Cardwell & Hinchinbrook

Cardwell and Hinchinbrook
Cardwelland Hinchinbrook
Cardwell’s Blue spa pools, just a short drive from Cardwell. Image  by Craig Senko

Cardwell & Hinchbrook Island, part of the wet tropics, is the perfect half-way between Townsville and Cairns.  Hidden away there you will find some wonderful jewels like this one: Cardwell Blue Pools. When it comes to Cardwell’s Spa Pools you have to see it to believe the beauty and tranquility.  The aqua blue spa is an ideal place to cool off after a long road-trip along the Queensland coast. It’s a gateway to scenic waterfalls, national parks and much of nature’s tropical wonderland.   

Historic Cardwell was settled in 1864.  There is a heritage precinct made up of the Bush Telegraph (an historic post office and telegraph station, the J. C. Hubinger Museum, the old court house, gaol and shire hall.  They tell the story of Cardwell and its vital role in the development of North Queensland.It is the only town in the world where two world heritage listed areas adjoin.

These are the world heritage Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Here you will find a range of attractions, site seeing, annual events and historical places to visit. The Cardwell Rainforest and Reef Visitor Information Centre has a magnificent interpretative display capturing all the flora and fauna native to the area. Staff at the Centre provide expert advice on points of interest, along with information on the region’s history.  

The Cardwell area is the perfect weekend getaway. Explore the rich exploration history of the area, kick back with some of Queensland’s best fishing or put on your hiking shoes and tackle amazing walks and hikes in the Girringun National Park.

Mountain Biking in and around Cardwell is very popular. The Cardwell Forest Drive is a favourite spot for mountain bikers.  Exploring the wonderful sites on two wheels gives you access to superb swimming holes, and at the Cardwell Lookout the panoramic views of Cardwell and Hinchinbrook Island are spectacular.Cardwell Lookout Forest Drive

Cardwell has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Cardwell also has a granite monument erected in memory of Walter Jervoise Scott, a pioneer of the Valley of Lagoons. The monument was sent from Great Britain by his brothers intended for his grave at Valley of Lagoons. On arrival at Cardwell, it was found to be too large to transport up the rough track to Valley of Lagoons, so it was erected in Cardwell instead.

Cardwell also offers a wide range of accommodation.  Make time to visit world heritage listed Hinchinbrook Island,  magnificent Wallaman Falls and picturesque Murray Falls. Take a stroll to the famous pier and within walking distance of a choice of dining options.

Port Hinchinbrook has a breathtaking setting with a stunning Waterfront Restaurant, a Marina, public boat ramp and repairs and maintenance facilities.  There are 22 islands off the coast and the spectacular Hinchinbrook channel offering 45 kilometres of fully protected boating and fishing.   The walking and hiking trails on Hinchinbrook Island, a short boat trip away, are world-renowned. Cardwell is only an hour from Mission Beach.

Mahogany Gliders
Meet the Mahogany Gilders at the Golf Club

Cardwell  boasts a bowls club, 9 hole Golf Club, where you can see the endangered Mahogony Gliders.  Visit the Country Club, olympic-sized swimming  pool and the RSL.  Cardwell is the closest point to where the great WW2 battle was fought on the Coral Sea and each year it celebrates the anniversary of this battle.

For the very best on offer when it comes to camping & hiking there is the spectacular Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island.

Hiking the Thorsborne Trail is a wonderful experience that will see you enjoying the beautiful natural environment and scenery, challenging treks and making memories to last a lifetime!  To find out more about this our friends at Cardwell and Hinchinbrook Tours have put together the most comprehensive information about trekking this Trail.

Generally guests do the trek over 3-4 days.  Here is a little taste of what to expect:

Produced by Marek Blaszczakiewicz – Podroze z Kamera ( – see more on Youtube.

And THEN………there’s the FISHING! Hinchinbrook is a Fishing Mecca.
With so many varieties of fish – we HAVE to mention Barramundi and Mangrove Jack as a few favourites – as well as huge Mud Crabs. For those that don’t have a boat, you can fish off the jetty, the beach or the rocks down at Port Hinchinbrook  or you can contact Boab Boats and they’ll bring one to you.  Find out more about Boab Boats. Meet them on Facebook.

Boab Boat HireBoab Boat HireSpectacular scenery is what Hinchinbrook Island is all about. 400 square kilometres of untouched wilderness, a maze of World Heritage protected channels and estuaries brimming with life… and fish. If a 1 metre plus big barramundi is on your bucket list, Hooked on Hinchinbrook is the place to come