Be prepared to be mesmerised by the scenic beauty of our peaceful seaside village. Cardwell is your first real highway look at the Pacific Ocean between Townsville and Cairns and is rich in early settlement history. Browse the Bush Telegraph Station, Museum and Gallery in the heritage precinct before wandering along the esplanade to the Memorial Park where the famous World War II Battle of the Coral Sea is commemorated each year.
Offshore is Hinchinbrook Island, the world’s largest island national park, so close you can almost touch it. Hike the renowned Thorsborne Trail, rent a houseboat, or join a local charter to catch a Barramundi or to spy dugongs and crocodiles in the sheltered waters of the Hinchinbrook Channel.
Back on shore, take a bushwalk in the neighbouring national parks and cool off with a swim in the brilliant blue waters of the natural spa pools.
The spectacular Kirrama Range Road provides access to Blencoe Falls and the Tablelands from the coast at Kennedy.
Forest Drive is a 25 km scenic drive featuring lookouts, safe swimming holes, and picnic locations. Don't forget our spa pool (check conditions beforehand)*.
Cardwell Lookout is just minutes from the centre of town — the turnoff is along Brasenose Street at Five Ways. And on the Bruce Highway end of Brasenose Street is a telescope to view the islands, beaches and boating by day, and the moon and planets by night.
Cardwell foreshore and jetty plaza are a popular attraction with a shared 5 km pathway from Port Hinchinbrook to the Coral Sea Battle Memorial Park. It's an easy walk or bike ride.
The picturesque foreshore is ideal for markets and festivals. Markets are held at two locations from Easter to November. There will also be markets during Seafest and the UFO Festival which are both held in October.
Hinchinbrook Harbour has an all-weather public boat ramp, Coast Guard, and plenty of overnight car parking. There are three other public boat ramps in the Cardwell area.
Go to Hinchinbrook Island for a day visit or a self-guided hiking trip.
The Cardwell Country Club has a 9-hole golf course (the best in the area), bowls, club and restaurant facilities.
The Cardwell Art Gallery & Gift Shop features the works of local artists.
The Cardwell Visitor Information & Heritage Centre offers visitors a window into Cardwell's history. It includes the J C Hubinger Museum which gives visitors a look at the early years of Cardwell. (Parking for larger vehicles is available adjacent in Balliol Street.)
The Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre showcases stories and objects of the ancient rainforest culture.
The Rainforest & Reef Visitor Information Centre has an interpretive display depicting the reef and rainforest environment. (Larger vehicles can park across the road in Liverpool Street.)
*For 12 other things to do when visiting the Cardwell Spa Pool, check out the TTNQ website. The TCT website also has info about the spa pool and the Cardwell area generally. Cardwell also features in the Ultimate Guide to Driving the Great Barrier Reef.
Cardwell is the southern gateway to the Cassowary Coast region and adjacent to Hinchinbrook Island — the largest island national park in Australia.
- is right on the coast 156 km north of Townsville in far north Queensland.
- is the oldest established town north of Bowen.
- sits within the Federal Government seat of Kennedy, the State Government seat of Hinchinbrook, and Division 1 of the Cassowary Coast local government area.
- has a temperate coastal tropical climate, ideally suited for southern holidaymakers and is a very popular location for fishing enthusiasts.
- offers a range of essential services, retail facilities, various levels of accommodation, cafes, restaurants, and public amenities for residents and visitors.
- provides value employment opportunities in agriculture, aquaculture, aged care, forestry management, and more.
- has many clubs and activity groups to suit all ages.
- is adjacent to Girringun National Park and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
- is accessible by road, rail, sea and air — our local aerodrome is the closest to Hinchinbrook Island.
- hosts many events — triathlons, music festivals, and charity fundraisers ...
Cardwell generally covers the communities in postcode 4849 — that's Cardwell town and south to Rungoo including Port Hinchinbrook — and the Kennedy Valley portion of postcode 4816. From the 2016 Census, the populations by suburb were:
Cardwell = 1,309
Carruchan = 259
Ellerbeck = 205
Kennedy = 161
Damper Creek = 49
Rungoo = 12
Lumholtz = 0
TOTAL population = 1,995.
For more info
Contact The Cardwell Chamber of Commerce Inc.
Post PO Box 14, Cardwell QLD 4849, Australia
Registered Office c/o 14/1 Brasenose St, Cardwell
Phone 0408 697 515 (Gareth Davey)
0411 618 533 (Robyn Smith)