Image Credit: Townsville Enterprise
Just metres short of a mountain, Castle Hill is the giant pink granite monolith that stands proud in the centre of Townsville – a perfect place for visitors to orientate themselves. Castle Hill offers vehicle access as well as several popular walking tracks, which are frequented by more than 2,500 locals a day! The 360-degree views of Townsville at the top are well worth the journey. Be sure to have a camera on hand, particularly for sunrise or sunset as these are photo opportunities that shouldn’t be missed.
Apart from being an iconic centrepiece for the city and a lookout for spectacular scenic views, Castle Hill has a significant history. The Hill’s vantage was used by visiting American soldiers during World War II. According to local legend, the visitors famously offered to demolish the hill and use the rock to build a bridge to Magnetic Island. A World War II observation bunker sits on one corner of the Hill reminding visitors of Castle Hill’s military history.
Castle Hill facilities include car parking, public amenities, drink fountains and shaded seating to enjoy while taking in some of the best views of the city and across to Magnetic Island.
Range National Park, the southern gateway for the Wet Tropics World Heritage
Area. Mount Spec straddles the summit and escarpment of the Paluma Range,
rising 1000 metres above the Big Crystal Creek floodplain.
The upland rainforests are crisscrossed by a maze of streams and cascades. Open eucalypt forests dominate the lower slopes and casuarinas fringe the clear creeks.
Set up camp at Big Crystal Creek and explore the surrounding tracks and waterways. Take in the views from McClellands lookout and admire the 1930s stone bridge over Little Crystal Creek. Escape the summer heat by picnicking near the creek before slipping into the one of the many cool waterholes.
Ethel Falls – http://bit.ly/2m8MLSO
Location – Paluma Range National Park, North Queensland, Australia
Skill Level – Easy
Distance – 3 km return from Hussey Road or
8 km return from Paluma Township:
– McClelland Lookout to Cloudy Creek (2 km each way)
– Cloudy Creek to Ethel Creek (2 km each way)
Time – Allow 2-3 hours return
You won’t find Ethel Creek Falls listed on any of the National Park websites, nor will you find it on any of the signs in the area. But that could be a good thing! Ethel Creek Falls are a hidden gem in the middle of Paluma Range National Park, and not only are these falls beautiful, but you’re very likely to be the only ones there! However, this could change if Queensland’s Department of National Parks take over the maintenance of the Paluma trails. So, take advantage of this gem while you can!
Mount Bowling Green National Park
There’s are many places to adventure to around Townsville, so many that it would take you several years to explore all the different places within one hour of Townsville. Just south of Townsville is Bowling Green Bay National Park which provide adventurers like you and me an easily accessible playground where we are free to explore.
Alligator Creek & Alligator Creek Falls – http://bit.ly/2nAqBco
Location – Bowling Green Bay National Park, North Queensland, Australia
Distance – 17 km return
Time – 4-6 hours return
Difficulty – Easy to moderate walk on track. Some sections have a slight incline.
The Alligator Falls trail traverses through the Bowling Green Bay National Park, along the trail to Alligator Falls. Enjoy grassy open woodlands, cool riparian forests and views of the cascades of Alligator Falls. Eucalypt woodlands cover the lower slopes of Mount Elliot and are filled with many interesting plants that you will see along the walk.