Broadwater

I visited Broadwater camping ground in 2015 and when I returned recently I found that it hadn’t changed much except that more of the damage from cyclone Yasi (2011) had healed in the meantime.

There are wide open grassy areas with scattered tall eucalypts, picnic shelters and amenities, and camping sites for vans and tents. With almost no mobile phone service (there’s just a very poor, intermittent, signal from one part of the picnic ground) it’s a good choice for a digital detox.

The National Parks information page about Broadwater says that it, “forms part of Abergowrie State Forest, which was first gazetted in 1965. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages the area to conserve its natural, cultural and historic values,” but doesn’t mention that the camping ground has pine plantations around it. They don’t intrude, however, because the camping ground and its patch of rainforest sit within a loop of the creek and the plantations are all outside it.

Wildlife

The creek was gorgeous with its broad shallow pools, stony shallows and rapids, and overhanging paperbarks. Platypus probably live in it but I wasn’t lucky enough to spot any. On the other hand, I enjoyed watching this young Whistling Kite in a tall tree across the creek during my early-morning vigil.

Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite

The Rainforest Walk introduces visitors (painlessly!) to the Gympie Stinging Tree (Dendrocnide moroides), feared for its agonising and long-lasting sting. It’s good to be able to recognise it. If you want more information, here is a good article on phys.org.

Other wildlife included Cairns Birdwing butterflies (they are a rainforest species and the park is definitely Wet Tropics), goannas, and many small birds and insects.

Nearby parks and walks

My prior visit to the park was tagged on to a Wildlife Queensland walk up the Dalrymple Track nearby. This one, at the end of July, was similarly planned to tag on to a walk around Dunk Island with WQ members from both Cassowary Coast and Townsville branches, following the success of their combined Kennedy Track walk. When we were told at the last minute that “the boat broke” I went to Broadwater anyway and treated myself to a morning at the Tyto Wetlands on the way home.

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