Paluma Range National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located between Ingham and Townsville and is considered to be the oldest continually living rainforest in the world, a prime platypus-spotting territory and a home to many animals found only in the Wet Tropics. Take time to explore the tropical rainforest that encompasses over 849,420 hectares of coastline and you’ll be sure to find some hidden treasures.
The park is divided into two parts: The northern section features Jourama Falls—a picturesque waterfall framed by rainforest. To the south, rainforest-cloaked Mount Spec rises nearly 1000m above the Big Crystal Creek floodplain. Both offer a variety of waterholes, inland beaches, hiking and mountain-biking trails, and a gentle introduction to tropical north Queensland.
Paluma Range National Park – Must Visits
Little Crystal Creek – The crystal clear waters of this freshwater creek are ideal for a refreshing swim. The mountain water cascades under a heritage-listed stone arch bridge built in the 1930s, Australia’s depression era. This bridge is a popular place amongst the Townsville locals. Try to avoid weekends, when it gets really busy also watch out for those wet, slippery rocks covered in moss and lichen.
Paradise Waterhole – The short jaunt down to this pristine waterhole takes about two minutes from Big Crystal Creek campground’s barbeque and cooking facilities area. The track will take you to an outcrop of large rocks perfect for basking in the sun after a dip in the deep, see the crystal clear pool just stunningly beautiful and appropriately named “Paradise Waterhole”.
Jourama Falls – Waterview Creek tumbles down many picturesque cascades and rapids, offering beautiful spots to relax, camp, walk and enjoy watching birds, butterflies and other native wildlife. It’s a steep climb to the lookout; keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers, freshwater turtles and endangered mahogany gliders on the way up.Birds of Paluma – the park is a bird watcher’s paradise. Some of the region’s most rare and endangered species can be found here. The township of Paluma is home to a wide array of impressive native rainforest bird species while further past Paluma there are opportunities to view dry tropical forest birds.
Things To Do While Visiting Paluma Range National Park
Camping & Accommodation – camp only in designated camping areas. Take all rubbish with you, including food scraps. An ideal camping ground and accommodation that is close to the area is Crystal Creek Caravan Park which is the only caravan park opposite to Paluma Range National Park. They have clean and large powered and unpowered camping sites, excellent accommodation facilities, outdoor swimming pool and a BBQ area.
Swimming – 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. Take care not to pollute fresh water. Do not use soap, shampoo or detergents in or near creeks.
Fishing – 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.
Walking Tracks – Paluma region offers a number of amazing walking tracks through the spectacular Wet Tropics Rainforest with breathtaking views. Mount Spec section of Paluma Range National Park contains five Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) walks. Two additional community walking tracks start from Paluma township. These walks, which range from 300m to 4km, introduce visitors to the natural and historical values of the area.Stay on the track—never cut corners or create new tracks.
Nature & Culture – The traditional name for the Paluma Range is Munan Gumburu, which means ‘misty mountain’, an apt description as morning mists are common. Approximately 74 percent of Paluma Range National Park is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA). It meets all four natural criteria for World Heritage listing these recognise the area’s exceptional natural beauty and the importance of its biological diversity and evolutionary history, including habitats for numerous threatened species. It also has cultural significance for Aboriginal people who have traditional links with the area and its surrounds. Paluma Rainforest is also known for its quaint towns, tea and craft rooms.
Paluma Range National Park – Essentials to bring
- A first-aid kit
- A hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
- Adequate drinking water
- Rubbish bags
- Insect repellent
- Sturdy shoes for walking
- Cans or plastic bottles—glass containers are prohibited