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10 Awesome Reasons to Live in Townsville

This article is sponsored by James Cook University

If you love incredible weather, beautiful beaches and a relaxed culture with a slight obsession for sports, then Townsville might very well be the place of your dreams. 

We spoke to two of the many students flocking to Townsville – Chase DeJarnett and Aabha Sant – to see what they love about living in Northern Queensland. 

Chase (right), a student from the USA, is currently completing his Master of Marine Biology at James Cook University (JCU). When he’s not studying, he hits the great outdoors, enjoying the hikes around Townsville, fishing and photography.

Aabha (left) is a recent Master of Marine Biology graduate from India. She is based in Townsville and is active in the student community at JCU.

Read on to find out 10 awesome reasons to live in Townsville.

1. Regional migration benefits

Looking for a way to stay in Australia longer? Look no further than Townsville! This regional gem offers a plethora of migration benefits for those who want to stay after graduation. By studying in Townsville, you’ll not only have access to quality education, but also the opportunity to extend your stay in Australia by an extra two years once your student visa expires. And that’s not all – the Australian Government has also recently announced an additional two years of post-study work rights for international graduates with eligible qualifications. So why not choose Townsville and take advantage of all the benefits it has to offer?

2. Affordable accommodation

The accommodation in Townsville is much more affordable than in some of Australia’s bigger cities, which is especially handy if you’re a student on a tight budget. 

JCU also provides student accommodation, which is a great option if you’re looking to make friends and live close to campus.

3. World-class education facilities and staff

JCU is considered a great university. It is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide, but even more impressive is that it is #1 in Australia for full-time employment and median graduate salary, #3 in the world for Ecology and Evolution research, and #5 in the world for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal of good health and wellbeing. 

The facilities are also world-class. “The state-of-the-art laboratories, JCU’s Orpheus Island Research Station and the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library are very helpful facilities,” shares Aabha. “The international students’ services and support resources were also really helpful to me.”

4. Stunning nature at your fingertips

If you want to study anything related to nature –  especially marine science – Townsville is the place to be. 

Townsville is one of the best places to be for marine biology, with the Great Barrier Reef located just off the coast of the city and many opportunities to gain valuable field experience in marine biology,” explains Chase.

And if you like being out and about in nature, there’s plenty to do when you’re not studying. 

“You can go out to the reef or Magnetic Island or one of the many creeks/waterfalls every chance you get!” says Aabha.

5. Pleasant climate

For those that love to get outside, you’ll be pleased to know that Townsville has over 300+ days of sunshine each year! The summers are hot and tropical, although the weather is slightly drier and cooler in the winter.

“Most days, even when it rains, the sun shines for at least a small part of the day. I must admit, that once you get over the humidity, it is very convenient weather for being outside and at the beach all year long”, says Aabha.

6. An abundance of career opportunities

Whether you’re looking for part-time work during your studies or somewhere to set up once you graduate, there are lots of jobs in Townsville. 

“I currently work on campus recruiting prospective students and answering any questions or concerns they have prior to coming to Australia/Townsville/JCU.” says Chase. 

JCU can also help you find work, so check out their career services

7. Friendly locals 

One of the best things about Townsville is the hospitality of the locals. Because it’s smaller than the capital cities, most people are often up for having a chat and making new friends. 

“Everyone has been incredibly welcoming; all the staff at the university, the students in the programs and the locals around Townsville are all kind and always willing to help if asked,” said Chase. “The Townsville area is a diverse, inclusive community where people are always there to support you in any way possible.”

8. An incredible location

One of the underrated aspects of living in Townsville is how great its location is. There are many flights from Brisbane and between Cairns and Townsville, so it’s always possible to get away for a quick holiday.

There are also some interesting day trips closer to home. Magnetic Island, for example, is becoming famous around Australia for its beautiful beaches and scenic views. At only a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville, it is definitely worth checking out.

9. A healthy and active culture

Townsvillians love to stay active. 

“Everyone hikes up Castle Hill, or bikes down to the Ross River Dam, or at the very least walks/exercises along The Strand or the river,” says Aabha. 

You’ll very regularly see people kayaking, kitesurfing and paddleboarding as well. If heading to the gym is more your thing, there’s even one located at JCU.

10. Lots to do!

When you’re not hitting the books, there is a lot to keep you busy in and around Townsville. “One of the highlights of living in Townsville was going to all of the local spots like the Billabong Sanctuary,” says Chase.

If you’re looking for ways to spend your time, you could give the following a try: 

Whether you want to get outdoors or make new friends, there’s an abundance of things to do in Townsville.

Ready to make your study dreams a reality in Townsville? JCU’s got you covered. Visit the JCU website today and get started with expert guidance. JCU’s friendly team is available to answer any questions and provide the support you need to achieve your goals. View the gallery below for a glimpse of life at JCU. 

Image 1: The Strand is a popular spot in Townsville for students to hang out and participate in a variety of activities such as volleyball, basketball and much more.

Image 2: JCU Townsville has several student accommodations options, including the newest JCU Halls of Residence – Burralga Yumba,  which includes plenty of shared spaces for students

Image 3: The views from the top of Castle Hill are spectacular, with 360-degree views of the city

Image 4: Throughout the year, students can get involved in on-campus events  which include food, drinks and fun activities 

Image 5: JCU Halls of Residence – Burralga Yumba provides contemporary and affordable student accommodation in a secure, safe, and environmentally sustainable environment.

Image 6: The proximity to the Great Barrier Reef makes JCU Townsville the ideal location to study marine biology.