Paluma National Park – mesmerizing historic arch bridge from 1933

Paluma National Park - Little Crystal Creek

Rollingstone Caravan Park

We wanted to see Paluma National Park, so we stopped in Rollingstone Caravan Park.

Rollingstone Caravan Park is located 62 km north of Townsville, 3 km of the highway, right at the shoreline. It offers various accommodation, including villas, cabins and camping sites.

It was the middle of December, so there were not many tourists around. The weather was humid with constant heavy overcast and rain dropping from time to time.

We saw giant palms at the entrance, and they looked lovely and tropical. Once we checked in and entered the park, there was a surprise. We saw two artificial lakes that were part of the park. I think it must have been a fish nursery or something similar in the past. 

Hema - Queensland

Hema’s HX-2 Navigator

Explore Australia with Hema’s HX-2 Navigator, the ultimate GPS system for on and off-road navigation.

Hema HX-2 Navigator
Rollingstone Caravan Park
Rollingstone Caravan Park Beach

Nowadays, these lakes are located in the middle of the park, and they are part of the caravan park.

Further down, there are numerous power sites at the beach, two amenities blocks, and a swimming pool. The beach is pet friendly and it is an off-leash area.

The swimming pool is nice and big with an artificial waterfall and a cave where you can hide from the sun.

Paluma National Park

The next day we drove up to Paluma National Park.

On the way, we were passing many pineapple plantations. For a moment, we thought to stop and get a few, but we dropped that idea.

Pineapple plantation
Pineapple plantation

Paluma National Park serves as the southern gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to witness the dramatic transition in vegetation from the coastal region to the mountain range.

The lowland forest found in the park is characterised by a drier and more open environment, which gradually transforms into a dense and moist rainforest as visitors move closer to Paluma.

This shift in vegetation creates a stark contrast between the two environments, allowing visitors to observe the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit each distinct habitat.

Once again, the drive was steep, but the stunning scenery made it well worth the effort. As we ascended, we passed numerous tiny waterfalls cascading down the rocks, which had been replenished by the recent rainfall. The sight was truly breathtaking and made for a picturesque journey.

Upon reaching the top, the cooler weather provided a refreshing break from the humid conditions down the coast. Taking a deep breath of mountain air, we felt invigorated and ready to explore the area.

As we ventured further, we were greeted with even more natural wonders, from majestic vistas to tranquil forests and winding rivers. The area was teeming with wildlife, and we had the opportunity to witness a variety of bird species, including brightly colored parrots and majestic eagles soaring overhead.

Little Crystal Creek

Little Crystal Creek is a renowned destination for its iconic arch bridge, which was masterfully constructed in 1933 with the aid of only two tractors and a few trucks. The workers who built the bridge relied on traditional tools such as hand drills, sledges, and dynamite to extract the raw materials from the surrounding landscape.

The construction of the arch bridge was a remarkable feat of engineering and perseverance, taking two years to complete. The workers demonstrated incredible skill and ingenuity in their use of the limited resources available to them, creating a structure that not only served its functional purpose but also added to the natural beauty of the area.

Today, visitors to Little Crystal Creek can marvel at the arch bridge and its stunning surroundings. The crystal-clear waters of the creek flow serenely beneath the bridge, while the lush foliage and rocky outcroppings create a picturesque backdrop.

As you explore the area, take a moment to appreciate the incredible history and craftsmanship that went into the construction of this iconic landmark.

Little Crystal Creek - Arch Bridge
Little Crystal Creek – Arch Bridge

This charming spot offers visitors a delightful setting to enjoy a picnic, with a designated area complete with tables and benches conveniently located near the iconic bridge. As we wandered around the area, we were immediately drawn to the sight of the rushing waters cascading down from the top of the creek.

The sound of the water was mesmerizing as we took in the breathtaking views of the picturesque surroundings.

Little Crystal Creek
Little Crystal Creek

The area is known as a habitat for the Forest Kingfisher, a bird species known for its vibrant blue and green plumage. These beautiful birds are a common sight in the area, and visitors may be lucky enough to spot them flying overhead or perched in nearby trees.

Although we searched during our visit, we were unfortunately not able to spot any of these magnificent birds. However, even without the sight of the Forest Kingfisher, we were still awed by the stunning natural beauty of the area.

McClellands lookout

Our journey continued as we made our way to Paluma, a charming town nestled amidst the lush rainforest of the region. Just before reaching the town, we came across McClellands lookout, a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

After a brief 150-meter walk, we found ourselves treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The vista was truly stunning, with verdant forests stretching out as far as the eye could see.

For those looking to explore the area further, there is a loop track named after the Paluma’s Mount Spec Road officer in charge.

McClellands lookout offers wheelchair access, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the magnificent views and natural beauty of the area.

McClellands lookout
McClellands lookout

Witts lookout

For those looking to explore the stunning natural beauty of the area, there is a track leading from McClellands lookout to Witts lookout and Cloudy Creek. Although we only had time to visit the first lookout, the view was still absolutely breathtaking, and we could only imagine the stunning scenery that awaited us on the rest of the track.

As we were after season everything was closed. Thus we drove further to see Lake Paluma and Birthday Creek Falls.

Paluma National Park

Paluma Rainforest Walk

After discovering that the dirt road to Lake Paluma and Birthday Creek Falls was closed, we decided to make the most of our time in town and explore the surrounding rainforest on foot.

We parked our car in the town and set out on a short walk through the lush and verdant rainforest. Despite the rain and the disappointment of not being able to visit the lake and falls, we were still able to appreciate the stunning natural beauty of the area.

As we made our way through the rainforest, we were struck by the tranquil beauty of our surroundings. The dense canopy overhead provided shelter from the rain, while the sound of water trickling through the foliage created a soothing and peaceful atmosphere.

Road closed to Lake Paluma
Road closed to Lake Paluma

Despite the challenges we faced with weather and road closures, we found ourselves drawn to the natural beauty of the region and eager to continue our exploration of all that it had to offer.

Paluma Rainforst Walk
Paluma Rainforest Walk

The following day, we made plans to leave our trailer in Townsville and venture out to Magnetic Island for two days. We had heard wonderful things about the island and were excited to see what it had in store for us.

Nell at Paluma Rainforest Walk
Nell at Paluma Rainforest Walk

From red dirt to tropical rainforest. Ten places anyone should add to their bucket list. Subscribe and receive ten colourful infographics.

Please subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter

Did you like our content?

Buy Me A Coffee

Read more from our guides

Learn how to start a travel blog like this (step by step guide)

Learn more about off-road driving from our guide

Learn 11 Tips about outback camping from our guide

Learn about bush cooking from our ultimate guide

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *