As North Queensland's largest regional city, Townsville has a unique connection with the reef.  The city hosts the Australian Institute of Marine Science as well as the headquarters for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Although reef tourists aren't has numerous as the Cairns and Whitsunday regions, visitors are drawn to the accessible fringing reefs of Magnetic Island and spectacular outer reefs. 

Regional Updates

Magnetic Island Activities!

June 22, 2018
The Great Barrier reef survey teams have been busy this month completing Magnetic Island surveys and adding more sites to the Magnetic Island snorkel trails.   Meanwhile, working together with Reef Ecologic, Reef Checkers celebrated World Ocean Day on Magnetic Island by assisting with a beach clean-up, taking conservation pledges and taking part in island outreach to support the awesome plastic-free initiative The Last Straw on the Great Barrier Reef!  Reef Check Ambassadors are undertaking this work in conjunction with the Last Straw on the GBR to help local cafe's and bars reduce their plastic straw usage in Townsville and on Magnetic Island. We’ll keep you updated on this important project     Reef Checkers were also present at Ecofiesta in Queens Garden, Townsville to help encourage sustainable behaviours and teach people how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Lots of visitors on the day made pledges to reduce their impact, such as reducing single-use plastics. Our volunteers are doing some incredible work in this region and we can’t wait to share more updates with you!
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Magnetic Island Clean Up blitz

May 15, 2018
We teamed up with Tangaroa Blue Foundation and Reef Ecologic to host a series of cleanups on five beaches on Magnetic Island. Together, we cleaned Nelly, Rocky, Geoffrey, Alma & Horseshoe Bays.  More than 50 community members joined in to sort and report on clean up data and made environmental pledges to reduce waste. Was great to see peoples enthusiasm and dedication to reduce plastic pollution on Magnetic island beaches and care for the amazing natural environment! Special thanks to representatives of Fantasea Cruising Magnetic, Pleasure Divers Magnetic Island, Aquascene Charters & Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium for getting involved too! This event was supported with funding from NQ Dry Tropics through the Australian Government National Landcare Programme
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More champions for the Reef

February 20, 2018
We recently trained a new crew of enthusiastic Reef Ambassadors in Townsville. Ambassadors will now be out in the community working with partners on a range of exciting local projects for the Reef. One of the amazing group of volunteers who recently undertook the Reef Ambassador training program in Townsville was 15 year old Kailash Cook - our youngest ambassador to date. We were thrilled that the Townsville Bulletin decided to run a full page write up on Kailash and his participation in the program. Kailash is an incredible advocate and his passion for raising awareness and educating others on how they can help protect our reefs is truly inspiring to everyone.Ambassadors have already been busy running ocean conservation pledges at James Cook University, teaming up with Reef Ecologic at the Ocean Film Festival and whipping up a series of hand-sewn reusable bags! Watch this space! Thanks to Townsville City Council and Clarke's One For Tomorrow program for supporting the Townsville Reef Ambassadors program.
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Seaside Scavenge launch in North Queensland

June 17, 2017
We were thrilled to team up with the crew at Seaside Scavenge to run the first ever events for North Queensland and launch an official local Scavenge Chapter!  Putting a new spin on coastal clean-ups, these events fuse music, art, to trade clean up trash for second-hand treasures! In the first event on Magnetic Island, many were surprised to find many small pieces of debris even in areas that looked relatively clean. We had over 100 people stop more than 200kg of debris from reaching our oceans. Wanna encourage some of your own introspection about your footprint? Check out ABC's War on Waste. An incredible number of prizes were donated by local businesses to get everyone Scavenging up a storm. Pre-loved clothes, books, toys and more that were donated by the local community. A massive thanks to everyone involved! Without the dedication on the day from our incredible crew of volunteers sorting and recording data for Tangaroa Blue’s Australian Marine Debris Database and local support from Magnetic Island Nature Care Association, this event would not have been possible.  This event was made possible with support from NQ Dry Tropics through the National Landcare Programme, Townsville City Council and a range of awesome local businesses,
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