Abergowrie State Forest
Take a deep breath and take a refreshing dive off the pontoon into the deep natural pool, or paddle in ankle deep water on the shoreline with the kids!
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 tranquillity 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.
Being one with Nature at Broadwater
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 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 Scrub Fowl, 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.
How to get to Broadwater
There are two ways to get to Broadwater from Ingham:
Option 1. From Ingham, head west onto Lannercost Street and continue onto Abergowrie Road, then follow Abergowrie Road for approximately 22 minutes.
Turn right onto Elphinstone Pocket Road and turn left at the Broadwater entry sign.
Option 2. From Ingham, head north on the Bruce Highway and once you cross the Herbert River (approximately 1km from town), take the next turn off to the left onto Hawkins Creek Road for 27 kilometres.
Turn right on to Broadwater Park Road, and then you will come across the Broadwater entry sign.
The road to Broadwater is not fully sealed, as soon as you turn off the main road, you enter the world of gravel formed roads and tall stands of pine plantations.
Swimming at Broadwater
Take the plunge and dive from the pontoon into the clear and refreshing water. Float the day away under the overhanging trees that tower over the creek. Head a little bit upstream where you can build yourself a little rock pool and relax under the shady trees.
But be aware, bullrout fish may inhabit the waters. We advise bringing along an extra pair of shoes or aqua socks to wear when walking on the rocks in the creek to avoid stepping on one of these creatures.
Camping at Broadwater
Enjoy the serenity of the Broadwater Campsite surrounded by rainforest and the sound of the nearby creek flowing by. The Broadwater camping area provides the perfect getaway for small and large groups, whether you are popping up a tent, rolling out a swag, or rocking up with the caravan.
The camping area provides facilities such as covered picnic areas, picnic tables, gas barbeques, toilets, and cold showers.
Permits must be purchased to camp at Broadwater. Be sure to book your permits before heading to Broadwater as you may find it difficult as there is no reception or internet connection. Permits can be purchased online at Queensland Parks or at the Hinchinbrook Visitor Information Centre.
Broadwater Rainforest Track
The Broadwater Rainforest Track is an easy stroll, 1.6 kilometre return walk which takes approximately 30 minutes.
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.
Broadwater Creek Walk
For the more energetic, the Broadwater Creek Walk takes approximately 1 hour to walk the 3 kilometre return walking track and commences in the main camping area.
The walk leads you 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.
Along the way you will come across endless swimming holes, so be sure to bring along your swimmers! If you are lucky, you might spot Agile Wallabies, Forest Kingfishers, Blue-winged Kookaburras, or Eastern Yellow Robins.
Dalrymple Gap Track
Broadwater gives you access to the southern point of the Dalrymple Gap Track.
The track itself has been categorised as difficult, with a distance of 10 kilometres, and can take up to 6 hours to hike. You can choose to either walk the whole track or sample it bit by bit and return to the Broadwater camping grounds.
Follow the route of a road built in the 1860s, that in turn roughly followed the track taken by Aboriginal people across the Cardwell Range. The track can be walked in either direction, and is best done as a one-way walk to allow time to enjoy the beauty of Dalrymple Creek and the historic features of the track. You will need to arrange for a vehicle to meet you at the opposite end of the walk. Most walkers find it easier to start the walk from the south as it is a more gradual climb from this direction to the top of Dalrymple Gap.