorth Ward 4810Secondary11 – 12Co-Ed540
Tec-NQ – North Ward CampusNorth Ward 4810SecondaryCo-Ed
Townsville Grammar SchoolNorth Ward 4810Primary/Secondary0 – 12Co-Ed1256

Government schools in Townsville typically have defined catchment areas, which determine the school a child can attend based on their residential address. Private schools do not have such restrictions and may have different admission processes.

For more detailed information about the catchment areas and school locations, you can visit the CoreLogic website.

Crime in Townsville

Crime in Townsville has been a concern in the past, though some residents feel it has been improving. However, opinions on safety can vary widely among residents.

Initiatives like Taskforce Guardian have been implemented to tackle youth crime, resulting in numerous arrests and efforts to divert young offenders to appropriate support services.

While you learn about living in Townsville, you might also want to check out the worst suburbs in Townsville to get a full picture.

Lifestyle and Activities in Townsville

Living in Townsville

Get Outdoors

Townsville is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Here’s what makes life here so special:

  • Natural Beauty: From the Great Barrier Reef to national parks, there’s so much to explore and adventure.
  • Water Sports: Snorkelling, diving and fishing are popular due to the city’s coastal location.
  • Hiking and Sightseeing: Castle Hill and Magnetic Island are iconic spots for views and outdoor activities.

Community and Culture

Townsville has:

  • Festivals and Events: A range of events throughout the year including cultural festivals, markets and sports at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
  • Arts and Entertainment: A vibrant arts scene with galleries, theatres and live music venues for all tastes.

Moving to Townsville

Settling In

Moving to a new city is scary but here are some practical tips to help you get settled in Townsville:

  • Finding a Home: Look around different suburbs to find the one that suits you. North Ward and Belgian Gardens are some of the best suburbs in Townsville.
  • Schools and Education: If you have kids, research the education services available, including top schools and James Cook University.
  • Local Services: Get to know the local amenities like public transport, hospitals and shopping centres.

Get the Most Out of Your New Home

  • Community: Join local groups and clubs to meet new people and get involved.
  • Explore: Take advantage of the day trips and outdoor activities to see the real Townsville.
  • Stay Connected: Keep up to date with local news and events.

Townsville is urban and natural, economic and community. With everything to do, living costs are affordable and the vibe is warm. Whether you’re drawn to the Great Barrier Reef, Castle Hill or community life, Townsville has it all.

Follow these tips and you’ll be at home in no time in North Queensland.

FAQ: Living in Townsville

Is Townsville nice to live in?

Townsville offers a vibrant lifestyle with world-class education and healthcare facilities. Affordable housing, unique retail opportunities, and a variety of outdoor recreational activities make it an appealing place to live.

What should I know before moving to Townsville?

Before moving to Townsville, be aware of its warm climate throughout the year, strong community orientation, perfect size with necessary amenities, diverse cultural scene, and abundant local activities.

What are the benefits of moving to Townsville?

Benefits of relocating to Townsville include regional migration advantages, affordable housing, excellent educational institutions, beautiful natural surroundings, a favorable climate, numerous career opportunities, friendly residents, and a strategic location.

Is Townsville or Cairns better to live in?

Choosing between Townsville and Cairns depends on personal preferences. Townsville is known for its university and military presence and faces some social challenges, whereas Cairns, lacking a beach, offers a more tourist-oriented environment with more accommodation options and attractions.

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