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Townsville Street Art

Home > Townsville > Walks | Outdoor | Art
by David Williams (subscribe)
I enjoy photography and a bit of writing. I recently completed a 365 day photo challenge where I had to post a photo every day for a year - ridiculous challenge, but good fun and good learning experience.
Published June 20th 2017
Get walking and experience what a spray can is capable of
I visit Townsville once a year. It's always a quick return trip to Sydney in the same day – typically a very early start and a late arrival home. Whilst I've been doing this annually for the last nine or ten years, it only recently occurred to me that I've seen nothing of Townsville other than the airport and my client's office. What a shame. But that's the reality of the work that I do; it's been very difficult for me to take a few days (or even hours) out and really enjoy everything that Townsville offers.

This time I decided to see something more of Townsville. But what could I fit in prior to my flight home? I scoured the internet and stumbled onto something terrific that can be fully enjoyed in less than an hour. Townsville Street Art!!

townsville street art cathy freeman
Cathy Freeman adorns the rear of the Sportspower building in Ogden Street, Townsville

The Townsville City Council has produced a handy Walking Trail guide that's available online. Go to the Council's website and type "street art" into the search box. The Street Art page provides a list of locations, some YouTube videos, and a link to the "Street Art Walking Trail" PDF which is handy to print off and take with you to make sure you don't miss anything.

The Smizler
The Townsville Council commissioned renowned artist Lee Harnden to produce this portrait of Townsville's most respected and influential street artists, Garth 'The Smizler' Jankovic.

The Street Art is actively encouraged by the Townsville City Council, having a focus on quality pieces that add a cultural element to the CBD area. Some of the artwork is directly commissioned by the Council whilst others are done by local artists with the blessing of the Council. There are many new pieces planned for 2017, so it's worth visiting the website before venturing out so that you capture the ones that are recent additions.

A nod to the resilience of Queenslanders during flood times

It's ideal to plan a walk with the Street Art specifically in mind. Walking around and hoping that you'll stumble onto all the artwork may mean that you miss the ones tucked away in back streets, laneways, and car parks. In saying that, even with good planning and referring to the Council's walking guide, it's good to keep your eyes open for small random pieces that have popped up around the city.

cafe artwork Townsville
A laneway cafe gets into the spirit of street art

Some of the artwork covers entire walls of multi-storey buildings. So for photography enthusiasts it can be difficult to find the right spot to shoot from, as when you are far enough back to take in the whole of the artwork other "obstructions" can interfere with a clear shot. This can take a bit of trial and error and moving around to find the best position.

massive building artwork
The massive Goanna artwork covers the entire side of a multi-storey building

For me, the Townsville Street Art was a great experience that I could fit into a small window of available time. However, it would be even better if you can take a more leisurely walk and fit in lunch in a laneway café or the nearby Cowboys Leagues Club.
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Why? Terrific quality street art
When: Anytime
Where: Townsville CBD
Cost: Free
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