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Cardwell & Hinchinbrook Island

Cairns Connect Overview
Cardwell is small, friendly seaside community. Whilst there is not a lot of infrastructure in the town it is definitely the kind of place to stop and spend some time looking out to sea at the rather spectacular Hinchinbrook Island. There is a lot to see and do in the area surrounding Cardwell with some of North Queensland's most attractive National Parks close by.

Approximately 1450

Distance from closest major city
Approximately 165km north of Townsville (200 km south of Cairns on the Bruce Highway)

Cardwell is one of North Queensland's earliest settlements dating back to 1864. Initially established as the location for a port to service the cattle trade, the site did not prove successful as access over the surrounding ranges was too difficult especially during the wet season and there was considerable conflict with local Aboriginals making trade routes unsafe.

Feel of the town
Cardwell is located on the ocean overlooking the striking Hinchinbrook Island. The Bruce Highway passes through the middle of Town and there is a real seaside community feel to this small but picturesque town.

Things To See
The Hinchinbrook and Cardwell regions are a place of natural beauty. It is the real beginning of the wet tropics and the rainforest is thick and lush. The Cardwell Forest Drive is a 26km scenic drive starting from the centre of town. The drive visits some lookouts, swimming holes and quiet picnic and BBQ areas. The drive is well sign posted and easy to follow.

Things To Do
Fishing and bush walking are two very popular activities in this part of the world. The Hinchinbrook Passage is a maze of mangrove lined creeks full of famous tropical fish species like barramundi and mangrove jack. There are a number of fishing charter operators that run out of Cardwell. Cruises to and from Hinchinbrook Island are available with most departing from the main jetty. These can be booked from Cardwell.

The National Parks close by include;

Edmund Kennedy National Park - the turn off is 4km North of Cardwell. There are a number of walking tracks and picnic areas. Do not swim in the creeks here.

Murray Falls - have good swimming holes and tracks.

Five Mile Swimming Hole - seven kilometres south of Cardwell this picnic area is a relaxing place to stop for a rest and a swim.

Dalrymple Walking Track - passes through Lumholtz National Park and offers longer walks for more experienced bush walkers. Houseboats and yachts can also be rented. This is an excellent way to enjoy the numerous waterways around Hinchinbrook Island

Hinchinbrook Island

About Hinchinbrook Island
Hinchinbrook Island is one of the largest National Park Islands in Australia. At almost 40,000 hectares and 14 kilometres from end to end the island offers a very diverse geographical experience. Its dramatic skyline is dominated by 1142m Mt. Bowen. The island is separated from the mainland by a mangrove lined channel (world famous for being an excellent fishing location). This separation has helped to preserve Hinchinbrook in its basically pristine condition. There is a small resort at the northern end of the island which has a daily capacity for about 45 people. The other way to enjoy Hinchinbrook Island is by doing a three to seven day walk from end to end. This can be a challenging walk so some degree of fitness is required and permits are necessary. Hinchinbrook has a stunning landscape, lots of wildlife, and an isolation that many people find unforgettable.

Places To Stay And Eat
Cardwell has a number of caravan parks, hostels and small motels, typical of the smaller North Queensland towns. Hinchinbrook Island Resort is located on the protected Northern tip of the island. The resort is made up of cabins and "tree houses". Hinchinbrook Island is popular for campers but it is important to get a permit at least 6-8 weeks before planning to stay on the island. There are a number of designated camp sites and all have strict limitations on the number of campers at any one time.

Hinchinbrook Visitor Information Telephone (07) 4776 5211

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