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 four 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 section of Attie Creek. In all other areas, dogs must be under control and on a leash at all times.
    • Fires are not permitted within Cardwell State Forest. Wood fire barbeques can be found 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 DES with the aid of Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and HQ Plantations.

    Tourism information links

    Cardwell Visitor and Heritage Centre
    51 Victoria Street, Cardwell QLD 4849
    ph (07) 4066 2412

    Rainforest and Reef Information Centre
    142 Victoria Street, Cardwell QLD 4849
    ph (07) 4066 8601
    Managed by Great Green Way Tourism Incorporated.

    Tully Visitor and Heritage Centre
    Bruce Highway, Tully QLD 4854
    ph (07) 4068 2288

    Hinchinbrook Visitor Information Centre
    Cnr Bruce Highway and Cooper Street, Ingham QLD 4850
    ph (07) 4776 4790

    For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see the Queensland Holidays website.