My Townsville: Brent Tate
With the introduction of Air Niugini flights into Townsville, Papua New Guinea’s avid rugby league fans can easily go to North Queensland Cowboys games.
One of the NRL team’s greatest players – Brent Tate – who started his amazing career with the Brisbane Broncos, has retired from the game and chosen to stay in Townsville with his young family.
He’s very appreciative of his following in PNG during his 229-game NRL career, complemented by 26 Tests for Australia and 23 state-of-origin matches.
“I get blown away how recognisable you are up there in Papua New Guinea,” Tate says. “We all know how they love their footy and how passionate they are about it.”
Tate now works on the corporate side of football with the Cowboys, and along with motivational speaking, positions on several football-related boards, visiting schools and charity events, he sounds busier than ever.
Tate is also a great spruiker for his adopted city of Townsville.
“The easy living and laid-back style appealed to us,” he says. “It’s a great place to bring up kids.”
For first-time visitors to Townsville, he recommends a hike up Castle Hill followed by lunch and quality coffee in The Strand.
“The view from Castle Hill is well worth the exercise and going down The Strand – they are two of the most iconic things in Townsville.”
Two of his favourite hangouts are Michels and JAM Corner for good coffee and great food.
“In fact, anywhere along Palmer Street is pretty good, with some great restaurants that punch well above their weight.”
The climate is another factor for staying in Townsville. “Winter for us is thongs, boardies and singlets,” Tate says.
“And, if you’re packing for a holiday here, don’t forget sunscreen and a hat.” ■
— JEFF TURNBULL Air Niugini flies from Port Moresby to Townsville twice a week. See airniugini.com.pg.
Brent Tate … recommends a hike up Castle Hill and lunch along The Strand.