Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Cardwell State Forest  

What's special?

Rugged mountain scenery, lush tropical rainforest, dry open forest, pine plantations, creeks and waterfalls are protected in Cardwell State Forest in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

The Dalrymple Gap track which passes through the forest was the supply route linking cattle stations to the port of Cardwell in the 19th Century. Stone and wooden bridges, cuttings and stone paving remain.

Download Cardwell State Forest visitor information

Exploring Cardwell

Stop at Five Mile Waterhole for a picnic. Picnic tables and wood barbecues are provided on the banks of Five Mile Creek. For your safety, do not dive off the platform into the creek.

Take the 26km Cardwell Forest Drive starting at Cardwell. Allow two hours for the drive through open forest, rainforest and pine plantations. Have a picnic. Picnic tables and barbecues are provided at Attie Creek, Dead Horse Creek and the Spa Pool on Scrubby Creek. Attie Creek Falls is mostly dry.

Camping is not allowed in the forest.


The two short walks off the forest drive have steep sections. The historic Dalrymple Gap track starts 15km south of Cardwell and passes through the forest and Girringun National Park. Arrange to be dropped off at Cardwell end and collected at Broadwater near Ingham. Starting at Cardwell, walk to the top of the Gap to see the Gap and the 1865 Dalrymple Gap stone bridge (2 hours return).


The toilets and picnic tables at Five Mile Waterhole and Cardwell Lookout are wheelchair-accessible.

Getting there

Turn off the Bruce Highway 8km south of Cardwell then travel 1km to the Five Mile Waterhole picnic area. The Cardwell Forest Drive starts at Braesnose Street, Cardwell.

Sources & Further reading


Journey Back Through Time
Experience Australia
Aboriginal Australia
National Parks
Photo Galleries
Site Map
                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading