Town Common Recreational Park & Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park borders the ocean and is full of places to go and things to do for those who love a breakaway from it all. From Rowes Bay through to Pallarenda, mountain bike riding, bushwalking, bird watching and wildlife viewing are a few of the activities on offer here, along with discovering secret beaches and venturing deep into mystical forests without worrying about losing your way.
Townsville Town Common Conservation Park is 6 km north of the Townsville city centre. Vehicle access to the bird watching areas is via the main entrance on the turn-off from Cape Pallarenda Road. The gate at this entrance is open from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm daily. The best time of the year to visit Town Common are between April and June, after the wet season when wildlife and birds are abundant including wallabies, magpie geese, brolgas and quite a few birds of prey.
Both cycling through the park and hiking are popular activities, however, you must take plenty of drinking water, where sun protection (i.e. a hat) and sensible shoes, and remember the insect repellent, you may encounter a few mossies. The walks can be a few hours long and general fitness should be a consideration. Since the area is fairly open, there is a nice breeze to keep temperatures very comfortable most of the year.
There are various treks about the park. Some are short, while a few are long and can be strenuous for some. Even if you're not into long walks, there's something for everyone; fishing, boating, BBQs, playgrounds, WW2 history and even an unofficial naturalist beach, it can all be experienced. There's plenty of interesting shells are washed up along here, which is fun for beach combing. We prefer the time of day when the tides are low, for exploring.
On these walks, you will encounter birds, insects and possibly a snake, and wander through patches of coastal vine scrub, eucalpyt forest and open grassland on
the ridge tops. The Lagoon and Freshwater skirts the wetlands, passing Tegoora rock on its way north. The wetlands are seasonal, the roads may be closed during the summer rainy season, and parts of the track may under water, or overgrown, lost in heavy grass growth.
Lagoon and Freshwater Trail
These park maintenance roads run alongside the wetlands and is all very easy going.
Many Peaks Range, Mount Marlow
There are several lookouts along the trail overlooking the airport, Town Common, Tegoora rock, Castle Hill, Palm Island Group, Magnetic Island, and surrounding beaches. The trail takes you up to the summit of Mt Marlow (213 metres) and down into the old Bald Rock carpark. There is a bit of shade along the way which is great in this climate! You will also pass by Bald Rock and Tegoora Rock. Tegoora is Coonambella (Townsville) language for "thunder'.
I suggest you walk from Pallarenda Park and then you can choose to return via the Lagoon trail which is the easiest, the Freshwater trail is a little longer but still easy walking on level ground, or the Under the Radar trail which is the longest and most interesting; you'll just need to give way to mountain bikers.
Rowes Bay to Shelly Beach, Pallarenda
This short walk will take you past World War II forts and gun emplacements and down into the unofficial naturalist beach. These WW2 structures are worth the walk to see. There is also a short loop track here that takes you past the old weir and graveyard. See the Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park map.
See also the Townsville Town Common Conservation Park map
Cape Pallarenda is a Marine Park Zone A, so you will have to check on limits with fishing. At the time of writing, the limit was one line per fisherman, and certain bag limits on crabs and oysters etc. Remember that domestic animals are not allowed in this park.
I organise adventures every weekend around Townsville. If you are fit and capable, join us on these free expeditions by visiting Townsville Advenutres.
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