7 reasons to book a stay at Townsville’s The Ville
With the beaches and reefs of Cairns to the north and the glamorous Whitsunday Islands to the south, Townsville is sometimes unfairly overlooked by holidaymakers. But since the launch of Palm Springs-inspired casino hotel The Ville in 2018, this laidback Tropical North Queensland town has seriously lifted its game.
With its whitewashed walls, beachy Californian vibe and sparkling blue infinity pool complete with swim-up bar, The Ville has doubled Townsville’s cool credentials overnight. And while the view from your sun lounger out over the Coral Sea is pretty special, a visit to The Ville promises a whole lot more than idyllic scenery and cocktails by the pool. Here’s what to do while vacaying at The Ville.
Feed your mind, body and spirit
Melt away your stresses with a reiki or massage treatment at the resort’s onsite spa, Hands in Harmony. Then, stretch it out with a yoga class or heal your chakra with a crystal singing bowl session. Prefer a more vigorous workout? Work up a sweat in the state-of-the-art gym, free to all resort guests.
Taste tropical and exotic flavours
Choose from five different eateries and a plethora of cuisines. Kick off your day with a casual breakfast and barista-style coffee at Spin Cafe. For lunch, head to Miss Songs Asian Kitchen (recently voted one of Queensland’s top 100 restaurants). Expect flavourful traditional Chinese dishes like black pepper beef and kung bo chicken with a modern, Tropical North Queensland twist.
As the day draws to a close, slow things down with dinner and drinks overlooking the Coral Sea. Sip sundowners at the Quarterdeck bar while the kids play lawn games, or watch the resort’s chefs cook up a feast using locally-grown produce at Palm House.
Sample the social scene
With an impressive lineup of concerts and live shows, The Ville is fast creating a name for itself as Townsville’s new entertainment hub. Music acts Thirsty Merc and Peking Duk as well as standup comedian Jimeoin have all performed here. Listen to chilled-out Ibizan beats at a Splash Bar pool party, show off your trivia knowledge at quiz night, or while away the afternoon listening to soulful acoustic sounds on the poolside lawn.
Explore the great outdoors
Thanks to its central harbourside location, The Ville is the perfect base from which to explore Townsville’s countless natural wonders. Here are four unforgettable experiences well worth leaving the resort for.
1. Snorkel your way around an underwater art gallery
As if exploring the Great Barrier Reef wasn’t enough, now visitors to Townsville can experience the Southern Hemisphere’s first underwater museum. Don your flippers and mask and discover deeply works created by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, who uses his art to draw attention to and spark conversations about reef conservation.
Snorkel or dive your way around the four awe-inspiring underwater galleries that make up the Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA). Don’t miss the incredible Coral Garden installation at John Brewer Reef: a 58 tonne underwater building which pays homage to the reef’s many guardians.
2. Reconnect with nature on an uninhabited tropical island
Travel about 120km north of Townsville towards Mission Beach and you’ll find yourself looking out towards the rainforest peaks and boulder-studded beaches of Hinchinbrook Island. With no more than 40 people permitted on the island at any one time, it’s the perfect place to disconnect from daily life and forge new connections with nature and your fellow travellers.
Navigate its tranquil waters by sea kayak, explore spectacular waterfalls or try your hand at game fishing and land a barra for your supper. Feeling adventurous? Challenge yourself to take on the Thorsborne Trail: a four day, 32km trek along the island’s east coast that’s rated one of the top 10 walks on the planet.
3. Study mangroves and mantas at a luxury eco lodge
What do you get when you cross an exclusive luxury retreat with a hub for conservation and marine research? Orpheus Island Lodge: a tropical island nestled in over 1000 hectares of national park, just thirty minutes from Townsville by helicopter.
An all-inclusive hideaway where you can step from the beach straight on to the reef, Orpheus has some serious eco-credentials to its name. In fact, it’s one of just a handful of resorts globally that can claim to be 100% renewably powered.
Explore the island’s protected giant clam garden with a qualified eco-educational guide, visit the island’s marine research station, or volunteer for the Orpheus citizen science program. By helping the researchers collect data you can contribute to a great cause and explore the wonders of this unique environment at the same time.
4. Feed wild rock wallabies on Magnetic Island
From your accommodation at The Ville it’s just a few minute’s walk to the Magnetic Island ferry. From there, take the 20 minute journey by boat to reach the laid back island community known locally as Maggie. Its proximity to the coast makes Maggie popular with day-trippers, but if you wanted to stay a little longer there’s no shortage of accommodation options to choose from.
For those who are keen to get back in the water, there’s plenty of snorkelling and diving action to be had. Sign up to a snorkelling adventure with Aquascene’s Discovery Cruise, or get an expert’s perspective with Reef Eco Tours’ marine biologist guided tour. Alternatively, go solo and take a self-guided snorkel trail around Maggie’s tranquil bays to discover historic relics and bommies teeming with fish.
Wrap up your day on Magnetic Island with a visit to Horseshoe Bay at sunset. You’ll be rewarded with a free show courtesy of the local rock wallabies, who visit the beach each night without fail.
For more Townsville-themed inspiration, check out this guide to 20 cheap and (almost free) things to do in Townsville.