- Getting there and getting around
- Park features
- Camping and accommodation
- Things to do
- Things to know before you go
- Staying safe
- Looking after the park
- Park management
- Tourism information links
- Further information
Broadwater Creek. Photo courtesy of Jodie Bray.
There are two access routes to Broadwater.
From Ingham travel 27 kilometres via Trebbone along Abergowrie Road. Turn right at Elphinstone Pocket Road and travel a further four kilometres. Turn left at the sign for Broadwater, Abergowrie State Forest.
Turn off the Bruce Highway at Hawkins Creek Road just north of the Herbert River (2.4 kilometres north of Ingham).Travel 26 kilometres along Hawkins Creek Road. Turn right at the sign for Broadwater, Abergowrie State Forest.
These routes converge just outside the State forest boundary. From here the last 16 kilometres is unsealed but can be accessed using conventional vehicles.
Logging trucks use the access roads to Broadwater and the southern end of the Dalrymple Gap track. To reduce the risk of collision, a three kilometre section of the road between the Dalrymple Gap walking track and Broadwater has been designated for one-way traffic (east to west) only. Please use caution when travelling in this area and obey all signs.The best time to visit is during the cooler months, (May to September). During the wet season (December to April), flooding may temporarily close access roads. Contact the RACQ to enquire about local road conditions and the Bureau of Meteorology for updated weather reports.
The boardwalk at the start of the rainforest walk is wheelchair-accessible. It leads to a magnificent white fig (Ficus virens var. sublanceolata) commonly known as the Broadwater fig. The toilets, showers and shelter shed in the camping and day-use area are also wheelchair accessible.
The swimming platform in the day-use area is a great place for a refreshing swim. Photo:NPSR
Broadwater is a great place for a day visit. It has covered picnic areas with gas barbecues, picnic tables, toilets and cold showers. Choose from short walks, swimming, birdwatching, or just relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility that the forest has to offer. The sizeable open areas cater for large groups, making it a popular destination for school groups during the week.
Broadwater camping area provides opportunities to enjoy the surrounding rainforest and creek environments and provides sites for small and large groups, and caravans.
It is a very popular camping area during weekends and school holidays. Ensure you book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
- Find out more about camping at Broadwater, Abergowrie State Forest.
- Broadwater camping area map
- Book your camp site online.
- If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.
A range of accommodation, including hotels, campgrounds and caravan parks, can be found at Cardwell and Ingham. For more information see the tourism information links below.
Broadwater fig on the rainforest walk. Photo:NPSR
See the rainforest on two short walks. Wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent.
Rainforest walk—1.6 kilometres return (30 minutes) Grade: easy
This circuit walk passes through endangered riparian rainforest with views of Broadwater Creek. The walk starts at the southern end of the day-use area. A 200 metre wheelchair-accessible boardwalk to a magnificent white fig (Ficus virens var. sublanceolata) commonly known as the Broadwater fig, is the feature of the walk.
Creek walk—3 kilometres return (1 hour) Grade: easy
For the more energetic this walk commences in the main camping area and leads through eucalypt and riparian forest to the delightful pools along Broadwater Creek. It ends at the ‘Overflow’, on the boundary of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Picnic and day-use areas
There is a day-use area with picnic tables and barbecues adjacent to Broadwater Creek. A large shelter shed with gas barbecues caters for family and group picnics. Visitors can enjoy the space, with plenty of room for games in the open, grassy area. A shelter with information on the natural attractions of the area is also provided.
Access to waterholes along Broadwater Creek is from two points in the day-use area and various locations along the creek walk. Wear old sneakers when swimming, as venomous bullrout fish may inhabit the waters. Be aware of the required first-aid procedures.
Two distinct vegetation communities are found at Broadwater—rainforest and open forest. There is a small area of rainforest adjacent to the day-use area where a large white fig (Ficus virens var. sublanceolata) commonly known as the Broadwater fig, can be observed from a wheelchair-accessible track. Fan palms, black beans, Alexandra palms, strangler figs, pink-flowered evodia, birds nest ferns and staghorn ferns are just some of the plants in the rainforest. Animals in the area include the noisy pitta, wompoo pigeon, emerald dove, orange-footed scrubfowl, spotted catbird, white-tailed rat, yellow-footed antechinus and the Hercules moth.
The open dry sclerophyll forest has a grassy understorey where agile wallabies can often be seen. This forest is dominated by forest red gum, brown salwood and swamp mahogany. Rufous owls, blue-winged kookaburras, forest kingfishers, eastern yellow robins, feathertail gliders and common brushtail possums are just some of the animals that may be seen.
Essentials to bring
- a first-aid kit
- a pair of old sneakers for swimming
- a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
- firewood (firewood is no longer supplied and cannot be collected from Abergowrie State Forest)
- rubbish bags.
Abergowrie State Forest is open 24 hours a day and is generally accessible from May to October. During the wet season, between December and April, the road into the park may be inaccessible. Contact the RACQ to enquire about local road conditions.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Abergowrie State Forest.
Climate and weather
Daytime temperatures and humidity can be high at any time of the year and nights can be very cool. Please carry suitable clothing to accommodate all extremes. May to September is generally the driest period and the best time to visit, but heavy rain can fall at any time. During times of heavy rainfall, especially in the wet season (December to April), access roads may become impassable. For more information see the tourism links below. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available at Ingham and Cardwell. For more information see the tourism information links below.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
- Wear protective clothing, sturdy footwear and insect repellent to protect yourself from stings, scratches and bites.
- Venomous fish called bullrouts live in some creeks. Wear sandshoes or similar footwear when swimming and take care when investigating unusual rocks or objects. Be aware of the required first-aid procedures.
- Never jump or dive into water
- Treat all water from taps, creeks and streams.
- Detour around snakes—never provoke them.
- Carry a torch at night.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Parks and forests protect Queensland's natural diversity and scenery. Help keep these places special by following these guidelines.
- Dispose of all rubbish in the bulk bin near the entrance to the park.
- Light camp fires responsibly using the fire rings provided and do not collect firewood within the park. Where possible use a gas or fuel stove. Obey fire restrictions.
- Never chase, scare or feed animals.
- Leave pets at home—domestic animals are not allowed.
- Broadwater is in cassowary territory. Be Cass-o-wary.
- Be considerate of other campers by minimising noise. Running generators (including vehicles to charge batteries and fridges) and compressors is not permitted.
See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.
Broadwater 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.
Rainforest and Reef Information Centre
142 Victoria Street, Cardwell QLD 4849
ph (07) 4066 8601
Managed by Great Green Way Tourism Incorporated.
For information on road conditions contact:
RACQ (The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland)
ph 1300 130 595 for 24-hour road reports
For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.