Townsville serves as a vibrant city for trips towards Magnetic Island, the Great Barrier Reef and the Yongala Wreck.
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: You can always find a dive site which offers excellent conditions for scuba diving or snorkeling but during the windy season (April to July) many places might be rough. The best time to go is between August and December, just before the rainy season and just after the windy season. Water temperatures range from 22 in April to 28 degrees in October.
The diving area near Townsville can be separated in three parts. The dive sites around Magnetic Island, being good, but with a visibility between 5 and 15 meters not the best in the area. Next we have the great barrier reefs accessible by day boats but more often by liveaboard such as Keeper Reef and Kelso Reef. These touristy reefs are stunning but there are several damaged areas, also Crown of Thorn outbreaks. Last, the outer reefs such as Flinders Reef, only accessible by live-aboard with visibilities of 50 meters and more. Although you will not be alone on these reefs, they are less visited, more intact and have such a diverse amount of marine life. It is suitable for all divers although the sometimes bumby trip can easily make you seasick.
Townsville is a great town with excellent shopping, chique seafood dining, breathtaking views from Castle Hill and a pretty beach and promenade at Townsville Strand Beach. From Townsville, many tourists explore the region and visit the outback, work on a farm (mainly sugarcane and mangos) or visit magnetic island and the Great Barrier Reef. You can visit the huge waterfalls near Wallaman, the remains of old lava flows at the Undara Volcanic National Park or explore Pelorus Island. Another highlight is the town Charters Towers, which became famous as one of Australia's gold mining cities in the 1800s.
Magnetic Island is a great and cheap stop to spend some days for getting certified, getting refreshment courses or just enjoy its wild nightlife. You can explore the Great Barrier Reef and the Yongala Wreck, probably Queensland most famous wreck dive which definitely is a must see for experienced divers.
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