The City of Townsville North Queensland sits snugly inside Cape Cleveland, in the lee of Magnetic Island Australia. We were both born in Townsville and until a year ago it was our home base. Townsville gets 320 days of sunshine a year and has an enviable outdoor lifestyle. We loved that we could go fishing, snorkelling and boating locally, but then escape for the week-end or longer by driving north from Townsville to Lucinda.
If you love the outdoors life there are so many fun things to do around Lucinda.
I guess we’ve driven from Townsville to Lucinda at least 150 times and never tire of it. It you are driving north of Lucinda you can read about Cardwell, the next village up the coast here.
Read about more fun things to do in Townsville here.
What You Will Find in This Post
Ten Reasons to drive north from Townsville to Lucinda.
1.Pineapple Farms near Rollingstone
Are you a Pineapple lover?
Pineapples are one of three major crops grown in North Queensland.
The best pineapples in the world grow 54 km north of Townsville near Rollingstone plus there is Sugar Cane and Bananas.
Yep life is sweet up here.
The crimson tops of the pineapple plants when viewed en-masse are impressive, but the close up shot above shows the pineapples growing on stalks from the plant.
Best of all, they can be purchased at the Rollingstone Service Station on the northern side of the highway bridge. You will find them stacked in wooden crates at the front door and you can choose your own. A whole world of juicy sunshine for just $3.50. If you don’t like pineapples yourself, buy one as a present for someone who does.
Choose one that smells like a pineapple (who would’ve guessed) doesn’t have any brown soft indentations on the outside and whose middle leaf falls away in your hand when you suspend the pineapple from it.
Nothing says North Queensland like a juicy sweet pineapple.
Unless it’s a Mango!
2.Frosty Mango North Queensland
Need I say more?
Break your journey here because… they make gelato from tropical fruit.
Take a walk though the orchard out the back and try identifying the weird and wonderful fruits growing there. The Cafe is a great place to stop – use the loo, stretch your legs, grab a coffee and get your gelato fix. Chiller packs can be purchased for a tub purchase take away.
And there are a couple of cute lawn mower ponies on site too.
3.Tyto Wetlands at Ingham
The stepping off point for Lucinda is at two points north of the town of Ingham, but 500m on the southern side of town is the Tyto Information and Wetlands Centre. Named after the endangered Eastern Grass Owl it’s 120 hectares is home to 240 bird species.
Walk through the wetlands on an elevated walkway – the birdsong is real – there is an on-site cafe overlooking a real Australian billabong – a great place to watch the waterfowls and ducks.
4.Lees Hotel – The Pub with No Beer – Ingham
Lees Hotel in Ingham claims the title of The Pub with No Beer, about which a poem was written and subsequently sung and made famous by Australian singer Slim Dusty.
To find Lees Hotel look for the horse and rider on the roof as you drive into town from the south.
p.s. – they do have beer.
5.The Longest Service Jetty in the Southern Hemisphere
Anchor beside it or take photographs from the shore. We often moor beside the jetty when fishing and I always feel safe beside it, even though we’re 5.76km out to sea.
Or maybe you will pass it by on your way to Orpheus Island – the deep water channel leads from Dungeness alongside the jetty and beyond to the islands of the Palm Group. Unfortunately this bulk sugar loading facility is not open to the public.
The best time to fish Lucinda jetty is when there is not too much run in the tide, because it rips through the Hinchinbrook Channel. We suggest one hour either side of the change of tide for fishing.
6.Orpheus and Pelorus Islands
The Islands here form part of the Great Barrier Reef and have beautiful fringing reefs to explore.
At Orpheus you can stay in luxury at The Orpheus Island Resort.
There are camping options too at Yanks Jetty on Orpheus Island and Pelorus Island – read more about them in our post on Snorkelling and fishing at Orpheus and Pelorus Islands.
Yanks Jetty, Orpheus Island
7.Hinchinbrook Island and the Thorsborne Track
Hinchinbrook Island dominates the sea and landscape from Lucinda north to Cardwell – some 60km by road. Quite often it wears a crown of cloud on it’s highest peaks and is so dominant that it is often mistaken for a mainland mountain range. Fishing and charter boats, house boats, the Coral Princess and more use the channel between the mainland and the island.
At low tide sand bars are either exposed or just beneath the water at the mouth of Dungeness Creek and caution should be exercised entering and leaving the creek.
Beware: This is crocodile Country.
Hinchinbrook is home to the 32 kilometre Thorsborne Hiking Trail, along the east coast of the island. The Reef and Rainforest Information Centre will help you plan your trip. There is a link to them on this Queensland Government site.
Our friends have just completed the hike over a period of four days/three nights which they said made for an enjoyable hike. Any less time and it could have become hard work. You will need to carry everything with you including camping equipment.
There were two waterfalls to cool off in even though it is currently the dry season. Boat transfers are available from either Dungeness or Cardwell depending on whether the track is walked north to south or the reverse.
8.Fishing at Lucinda and the Hinchinbrook Channel
Lucinda has always been a fishing destination. Grey Nomads – caravaners who migrate from the south of Australia for the winter – descend upon Wanderers Holiday Village each year and they nearly all have a tinny atop their 4WD. Favourite fishing spots are a closely guarded secret, but there are enough nooks and crannies on both sides of the channel for everyone.
My favourite shellfish and a North Queensland speciality, so called Muddies are more prevalent after the wet season has flushed the creeks out.
There is a closed season on Barramundi fishing in coastal areas of Queensland from midday 1 November to midday 1 February to protect the fish during spawning.
Other great table fish like Mangrove Jack, Fingermark, Grunter (Javelin), Estuary Cod, Trevally and Mackeral can be fished year round with attention to fish and catch size.
The mangrove creeks are also salt water crocodile habitat, so it is advisable to stay in your boat at all times. Although an exposed mud bank might look like an appealing place to source bait from, a croc could easily be concealed in the shallow muddy water looking for his next meal.
9. Lucinda Accommodation
Rent a Lucinda Holiday Home or stay at Lucinda Caravan Park or stay at Dungeness
For a relaxed off the grid beach holiday Lucinda is hard to beat. We’ve rented flats and houses on several occasions through Ray White Ingham. A couple of weeks of total relaxation by the beach is the best way I know to thoroughly de-stress. This is a great option for a fishing holiday as there will most likely be a large fridge/freezer available in the accommodation.
The Lucinda Caravan Park (Wanderers Holiday Village) has a pool, units and is popular with caravanners. Beach, park, jetty, corner shop and Lucinda Point Hotel are all within easy walking distance of the park.
Lucinda Hotel otherwise known as Port of Call has basic holiday accommodation.
Lucinda beaches are groomed by beach-combers. The ocean front beaches have an endless supply of shells, washed up coral, driftwood and even occasional bottles – be sure to check for messages.
A long walk along an untamed beach is a great way to re-connect with nature and yourself.
Dungeness Boat Ramp is located 2 km from Lucinda township. There are several accommodation choices available here through Booking.com. They are located near the water and some have facilities to moor your boat.
10.Visit Broadwater Park for a fresh water swim, BBQ and walk
Camping, swimming, walking and day visiting at Broadwater in Girringun National Park. One access west and one access north from Ingham.
This photo was taken in the dry season. The waterholes are wider, deeper and faster flowing after rain. Pack for a BBQ lunch and make sure you take the boardwalk to check out the big fig tree.
How to get from Ingham to Lucinda, North Queensland.
There are two routes from Ingham to Lucinda, both via Halifax.
The Cordelia route (grey) is the more scenic of the two, using minor roads through the cane fields, where tables sprouting produce like pumpkins, tomatoes, zucchini, limes and paw paws appear seasonally in the front yards of local homes. These stalls use the money in a jar honesty system.
The Bemerside route (blue) follows the Bruce Highway north over the Herbert River before turning right at 9.8 km to Bemerside and Halifax via Fulton Drive and Farrell Drive. The directions from Halifax to Lucinda are the same on both routes. This route takes the same amount of time but has more straight and level stretches than the Cordelia one, with more time being spent on the highway.
Skippos Fruit Shed is after the Herbert River and before the turn-off to Bemerside.
Skippo’s is a well stocked source of locally made jams, chutneys and sauces as well as locally grown watermelon, pineapple (from Rollingstone), passionfruit, pumpkins, paw-paws and tomatoes, as well as more mundane fare. Skippo himself is super friendly and loves to chat!
Update July 2020. Skippo’s is currently closed probably due to Covid 19 but may reopen soon.
Open 7 days/week.
Warning: The fruit from here is delicious. Repeat visits may be called for.
Cane Trains criss-cross the area collecting cane from the farms and delivering it to the Mills. This shot was taken in Ingham.
Do you have a local holiday destination to escape to from your hometown?
This post is linked to Nancie’s Travel Photo Thursday over at Budget Travelers Sandbox.
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