Cardwell State Forest Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: Jodie Bray © Queensland Government

Visiting Cardwell State Forest safely

    Getting there and getting around

    Cardwell Forest Drive

    Access to Cardwell Forest Drive is via Brasenose Street off Victoria Street, in the Cardwell township.

    Five Mile Creek day-use area

    Travel south from Cardwell, 8km along the Bruce Highway. Five Mile Creek is signposted and is located on the right-hand side of the highway. The turn off from the highway is unsealed but can be accessed by conventional vehicle and is 800m in length.


    Wheelchair accessibility

    Cardwell Forest Drive

    The Cardwell lookout is wheelchair accessible.

    Five Mile Creek

    The toilet block is wheelchair accessible.

    Staying safe

    • Take care around cliffs, steep slopes and rock faces along tracks and at lookouts.
    • Never jump or dive into water—there may be submerged objects.
    • Supervise children closely at all times.
    • Stay on the tracks and take care on uneven surfaces, especially in wet conditions.
    • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
    • Wear insect repellent, clothing and shoes to protect yourself from stings, scratches and bites.
    • Dry season conditions and minimal water flows can cause creeks to become unsafe for entering. Avoid swimming in slow-moving or stagnant water.
    • Bullrouts (freshwater stonefish) live in some creeks. They can inflict a painful sting if touched. Wear shoes when wading or swimming. Seek medical attention if stung.

    For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

    Fire safety

    • Open fires are not permitted in Cardwell State Forest. Small contained wood fire barbeques may be used at the Five Mile Creek day-use area.
    • To report a wildfire call Triple Zero (000).

    Before you visit

    Essentials to bring

    To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit, make sure you bring:

    • drinking water
    • first-aid kit
    • insect repellent and clothing to protect against insect bites
    • hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
    • wet-weather clothing
    • sturdy, reliable footwear

    Opening hours

    Cardwell State Forest is open 24 hours a day.


    Dogs are permitted on a leash within Cardwell State Forest. Dogs must be kept under control at all times and must not cause disturbance to other visitors or animals.

    Dogs are not permitted in Girringun National park, which includes the walk to Attie Creek Falls.

    Climate and weather

    In summer, daytime temperatures at Cardwell State Forest can exceed 35°C. The cooler months from April to September are the best times for walking,  while it is best to see the creeks and waterfalls in the wetter months. 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 to April. At drier times of the year water flows may be minimal and can come to a complete stop. For more information see the tourism information links.

    Fuel and supplies

    Fuel and supplies are available from Cardwell, Tully and Ingham.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.