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Hinchinbrook’s Top Spots

 

1.      Tyto Wetlands Centre and Precinct

This award winning, accredited visitor information centre, located on the southern approach to Ingham only a few hundred metres from town, houses innovative displays showcasing the spectacular natural values of the nearby Tyto Wetlands and Hinchinbrook Shire attractions. The centre will also introduce you to all the birds at the wetlands as well as how you can become a ‘true’ birdwatcher! Many of the displays are very interactive which are proving very popular with little (and not so little) travellers.

 

Directly behind the information centre is an elevated walkway over man made lagoons leading to the Tyto Wetlands Precinct. This precinct comprises Bird Observation Tower, Water Front Restaurant, Function Centre, Library and Art Gallery. All within easy walking distance from the main CBD of Ingham.

 

Already a number of birds have made themselves at home in this area particularly Wandering Whistling Ducks, Forest Kingfishers and Little Black Cormorants.

 

2.      Tyto Wetlands

Tyto Wetlands is a unique 120 hectare rehabilitated wetland site that is home to over 230 species of birds and numerous tropical plant species in addition to the beautiful Agile Wallaby. The wetlands have been revegetated and repaired to attract a variety of birdlife. It is truly a bird watchers paradise

 

Located 800 metres from the township of Ingham and just off the Bruce Highway, Tyto Wetlands is a carefully preserved natural environment that integrates lagoons, walking tracks and native flora.

 

Experience the natural beauty and tranquility of this tropical environment by leisurely strolling along the 4km walkways. Interpretive signs, marked lookouts and specially created viewing platforms allow you to view local wildlife without interference or disturbance to their habitats.

 

The top 3 birds of this wetlands are The Eastern Grass Owl (tyto capensis), Crimson Finch and White-browed Crake

 

3.      Wallaman Falls

Wallaman Falls is Australia’s most spectacular and largest single drop waterfall, it is a breathtaking sight as it can be viewed through a rainbow fringed cloud of mist early in the morning. For the energetic there is a great walk to the bottom of the falls. Camping is available, with gas BBQ and showers on site. Wallaman Falls is 52km west of Ingham with 4km of the road unsealed.  Cassowariesand their chicks often wander on the rainforest road so care must be taken not to approach or harm these magnificent creatures.

 

The Victoria’s Riflebird can also be spotted in the rainforest August to December

 

4.      Broadwater State Forest

Broadwater State Forest is one of the most popular camping, picnic and bird watching locations in North Queensland. Most sought after birds in Broadwater are Lesser Sooty Owl – February to July and the Double-eyed Fig-parrot seen normally July to December. There is a 1.6km circuit walk with interpretive signs, the main feature of this walk being the Giant Fig tree.  Broadwater has picnic and camping facilities, BBQ’s cold showers and toilets.  Broadwater is 45km west of Ingham, the roads within the State Forest are unsealed, so care is needed.

 

5.      Hinchinbrook Island and Channel

Hinchinbrook Island is the world’s largest Island National Park.  It has a myriad of natural vegetation such as lush rainforest, extensive eucalypt forest, melaleuca swamps and sloping mountain rock pavements.  The Island is surrounded by marine habitats including fringing reefs, seagrass beds and muddy bottoms.  Seagrass beds are the basic food source for dugong, which are seen occasionally in Missionary Bay.  Adult green turtles also frequent the channel.

 

The White-bellied Sea-eagle can be seen in the channel all year round.

 

A variety of tours can be organized from Lucinda which is the southern access to the island and channel. 

 

6.      Hinchinbrook Island – Thorsborne Trail

The Thorsborne Trail is an excellent way to experience Hinchinbrook Island.  The trail is 32km along the East Coast of the island.  It is not a graded or hardened walking track and in some areas is rough and difficult to traverse.  To help minimize impact and to maintain the wilderness setting, permits are issued for a maximum of 40 people on the trail at any one time.  April to September are the best months for hiking.  Purchasing a permit from National Parks six months in advance is advised to avoid disappointment. When around the Mulligan Bay area listen out for the Noisy Pitta. The deep sound of the Wompoo Fruit Dove can be heard on most of the trail.

 

7.      Jourama Falls

Jourama Falls has a terrace of cascading waterfalls and secluded freshwater swimming holes.  It is an excellent spot for bird watching where The Yellow-breasted Boatbill can be seen along the creek for most of the year. There is a 1.5km walk to the falls lookout.  Jourama is located 24km south of Ingham and just 6km off the Bruce Highway.

 

8.      Lucinda

Lucinda is one of the best fishing spots in Queensland.  It is the closest mainland connection to Hinchinbrook Island and the closest access point to the renowned Hinchinbrook Channel. 

From Lucinda you can be taken on a conducted safari up the channel or take part in a fishing tour to catch the world famous barramundi.  Located in Lucinda is the old sugar jetty which is a very popular spot for land-based fishing.

 

Lucinda is serviced with Hotel/Motel, Holiday Caravan Park and Self-contained units and has a number of small shops for essential items.

 

Birdwatching is also very popular at our beach areas. Look out for the Osprey who regularly nests in available towers around the town and jetty structure. Beach Thicknee’s can be spotted on the sandy headland June to November.

 

9.      Lucinda Bulk Sugar Loading Jetty

The Lucinda Bulk Sugar Loading Jetty is the world’s largest bulk sugar loading jetty, which is 5.76 km in length.  The jetty is situated off the beach at Lucinda and is very hard to miss.  You cannot access the jetty as it is privately owned, but it can be viewed from the beach at Lucinda. Next to this it the old sugar jetty which is a great fishing spot.

 

10.    Fishing

The Hinchinbrook region offers a range of freshwater, estuary and Bluewater fishing to cater for every angler’s taste.

 

Freshwater fishing in the region is mainly in the Herbert River for Sooty Grunter, Tarpon, Barramundi and the sometimes elusive Jungle Perch.

 

The protected waters of the Hinchinbrook Channel offers anglers 365 days a year fishing opportunities.  With the beautiful Hinchinbrook Island National Park as a backdrop, the Hinchinbrook Channel is an angler’s paradise.

Species available in the Hinchinbrook Channel include, Fingermark, Barramundi, Javelin Fish, Salmon, Mangrove Jack, Estuary Cod, Bream and Flathead, while succulent mud crab are plentiful.

 

Several world records and numerous Australian, National Sportsfishing Association records have been claimed from this area.

 

For anglers who like blue water fishing the Palm Island group offers anglers   excellent sport, with Billfish, pelagic and reef species, such as Coral Trout, Red Emperor, Nanygai, Sweetlip and Crayfish commonly caught. Please be aware of seasonal closures for Barramundi and some reef species.

 

Swimming and diving are also a popular pastime in this area.  For the more   adventurous the Great Barrier Reef is within easy cruising distance for day trips.

 

11.    Forrest Beach

Forrest Beach is a relaxing place to visit when you need to escape from the hustle and bustle.  Forrest Beach has a long sandy beach over looking Orpheus and the Palm Island group. Relax on the beautiful beach and watch the Brahminy Kite wheel around in the sky above you.  It is a patrolled beach and has stinger net protection during the summer months.  Forrest Beach has a Hotel/Motel, Caravan Park and self-contained units.  There are also a small number of shops where essential items can be bought.

 

12.    Taylors Beach

Taylor's Beach is the central beach in the shire, located between Forrest Beach and Lucinda.  With the island and fringing reefs so close, Taylor's Beach is a popular fishing destination for many.  There is a wide range of fish to be caught in this area so you will constantly be amazed.  Top birds for the location are Mangrove Robin, found near Victoria Creek June to October and Stone Curlew most commonly seen June to November. Taylor's Beach has a caravan park and self-contained units.  It also has stinger net protection in place during the summer months.  Taylor's beach has a shop where essential items can be purchased.

 

13.    Halifax

Halifax is a quiet village on the way to Lucinda and is a township with a large amount of historical value.  In the early 1930s, Halifax - along with the port of Lucinda Point - constituted the main 'stepping off' place for all boating and fishing trips to the Hinchinbrook Channel, Palm Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.  It was considered the Hinchinbrook region's industrial centre, providing a link with the outside through its direct rail link with the port of Lucinda.  However, as the district grew and communications improved, Ingham became the main town, and Halifax's progress slowed.  Today, it is a place to enjoy quiet country living with many of the services of a larger town.

The town still has a number of beautiful old hotels and buildings which were constructed when the township was first established.  The Halifax Hotel and Commercial Hotel are two of these buildings and to this day, continue to provide meals and accommodation for visitors to the area.  Centred around the leafy, mango tree lined main street, Halifax meshes the history of the Hinchinbrook Shire with modern amenities such as a newsagency, postal facilities, butchery, a convenience store and hotel accommodation.  Halifax is also home to the Herbert River Museum - a treasure chest of historical artifacts and displays which depict the Valley's intriguing history.

 

14.    Herbert River Museum

Herbert River Museum is located in Halifax and is a treasure chest of historical artifacts.  It is the ideal place to learn about the history of the shire and the way things used to be. The museum is situated in Macrossan Street opposite the BP service station in Halifax.  Cost of entry is by donation.

 

 

15.    Mt Fox

Mt Fox is famous for its volcanic crater, which was formed 100,000 years ago by a volcanic explosion and is surrounded by a diverse range of flora, fauna and geological specimens, which allows for hours of fun and fascination.

 

The Mt Fox crater is also a popular spot to see Wedge Tailed Eagles early morning in the cooler months. Cairns Birdwing Butterfly’s are also commonly seen leading up to the crater. This walk is quite strenuous so care must be taken.

 

Mt Fox is a 75km drive from Ingham, mainly on sealed roads.  To camp at Mt Fox you can stay at the Mount Fox Cricket grounds, where basic facilities are supplied.  

 

16.    Dalrymple Gap Walking Track

The Dalrymple Gap Walking Track is a rugged walking trail that follows the original bullock trail over the Cardwell Range. The track is some 8 km end to end and takes 4 hours to walk one way.

 

You can access it in the south on the road to Broadwater State Forest, and in the North 14km north of Cardwell on the Bruce Highway.

 

17.    Wet Tropics Great Walk

For adventurous hikers and nature enthusiasts,a system of walks has been developed in the Herbert Valley hinterland, aimed at showcasing the rich natural diversity – unique landforms, flora and fauna.

The 110km Wet Tropics Great Walk system takes hikers through rainforest, heathland, eucalypt forest and woodlands of Girrungun National Park. It traverses Wet Tropics world Heritage Area from the spectacular Wallaman Falls to Blencoe Falls.

 

The entire trek can take up to eight days to complete and highlights include waterfalls, river gorges and the opportunity to spot fascination and endangered wildlife. This section of the walk is suited to walkers with a high level of fitness.

 

For the walker with more moderate levels of fitness you can try the Wallaman Falls section of the Great Walk which can take up to three days. Permits need to be arranged through internet booking.

 

www.qld.gov.au/camping

 

18.    Orpheus Island

Orpheus Island National Park features sheltered bays with spectacular fringing reefs.  Composed of granite and volcanic rocks, Orpheus Island belongs to the chain of continental islands called the Palm Group, located 20km off the Queensland coast.  Orpheus Island can be reached by boat.  There is no public ferry, but special charters can be arranged.  The closest boat ramp is at Taylor's Beach for private boat access.  Camping is allowed near Yank’s Jetty, South Beach and Little Pioneer Bay where basic facilities are provided.  Freshwater is not available.  Permits for camping need to be obtained from www.qld.gov.au/camping

 

19.    Pelorus Island

Pelorus Island is smaller than Orpheus and is situated just north of the island.  Pelorus is surrounded by spectacular fringing reefs which can be accessed by snorkeling right off the beach.  Camping is permitted on Pelorus Island, however there are no camping facilities on the island and no freshwater.  You are required to take all camping materials with you.

No permit is required.

 

20.    The Australian Italian Festival

The Australian Italian Festival is celebrated annually, and is a fantastic event that celebrates the cultural attributes of Italian migrants and descendant's in Australia and the significant contribution they have and are making to the Australian way of life.  Some of the many events that can be seen at the festival are Mama’s Cucina, Pino’s Osteria, Market Stalls, Spaghetti Eating Challenge and the Great Italian Bake Off.  Magiamo, Giochiamo e Amore – Eat, Play and Love at the Australian Italian Festival.

 

21.    Ingham Car and Bike Extravaganza

Held in late May every year this extravaganza is two days of classic cars, burning rubber and awesome power.

Featured in this event are burnout competitions, grass events, tattoo contests and show car displays.

 

A popular event is the Super Cruise which takes place through the CBD of Ingham, giving locals and visitors the opportunity to view some very fine machines

 

22.    Maraka

Maraka is the Hinchinbrook Shires longest running festival, as it has been running for over 50 years.  The annual festival is held over two weeks in October and is crammed with activities.  The highlight of the festival is the Mardi Gras which is held in Rotary Park on the last day of events. 

 

Other events include, Arts and Crafts Showcase, Gala Ball, Spot-the-Window Competition, Best Dressed Business House, Pet Parade and Fence Painting.

 

A procession on the final day sets the scene for the Mardi Gras which features a concert, food stalls, rides and the crowning of the Maraka Queen.

 

23.    Ingham Wings and Wheels Airshow

A first for the district is the exciting Ingham Wings and Wheels Airshow where history and horsepower comes alive! This weekend will feature thrilling aerobatics with Matt Hall; who is the only Australian to compete in the Red Bull Air Race Series and Paul Bennett; Australian Unlimited Aerobatic Champion. Experience the thrill of flying in a genuine ex-military restored warbird. Other activities will include military re-enactments, restored military vehicles, living history displays and entertainment.

 

Debut airshow September 3-4 2011

 

24.    Mungalla Station

Mungalla Station located 15km east of Ingham on the Forrest Beach Road  is a historic property which offers visitors the chance to travel back in time and explore the rich history of the site as the birthplace of Droughtmaster cattle and a safe haven for the traditional Nywaigi Aboriginal people. Take a tour of the property and learn about the "Captive Lives Story", throw a boomerang or ride in a horse drawn wagon. A BBQ Lunch is available or Mungalla can prepare a delicious "Kup Murri" - a traditional underground feast of meat, fish and vegetables slow cooked underground.

 

25.    Memorial Gardens

The memorial gardens (Botanical Gardens) are within walking distance from the main street, and are an ideal place to have a picnic lunch.  The gardens have an   extensive variety of North Queensland tropic vegetation and landscapes, which include a pond and water lilies.  Within the pond you can often spy turtles and small fish swimming amongst the lilies.

 

There are numerous memorials in the gardens to such people as Keith Payne, who was born and educated in Ingham and was later invested with the Victoria Cross in April 1970 by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II for his repeated acts of exceptional personal bravery and unselfish conduct during the Vietnam war.

 

Another memorial in the gardens is of the 12 people who died when an United States Air Force Liberator B-42 bomber named ‘Texas Terror’ crashed on Mt Straloch, Hinchinbrook Island.

 

26.    Ingham Cemetery

The Ingham Cemetery is a five minute drive from Ingham and is a fascinating place to visit.  It depicts the strong Mediterranean influences with a magnificent display of tile mausoleums.

 

When visiting, you are transported to a graveyard in “Italy” with its unique crypts and chapels.  The most impressive aspect of this cemetery is the southern-European mausoleums which feature exclusively in the Catholic section of the cemetery. 

 

The older mausoleums are constructed of the traditional materials of white plaster and marble with gothic style windows and doors, while the more recent ones commonly have a flat-roof with parapet surrounds and finished with terrazzo and tiles.  The first mausoleum to be constructed was for the Mammino family in 1952.  The largest mausoleum in the cemetery was built for the Prestipino family in 1955 and covers eight burial plots and features a portico.

 

27.    Trebonne Post Office

Trebonne Post Office is a very historic post office, operating for almost 100 years.  It is a quaint building that appears to be held together by two rusty nails. It is still functioning as a private post box collection point.  The post office can be seen on the way to Wallaman Falls.  Definitely worth a look.

 

28.    Hinchinbrook Heritage Walk

The Hinchinbrook Heritage Walk is a concept that allows locals and visitors alike to walk and drive around the townships of Ingham and Halifax and gain some insight into the rich heritage of these two townships.

 

At each designated heritage site there is a signpost illustrating the historical significance of that particular site.  The designated heritage sites within the shire are:

 

1.    Shire Hall

2.    Lee’s Hotel

3.    Old Ingham Cemetery

4.    Memorial Gardens

5.    East Ingham Hotel

6.    Ingham Decorating Service

7.    Italian Hospital

8.    Noorla Hotel

9.    The Station Hotel

10.  Victoria Mill & Church

11.  Halifax Police Station