Guide to Traveling to Townsville for the Townsville 500

Bringing Supercars races to the people with temporary street circuits has always ensured well-attended events, but they are also popular with interstate fans. One of the most popular events for visitors is the Townsville 500.

While there are a number of reasons to visit Townsville, the Supercars event is one of the most popular with tens of thousands of fans making the trip to the city in Northern Queensland each July.

It’s the perfect time of the year for the race as well as it’s almost always warm, bordering on hot in the northern parts of Australia (much like the race in Darwin), while Winter is in full force in the southern states.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Townsville several times over the last decade alongside the Supercars Championship, so here is my advice if you are planning on heading to Townsville for the Supercars round for the first time.

Where Is The Townsville 500 Held?

The Townsville 500 is held on a temporary street circuit just south of Townsville CBD. Based primarily in Reid Park, the track layout includes small sections of Boundary Street and Charters Towers Road.

The bulk of the track is located between Townsville Train Station and Queensland Country Bank Stadium (home of the North Queensland Cowboys).

Unlike other street circuits, some of the facilities in the Reid Park complex have been permanently built for the race.

Where To Stay When Going To Townsville 500

The Strand, Townsville

Townsville is both a military town and a tourist town, and as such, offers a lot of temporary accommodation options.

Obviously, given the number of people who flock to the city for the race, accommodation can get a little expensive but unlike Darwin, it doesn’t tend to book out as quickly.

If you are looking to make your Supercars experience in Townville ultra-instagrammable, I would recommend booking to stay at the Rambutan Resort. Just have a look, you’ll work it out.

For those of you hoping to rub shoulders with your favourite Supercars drivers and crew while you are in town, they tend to stay at the following four hotels – Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville, Oaks Townsville Gateway Suites, Allure Hotel & Apartments and Oaks Townsville Metropole Hotel.

However, I tend to try to book to stay a little closer to The Strand, a little further away from the circuit. I find the hotels here tend to be a little cheaper and you are able to walk to restaurants etc after a full at the track. My picks include Island View Motel, Summit Motel and Motel on Mitchell. All of which feature recently refurbished clean comfortable rooms.

For a few more general recommendations around the city, check out my guide to Townsville blog post.

How To Get To And From The Townsville 500

Getting to and from the Townsville 500 can be a little bit of a challenge for first-timers to the event. If you plan of driving, parking is quite limited with some parking offered near the football stadium (Dean Street Carpark).

If you are staying in the heart of the city, you might find it easier to just walk to the track. There are a couple of bridges across the Ross River setup to get fans to and from Queensland Country Bank Stadium right next door to the circuit. Most people use those same walkways to get to Gate 1 at the Reid Park circuit.

Should you choose to stay a little further away, then your best bet is to take advantage of the public busses to get to and from the circuit, however, information on those services is limited. Check out the Translink website in the lead-up to the Townsville 500 to see if they are running special bus services.

Food Options At The Townsville 500

Being a temporary venue that it is, for the majority of the year the area is a public road and park area. There aren’t any permanent food vendors.

For the Townsville 500, the venue relies on a good selection of food trucks that show up every year for the event.

During the event, you will absolutely find an amazing variety of vendors set up around the track, with the biggest concentration of food trucks set up in the middle of the circuit where the merchandise and concert area is typically set up.

What To Do In The Evenings During The Townsville 500

Townsville comes alive when Supercars come to town. There are numerous pubs and restaurants that put on special functions over the course of the weekend.

The most popular is the Speedcafe Green Room party on the Sunday night following the race. It’s one of the hottest tickets in town and where you will find all the stars from Supercars after the race.

Otherwise, there is an abundance of options within the city. Just take a walk around the city, and I’m very sure you will find somewhere that suits you.

Spending Time in Townsville Before or After

Magnetic Island, Townsville

Townsville is definitely one of those places where you are going to want to spend some time before and/or after the race.

The event itself is a great little escape from winter in the southern states as I’ve already mentioned. But you should really take advantage and spend a few more days in the city and the surrounding region to see what else it has to offer.

One of the most popular things to do is to take the ferry over to Magnetic Island for the day. But there is plenty to do in the city that I’ve detailed in this blog post.

Might I also suggest, Cairns is just a half-day drive up the Bruce Highway, as a good alternative option if you want to escape winter for a week longer?

Townsville 500 Supercars Tips

Street circuits typically have limited viewing areas, simply due to the nature of racing through city streets. Also, given that they cater more towards grandstand seating the best spots are usually more expensive to access.

However, what makes Townsville different is the parkland section that actually offers some really good vantage points all included with a general admission ticket.

Just keep in mind Townsville is famous for its sunshine, so it can get quite hot despite being winter. So you might need to keep an eye out for the shaded sections around the circuit.

For more information about the Supercars round in Townsville, visit the championships website.

Guide to Traveling to Townsville for the Townsville 500

For more travel tips, make sure you check out the rest of my blog posts as well.

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About the author

Rhys Vandersyde

Traveller, Photographer, Content Creator - I've spent the last 20 years actively seeking out new destinations and new adventures. Find out more about me here:

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