Cardwell State Forest Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: Jodie Bray © Queensland Government

About Cardwell State Forest

    Park features

    Cardwell State Forest consists of a mix of native vegetation types and pine plantations. Cardwell Forest Drive is one of the key features of the Cardwell State Forest and offers a range of spectacular scenery and waterholes. There are 4 nodes along the drive (Cardwell lookout, Attie Creek, Dead Horse Creek and Spa Pool), which all have their own unique characteristics. Make sure you allow enough time to visit them all.

    Five Mile Creek is another feature of Cardwell State Forest and a favourite waterhole for many to cool off at. There is a large day-use area with picnic tables, barbecues and toilet facilities.

    Remember, the waterholes and creeks are seasonal and rely on rainfall. Most of the rain falls during the wet season which can start as early as December and continue through to April. At drier times of the year water flows may be minimal and can come to a complete stop.

    Looking after the park

    • There are no rubbish bins on Cardwell Forest Drive, take all of your rubbish with you.
    • Dogs are not permitted in the neighbouring national parks. This includes the walk to Attie Creek falls. In all other areas, dogs must be under control and on a leash at all times.
    • Open fires are not permitted within Cardwell State Forest. Small contained wood fire barbeques may be used at the Five Mile Creek day-use area.
    • Do not chase, scare or feed wildlife.
    • Everything in the park is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.

    See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.


    There are no toilet facilities along the Cardwell Forest Drive. Public toilets can be found in the Cardwell township or at Five Mile Creek day-use area.

    Park management

    The Cardwell State Forest is managed by the Department of Environment and Science with the aid of Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and HQ Plantations.

    Tourism information links

    For tourism visitor information centre locations see Discover Queensland and for tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

    Great Green Way also provides tourist information for this area.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.