A modern, vibrant centre set on the sweep of Cleveland Bay, Townsville is Australia’s largest tropical city, and unchallenged as north Queensland’s administrative, commercial and manufacturing capital. But, despite its growth since being declared a city in 1903, Townsville retains of lot of its old world charm, obviously evident in the lovingly preserved colonial buildings which still abound, especially in the waterfront park on The Strand. Today the historic buildings are set within a delightful park of waterfalls and gardens, against the magnificent natural setting of the bay and Magnetic Island. During the summer nasty jellyfish tend to invade Australia's northern and tropical beaches, but year--round safe swimming is guaranteed in the protected rockpool off The Strand. A gateway to many beautiful islands - including Magnetic, about 12 km offshore, and serviced regularly by catamarans and vehicular ferries - Townsville is also a launching point for big game fisherfolk who flock here from throughout the world to try for the legendary black marlin around the fabled Cape Bowling Green fishing grounds.