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The redeveloped Strand has become a sustainable recreation and leisure precinct,
has lifted the sense of civic pride, and is an important and valued community asset.
The Strand The Strand - Where Townsville meets the sea... TCC logo

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The Townsville City Council continues to invest in The Strand because the return it makes to the local economy is substantial. It is estimated The Strand receives in excess of 1,600,000 visitors annually. Annual event attendances are conservatively estimated at about 300,000 people.

Innovative sustainable practices in place on The Strand include:
    The restaurants and cafes of The Strand enjoy cooling sea breezes as well as fantastic island and sea views
  • An investment in litter traps to trap litter before it reaches the beaches.
  • Mulching of green waste on The Strand.
  • Mundingburra Scout group raises funds through recycling cans and bottles from major events at The Strand.
  • The "Don't Waste The Strand" Project to reduce litter.

The economic value of The Strand in terms of local business is twofold. Firstly, through local spending redirected towards The Strand area; and, more importantly, visitor spending bringing new money into the local economy.

Intercept surveys conducted in May/June 2005 indicate that the Townsville Strand has enhanced the local spending of Townsville residents to the benefit of local traders in and around The Strand precinct.

Council has encouraged new development prospects within the precinct. The Strand’s attraction as a nucleus to development has seen the construction of various hotels, restaurant, holiday apartment blocks, as well as residential blocks in the precinct over the past three years.

Many historic buildings lie along the 2.2km beach road – the Colonial grandeur of the old Queens Hotel; the Art Deco inspired Tobruk Pool, where Dawn Fraser and the 1956 and 1960 Olympic swim team trained; and Anzac Park, the site of the Memorial commemorating the Battle of the Coral Sea.


The two micro-environments along The Strand are a park and beach. One requires a pleasant, planted environment to provide colour, natural cooling and microclimate modification for visitors.

The latter - a dune system - requires stability and maintenance, not just for human users, but to minimise impact on animals and the environment.

Given Townsville is situated in the dry tropics, planners looked to plants that were native and required less water, and trees that provided a good level of shade along the promenade.

16,000 trees and shrubs, 900 palms and 22,500 native groundcover plants were planted during the redevelopment.

Some visitors' views
Matt and Meghan from Canada.
“Townsville is our favourite city that we have been to and The Strand is beautiful. Having Strand Park in the centre of The Strand is very convenient.”
  • All shrub and accent plants were locally grown

  • Plants with low nutrient requirements were used to ensure nutrient leaching is minimised

  • The need for mechanical maintenance has been minimised by the choice of plants including evergreen bulbs and compact and tight forms of shrubs

  • The turf (Greenleas Park Couch) was chosen as it has lower water and nutrient requirements than other high quality turfs.

On the beach front the locally occurring Ipomea pescaprae (Goat’s foot convolvulus), Canavalia maritima (Beach Bean) and Spinifex sericeus (Beach Spinifex) were planted as tube stock and now prevent erosion of the dunes.

The dune systems are well marked and signs warn pedestrians and beach goers against walking on areas of rehabilitation. Greencorp projects have targetted weed growth in the dune systems.

The Indo-Pacific Turtle Management Group and Queensland Parks and Wildlife work closely with The Strand Management during turtle breeding season and monitor turtle nestings along The Strand beach. The four beaches are turtle breeding grounds, and a comprehensive turtle protection plan is in place.

Important seagrass beds offshore are protected. Fill was used to prevent fine sand washing out and smothering the grass. Seagrass health and turbidity levels are monitored.

The Strand Wind Project adds an element of environmental foresight to sustainability research.

A 200 metre watercraft exclusion zone is marked by a sign on the outer marina rockwall, to minimise noise pollution from watercraft such as jet skis.

Trees are  a prominent feature of The StrandOther basic sustainability measures include:
  • All taps and beach showers are either springloaded or have automatic shut off systems
  • Lights are turned on by sensors and turned off by timers.

Aboriginal culture has been used in the design of The StrandThe Hambeluna Spirit Rising environmental sculpture is located at the epicentre of The Strand promenade.

The park is in the place of a former lagoon - Hambeluna - where local Aborigines lived and met for celebrations.

After white settlement it was renamed Comerfords Lagoon. Land reclamation in North Ward in the 1930's caused it to disappear.

Some visitors' views
Russel with daughter Ashleigh and son Mitchell from Mackay, Queensland.
"The Strand is a brilliant place, the facilities are well kept and great for kids. Money well spent by the Townsville City Council."

The sculpture around the park represents this historic blend of cultures, and is inspired by both the local indigenous belief that suggests Hambeluna was the home of Yaminda, the Rainbow Serpent, as well as the first Surveyor General's map taken from the time.

In a natural amphitheatre which follows the edge of the long lost lagoon. The serpent’s path is represented by earth mounds and fissures. The major fissure acts as a viewing channel to the central insignia of Strand Park and beyond to the jetty’s sails.

Local plants and lighting mark out the location of the original lagoon and melaleucas have been replanted in the area that such trees grew in the past. The park celebrates the importance of Townsville’s indigenous peoples, and its early white settlement.