Townsville is located about halfway between the tip of Cape York and Brisbane. The Ross River flows from the foothills of the Hervey and Mount Stuart ranges to its outlet in Cleveland Bay, where the CBD’s skyline is dominated by the distinctive Castle Hill and Magnetic Island lies just eight kilometres offshore.
We have a dry tropical climate, with lower rainfall than elsewhere in the tropics. Our region is characterised by diverse landforms and natural environments. In the low lying coastal plain there are a number of rivers, creeks and freshwater wetlands. Hills and mountains rise out of the coastal plan, creating distinctive landmarks such as Castle Hill. The long coastline features beaches, mangrove estuaries, saltpans and coastal swamps.
The new city of Townsville was formed in 2008, when the city councils of Townsville and Thuringowa were amalgamated. Prior to this, both cities had a distinct but interconnected history.
Traditional owners, the Bindal and Wulgurukaba peoples, are the first known people to have lived in the Townsville area. Captain James Cook mentioned the region in 1770.
In the early 1860s, the first pastoral leases were taken out on land which later became the Thuringowa Division. The township was known as Cleveland Bay, “The Creek”, Blackstown, and Castletown but Black named the township Townsville for his employer Robert Towns.
Townsville is the largest city in North Queensland and one of the fastest growing cities in the state, in terms of population. As at 30 June 2009, the estimated resident population of Townsville City was 181,743 people, or 4.1% of the state's population.