After we reached the east coast we started moving very slowly in comparison to the previous stages of our trip. Every time we drive only 50 to 100 kilometres to the next town. The reason was simple – there were so many attractions to see and we did not want to miss anything.
After we left Mission Beach we stopped in Ingham to see Wallaman Falls and also drive to the shore and visit the longest sugarcane loading facility in Australia and Hinchinbrook Island from a distance.
Lucinda jetty - the world’s largest sugar loading facility
Once we set our camp we drove to Lucinda – a small town located 28 km northeast from Ingham. Lucinda is famous for its longest, 6 km long sugar jetty. The jetty looks pretty impressive as it reaches far to the sea.
Interestingly, we could see a van with workers going by car to the end of the jetty. It actually took them 10 minutes to reach the end.
Marius wanted to walk to the end of the jetty but unfortunately the jetty is open only for people who work there.
Dungeness - best view to Hinchinbrook Island
Dungeness is a very small town located at the estuary 1 km west from Lucinda. It is the best point to view Hinchinbrook Island.
There are many resorts and a big boat ramp in Dungeness. Obviously, there are lots of crocodiles so all precautions were needed.
We wanted to see Hinchinbrook Island from distance at least as a reference for the future. We could not visit the island as this is a very isolated place with no facilities. There is one, big walk across the island but we could not do it with Nell we could not make it.
Hinchinbrook Island is covered with rainforest and inland eucalypt forest. Close to the shore, it has mangrove trees, beautiful beaches and rocky headlands. The Island looked very mountainous and encouraging to explore.
There are two passenger ferries coming to Hinchinbrook Island (no cars on the island). One goes for a short route from Dungeness and the other, which is a longer route that goes to the northern part, goes from Port Hinchinbrook Marina next to Cardwell.
The best way to explore Hinchinbrook Island is to get a ferry from Carwell and start hiking down south. The hike is 32 km so camping is required at the designated campgrounds. After you reach George Point, you can take a ferry back to Lucinda.
Wallaman Falls has a 305 meters water drop that is the highest water drop in Australia. The falls are located in Girringun National Park, 50 km west of Ingham. There is a bitumen road for the first 20 km that is going through sugar cane green fields and later through the forest. The final part is a very steep climb to the gorge where the falls are located.
There were some roadworks on the way. Due to a lot of rain, this narrow road is very fragile and becomes damaged often.
While driving, we could see Ingham and sugar cane plantation from the top and the views were stunning.
Right from the car park, there is a short walk to Wallaman Falls and Herbert River Lookout. Also, there is a Djyinda Walk that goes down to the base of the falls. At the bottom, there is the best place to see the falls and their magnitude of power.
Unfortunately, Djyinda Walk was closed as part of the path was damaged. Instead we could see many wallabies eating their lunch.
When we saw Wallaman Falls from the lookout we were stunned. They are truly amazing and we counted them as the best falls after Mitchel Falls in Kimberley.
The 305 meters waterfalls drop the water to the bottom pool with so much power that over years it created a 20-meter deep pool. The pool is very small so we could not believe it is so deep. And this is not everything.
At the bottom, there is a mysterious mist coming off the pool that is surrounding the nearby creek and trees. Also, only in the morning, together with the good weather, when the sun is in the sky, there is a horizontal rainbow at the bottom of the falls.
We have not seen such a natural wonder in our life yet. Definitely, it was a good idea to stop in Ingham and visit Wallaman Falls.
We love bird watching so in the afternoon we went to Tyto Wetlands located 500 meters from the town. The wetlands are really nice and have good boardwalks. This unique natural wetland is home to 245 bird species.
The wetlands are named after the endangered Eastern Grass Owl (Tyto) meaning monkey-faced owl. If you are lucky you can spot the owl at dusk.
Also, there is a Visitor Information Centre where you can learn more about Tyto Wetlands and the Hinchinbrook area.