In the coastal region of north-east Queensland, Townsville is a popular regional holiday destination, being close to sandy beaches, islands, (like Magnetic Island), and the Great Barrier Reef, but did you know it is also within easy day trip distance of some amazing agricultural and farm experiences? Taste farm life with your family next time you are in the Townsville area with these day trips from Townsville.
We know that there are a tonne of great things to do in Townsville with kids, but have you checked out the rest of the region? From the coast to the outback; after dipping your toes in the waves at The Strand, head out of town for a totally different holiday experience. Getting “off the beaten track” in Townsville can lead to places far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday suburban life. Even if you consider yourself a local, there is probably still plenty you have left to explore.
We’ve taken a few trips out to road-test some of the best agritourism venues that regional Townsville has to offer and discovered that many farms and businesses in the area have been owned by the same families for generations. Our hosts and guides were our local experts, sharing their knowledge with enthusiasm to ensure we had the absolute BEST time possible – and now we are sharing that with you!
With handy driving maps, we will show you where to go, how to get there, how long to stay and what to try. It is a Townsville day trip itinerary for families that you are going to love!
So, without further ado, here are our suggestions for some of the best day trips from Townsville
Townsville to Leahton Park – 1 hour and 40-minute drive
Heading into the “wild” west will see you at Leahton Park, Australia’s “Texas in the Outback”. Start your journey from Townsville by heading south on the Flinders Highway (A6), skirting around forest covered mountains and through rural grazing land before turning southwest towards Charters Towers. There are a few lookouts and rest areas along the way, but only two or three places to refuel, so make sure you have a full tank before setting off and pack plenty of snacks for the kids.
As you travel through Charters Towers, look out for your right turn onto Dalrymple Road, and make sure your sat-nav is on so that you don’t miss your left-turn on Urdera Road and the experience that awaits.
Leahton Farm is amazing place, home to Texas Longhorn Cattle with horns spanning up to 3 metres, and even buffalo, bison and other unusual international cattle breeds. The venue offers two fascinating experiences: you can take a horse-drawn wagon tour across the plains, or an all-terrain vehicle safari! Whichever you choose, your tour includes cowboy coffee or billy tea brewed on an open campfire and served with home-made Anzac biscuits and cakes, displays and demonstrations, and the opportunity to get VERY up close and personal with your incredible new bovine buddies.
Your hosts are Mick and Lynda, whose passion for what they do clearly shows in the quality of the experience they provide. You are assured of a warm welcome and will part as friends. This venue is unique – you just have to see it for yourselves!
Cost Wagon Tour: Adults $105, Child 5-14 $76, Child 2-4 $48, Child under 2 free
Safari Tor: Adults $75, Child 5-14 $55, Child 2-4 $35, Child under 2 free
Opening Hours: Available all year
Address: 441 Urdera Road, Charters Towers
Website/Facebook page: Texas Longhorn
Group Tours – Townsville to Wambiana Station – 2.25-hour drive
If you are organising an authentic farming experience for a large tour group, a stay at Wambiana Station is a must.
Life on a cattle station can be challenging and exciting, and students or tour groups can get a taste of real farm life with a short stay at Wambiana Station. The experience is as authentic as can be. Your hosts, the Lyons family, are the 4th generation of their family to live and work on the property and they have been hosting tour groups for nearly 20 years.
There is an abundance of history to soak up and see first-hand whilst enjoying the open spaces, abundance of nature and learning about living on the land. From divining for water to pregnancy-testing cattle, there are opportunities to explore the many facets of life on a cattle station in a very “hands-on way.” This experience is guaranteed to disconnect you from the city and suburbia as you reconnect with nature and each other, and help you gain a better understanding of sustainable beef production in north west Queensland.
Cost: Varies by accommodation choice and duration of stay
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 8:30am – 2:00pm, Saturday: 8:30am – 2:00pm, Sunday: 9:00am – 2:00pm
Address: 1635 Corea Road, Campaspe
Website/Facebook page: Wambiana Station
Special event: Townsville to Australian Italian Festival – 1.25-hour drive
Hot on the heels of the Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival is the Australian Italian Festival, one of the longest running festivals of its kind in Australia. Held annually in June, the festival celebrates Italian culture and mouth-watering locally produced food. To get there, head north on the Bruce Highway (A1) to Ingham.
The predominant culture in the Hinchinbrook Shire is Italian. This is a result of the many Italian immigrants who came to Ingham in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s to work in the cane fields, and who stayed to raise their families in North Queensland. While the Australian Italian Festival’s focus is on the Italian culture, it is also inclusive of our First Nations people and other immigrants who have made Ingham and the Hinchinbrook Shire so culturally diverse.
Over the festival weekend, the TYTO Parklands are transformed into a huge piazza with nonstop world-class entertainment, concerts, competitions, free amusement rides for the children, market stalls, Italian food from professional Italian chefs and from the best local Italian Nonna’s!
Cost: Adults from $9 per person, children under 18 free
Opening Hours: Saturday and Sunday of the festival weekend
Address: 73/75 Mcilwraith Street, Ingham
Website/Facebook page: Australian Italian Festival
Townsville to Frosty Mango – 60-minute drive
If you’re heading north from Townsville – perhaps to the Italian Festival – Frosty Mango is a must-visit waypoint, and a great place to visit in its own right.
The drive along the Bruce Highway (A1) with views of the forested mountains of the Paluma Range National Park. You know you’ve reached Frosty Mango when you see the big welcoming Mango Man!
Frosty Mango is the perfect place to refresh with fresh homemade ice creams, pancakes, coffees and sandwiches in a lovely tropical fruit orchard setting. You can stroll through the tropical fruit orchards before heading into the café, where you can also purchase a range of seasonal and unusual tropical fruits. Grumichana anyone?
While you are there, don’t forget to grab your photo with the big Mango Man before heading on your way with your delicious and exotic fresh fruity produce.
Cost: Free to enter
Opening Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Address: Bruce Highway, Mutarnee
Website/Facebook page: Frosty Mango
The best day trips from Townsville
These fabulous events and day trips exploring the Townsville region will allow your family to taste farm life in a variety of authentic ways, providing an itinerary to fill a long weekend or school holiday staycation.
As some tours and visits are exclusive, we recommend you visit the websites above to book your visit. Our regional farmers and growers look forward to welcoming you, and you will be supporting and learning from Queensland’s best producers. What better way to connect with your family and nature, and make memories that will last a lifetime!
For more ideas of farms to visit on your next day trip or holidays visit daf.qld.gov.au/tastefarmlife.