Hang with kangaroos in Townsville, Australia

Kangaroo, Australia
Kangaroo, Australia

The port of Townsville may not be the most famous destination you visit on your Australia and New Zealand cruise, but this diverse city offers a great entry point to the Land Down Under.

Townsville, located in the state of Queensland, Australia, offers a wide variety of options when it comes to shore excursions. One of the more popular hotspots is definitely the Billabong Sanctuary. Australia is home to several unique species of wildlife, and you'll be able to see them all in this amazing nature preserve. Kangaroos roam freely here, making for memorable photo opportunities. You'll have the chance to pet a wombat, cuddle with a koala and even feed a crocodile.

For exploration, it's tough to beat the nearby Magnetic Island, named by the famous Captain Cook after he noticed some odd effects that the island was having on his compass. This isle, located in Townsville's harbor, is home to a national park and a number of charming coastal villages.

Those who want to experience Australia's natural beauty should book a shore excursion to Paluma National Park. Walk through the awe-inspiring rainforest and view magnificent waterfalls as you climb to McClelland's Lookout, a hilltop site that offers a breathtaking vista overlooking the Pacific Ocean.