Photos of the North Queensland Coast - from Babinda to Townsville, Australia

Queensland flag
Images of the World
Flag of Australia

North Queensland Coast - from Babinda to Townsville

The town of Babinda, 35 kilometres south of Gordonvale, was settled as far back as 1880; it used to have a sugar mill, but that was closed in 2011. Mount Bartle Frere, Queensland’s highest mountain at 1,622 metres, looms behind it. Babinda Creek comes down from this mountain and flows through the Boulders Wilderness Reserve, 6.5 kilometres from the town. The constant high volume of water has weathered the Babinda Boulders. And a 21-kilometre drive from Babinda leads to Bramston Beach, with its Pacific Park picnic area and a caravan park and campground. Between here and the highway is Eubenangee Swamp, a National Park; it is a lowland gallery rainforest combined with freshwater wetlands, an essential habitat for many birds.

Munro Street, Babinda
Babinda Boulders
Babinda Boulders
Babinda Boulders
View to Josephine Falls
Josephine Falls
Golden Hole
Eubenangee Swamp
Eubenangee Swamp
The beach at Bramston Beach
The beach at Bramston Beach
Boatramp, Bramston Beach
View to Ella Bay
Beach, Ella Bay
Canecutter Monument, Innisfail
Paronella Park
Paronella Park
Kurrimine Beach
Sunrise, Kurrimine Beach
Main street, Tully
Golden Gumboot, Tully
Tully Sugar Pioneers monument
Tully Gorge
Dunk Island
Sunrise, Dunk Island
South Mission Beach
Cardwell Jetty
View to Hinchinbrook Island
Bagu sculptures, cardwell
View to Hinchinbrook Island
Hinchinbrook Island
Jourama Falls
Jourama Falls
Jourama Falls
Jourama Falls
Big Crystal Creek
Near Sliding Rocks
View to Townsville
Castle Hill, Townsville
Townsville from Castle Hill
CBD, Townsville
Rock Pool, Townsville
Rock Pool, Townsville
Strand Rockpool, Townsville
Beach, Townsville
Strand Waterpark, Townsville

Innisfail is 26 kilometres south of Babinda, a town at the junction of the South and North Johnstone rivers, surrounded by banana farms and sugarcane plantations. The road along the Johnstone River to Flying Fish Point continues north through rainforest stands to Ella Bay, a seemingly endless golden beach and National Park. And about 15 kilometres southwest of Innisfail, on Mena Creek, is the curious Paronella Park, a Spanish-style castle in the rainforest, built in the 1930s by a Catalan immigrant, Jose Paronella. Although now weathered and covered in moss, it can be visited and offers walks through bamboo stands and views of the creek. There is a tea house in the old castle too.

It is 160 kilometres from Innisfail to Townsville along the Bruce Highway, and there are beautiful beaches and great views on the way. The Cassowary Coast is the stretch of coastline, roughly between Innisfail and Cardwell. Halfway between Innisfail and Tully is the turnoff to Kurrimine Beach, a quiet fishing and holiday village with a significant reef flat, King Reef, adjacent to the shore. The Mission Beach area is not far south of here, a string of holiday resorts from Garners Beach to South Mission Beach. Offshore is Dunk Island, reachable by regular ferries and water taxis. The Kennedy Track leads to the mouth of the Hull River, 4 kilometres south of South Mission Beach. And along the road leading back to the main road to Tully is the Licuala State Forest with large Licuala ramsayi, the Fan palm, native to Queensland. The small town of Tully, set among sugar cane fields and banana plantations, is one of the wettest towns of Australia, with an annual average rainfall of 4,200 mm. It was established in the 1870s and developed when a sugar mill was constructed in the 1920s. The Tully River is nowadays the scene of white water rafting where it leads out of spectacular Tully Gorge. A road leads up to Tully Gorge National park, with great views on the way. Forty-three kilometres south of Tully is the town of Cardwell, from where regular ferries and tours depart to Hinchinbrook Island, a 35 kilometres long island separated by the Hinchinbrook Channel from the mainland.

Continuing south, past the town of Ingham, is Paluma Range National Park centred on the mountain village of Paluma, at an elevation of 900 metres. Jarama Falls is one of the beauty spots here, with great views and rock pools with huge boulders. Finally, 110 kilometres south of Ingham is Townsville, the commercial and industrial “capital” of Tropical North Queensland, a city of almost 200,000, overlooked by 286-metre high Castle Hill. The Strand is the long esplanade along the Pacific Ocean, with a long, inviting beach; however, as everywhere along the coast, swimming is safest in the “stinger” enclosures, offering protection from the box jellyfish; safer still, is the Rockpool.