Cardwell State Forest Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: Photo: Jodie Bray © Qld Govt

Things to do

    Attie Creek Falls, Cardwell Forest Drive. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Attie Creek Falls, Cardwell Forest Drive. Photo: Queensland Government.

    A view from Cardwell lookout, Cardwell Forest Drive. Photo: Queensland Government.

    A view from Cardwell lookout, Cardwell Forest Drive. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Spa Pool, Cardwell Forest Drive. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Spa Pool, Cardwell Forest Drive. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    Camping is not permitted in Cardwell State Forest. Camping is permitted in the nearby Girringun National Park, Abergowrie State Forest, Girramay National Park and Tully Gorge National Park, camping fees apply.

    Other accommodation

    There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Ingham, Tully and Cardwell, including caravan parks, motels, holiday units, cabins and hostels. For more information see the tourism information links below.

    Walking

    Cardwell Forest Drive

    Cardwell Forest Drive map (PDF, 586.3KB)

    Two walking tracks will help you explore Cardwell Forest Drive.

    Hinchinbrook Island, Hinchinbrook Channel and Rockingham Bay lookouts–1.6km return (60mins) Grade: moderate

    Make your way along the walking track that starts from the Cardwell lookout carpark (Cardwell Forest Drive map (PDF, 586.3KB) ). The first of the three lookouts offers views of the Hinchinbrook Channel and Oyster Point. Continue along the trail until you reach the fork, take the left track and make your way to the Rockingham Bay lookout. On a clear day you will see the Goold, Garden and Family Group Islands, Hecate Point on Hinchinbrook Island, Meunga creek on the mainland and of course Rockingham Bay. Return to the fork and head further down the trail to the Hinchinbrook Island lookout This view shows the many spectacular peaks of Hinchinbrook Island. The track surface is uneven with loose gravel and several steps. Some sections of the track are reasonably steep.A moderate level of fitness is required.

    Attie Creek Falls–1.4 km return (30mins) Grade: moderate

    Take a 700m uphill walk to view Attie Creek Falls. The walk begins in the carpark at Attie Creek. Keep in mind that the falls are seasonal and may not be flowing all year round. Some sections of the track are reasonably steep.A moderate level of fitness is required.

    Driving

    Cardwell Forest Drive

    Cardwell Forest Drive is 9km long and is best completed as a return trip from Cardwell Township via Brasenose Street. Take your time to explore the four nodes along the drive (Cardwell lookout, Attie Creek, Dead Horse Creek and Spa Pool). Allow two to three hours so you can visit all of the nodes. See the (Cardwell Forest Drive map (PDF, 586.3KB) ) for facilities at each node.

    Please remember that Cardwell Forest Drive is a working forest and has a large network of roads (beware of logging trucks). Heavy trucks and machinery frequent the track network. Visitors are reminded to stay on the designated marked roads at all times and not to venture off these roads as harvesting may be occurring.  

    Five Mile Creek

    Five Mile Creek day-use area is a short 8km drive south of Cardwell Township.

    Picnic and day-use areas

    Cardwell Forest Drive

    Picnic tables are provided at Attie Creek, Dead Horse Creek and at Spa Pool along the Cardwell Forest Drive. There are no toilets or rubbish bins along the drive.

    Five Mile Creek

    A picnic table, wood barbecues and toilets are provided at Five Mile Creek.

    Fishing

    Fishing is not permitted in Cardwell State Forest.

    Viewing wildlife

    The Cardwell area is home to a variety of mammals, frogs and reptiles, as well as over 70 species of birds including doves, pigeons, rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras, kingfishers, honey eaters and figbirds. Bring binoculars and watch for many colourful birds at the waterholes along the Cardwell Forest Drive.