Friday, October 14, 2011


My friend David had recently moved to Townsville and I was glad to see him at the station.

David knows I like eating large prawns (shrimp) so we went to a fabulous seafood shop where he bought a bunch of them that we ate for dinner that night while watching Australia somehow manage to beat South Africa in the World Cup Rugby. They were really good. Well the prawns were good, not so much the Wallabies.

There was an incredible amount of seafood of all kinds, much of it fresh.

 Therefore I presume that some eggs must be unhappy. Warn your friends to watch out for the unhappy egg. Of course the unhappy egg has been identified long ago in this famous cartoon.

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 View from David's house towards Castle Hill. He's renting it for a year and will be able to spend some time looking for his permanent abode.

 View towards the down town.

 After lunch, we headed up to the top of Castle Hill that dominates the town.

Magnetic Island off in the distance. There will be a separate blog about my trip out there.

David's house is down there in the middle of the photo. It's a modern building with angled walls. My sister Clare would love it.

The new train station.

David and I headed off to the Strand for a walk early next morning.

In the tropical north, you try to get your exercise in the early morning to avoid the heat later in the day.

Magnetic Island off in a low cloud.

The stingers are a real problem in northern Australia, particularly in the summer months when everybody wants to cool off in the sea. Some of the worst are the box jellyfish which have been known to kill children.

There is no surf in the northern parts of the Queensland coast because of the Great Barrier Reef. Townsville is not that close to the reef so it is not a tourist attraction here. Cairns to the north and the Whitsunday Islands to the south are the popular jump off points for tourists wishing to see the reef.

Area for small children to swim and play in during the summer.

There were quite a lot of people out walking, running or bicycling.

Early morning mist over Castle Hill.

Life savers training.

A very elegant life saver lookout.

A very famous watering hole on the Strand.

The local swimming baths. These are very famous in Australian swimming history.

These baths are where the Australian swimming teams went to practice for the Olympic Games in the 50's and 60's. It was warm enough in winter for training to continue when the baths in the south were closed.

It was a very pleasant surprise to see this pool. I had long forgotten about the Aussie swimmers coming up to train and already it was warm enough that I wished I had my togs ready so I could dive in and cool off.

 Old Customs House.
 We weren't sure what this was next to the Customs House.
 More modern apartment buildings.

Interesting house overlooking the Strand.

 Townsville dodged a bullet in February 2011 when cyclone Yasi hit the coast between Cairns and Townsville. The category 5 cyclone caused significant damage where it crossed the coast, but very strong winds were felt in Townsville.

Most Australian cities have a large park area set aside for gardens. Townsville has its Queens Gardens and we walked quickly through a corner of them. I was intrigued by this Lipstick Palm.

View of the marina.

We then went to the market held in the Townsville Mall. This Mall was created when the main street was closed to trafficn and pedestrians could walk around. This concept has been implemented all over the world usually with great success. But not in Townsville. It was initially successful but when large shopping centers were built in the suburbs, the downtown mall became a ghost area or rather a vagrant area. So they reopened the street to traffic recently and now close it only on Saturday mornings for a market. Read more about it here.

 Why anybody would want to buy an ironing board at a market is beyond me, particularly one as hideous as this.
 What Aussies call thongs.
 Bridge over the Ross River.
 My mother was never keen to move to Townsville even though my father would have liked to return. Not only was she concerned about the heat but also the mosquitos and sand flies that lurked on the mangroves that lined the river.

 It's known as the Sugar Shaker for obvious reasons.

The grand old Railway Station. Train tracks no longer go to the station.

 Night view of Townsville from David's house.

The following photos are for the Perry family. Below is 48 Philp Street as it is today.

An old photo that Glenda sent me. This may be as it looked when my father was a child and lived there.

Look at the 1932 entries for Townsville Grammar School. You probably will have to click on the photos.

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