Things to do
A camping area is provided at Big Crystal Creek. There are also opportunities for remote hiking and camping.
Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
To ensure a site during holiday periods you will need to book several weeks in advance.
- Find out more about camping in the Mount Spec section, Paluma Range National Park.
- Book your camp site online.
- If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.
Camping is allowed at Lake Paluma, an area managed by Townsville City Council. Camp sites must be pre-booked, either online or by calling 1300 878 001.
Holiday accommodation is available at Paluma and Hidden Valley as well as in regional centres between Townsville and Cairns. For more information see the tourism information links.
The Mount Spec section of Paluma Range National Park contains five Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) walks. Two additional community walking tracks start from the Paluma township. These walks, which range from 300m to 4km, introduce visitors to the natural and historical values of the area.
Map: Mount Spec map
Rockslides walking track - 800m return (15min) Grade: easy
Details: the start of the Rockslides walking track is at the end of Spiegelhauer Road, 2km past Big Crystal Creek camping area. Walk approximately 200m along the sealed road, past the locked gate, to the start of the gravel walking track on the left-hand-side of the road. Walk a further 200m along this gravel walking track to the rockslides—a series of water holes and cascades. Never jump or dive off the rocks as serious injuries and deaths have occurred here.
Birthday Creek Falls walk - 1km return (45min) Grade: moderate
Details: walk through the rainforest to the top of the picturesque cascades on Birthday Creek. Birdwatchers look for golden and tooth-billed bowerbirds along the track. A short track leads to the base of the falls where visitors can swim in the small pool.
Never walk on the rocks above the falls as they are extremely slippery and serious injuries could result from a fall.
Walks around McClellands lookout
McClellands lookout – 300m (15min) Grade: easy
Details: turn off Mount Spec Road onto Loop Road (where signposted), just east of the Paluma township. From the car park, a 150m track leads you to the lookout. Wheelchair access to the lookout is via the second entrance a short distance further along Loop Road. Enjoy extensive views of Halifax Bay and the Palm Islands and learn about the site’s colourful history from the information sign.
Witts lookout track – 3km (1.5–2hr) Grade: moderate
Details: this track starts 200m beyond McClellands lookout. From the lookout follow the 200m long wheelchair-accessible, bitumen path to the start of the walk. Meander through the rainforest learning about local plants and animals. At the signposted junction take the right-hand-route to Witts lookout. From here the track climbs steeply through open forest before finishing at lookouts on two rocky outcrops. On a clear day enjoy views of Halifax Bay and the Palm Islands to the north-east.
Cloudy Creek walk – 4km (2.5hr) Grade: moderate
Details: this track follows the same route as the walk to Witts lookout. When you reach the signposted junction, follow the track to the left. The track leads you through rainforest to a series of small waterfalls along Cloudy Creek. Some sections of this walk are steep with many steps and boulder hopping.
Community walking tracks
Paluma rainforest walk – 680m (30min) Grade: easy
Details: this rainforest walk starts opposite the Paluma Town Hall and finishes 200m to the west along Mount Spec Road. Look for strangler figs and king ferns as you meander along the track which takes you to a rainforest creek past an old tin-race; a stone-pitched channel made by miners.
H track – 1.1km (1hr) Grade: moderate
Details: this walk starts on Whalley Crescent and finishes on Lennox Crescent—both roads are off Mount Spec Road in the Paluma township. Passing through rainforest as it follows an old timber-hauling or ‘snig’ track, this walk allows you to view loading ramps and old stumps—logging relics of the past. Fenced for your safety, remnants of an old shaft provide an insight into how miners searched for tin.
Note: Other extended bushwalking opportunities are available in Paluma National Park for experienced walkers. See camping information for more details.
Take a drive past Paluma to the west and explore the towering rose gum forests of Mount Zero–Taravale Nature Refuge, the rustic charm of Hidden Valley, or the relative solitude of the rainforest surrounding Lake Paluma.
Picnic and day-use areas
Day-use areas are located at Big Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek and McClellands lookout. Barbecues, picnic tables and toilets are provided. There is also a shelter shed at McClellands lookout. A day-use area located at Lake Paluma is managed by Townsville City Council.
Fishing in Paluma Range National Park is only permitted in Big Crystal Creek, but not in the Paradise Waterhole area. Fisheries regulations apply—information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures is available from Fisheries Queensland.
Swim at Little Crystal Creek and at Paradise Waterhole and the Rockslides along Big Crystal Creek. Never jump or dive into water and be careful at the water’s edge. Rocks can be extremely slippery and submerged timber can appear after flooding. Injuries have occurred.
Never jump or dive and take extreme caution at Little Crystal Creek and the Rockslides. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred at these locations.
Visitors also swim in the small pool at the base of Birthday Creek Falls. Never walk on the rocks above the falls as they are extremely slippery and serious injuries could result from a fall.
Mount Spec, Paluma Range National Park is a great place to go birdwatching. Rainforest birds can be seen as well as those that inhabit drier, eucalypt woodland and watercourses. Several of the rainforest birds, notably chowchillas, mountain thornbills and golden bowerbirds, are found only in the Wet Tropics.
Green ringtail possums and giant white-tailed rats are active at night.
Read the description of the park's natural environment for more details about Paluma's diverse wildlife.
Other things to do
For more information see the tourism information links.
- Wet season safety information: significant stream rises at swimming locations within Paluma Range National Park 1 November 2022 to 6 April 2023