Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive
In the scenic Herbert River Valley, Abergowrie State Forest features tropical rainforest, open eucalypt forest and exotic pine plantations adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Broadwater is a large grassy clearing, shaded by tall eucalypts, beside a cool waters of Broadwater Creek. Set up camp beside the creek and relax in the peaceful surrounds. Book camping well in advance for holiday periods. Stroll along the 1.6 kilometre return Rainforest walk through endangered riparian rainforest and check out the huge old Broadwater fig. Try the longer three kilometre return Creek walk through eucalypt and riparian forest to the delightful pools along Broadwater Creek. Cool off with a swim in the pools in the creek. Birdwatch in the rainforest and look for wallabies in the open forest in the afternoons. Image credits: Qld Govt
Discover an island with a Jurassic outlook which abounds in flora, fauna, palm fringed beaches and extensive mangrove lined waterways. Hinchinbrook Island offers extensive flats and channel systems which are home to many prime tropical sportfish. This region boasts one of the few places in Australia where that much prized fly fishing adversary, the Permit (Snub Nosed Dart), can be targeted with some level of anticipation. Fishing with the majestic backdrop of Hinchinbrook Island is spectacular enough, but to be able to target good quality sportfish including barramundi, mangrove jacks, trevally, queenfish, salmon, fingermark, grunter and cod, makes this a fishing experience you'll never forget. Due to the magnificent mangrove environment, relative isolation in comparison to waters closer to Cairns and the lack of fishing pressure, this region is renowned for producing quality sportfish that are of a better average size than more heavily fished locations. The surrounding areas of Lucinda and Cardwell also offer great land based fishing with Duncan Wharf, Lucinda Wharf, Taylor's and Forrest Beaches being popular hot spots.
Escape life's hustle and bustle and spend some time relaxing on Forrest Beach. Enjoy the long sandy beach front which overlooks Orpheus Island and the Palm Island group, or take a swim in the patrolled beach which also features stinger net protection during the summer months. Forrest Beach has a hotel/motel, caravan park and self-contained units. There are a small number of shops where essential items can be purchased.
Learn about the history of the Hinchinbrook region and discover a treasure chest of historical artefacts at the Herbert River Museum. Located on Macrossan Street in Halifax, the Museum offers an interesting step back in time and is co-located with the local gallery. For those wanting to view more of their Local History, the Herbert River Museum and Gallery can be found in the old Shaw's Building, Macrossan Street, Halifax.
Which Jurassic Island can only 40 people explore at any one time? Although the biggest island on the Great Barrier Reef, Hinchinbrook Island is completely uninhabited. To protect the Island's biodiversity and prevent damage to the environment just 40 people are permitted to stay at any one time. If you have a desire for adventure, Hinchinbrook Island is your ultimate playground. It offers spectacular hiking and camping along the famous 32 kilometre Thorsborne Trail, internationally rated one of the top 10 walks on the planet. You will discover rainforests of Milky Pine, Palm Figs, and vines, with more than 66 species of birds, 22 species of butterflies, 29 different mangroves and many varieties of fish and crustaceans. To start your hiking expeditions on Hinchinbrook Island take a short ferry ride or private charter from Lucinda or Caldwell. Another way to explore Hinchinbrook Island is by paddling along the outside coast in a kayak. Voted as one of the top 10 places to see by Kayak in Australia, the views are nothing short of spectacular and the long sandy beaches and extensive mangrove areas make Hinchinbrook Island an environmental haven for turtles, dugongs and many other marine creatures. Hinchinbrook Island is the perfect place to restore body, mind and spirit. This is the Island to choose if you want peace, beauty, tranquillity and a hint of adventure.
Where can you discover a taste of Italian life in Townsville North Queensland? With more than half Ingham's population being of Italian descent it isn't surprising that the township is often referred to as "Little Italy". Settled in 1864, Ingham is the heart of the local sugar cane industry, where many Italian migrants came to work, and has one of the largest sugar mills in Australia. The annual Australian-Italian Festival in August brings thousands of visitors to the town to enjoy Italian wine, cuisine, music and culture. Today, the town is just over an hour's drive from Townsville and offers a unique collection of culture, fresh produce and vast green landscapes. Upon arrival in Ingham be sure to visit the TYTO Wetlands and Information Centre. This location is a bird lover's paradise with the wetlands walk providing easy viewing of more than 230 different bird species including the Eastern Grass Owl. Enjoy an early morning or late afternoon walk when hundreds of agile wallabies come out to graze. Just a short drive southwest of Ingham provides an opportunity to discover the awe-inspiring Wallaman Falls, Australia's highest permanent single drop waterfall. Forming part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area, Wallaman Falls sits amongst the beauty of the lush green rainforest. Take in the views from above at the look out, or venture a little closer by taking the walking track to the base. Either way, Wallaman Falls is a great location to enjoy a picnic lunch and to discover the local wildlife. A little further north of the town is the pristine Hinchinbrook Island, a nature lover's paradise. The region includes many recreational National Parks and State Forests with some of the oldest rainforests on earth and many endangered plants and animals. Keep an eye out for the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly and the rare and ancient cassowary bird. Enjoy exploring in the cooler months from April to September.
Located on Sir Arthur Fadden Drive, the Ingham Cemetery depicts the area's strong Mediterranean influences with a magnificent display of tile mausoleums. Undoubtedly, the southern European mausoleums in the Catholic section of the cemetery are quite noticeable. The older style mausoleums are constructed from white stucco and marble, the traditional materials, and contain gothic style windows and doors. The more recent ones are more commonly flat-roofed with parapet surrounds and finished with terrazzo and tiles.
At Ingham Memorial Gardens, find yourself relaxing amongst a collection of North Queensland landscapes. Enjoy a picnic lunch as you spy turtles and small fish swimming amongst the water lilies in the Garden's ponds. Wander through the numerous memorials featured in the Gardens and learn their fascinating stories. One such memorial is dedicated to Keith Payne, an Ingham local who was awarded the Victoria Cross in April 1970 by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for his repeated acts of exceptional personal bravery and unselfish conduct during the Vietnam War. Another memorial is devoted to the 12 people who died when a United States Air Force Liberator B-42 Bomber, the "Texas Terror", crashed on Mount Straloch, Hinchinbrook Island.
Directly opposite the southern tip of World Heritage listed Hinchinbrook Island is the sleepy seaside hamlet of Lucinda. The eye-popping pride of Lucinda is a six kilometre jetty stretching far out into the Coral Sea. The jetty is the world's largest bulk sugar loading facility and is so long it actually curves with the earth. When conditions are right, you can sometimes see the dugongs and sea turtles at play. With the fertile Hinchinbrook Channel to the north and Coral Sea to the east, Lucinda is Shangri-La for keen anglers. Mangrove jack, coral trout, big juicy mud crabs and the fighting barramundi are all in plentiful supply. Hire a boat and head out to sea or try your luck in the estuary, mangroves, off the beach, or over the side of the jetty. Looming large off the coast, breath-taking Hinchinbrook Island is a pristine natural wilderness, home to the famous Thorsborne Trail, internationally rated one of the top 10 walks on the planet. From Lucinda you can embark on a Hinchinbrook safari and explore the Island's mist-shrouded mountains, waterfalls and freshwater pools. Lucinda is a two hour drive north of Townsville, and a three hour drive south of Cairns. Accommodation in the area includes motels, hotels, caravans and self-contained cabins.
Directly opposite the southern tip of World Heritage listed Hinchinbrook Island is the sleepy seaside hamlet of Lucinda. The eye-popping pride of Lucinda is a six kilometre jetty stretching far out into the Coral Sea. The jetty is the world's largest bulk sugar loading facility and is so long it actually curves with the earth. When conditions are right, you can sometimes see the dugongs and sea turtles at play. With the fertile Hinchinbrook Channel to the north and Coral Sea to the east, Lucinda is Shangri-La for keen anglers. Mangrove jack, coral trout, big juicy mud crabs and the fighting barramundi are all in plentiful supply. Hire a boat and head out to sea or try your luck in the estuary, mangroves, off the beach, or over the side of the jetty. Looming large off the coast, breathtaking Hinchinbrook Island is a pristine natural wilderness, home to the famous Thorsborne Trail, internationally rated one of the top 10 walks on the planet. From Lucinda you can embark on a Hinchinbrook safari and explore the Island's mist-shrouded mountains, waterfalls and freshwater pools. Accommodation in the area includes motels, hotels, caravans and self-contained cabins.
Situated near the southern end of World Heritage listed Hinchinbrook Island, the Lucinda bulk sugar terminal boasts the longest service jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. At 5.76 kilometres long, supported by more than 660 concrete and steel pylons, the jetty is nothing short of an engineering masterpiece with its length actually following the curved contour of the earth. Sugar takes 22 minutes to travel along the conveyor from the on-shore storage to the shiploader. The single berth can accommodate fully loaded Panamax class vessels and the major cargo destinations are Canada and Malaysia. The jetty enables Lucinda to receive the largest ships used in the raw sugar trade. Adjacent to this amazing structure is a small service jetty which is popular with anglers who don't have their own boat. Pelagic species such as Spanish mackerel, giant trevally, queenfish, northern bluefin tuna are there for the taking and some anglers have even been lucky enough to land small black marlin.
Located south-west of Ingham, Mount Fox was created by a violent volcanic explosion about 100000 years ago. In the explosion, a lava flow 10 metres thick spewed from the southern end of the crater and chunks of molten magma were thrown out of the volcano's vent. Today, the well formed crater, about 10 metres deep, is covered with sparse grasses and stunted trees amongst the eucalypt woodland environment. The pink and long-fruited bloodwoods are common in this area and vine thicket is found in a steep gully on the southern slopes. Mount Fox's tussock grass slopes shelter a number of small animals. On a cool day in the winter months, skinks and other reptiles can be seen basking on the volcanic bombs. During the hot summer months, the grass provides protection from the sun and are ideal nesting places for ground-dwelling birds like the little button quail. After sunset, rufous bettongs (small wallaby-type mammals) emerge to feed on herbs and grasses. The large wing span of a wedge-tailed eagle can also be seen, as this bird of prey soars above the Mount Fox crater.
Uncover a secluded Great Barrier Reef Island that offers immaculate coastlines and a tranquil tropical escape at Orpheus Island. Located just off the coast of Ingham in North Queensland, Orpheus Island is renowned for its exclusivity, beauty and spectacular fringing reefs. The majority of the Island is comprised of pristine National Park set amongst the turquoise waters of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. With limited accommodation options and access via helicopter or private charter, Orpheus Island provides a true escapism for visitors. Stay at Orpheus Island Resort for pure luxury. Arrive by helicopter and be transported to a tropical indulgence complete with gourmet dining in some of the most spectacular settings imaginable. Relax in comfort or let the staff arrange a full day of activities for you to explore the Island further. For a more low-key accommodation option, the National Park has three camping spots. Ideally located on the Great Barrier Reef, Orpheus Island is a magical location for fishing, snorkelling and diving with the dive sites showcasing 1100 of the 1500 species of fish on the reef.
Pelorus and Orpheus Islands are a popular location for day trips off Townsville. Part of the Palm Island Group, 80 kilometres north of Townsville, access to these continental island is from Lucinda. All around Pelorus and Orpheus Islands are rocky reefs covered in hard coral, soft coral, gorgonians and sea whips in depths from 12 metres to 25 metres. The coral coverage on these sites is surprisingly good, considering how close these islands are to the mainland. Popular dive sites around the islands include Bat Caves, The Maze, Moon Pools, Trenches and Black Coral Wall. At these sites divers can explore ledges, gutters, bommies and walls. Typical marine life in the area includes turtles, reef sharks, gropers, barramundi cod, batfish, stingrays and a good range of reef fish and invertebrates.
Taylors Beach is a quiet beachside community centrally located between Forrest Beach and Lucinda and known by locals as an angler's paradise. With Orpheus Island and fringing reefs only a short distance away, Taylors Beach offers a wide variety of fish. Grab a fishing rod and prepare for some serious relaxation when you head to Taylors Beach.
Experience the natural beauty and tranquil environment of TYTO Wetlands, a unique 90-hectare natural wetland which is home to over 230 species of birds, native Australian wildlife and numerous tropical plant species. Take a leisurely stroll along the four kilometres of walkways and stop along the way to enjoy the lookouts and viewing platforms. TYTO Wetlands is located just 500 metres from the township of Ingham and situated just a few hundred metres off the Bruce Highway down Cooper Street; TYTO Wetlands is a carefully preserved natural environment that integrates lagoons, walking tracks and native flora. The area is named after the endangered Eastern Grass Owl (TYTO Capensis) TYTO meaning monkey faced owl that can be found in the Hinchinbrook Shire, one of the few places in the world where this owl can be spotted regularly. These owl can be seen leaving their grassy habitat just on dusk. The TYTO Centre also features an interactive and informative Visitor Information Centre as well as a regional art gallery.
Discover Wallaman Falls, Australia's highest permanent single drop waterfall, in Girringun National Park, west of Ingham. Surrounded by World Heritage rainforest, Stony Creek plunges 268 metres in a clear single-drop, often through a rainbow-fringed cloud of mist. Gaze at Wallaman Falls from the main lookout then walk to the second lookout which provides stunning views of the gorge and the Herbert River Valley. Explore rainforest and enjoy spectacular gorge views on one of the short walking tracks near the falls. Wallaman Falls is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Girringun National Park is also the gateway to the Wet Tropics Great Walks. Discover plunging waterfalls, lush gorges and inspirational views as you tackle one of the two day walks that start from Wallaman Falls and trek down the Herbert River valley. Visit for a day to view the falls and relax over a picnic in the day use area near the falls lookout, or stay longer with an overnight camp beside Stony Creek.