Information for new students

Welcome to JCU Halls of Residence information page for incoming Students.


James Cook University Townsville Campus is located in the Townsville suburb of Douglas in North Queensland, Australia. Townsville is in a tropical climate zone and as a result there are a lot of differences that may take some adjusting for new residents to the area. There is a diverse range of insects, plants & wildlife that will be encountered on campus and off.

Insects such as ants, beetles, moths and mosquitoes are some examples of animals that may find their way into your room. These are harmless creatures and can be treated/removed by various methods. Flying insects can be treated by purchasing “Mozzie Zappers” which are electric units that plug  into an outlet and heat a chemically treated pad. These units will produce enough vapour to treat a normal room and not set off fire detection equipment. They are available for under $20 at any supermarket. Never use any aerosol sprays for any reason. All rooms are equipped with smoke detectors and the use of sprays, incense, mosquito coils etc will cause fire alarms to be activated. This can carry a fine of up to $1500.

Geckos are small lizard like reptiles that are plentiful in this climate and they eat small insects. As a result geckos will also enter buildings and rooms which is not uncommon to this area. Geckos are in no way harmful to humans and will actually assist in lowering the amount of insects in buildings.  The biggest negative of these animals are their droppings which they leave behind. These are easily cleaned or vacuumed up.

Some of the more unsavoury insects to encounter are bed bugs. These insects are very small and live in mattresses and wooden bed frames and can be present in back packer accommodation style lodgings. They can cause discomfort and painful welts through biting of the host. Treatment of clothing, bags,  linen, books and personal belongings can be carried out by sealing items in plastic bags and placing in direct sunlight to kill the insect through the raised temperature.

All mattresses and mattress covers used by the Halls of Residence are resistant to these insects as part of their manufacturing process. All bed frames are metallic and do not assist in providing areas for the insects to hide.

All Halls are chemically treated for pests every 3 months in food preparation and dining areas as per Health regulations. Buildings internal and external are also treated annually to assist with controlling the entry of vermin into buildings. Extra treatments can be done on an as needed basis should  there be a requirement/request for this task. If you have a problem, let us know immediately so we can attend to it.

Electrical Appliances (International Students)

Electrical operating voltage in Australia is 240V AC for most domestic appliances. The appliance plugs from other countries (apart from New Zealand) are different to those used locally and will require purchasing of new plugs to accommodate use of the appliances in room. Travel adaptors and boards are not allowed to be used due to the risk of electric shock and fire. Please refer to the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council for identification of the types of plugs not allowed.

Apple devices requiring plugs can be purchased from Mac Doctor which can assist with any apple units. Mac Doctor is located in Townsville, not far from Stockland shopping centre approximately 5 minutes drive from campus.

Australian plug configurations can also be purchased for Laptop charge leads that have International plug configurations. These can be purchased from Office Works in towards the Centre of the City which is about 15 minutes drive from campus.

The resident will need to ensure that the new lead being purchased matches the existing configuration on the lead that plugs into the battery of the unit. JCU Halls Administration can assist with purchasing of these items if the resident is unable to access transport or is unsure of their electrical  appliance requirements.

The Halls of Residence Administration once notified of any issue will assist residents with the appropriate information and guidance in delivering a positive outcome, usually within 24 hours. Should a longer time frame be required to action the request, staff will communicate with the resident and advise  of  any further actions that may be required.