TOWNSVILLE TO CAIRNS .. PART OF BRUCE HIGHWAY



PLUS near INNISFAIL TO KENNEDY HIGHWAY near Ravenshoe .. PALMERSTON HIGHWAY



Regarding the Bruce Highway section .. it is in reasonable condition .. dual lane
sealed with some overtaking lanes, some truck parking bays adjacent to highway.
Immediately to the north of Townsville is Thuringowa Shire which is "friendly to
travellers in providing a number of free parking areas with free BBQ's installed.

We travelled the Palmerston Highway section shortly after cyclone Larry .. rain had continued up to
that time, so everything was very wet and some cyclone damage still apparent. Possibly this was the
reason, but little was discovered in the way of suitable overnight camping spots.

0 km (328.8 km) TOWNSVILLE. Ross River road where is crosses Nathan St. is taken
as the Townsville position. This is along the current signed route through Townsville
.. the original highway passed closer to the city.
(Turn west along Ross River Road., which becomes Harveys Range Rd., and passes through a large military
training area. Harveys Range Road then contines through to the Gregory Development Road.
For more details see Mackay to Townsville section).

Continuing north, Nathan St. becomes Duckworth St.
[3.2 km]
3.2 km (325.6 km) WOOLCOCK St. .. turn west (left) for travelling north.
[5.8 km]
9.0 km (319.8 km) BOHLE RIVER. Hotel on western side of bridge, southern side of highway.
[3.4 km]
12.4 km (316.4 km) Shopping complex with parking .. southern side of highway.
   Parking for big rigs possible outside actual parking area in service road that loops
   off highway .. access only from north going lanes of highway.
[5.4 km]
17.8 km (311.0 km) BLACK RIVER.
[1.0 km]
18.8 km (310.0 km) BLACK RIVER road to the south west .. shortcut to Herveys Range Rd.
[3.4 km]
22.2 km (306.6 km) SAUNDERS BEACH .. turn north east.
------------------------------
  0 km turn off north east.
  7.4 km REST (BEACH) PARKING AREA.
  * Class 2.  19° 09.246'S.  146° 136.245'E.  Hema map 11, H 14.
  Toilets, outside shower, covered tables, some shade, water, free BBQ's, rubbish bins,
  Cul de sac, so little noise, OK for medium size rigs as small area popular with locals.
  24 hour limit in 7 day period. Sand flies and mossies .. need mosquito coils!
  TV reception OK.
------------------------------
TOWNSVILLE TO CAIRNS .. continued.
[6.0 km]
28.2 km (300.6 km) BLUEWATER REST AREA .. south west side of highway.
  Service station, shop opposite side of highway .. 9kg gas refill $23.30.
  * Class 2.  19° 10.584'S. 146° 33.112'E. Hema map 11, H 14.
  Toilets, outside cold shower on toilet block, tables, some shade, WATER, free BBQ's and fireplaces,
  rubbish bins, 200m max from highway, OK big rigs .. well set up area with designated 20 parking bays
  set in line along north west boundry .. 24 hour limit in 7 day period with best bays being those most
  distant from highway .. quieter, plus have water taps. TV OK, CDMA OK, playground.

Opposite entrance to Bluewater Rest Area is the turn off the highway to TOOLAKEA BEACH.
------------------------------
0 km turn off highway to the north east.
[2.0 km]
2.0 km "T" junction. Just prior to this junction on the left side is a park, toilet block
and small circular turning area suitable for medium size vehicle .. but suggest only
suitable for a short period of time.
To the left, the road ends after 4.5 kms with no obvious suitable parking area.
To the right, the road ends after 0.6 km with a small, rough, sandy parking area at the
rear of the beach. "No camping" sign, but area could be suitable for day parking for
small vehicles .. and those interested in a beach visit or fishing.
Class 5. 19° 08.789'S 146° 34.916'E. Hema map 11, H 14.
------------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[13.3 km]
41.5 km (287.3 km) TOOMULLA BEACH turn off north east.
------------------------------
  0 km .. turn off.
  2.5 km TOOMULLA BEACH REST AREA.
  * Class 2. 19° 04.994'S. 146° 28.517'E. Hema map 11, H 14.
  Toilets, covered tables, shade, WATER, free BBQ's and fireplaces, rubbish bins, quiet cul de sac,
  OK big rigs .. reasonably large area, 48 hour limit in 7 day period, good TV, good CDMA, playground.
  Short walk to saltwater lagoon at rear of beach.
------------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[8.4 km]
49.9 (278.9 km) BALGAL BEACH turn off to north east.
------------------------------
  0 km turn off.
  0.2 km turn off for southern entrance to Rollingstone .. BUT 2.4 metre height
  limit, 8 tonne weight limit.
  [5.5 km]
  BALGAL BEACH REST AREA .. follow signs .. opposite kiosk near boat ramp.
  * Class 2. 19° 00.61'S  146° 24.31'E. Hema map 11, G 14.
  Toilets, outside cold showers in park between camp spot and beach, covered tables, some shade, WATER,
  free BBQ's and fireplaces, rubbish bins, appears a quiet area, OK medium size rigs, TV OK, CDMA OK, nicely
  grassed area between conjested parking area and the nice beach, 48 hour limit in 7 day period, good fish and
  chips from store opposite, boat ramp. Popular spot with stories of vehicles queueing for entry in busy times.
------------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[0.4 km]
50.3 km (278.5 km) William Crabb bridge, Rollingstone Creek.
[0.8 km]
51.1 km (277.7 km) Rollingstone Hotel .. north east side.
[0.7 km]
51.8 km (277.0 km) Turn off north east for ROLLINGSTONE REST AREA.
------------------------------
  0 km Turn off .. and across railway line.
  [0.7 km]
  0.7 km shop with (normally) best fuel price in district .. left side.
  [0.5 km]
  ROLLINGSTONE REST AREA. Now called Bushy Parker Park.
  * Class 2. 19° 02.869'S 146° 23.623'E. Hema map 11, G 14.
  Toilets, outside shower, covered tables, shade, water, free BBQ's and fireplaces, rubbish bins, 150m
  from railway, 200m from highway, OK big rigs, some grassed non camping areas, creek on eastern boundry,
  popular with vehicles queueing for entry in busy periods, 48 hour camping in a 7 day period, signed 30
  vehicles maximum, TV OK, CDMA OK.
------------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[9.3 km]
61.1 km (267.7 km) Paluma Range .. first turn off.
[5.1 km]
66.2 km (262.6 km) Paluma Range .. second turn off.
[1.4 km]
67.6 km (261.2 km) Frosty Mango .. south west side.
[18.1 km]
85.7 km (243.1 km) Jourama Falls turn off .. south west side .. 5.6 km.
[7.0 km]
92.7 km (236.1 km) Small REST AREA .. eastern side .. tables, 20m from highway.
[5.0 km]
97.7 km (231.1 km) FRANCES CREEK REST AREA .. west side .. medium size sealed loop.
  Class 2. 18° 44.86'S 146° 08.22'E. Hema map 11, G 13.
  Toilets, covered tables, shade, non potable water, rubbish bins, driver reviver
  at times, 30m max. from highway, OK big rigs, CDMA OK.
[9.0 km]
106.7 km (222.1 km) RURAL YOUTH PARK .. west side.
  Class 3 or 5. 18° 40.466'S, 146° 09.153'E. Hema map 11, G 13.
  Table, shade, water, rubbish bin, 40m max. from 100 kph highway, grassy area
  but caravan park just 100m south!
[2.3 km]
109.0 km (219.8 km) INGHAM intersection. Turn left (west) just before highway intersection to gain access to rear of
  Coles shopping. Follow the highway signs north through that intersection and Woolworths shopping is on the left.
  Info from other travellers is somewhere towards the rear of Wollworths is Hotel Noorla Resort where there are
  overnight sites for $10 or $12 unpowered, $14 or $16 powered pvpn.
[1.0 km]
110.0 km (218.8 km) FORREST BEACH turn off south east.
------------------------------
  0 km turn off.
  [5.3 km]
  5.3 km Victoria Mill .. large sugar mill.
  [13.8 km]
  19.1 km William Street.. just past Post Office .. turn north (left) for boat ramp.
  [0.6 km]
  19.7 km Forrest Beach Boat Ramp .. parking .. large level sealed area, lit at night.
  * Class 3. 18° 42.43'S 146° 18.027'E, Hema map 11, G 13.
  Toilets, table, WATER, rubbish bin, quiet area right behind beach, OK big rigs, suggest 1 night only, good TV, good CDMA.
  Extremely nice main beach area further south .. suggest Class 5 .. with all
  facilities, 20c BBQ's, shop nearby. Caravan park further south again.

  Taylors Beach (north of Forrest Beach) investigated, May '06. "No caravan parking" signs at boat ramp.
  Class 5. 18° 37.47' S. 146° 19.78' E. Hema map 11, G 13.
  WATER, rubbish bins at boat ramp. Toilets, tables, BBQ etc. at picnic area on entrance road.
  Also investigated, May '06, Dungeness Boat Ramp .. ? parking possible on entrance road before boat ramp.
  New parking area being built opposite .. lots of expansion in area so ? possibilities in the future.
  Class 3 to 4. 18° 31.44' S. 146° 19.11' E. Hema map 11, G 14.
  Toilets, WATER at boat washing facility, playground in adjacent park, OK big rigs along roadside.
  Also, Lucinda .. large, to us, congested caravan park .. no other possible overnight spots identified.
-----------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[8.8] km
118.8 km (210.0 km) Halifax, Lucinda turn off to the east.
[6.5 km]
125.3 km (203.5 km) Scenic lookout .. top of Cardwell Range.
[3.6 km]
128.9 km (219.9 km) Truck stopping bays .. both sides of highway.
  Covered tables, rubbish bins.
[25.9 km]
134.8 km (194.0 km) South of Five Mile Creek .. small circular turning area ..
  small gravel pit .. west side.
  Class 3 or 4. 18° 19.735'S 146° 03.151'E. Hema map 11, F 13.
  No facilities, 40m max. from 100 kph highway, OK medium size rig.
[0.2 km]
135.0 km (193.8 km) Turn west north side of (Five Mile Creek) bridge.
-----------------------------
  0 km Turn off.
 [0.8 km]
  0.8 km State Forest day parking area, gravel road to circular turning area, (very nice) swimming hole.
  Class 5 signed "no camping". 18° 19.662'S 146° 02.725'E. Hema map 11, F 13.
  Toilets, tables, some shade, new free BBQ's, no rubbish bins, OK big rigs, weak CDMA.
-----------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[7.9 km]
142.9 km (185.9 km) CARDWELL .. shops with good day parking along side of highway,
  between highway and sea. Hinchinbrook Island opposite.
  June '06 .. stayed at Beachcomber caravan park .. northern end of town between highway and ocean.
  * Class 1 (fee $24 pvpn powered) 18° 15.32' S. 146° 01.13' E. Hema map 11, F 13.
  All expected facilities, OK medium size rigs, good TV, good CDMA.
[21.7 km]
164.6 km (164.2 164.2 km) BILYANA REST AREA .. west side .. smallish sealed loop with parking adjacent and on grass.
  Class 2. 18° 07.12' S. 148° 54.72' E. Hema map 11, F 13.
  Toilets, covered tables, shade, non potable water, BBQ,s, rubbish bins, 50m max. from highway, but 25m from
  railway line at rear, OK big rigs if not congested, signed 20 hours max., very weak TV, weak CDMA.
[0.5 km]
165.1 km (163.7 km) Murray Falls (20 km) turn off.
[6.3 km]
171.4 km (157.4 km) Murray Falls (22 km) turn off.
[10.0 km]
181.4 km (147.4 km) Junction .. east side .. to Hull and Tully Heads.
------------------------------
  0 km Taking road to Hull Heads.
  [12.6 km]
  12.6 km Junction to Tully Heads .. pub, shop, caravan park adjacent.
  [1.7 km] Continuing ahead.
  14.3 km Junction .. boat ramp ahead, turn right for camp spot.
---------------
  Continue ahead 0.4 km to boat ramp .. sealed boat parking/turning area.
  Class 5 (no camping sign). 17° 59.44' S. 146° 03. 97' E. Hema map 11, F 13.
  Toilets, no shade, WATER, rubbish bins, OK big rigs.
---------------
  Turning right at above junction.
  [0.6 km]
  14.9 km "T" junction .. turn left for camp spot.
  [0.4 km]
  15.3 km Camp spot/boat ramp to left .. medium size level sand parking area at rear of Coast Guard building.
  Caretaker in that building .. at front .. fee $3.30 pppn.
  Class 2. 17° 59.66' S. 146° 04.27' E. Hema map 11, F 13.
  Toilets, outside cold shower on toilet, some shade, WATER, BBQ's, rubbish bins, quiet, OK big rigs, apparently
  3 days max. (? if enforced), good TV, good CDMA.
------------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[5.7 km]
187.1 km (141.7 km) TULLY town turn off .. west. Taking that road, cross bridge, veer right (signed caravan parking and
  caravan park) .. turn into signed caravan parking on left .. WATER tap at entrance. You are now opposite Mitre 10
  and Tully Motors. More caravan parking around corner to left. Public toilets at bus station, walk to shops.
[3.0 km] Continuing north.
190.1 km (138.7 km) Mission Beach turn off .. southern entrance .. east side.
[13.6 km]
203.7 km (125.1 km) Mission Beach turn off .. northern entrance .. east side. El Ariash west side.
[1.6 km]
205.3 km (123.5 km) EL ARISH REST AREA ..east side of highway .. north of Digger Creek. Smallish circular turning/
  parking area close to highway.
  * Class 2. 17° 47.74' S. 146° 00.65' E. Hema map 11, E 13.
  Toilets, tables, some shade, WATER, rubbish bin, 25m max to highway, OK medium size rigs, good TV, good CDMA.
[6.3 km]
211.6 km (117.2 km) SILKWOOD .. turn off west.
------------------------------
  0 Km Taking road to the west for camp spot at Japoonvale.
  [4.3 km]
  4.3 km Junction .. turn left.
  [14.6 km]
  Following signs to Japoonvale/Innisfail .. some single lane sealed road .. pass through Japoonvale.
  18.9 km Signed rest area .. east side, on north side of Liverpool Creek. Level dirt turning area with parking
  at rear .. mainly grass. Very wet, 46 days of rain after cyclone Larry .. when we visited, June '06.
  * Class 2. 17° 43.41' S. 145° 56.01' E. Hema map 11, E 13.
  Toilets, tables, shade, non potable WATER at toilet + WATER from creek, fire places, rubbish bins, 50m max
  from road (some noise from bridge), OK medium size rigs, no time limit noted, good TV, CDMA OK. (stayed 3 nights).
  [9.5 km]
  28.4 km Mena Creek.
  [7.6 km]
  36.0 km South Johnson Sugar Mill. There are various roads north to Innisfail/Palmerston Highway from this spot.
  We took a road to the east and to the Bruce Highway.
  [1.2 km]
  37.2 km Junction with Bruce Highway 8.6 km south of Innisfail Post Office.
------------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[4.4 km] Continuing north from the Silkwood junction.
216.0 km (112.8 km) Signed REST AREA .. east side .. road back parallel to highway and under bridge at Liverpool Creek.
  Class 2. 17° 42.72' S. 146° 02.63' E. in parking bay to the north. Hema map 11, E 13.
  Covered table, Some shade, 20m max. from 100 kph highway, looked OK small rigs only.
[14.9 km]
230.9 km (97.7 km) Junction .. west side .. to South Johnson (refeered to above).
[1.3 km]
232.2 km (96.6 km) MOURILYAN turn off .. east.
------------------------------
  0 km Taking Mourilyan Harbour Road.
  [10 km]
  10 km Mourilyan Harbour (no caravan/motorhome entry to actual wharf area .. signed right turn to boat ramp just
  prior to wharf). At boat ramp/Coast Guard area .. large level sealed parking area adjacent, large level grass area
  at rear .. signed "no camping, Qld. Ports". Pity, appears largely unused!
  Class 5. 17° 30.90 S. 145° 59.63' E. Hema map 11, E 13.
  No shade, rubbish bins, OK big rigs, good CDMA. Had lunch, moved on!
------------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[7.3 km]
239.5 km (89.3 km) INNISFAIL .. Post Office in business centre.
[4.8 km]
244.3 km (84.5 km) REST AREA .. junction of Palmerston Highway. Sealed entry road to sealed turning loop around toilets
  etc. and short spur section to the east .. somewhat limited parking adjacent to loop and spur. Driver reviver at times.
  * Class 2. 17° 30.903' S. 145° 59.637' E. Hema map 11, E 13.
  Toilet, tables, little shade, WATER, BBQ, rubbish bins, 50m from highways, some noise, OK big rigs,good TV, good CDMA.
------------------------------
  0 km (70.4 km) Turn west along the Palmerston Highway. We travelled this section shortly after cyclone Larry .. rain had continued
  up to that time, so everything was very wet and some cyclone damage still apparent. Possibly this was the reason, but
  little was discovered in the way of suitable overnight camping spots.
  [8.0 km]
  8.0 km (62.4 km) Junction .. south side .. to South Johnson .. shortcut from the west if travelling south.
  [25.4 km]
  33.4 km (37.0 km) Henrietta Creek .. camping area (appeared a commercial operation) .. north side.
  [22.6 km]
  56.0 km (14.4 km) Junction .. north side .. to Milla Milla .. the town is just off the highway.
  Opposite this junction is a scenic route to the Kennedy Highway nearer Ravenshoe, but signed not suitable for caravans.
  [14.4 km]
  70.4 km (0 km) "T" junction with Kennedy Highway .. turn south for Ravenshoe, north for Atherton, Herberton etc.
------------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[24.9 km]
269.2 km (59.6 km) THE BOULDERS (camping area reported) turn off .. west side.
  Reported about 5 km off highway, small area plus sand flies!
[0.2 km]
269.4 km (59.4 km) BABINDA .. main street to west. Turn east across railway line for rest area.
-----------------------------
  0 km turn off highway across railway line.
  0.1 km turn right and follow road around to the left.
  0.5 km BABINDA REST AREA to the left .. largish level garss area.
  * Class 2. 17° 20.890' S. 145° 55.574' E. Hema map 11, E 13.
  Toilets, tables, shade, water, BBQ's, rubbish bins 150m max. from quiet
  side road, OK big rigs, signed 48 hours max., average TV reception, nice creek at side.
-----------------------------
TOWNSVILLE to CAIRNS .. continued.
[14.4 km]
288.8 km (45.0 km) DEERAL ROADHOUSE.
[15.5 km]
299.3 km (29.5 km) WALSHES PYRAMID .. west side .. remarkable 922m high mountain.
[4.7 km]
304.0 km (24.8 km) MULGRAVE RIVER REST AREA .. not investigated!
[0.7 km]
304.7 km (24.1 km) CROSS ROADS .. Gillies Highway to west, Gordonvale to east.
[10.7 km]
315.4 km (13.4 km) EDMONTON.
[7.1 km]
322.5 km (6.3 km) CAIRNS City turn off .. to north east.
[6.3 km]
328.8 km ( 0 km) Bruce Highway ends. Captain Cook Highway commences .. and continues north.

To send an e-mail to Ron, use the "Back to RONS HOMEPAGE" facility below.
There is a "Send an e-mail to Ron" link at the bottom of that HOMEPAGE.

Back to Rons home page.

ORIGINAL NOTES: October '03. UPDATED: 25 April '04 and June '06.   © Ron Graham 1997.