The national park camping sites have been great for the last two weeks so after a brief stop in at one of the Townsville caravan parks (which we quickly decided was the most bland, uninviting place to stay in north Queensland) we decided to check out Bowling Green Bay National Park just to the south of Townsville and found a campground at Alligator Creek.
There was one good shady spot and we booked that and set up camp. There were quite a few cars in the day use picnic area and we were hopeful that that meant the pictures we’d seen of beautiful stretches of water in the adjacent creek were true. The short walk to the swimming area ended in major disappointment. There was one grotty, stagnant puddle of water in an otherwise bone-dry creek bed – this was nothing like the brochure!!
The most amazing thing was that there were people actually in the water! We were disappointed and as we walked up higher to the lookout we also found out that the walking tracks were closed for a pest animal shooting program. The place was a bit rundown overall but, being 20 minutes from the middle of Townsville, it was a good base to explore from.
In Townsville we walked along the Strand foreshore area and spent some time looking around the Barracks area up on the headland which has some good information about the Japanese bombers who tried to inflict some damage over a couple of nights during WWII but were repelled with the bombs missing their targets. There’s some good audio that you can push a button and it plays – the best is probably the ABC reporter on live radio giving a blow by blow account of the planes coming in, the spotlights crisscrossing the sky, bombs being dropped but not hitting anything, and then eventually the American fighter jets scrambling and having a spectacular dog-fight above the town.
The highlight for the boys was the waterpark where they spent hours playing while mum and dad sat in the shade looking out over the beautiful turquoise water to Magnetic Island and then cooked up a bbq on the foreshore.