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Walk, relax, reset at Ross River: a farewell post

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

I walk into my house, and the sight of a chaotic living room stands in front of me. A pile of mess lies all over the floor and the couch. I breathe in and tell myself that this is just temporary, this is soon over. We will move soon. The excitement of moving into a new town quickly fills my mind. I feel excited and anxious all at the same time. I try to imagine how my new life would be like. I image the smell of the ocean nearby and the blue sight of the sea near Airlie beach. I look once more into the living room, and say, "Oh what the heck, I pack later." So instead, I walk out of the house again and decide to take a walk along Ross river.

As I walk along the river, I realise how much I like this place, and how much I am going to miss this walk, and the quite water of Ross River. A water that is now hard wired into my brain in a mysterious way. As I walk, I observe, I reflect, I reset. And as I observe the calm water trickling over a weir, I realise how little I know about this place, even though I have walked around it for the last four years. It never occurred to me before, but I feel that I should write something about. I wonder about its natural history, about the people that lived here in the old times, and even who Ross was. So as I walk, I knew what I had to do. Write a post about Ross River in Outdoorhobbits and say farewell to all of our followers and readers from Townsville because the hobbits will relocate somewhere else, the hobbits will soon depart to the Whitsundays region.

For our readers located somewhere else in Australia and other parts of the world, I will give you a bit of a background into the geographical, history and biology of this wonderful river with the information I found. The river was name after William Alfred Ross in 1864. According to Wikipedia, he was the first publican in Townsville and later became the city's major. If you google Ross River, you'll also find out about the Ross River fever, caused by a virus which is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, and happened to be first identified in the region.

Ross River flows past the city of Townsville and the upper reaches provide the city with water. It's contained in a dam (see Ross River dam), and from the dam and all the way down to the city, there are many walkways, parks, and other recreational activities around the river.

Since the time we have been in Townsville we have tried many of these activities, I would like to share some of them with you:

  • Kayaking

Among others, you can use the entrance way near Aplin's Weir on the Annandale side to launch your vessel. There is also an easy place to launch a canoe at Rossiter Park in the suburb of Aitkenvale, and the rowing club in Douglas. We caught shrimp and small fish with little nets and ate junk food, but the world is your oyster on the Ross River as you will pretty much have the place to yourself on most days.

  • Shady Walks

Are you looking for short or long walks with shade and tall trees rising into the sky, and in general just beautiful scenery. Well, Ross River has got plenty of those. If you are looking for a short trail for your little ones then we recommend then visit Aplin's weir short trail, or the Boorona trail at Rasmussen.

  • Fishing

I don't go fishing but Sam does. One of the most popular spots for fishing is Aplin's weir on the saltwater side. There has been a lot of fish caught down there since the 2019 floods, as barramundi try and get upstream into the freshwater.

  • Bicycle riding

Ross River is lined with bicycle paths from the dam all the way down to the city. We pretty much use part of these paths on a daily basis, to commute to work or school, sometimes into the city on a weekend to Flinders street market. In my opinion, Ross River bicycle paths are amazing as they are well built, efficient to use with a lot of amazing scenery. I just loved the views while I stroll around the city. Like with Ross River, you pretty much get these paths to yourself, apart from before 09:00 and after 16:00 when many residents take a stroll.

  • Running

I am not a runner though but I know a lot of people find running at Ross river as fun as walking it, but slightly quicker

  • Playgrounds

How many playgrounds are there around Ross River? I have no idea what the exact number is but there are quite a few. The ones I know include, Sheriff Park at Rosslea, Aplin's weir, Rossiter Park in Aitkenvale, the amazing playground at Riverway, another one at the Boorona trail in Rasmussen, and there is other one at the boat ramp in South Townsville. And probably there are many more we haven't visited yet.

  • Birthday party or picnics

And well of course wherever there is a playground, there is always an opportunity for a birthday party. We have done most of our birthday parties at Sheriff and Rossiter parks. The beauty of organising kid's birthday parties in a playground in Townsville is that it is free and you can assure that the weather is going to be fantastic (knock on wood). Other great place, but without a playground, is Palmetum.

  • Riverside writing

My favourite place for this was Palmetum. I occasionally went before picking my daughters up at school for a writing session. I would have coffee at the tea house near by, or sometimes I would take coffee with me from home and then sit at the river to have a writing session. I also sat sometimes at a random bench along the river.

And other things you can do around Riverway include:

  • Play sports

  • Boating

  • Movie nights at riverway on Fridays once a month....and there free.

To all our readers and followers in Townsville, thanks for following our adventures. We hoped you found our website and blog useful somehow. It has been great fun putting all this together to share with you our adventures in Townsville. The hobbits will leave Townsville and settle to a place where the ocean is turquoise blue, surrounded by many Islands and forest to explore, the Whitsundays.

Thanks for reading!

Sofia and Sam

Now, the hobbits of Whitsundays :)

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OutdoorHobbits by P&F photography

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