Visiting Paluma Range 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.
Jourama Falls, travel 91km north of Townsville or 24km south of Ingham, then turn off the Bruce Highway onto the 4.5km, unsealed access road. The access road is suitable for most conventional vehicles and caravans. Access may be restricted during the summer wet season when Waterview Creek rises and causeways are impassable.
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
- Carry adequate drinking water. Treat all water from taps, creeks and streams before drinking.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Essentials to bring
- a first-aid kit
- a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
- drinking water
- rubbish bags
- insect repellent.
Mount Spec and Jourama Falls, Paluma Range National Park is open 24 hours a day. For your safety, walk in daylight hours only.
Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Paluma Range National Park.
Climate and weather
The Jourama Falls section of Paluma Range National Park has a wet, tropical climate. In summer, rainfall can exceed 500mm in 24hrs. During the cooler months of the year, from April to September, daytime temperatures range between 25°C and 29°C and there is little rainfall.
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.
Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available at Ingham and Townsville. For more information see the tourism information links.
- Temporary UPCOMING closure 12 October to 12 November 2023: Big Crystal Creek camping area, and toilets, showers and barbecues in Big Crystal Creek day-use area, within the Mount Spec section of Paluma National Park 12 October to 12 November 2023
- Temporary closure of toilet facilities at McClellands lookout, within the Mount Spec section of Paluma Range National Park. 3–6 October 2023