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Our History

Our History

Traditional land owners and custodians, the Bindal and Wulgurukaba People are the first people to have lived in the Townsville region.  

Situated on Cleveland Bay, Townsville's flat landscape is overlooked by the red rock monolith of Castle Hill, known by the Wulgurukaba people as 'Cudtheringa'.  

  • Captain James Cook and his crew first sighted the region now known as Townsville on 6th June 1770. Cook named Cleveland Bay, Cape Cleveland and "Magnetical Island".  
  • Townsville was founded in 1864 as a port for the fledgling pastoral industry in North Queensland. Following the discovery of gold at Ravenswood and then Charters Towers, the town developed into the principal capital of North Queensland.   
  • By the end of 1867, Townsville had a population of about 350 people with seven hotels. 
  • In 1866, Robert Towns, entrepreneur and businessman agreed to provide financial assistance to the new settlement. Although he only visited Townsville briefly, the settlement was named Townsville in his honour.  
  • Townsville was declared a municipality in February 1866, also being the year the first steamship arrived in the port. 
  • By the late 1800s, breakwaters had been built to protect vessels entering Ross Creek.
  • By 1936, Townsville's population reached 30,000 people.  During the 2nd World War, Townsville became a major military base, accommodating up to 90,000 Australian, American and other allied service personnel.  
  • Over the past century, Townsville developed into the commercial centre for northern Queensland with major industries including meat and sugar processing, copper refining, railroad repair, timber milling, boat building, and manufacture.  Outside the southeast corner, Townsville is the largest city in regional Queensland with over 196,000 residents.  
  • Breakwater Marina's construction starting in 1986 was a development of state significance. 
  • The precinct was originally developed as part of the first stage of the Breakwater Island Casino Development, and the marina basin is bordered by public promenades along Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Anzac Park and Mariner's Peninsula. 
  • The Marina started construction in 1986, neighbouring Sheraton Breakwater Hotel and Casino (now known as "The Ville") opened to the public in 1986 with another Townsville attraction, Reef Wonderland (now known as Reef HQ) opening 24 June 1987.

With boating being synonymous with 'tropical' Far North Queensland, Breakwater Marina originally built 150 wet berths to support local leisure boating.  

The Marina began as a very traditional commercial marina providing haul-out and repair facilities, and now with over 375 berths in the floating community, Breakwater Marina has developed into a modern Lifestyle Precinct with direct ocean access located right in Townsville's city centre.  It's boating - made easy. 

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