North Queensland snapshot

80,000 km²
Key city/town
Local government
5 areas


North Queensland’s unofficial capital, Townsville is home to government, community and business headquarters. Magnetic Island, a popular tourist destination, is nearby.

  • Key towns and cities – Townsville, Ayr, Charters Towers, Mount Isa, and Palm Island
  • Townsville – Australia’s largest tropical city (around 195,000 people in 2020) and the main government and business centre for northern and central Queensland. Home to Sun Metals zinc refinery, Glencore copper and lead processing operations, and Pacific National rail freight terminal – service centre for processing metals from the North West Minerals Province
  • Port of Townsville – Northern Australia’s main commodity port, handling around 8.2 million tonnes of cargo in 2019–20. Rich in renewable energy resources, including solar, wind and sugar cane bagasse – with investment opportunities in bio-based fuels and industrial products. This includes research on algal-based products at James Cook University
  • Mount Isa – A vibrant mining town with an economy built on vast mineral deposits. Home to the Mount Isa Mine, the world’s largest single producer of copper, silver, lead, and zinc
  • North West Minerals Province – One of the world’s richest mineral-producing regions, with a Strategic Blueprint to secure its long-term future

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