Cardwell, heart of the Great Green Way and gateway to magnificent Hinchinbrook Island – the largest Island National Park in Australia. Made up of a diverse range of landscapes, Cardwell is the perfect place to relax or be adventurous!
Cardwell is located half way between Townsville and Cairns and is on the same latitude as Tahiti – enjoying a similar climate but with easy mainland access so you have mainland living … Island style.
Settled in 1864, Cardwell was the first settlement north of Bowen and is the only town in the world where two world heritage listed areas adjoin. The first being the wet tropics world heritage, starting north of Townsville and finishing south of Cooktown and the second – the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park world heritage area.
Cardwell offers a range of attractions, site seeing, annual events to enjoy and historical places to visit. The Rainforest and Reef Information Centre has a magnificent interpretative display capturing flora and fauna native to the area. Staff at the Centre provide expert advice on points of interest in the area along with information on the region’s history.
Cardwell’s Port Hinchinbrook provides state of the art Marina, public boat ramp and repairs and maintenance facilities for anglers and boaties. It is widely acknowledged that Cardwell is ranked second to none when it comes to all weather and all tide boating & fishing.
The Girringun Aboriginal Cultural Centre is a great place to learn about the aboriginal tribes of the region and how they maintain their relationship with the natural environment.
Cardwell’s Forest Drive through the Cardwell State Forest is where you’ll find the quaint Attie Creek Falls and some spectacular swimming holes to cool off in during those warmer days.
While the Cardwell region produces sugar cane, bananas, pineapples and other tropical fruits, it is also home to Prawn Farms – in fact, prawns farmed in Cardwell were used at the wedding reception for Prince Frederick and Princess Mary of Denmark.
For those who love fishing Cardwell is renowned for its rewarding recreational fishing. You can have a relaxing day fishing off the jetty or take a reef or estuary fishing charter. Fishing competitions are held throughout the year and the Port Hinchinbrook Fishing Classic held every September attracts visitors from around the world.
From Cardwell it’s a short ride on charter or private boat to Hinchinbrook Island -the world’s largest island national park. Its long sandy beaches and extensive mangrove areas makes Hinchinbrook Island an environmental haven for Turtles, Dugongs and many other marine creatures
Located on the eastern seaboard of Hinchinbrook Island is the famous Thorsborne trail – a 32k wilderness walking trek, said by some to be the best of the 7 great walks of the world. Trail numbers are limited and camping grounds are provided in designated areas.
Adjacent to Hinchinbrook are Goold and Garden Island, the Family Group of Islands and the Brook islands each with their own unparalleled charm.
Back on the mainland, Blencoe falls provides spectacular scenery for your holiday photos with its 91m spectral drop. It’s also considered one of North Queensland’s best camping areas. By taking a leisurely walk you’ll have the opportunity to see many species of butterflies that inhabit the area along with other native wildlife
Waterfalls … National Parks … State Forests … crystal clear swimming holes … fishing … bush walking … or just relaxing … With so many activities on offer, contact our information centre where our friendly staff will assist you to plan your stay in Cardwell … heart of the great green way and pretty as a picture!

Courtesy Cardwell Tourism