Bowling Green Bay National Park Townsville

Alligator Creek valley, Bowling Green Bay National Park. Photo credit: Phill Copp © Queensland Government

Bowling Green Bay National Park—a stunning a mosaic of coastal wetlands and rainforest on mountain tops. Photo credit: Phil Copp © Queensland Government

Cockatoo Creek trail, Mount Elliot

Filled with boulders and clear rock pools fringed with red flowering bottlebrush tress, Cockatoo Creek is a tranquil rest spot.

Journey type
3.2km return from the Alligator Creek day-use area trail head return Start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path
Time suggested
Allow up to 2 hours walking time.
Grade 3 walking track

Accessible by

  • Conventional vehicle

Journey facilities

  • Lookout (natural)
  • Walking

Wander through open eucalypt woodland, slowly climbing to Cockatoo Creek. Filled with boulders and rocks pools fringed with red-flowering bottle brush trees the creek is a tranquil rest spot.

During spring, summer and autumn watch for frilled lizards scampering across the track and up tree trucks. As the weather warms a splash colour comes to the woodland when the kapok tree and the creeping native rosella bloom. Notice the clumps of cycads in the understory, their leathery fern-like leaves grow from the top of a thick trunk. Return the same way.

Stay a little longer and stop for the night at Cockatoo Creek camping area (located across the creek), as long as you have a pre-booked a camping permit.

Important information. Do not walk beyond Cockatoo Creek unless you are a fit and experienced hiker, and well prepared for the Alligator Falls trail. Please take note of all safety advice.

Getting there and getting around

The Cockatoo Creek trail is in the Mount Elliot section of Bowling Green Bay National Park about 25km south of Townsville.

  • From the day-use area follow the Alligator Creek lookout track. Just before the lookout is the track junction for the Cockatoo Creek and Alligator Falls walking trail.
  • Access to the Cockatoo Creek trail begins here. It is a 2.6km return walk to Cockatoo Creek from this point on the trail. Refer to Cockatoo Creek and Alligator Falls walking trails map (PDF, 917.1KB) . Please take note of all safety advice.
  • If you wish to continue on to the Alligator Falls trail, a reasonably high level of fitness and outdoor skills is required to safely hike this long, rugged and exposed trail.

Wheelchair access

There is no wheelchair access to the Cockatoo Creek trail.

Before you visit

Opening hours

The Cockatoo Creek trail is open 24 hours a day.

Seasonal closures

Access to the Cockatoo Creek trail may be closed at times due to localised flooding, extreme weather conditions or park management activities.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Bowling Green Bay safely and Walk with care.