Visiting Mount Spec safely
The Mount Spec section of Paluma Range National Park is easily accessible from both Townsville and Ingham. There are two turn-offs (northern and southern) onto Barrett Road from the Bruce Highway from which all recreation areas can be reached.
Big Crystal Creek camping area is located along Spiegelhauer Road, while Little Crystal Creek, McClellands lookout and the town of Paluma are accessed off Mount Spec Road. The road is windy and buses, caravans and campervans should travel with caution.
Birthday Creek Falls is located along Lake Paluma Road (off Mount Spec Road). Phone Townsville City Council on 1300 878 001 to enquire about the condition of Lake Paluma Road.
Travel 61km north of Townsville along the Bruce Highway before turning left at the southern turn-off onto Barrett Road. Drive 4km west and turn left onto Mount Spec Road. From the turnoff drive 6km to Little Crystal Creek and 17km to McClellands lookout and the Paluma township.
Birthday Creek Falls is located along Lake Paluma Road. From the Paluma township travel a further 5km west along Mount Spec Road before turning right onto Lake Paluma Road. The car park is 7km on the left.
To reach Big Crystal Creek camping area, from the Mount Spec Road turn-off travel 2km further along Barrett Road, and turn left onto Spiegelhauer Road. Drive a further 5km to the Big Crystal Creek camping area.
Drive 40km south along the Bruce Highway and turn right at the northern turn-off onto Barrett Road.
To reach Big Crystal Creek camping area travel 1km along Barrett Road, before turning right into Spiegelhauer Road. Big Crystal Creek camping area is 5km further along.
To reach Little Crystal Creek, McClellands lookout and Paluma township, from the Spiegelhauer Road turn-off drive a further 2km along Barrett Road. Turn right into Mount Spec Road and drive 6km to Little Crystal Creek and 17km to McClellands lookout and the Paluma township.
Birthday Creek Falls is located along Lake Paluma Road. From the Paluma township travel a further 5km west along Mount Spec Road before turning right onto Lake Paluma Road. The car park is 7km further along.
Wheelchair access is provided to McClelland’s lookout via the second entrance. Turn-off Mount Spec Road onto Loop Road, the turn-off to first entrance is immediately to the right. The second entrance is just a short distance further along Loop Road. A short, sealed pathway leads to the lookout and wheelchair-accessible toilets and a shelter shed. The toilets and shelter shed at Big Crystal Creek and the toilets at Little Crystal Creek are also wheelchair-accessible.
- 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.
- Never jump or dive into Little Crystal Creek. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred here.
- Never climb on the rocks above Birthday Creek falls as they are slippery and serious injuries could result from a fall.
- Do not attempt to cross strong flowing creeks and streams. Flooding can occur during and after heavy or prolonged periods of rain and the creek may become impassable.
- Do not feed native wildlife. It is a health risk to them and a safety risk to you.
- 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.
- Cassowaries live in some areas. Never approach or feed these animals and remember to be cass-o-wary!
- 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.
- Always carry adequate drinking water as well as equipment for treating water
- Take your own drinking water supply if possible. Never assume tap water in parks is safe to drink.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Essentials to bring
To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit please remember to bring:
- a first-aid kit
- adequate drinking water
- a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
- cans or plastic bottles—glass containers are prohibited
- rubbish bags
- insect repellent
- sturdy shoes for walking
- at least one form of communication equipment. Mobile phone coverage is good at Big Crystal Creek camping and day-use area.
Mount Spec, Paluma Range National Park is open 24hrs a day. For your safety, walk in daylight hours only.
Seasonal closures are common in the wetter months, due to flooding and occasionally in the dryer months the park will be closed due to fires.
Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities. View permits and fees for further information.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Paluma Range National Park.
Climate and weather
The summit of Paluma Range/Mount Spec receives an average annual rainfall of almost 3m. Much of this rain comes from moisture-laden air from the sea cooling as it rises over the range. Mists are common and, in summer, the area is often cloaked in low cloud.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and basic supplies are available at Mutarnee, on the Bruce Highway, 700m north of the northern turnoff. More supplies and services can be obtained at Rollingstone, on the Bruce Highway, 10km south of the southern turnoff.
For more information see the tourism information links.
- Temporary closure: Big Crystal Creek camping area, Mount Spec section, Paluma Range National Park 20 September to 12 October 2022