Visit Queensland is the place to find all the best local knowledge about places to go and things to do and is pleased to be able to highlight a truly beautiful part of the world known as the Paluma Range. The Paluma turn-off from the Bruce Highway is about 60km north of Townsville and is called The Mount Spec Tourist Road.
Heading west into the Paluma Range this winding road is not recommended for vehicles towing a caravan as it is quite narrow. The road, built during the depression of the 1930’s was mostly built by hand and stands as a tribute to human ingenuity and endeavour.
Some of the original stonework can still be seen today; in fact the masonry arch bridge over Little Crystal Creek (built in 1932-33) is a great example of this and is popular with photographers and visitors alike.
Little Crystal Creek is so named because of the quality of the water running its length, icy cold and as clear as you can imagine, the water pools into deep holes among the giant granite boulders just downstream from the bridge and with the lush tropical rainforest surrounds, make simply the best swimming hole in the Townsville region. Visitors flock to this area from all over the region to enjoy this beautiful natural wonder during the summer months. There are Toilet, Picnic and BBQ facilities at Little Crystal Creek and if you would like to stay a little longer than a day, there is accommodation not far away in Paluma itself.
Staying a couple of days will pay dividends as there are many walking tracks in the area some with fantastic ocean views, a little way west of the village of Paluma there are camping grounds at Lake Paluma, whilst the village has cottages a motel and B&B style accommodation. Driving further west takes you on to an area known as Hidden Valley which is accessible by formed gravel road, and on the way you will see the landscape change from rainforest to huge eucalypt stands and then onto the drier zones further west.
On the whole, the Paluma Range with it’s creeks, lake and beautiful mountain village is an unspoiled natural wonderland and a great place to take a relaxing break from it all.
Photo: Michael Palmer