Castle Hill is, I think, the symbol of the Townsville landscape. In fact I would go as far as to say Castle Hill is Townsville's "Sydney Opera House", except bigger (286 m tall) and with a touch of Uluru. I am writing this post while sitting in a Cafe in Townsville, waiting for a meeting and the view in front of me is Castle Hill. This gave me the inspiration to write this post about one of the Castle hill tracks. I think if you sit anywhere near the city, you always see Castle Hill. If you walk around the city, you feel as if Castle hill is following you like a vigilant guardian of the city. Its colour, a tone of ochre orange, interspaced with green eucalypts, contrasts with Townsville's blue sky.
This is Castle Hill.
Can you believe than during our three years in Townsville we have never hiked up Castle Hill? I have no idea why we haven't done it. Why did it take us so long? The typical excuse, the kids are to young to do Castle hill tracks. Well, why didn't we use a carrier? Oh! It is too hot today. Well, we could have gone early in the morning, right? There is always an excuse.
No more excuses, the hobbits finally went to Castle Hill.
There are several tracks up and options for everyone's fitness level.
Castle Hill road 2600m
Goat track 1052m
Dianella track 1021m
Ironbank track 1129m
We followed the trail that starts at Castle Hill road. And this was our experience with the little hobbits.
The Cudtheringa track to the top.
Total Distance 1136m
We started the walk at 8 am and I was very exciting to see many families with their kids doing the track and already on the way down. Great! The trail starts with an easy walk up. Not too steep and very enjoyable with a few trees, a bridge and an excellent view of Townsville to the East and South. The track is shady in places but is mostly a mix between dappled shade from short eucalypts and full sun. There are several places to stop and sit on a bench to admire the view. We stopped four times to recharge the girls with energy and give them water.
The last part of the trail (the last 700 m) is challenging for kids. Our oldest daughter (8) did well. However, the steps were too steep for Laila (5) and therefore papa hobbit carried her during this part of the track.
Once at the top we walk around the 210 m trail at the top. This short trail is a common option for people who drive up. This top trail allows you to admire Townsville in every direction, North, South, East and West. After a long stop up the top, we headed down the hill, following the same trail.
I admit that the trail to Castle hill is challenging for kids, but you don't need to rush them. Just take it easy, one step at the time. I encourage you, mum, dad, grandpa, grandma, to try Castle hill with your kids/grandkids. It is not only a fantastic hiking experience for kids with lots of fun things to discover, but also a rewarding workout.
Things you can do on the way up to distract your kids:
Collect flowers and items along the way. Our girls found flowers and collect them. Yellow flowers were blooming everywhere.
Sticks that can function as magic wands, if they like Harry porter and witches and wizards.
Pat a dog on the way. Of course ask permission to the owner. We met lots of cute dogs on the way.
Maybe say hello to other kids on the trail.
Stop at a look out to find you home from the hill. Where is home? If your homeless you could try and find a home that you could live in.
Enjoy another fairy-trail in Townsville!
Yes we did it!