TYTO encompasses an eclectic mix of facilities, whether you are a bird watcher looking for the perfect shot, a family looking for a place to let the kids run wild, hold a soft spot for local art, or you’re just a nature lover; TYTO will have something for you.
TYTO Wetlands is a naturally low-lying floodplain where, for many thousands of years, creeks and streams from the Herbert River Catchment have drained to form a natural wetland; part of the Herbert River Delta.
TYTO Wetlands takes its name from the Eastern Grass Owl, Tyto longimembris. The unique and majestic species is a nocturnal master of the wetlands. The TYTO Wetlands have a bird species diversity that rivals Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory in a space 18,000 times smaller! The Wetlands are home to 27.4% of Australian bird species in one location. Visit Hinchinbrook Visitor Information Centre for a map and full bird list.
Boasting 4 kilometres of designated walking tracks, four bird viewing platforms, seating, and a multitude of different eco systems;
TYTO Wetlands offers a peaceful way to spend the days exploring and discovering the heart and soul of bird watching. Key Birdwatching species include the Eastern Grass Owl, White-Browed Crake, Crimson Finch, Jacana, and Cotton Pygmy-Geese.
Restoration of TYTO Wetlands
Before European settlement, extensive native grasslands with paperbark woodland and pockets of rainforest covered the wet tropical floodplains of the Herbert River Delta.
Unfortunately, almost all of these native grasslands have been cleared to make way for cane fields and development. Although TYTO Wetlands was never cleared, it was a degraded wetland destined to become a cane field or wasteland.
Located in a semi-industrial area, this public land was being invaded by introduced pasture grasses and other weeds from the local refuse tip and threatened by the potential invasion of neighbouring cane fields.
In August 1997, with the support of Hinchinbrook Shire Council, State Government, Local industry, community members, and funding from the Natural Heritage Trust; the TYTO Restoration Project was launched. The project aimed to restore and conserve the natural values of this once degraded wetlands.
From the Hinchinbrook Visitor Information Centre, you can journey out across an elevated walkway suspended above wetlands and walk through the canopies of raintrees.
The modern architectural walkways represent the bins vital to the regions’ mainstay industry sugar cane.
Take a casual stroll along the pathways and bridges, over lagoons and through wooded parklands and you will also have the option to scale the 11-metre observation tower for a bird’s eye view.
Watch the many species that inhabit the TYTO main lagoon or view the lay of the land. A great photo opportunity!
Picnic tables are available on the Cooper Street entrance next to the Hinchinbrook Visitor Information Centre. Or take a picnic blanket and utilise the shade of one of the wonderful eucalypt trees throughout the Parklands.
Being pet friendly, TYTO Parklands is the perfect place to take your furry companion for a stroll.
Kreffts Short-Necked Turtles (Emydura macquarii krefftii) can be seen basking in the sunshine on a rock or paddling beneath the water, head popping up now and then, opportunistically hoping for passing insects.
The traditional custodians of the land, the Nywaigi, Warrgamay, and Bandjin Peoples included turtles in their diet, both marine and freshwater.
The flesh was eaten roasted and the shells were used to make fishhooks.
Kreffts Short-Necked Turtles can survive droughts for months by burrowing underneath the surface into the mud, only to reappear with the first storms of the wet season.
TYTO Observation Tower
Scale the 11 metre Observation Tower for a bird’s eye view of TYTO and beyond. From the observation deck cast your eyes out over the canopies of raintrees and melaleucas, observe the many species that inhabit the main lagoon, follow the rich green cane fields that stretch across alluvia plains to sweeping mountain ranges, or watch the daily hustle and bustle of Ingham. A great photo opportunity for a unique perspective on the region!
Sugar Tracks at TYTO
A journey that brings to life a yesteryear that shaped the great pioneering cane community of Hinchinbrook.
The farm machinery you will discover on display demonstrates an industry as it changed over time from horse to tractor power, and from manual to mechanical processes.
Inanimate as they are, to them still clings the romance of, and nostalgia for, an industry whose activities in the days of the manual cane cutter, woke the Valley each June from the long sleep of the slack into the exhilarating days of the crushing season.
Agile Wallabies at TYTO Parklands
The Agile Wallaby (Macropus Agilis) frequents TYTO Parklands during early morning and late evening feeding on succulent grasses.
They often live in smaller groups of up to 10 individuals but can be seen at TYTO in much larger mobs feeding with their Joeys at foot. With a permanent water source and plenty of open grassy areas to feed upon, they are able to breed all year round. If you take your time and walk through either TYTO Parklands or TYTO Wetlands you may be pleasantly surprised by the abundance of photographic opportunities these normally shy creatures provide.
TYTO Conference and Events Centre
Coupled with its complementary TYTO facilities, The TYTO Conference Centre is ideal for creating conferences and events with an imaginative twist, set in a spectacular natural environment.
With access to incredible break out spaces and activities that cover TYTO’s four core pillars of Art, Culture, Nature, and Knowledge, there is no equivalent within the region.
Bathed in natural light complements of multi-bi-fold glass doors adjoining a Piazza and courtyard; the main Conference and Event Centre overlooks tranquil lagoons speckled with birdlife.
A range of equipment, catering and operational options are available and assist in providing absolute flexibility.
Located on the southern approach to Ingham, the heart of Hinchinbrook, North Queensland, just over an hour’s easy drive from Townsville, we are close enough to be a world away.
From intimate to extravagant TYTO lends itself to shaping a truly unique vision for any event.
TYTO Regional Art Gallery
Marvel at the latest exhibition with the contemporary space showcasing local artisans and craft enthusiasts through an annual program and retail outlet.
This occurs alongside national travelling exhibits. Complementary workshops and activities are presented to the community to champion further creativity and imagination.
Hinchinbrook Shire Library
Nestled within the TYTO precinct, you will find the perfect place to learn, relax, and connect.
Nourish your love of reading while relaxing in our modern library overlooking the beautiful lagoons. Discover local, genealogical and North Queensland military history whilst browsing unique Heritage Collections.
Free computer and Wi-Fi access and a traveller’s library via Tourist Cards are among the many services provided for your convenience.