After spending time in the Army Museum and visiting the Jezzine Barracks Art Gallery we wander up a landscaped walkway toward the military remains at the Kissing Point headland. Ramps edged with native gardens atop high retaining walls wind back on themselves as they climb the hillside. Half way up we spot a metre long goanna in the gardens. It moves back a little way but puffs out its throat in warning. As we wind around on the next upward leg we see it where we left it, sunning itself on the garden bed, its head held high. It is one of two we come across on this walk.
A goanna (sand monitor) at Kissing Point, he wasn't happy, see his puffed out neck
At the top of the hill are the remains of the old Kissing Point bunker system and gun emplacements. Cannons were first installed here to defend the harbor in 1885 and in 1891 they were manned by One Battery Garrison and the predominantly volunteer force that made up Townsville's Kennedy Regiment. During WWII the 256th Australian Infantry Battalion was headquartered at Kissing Point.
Cannons at Kissing Point which was used from the late 1800's and decommissioned in the 1960's
There is a cannon on display and the bunker system can be viewed from the back. Information boards relate the history of the Point. A detailed map of the WWII Battle of the Coral Sea is set in the path above which Australian and American flags flutter in the breeze. There were three Japanese bombing raids on Townsville in July of 1942. As the raids took place ABC radio journalists gave a live account. We press audio buttons to hear the recordings of those radio broadcasts. As we listen we can only wonder at the fear the residents must have felt.
Kissing Point is also a lookout across the ocean and back towards Townsville city and gives a great view of the docks. A ship is moving out to sea with what we presume to be the pilot's boat alongside. If you have binoculars you will get a terrific view of what's going on at the docks.
We take a break in the shade on seating by the bunkers and watch a Chinook helicopter fly by, a reminder that Townsville is still a military town. We stroll down the hill on a different path to the Jezzine Way Coastal Boardwalk.
Rocks on the beach viewed from the Jezzine Way Boardwalk
The boardwalk follows the coast and is an easy stroll. The views across the ocean are superb with Magnetic Island visible in the distance. We pass a frangipani tree with pink edged flowers, some coconut palms and cliff faces that have been meshed and secured with rock bolts. The beach in this area is rocky. Not pebbles but boulders rising up from the ground. The rocks vary significantly in colour. Most are a pale beige but others are grey, some almost green and some black.
The view to Magnetic Island from the Jezzine Boardwalk at Kissing Point
51 brass plaques along Jezzine Way tell of significant events in the history of Townsville and Jezzine Barracks. There is seating built into the boardwalk and in the park at the end so there are plenty of places to rest and soak up the sun. The boardwalk flows onto a path that skirts around bushland. Here you will find public artworks depicting the significance of the area to the Aboriginal People. In all there are 33 artworks in the Jezzine Barracks and Kissing Point precinct.
This artwork titled 'Belonging' depicts the story of Gabul the carpet python.
Kissing Point and the Jezzine Way Coastal Boardwalk are at Jezzine Barracks, 1 Mitchell St, North Ward, Townsville City. Entry is free. More information can be found on the website or by ringing the Townsville Visitor Information Centre on (07) 4721 3660