Balgal Beach, a coastal town of about 850 people, adjoins the town of Rollingstone and is 48 km north-west of central Townsville. It is located in the former Thuringowa City local government area; amalgamated with the Townsville City Council in 2008.
Balgal Beach is part of the former Armidale pastoral run (1883), and the area was known as Armidale until changed to Rollingstone in 1902. Rollingstone had a railway station (1915) and a State primary school opened in 1916. The beach at the mouth of Rollingstone Creek - one of the better beaches north of Townsville - was used by locals for picnics and weekend stays. House blocks were surveyed in 1947 and the locality was named Balgal, thought to be an Aboriginal word for stone. House lots were sold in stages from 1948-56.
Too far from Townsville to be a popular beach resort, Balgal remained a locals' fishing and holiday place until the 1980s. A few kilometres down the coast the Mystic Sands estate (500 residential and rural/residential blocks) was launched in 1985, and eight years later the Mystic Sands golf and country club was opened. Balgal Beach attracted its extra share of development, as the area was increasingly recognised as having the best potential for tourism north of Townsville. There are, however, mangroves and the coastal vegetation, which attract flying foxes - about 400,000 in 2005 - causing 'noise, smell, pollution and devalued properties'. Fortunately the animals are seasonal.
Balgal Beach has a caravan park, holiday units, a boat ramp and easy access to the Palm Island group, along with good beach fishing promoted by a recreational fishing club formed in 1997. A survey in 2004 concluded that several million dollars were needed for sewerage, public transport, shopping, education and health.
Balgal Beach's census populations have been:
Bianca Balanzategui, Thirty-three miles to Rollingstone: a short history of Rollingstone and Balgal, Thuringowa Central, City of Thuringowa, 2003