TOWNSVILLE and PALUMA NATIONAL PARK
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
Rowes Bay Caravan Park Townsville
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Townsville to Paluma NP 80kms
WEATHER: Fine, sunny
Townsville is a city of 180,000 people and with a recent renovation of the waterfront is a laid back attractive settlement. Dress and lifestyle is tropical casual.
After some research we decided to stay at the Rowes Bay CP because it was just 3 kms from town and opposite the beach. Kath had read some negative feedback on TripAdvisor about unfriendly staff and theft in the camp ground.
The receptionist was very helpful and explained that there had been a run of thefts in the park but that had stopped after a police investigation and the installation of cameras.
The park is very clean and well maintained and the presence of more permanent residents was not a negative as their sites were not overly congested or overbuilt.
We chose the camping area by the camp kitchen along with the overseas travellers who came in and out each day; we paid $28 pn.
We had a few things to attend to- fix the TV which was easy; visit Telstra re. our modem which was very time consuming and was not easy- we spoke to 10 Telstra operators before finally getting the person who could actually deal with our problem!
This was our chance to get the bicycles out of storage and pedal along the Strand to enjoy the waterfront of Townsville.
The pathway north of the caravan park was ideal for our daily 6kms power walks.
Next stop was the Paluma National park; the national park has a spacious camping area at Paradise Waterhole/Big Crystal Creek and after an easy 80km drive north on the Bruce Highway through sugar cane country on Thursday we settled ourselves onto a site there.
The Paluma region was mined for tin in 1895 on and later timber was logged in the eucalypt forests; both endeavours ceased when tin prices collapsed and then the area was listed as World Heritage!
The camp ground is dry and evidence of hazard burning detracts from the beauty but we understand it has to be done as a bushfire prevention measure. A short walk to Big Crystal Creek reveals a deep swimming hole formed by the flowing creek and it is beautiful.
A dip in the very cold water is refreshing and the campground has water on tap and cold showers.
We settled in for the day but it was very hot and we had to chase the shade; by late afternoon the temperature had dropped and the park was cool and peaceful; just 6 other campers. A great camp in the cooler weather!
We prepared a curry for dinner and watched the night sky darken and light up with sparkling stars- Kath couldn't resist a verse of the nursery rhyme "Twinkle Twinkle"
Our plan to stay 2 nights changed because of the high temperatures so Friday, after a 3 km walk to the amazing Rock Slides, where the water was a cool emerald green amongst the rocks, we took off for the village of Paluma, 1000 metres above sea level. Some women we met at the Bivouac campground said Paluma was a must!
As we left Crystal Creek we stopped at the roadside fruit and vegie stand and met Coral who 20 years ago planted every kind of fruit and nut tree on her property, all organic fruit along with the seasonal vegies that she sells from here.
She is a positive and lovely woman and we bought mulberries, spinach, tomatoes, sugar bananas and squash from her! Yum.
The road to Paluma is narrow and winding, and we joined other travellers at Little Crystal Creek, half way up the mountain and enjoyed the water cascades under a pretty stone arch bridge built during the depression in the 1930's by "two bob a day" workers.
It was definitely cooler at the mountain village of Paluma but not much to do there after a rainforest walk, so we drove the 18kms back to sea level. Definitely not a must see destination in our judgement but there were some little rainforest walks and some street art to see.
On the way back to Bruce Highway we were thrilled to see another group of the elegant brolgas busily forraging through the field of recently cleared sugar cane!
A happy day exploring the Paluma national park and now it was time to return to the coast and Townsville's northern beaches.
Being so near to Townsville Paluma NP and the Crystal Creek pools are a wonderful destination. Go there!