Swimming at Paradise Lagoon Townsville is North Queensland’s version of swimming in Paradise. Paradise Lagoon is a fresh waterhole in Big Crystal Creek at the base of the Paluma range.
How to get to Big Crystal Creek Townsville
Then follow the Bruce Highway north from Townsville or South from Ingham and turn off at the Frosty Mango. Paradise Waterhole is a deep long pool situated in Big Crystal Creek.
We like to swim in Paradise on Australia Day, the 25th January, but this year we were a little early.
Follow the signs for a bit of dirt road action.
We are north of Rollingstone here, and as far as I am concerned that is the southern extremity of the Wet Tropics area of North Queensland. Cardwell is generally considered that point, but Townsville’s wet season weather report always says “scattered showers north of Rollingstone”. It is quite a wet area and a popular place to grow pineapples and mangoes. Once off the Bruce Highway and tearing along the dirt toward Paradise we passed Mango farms with plump fruit that dangled temptingly.
Shortly after passing the mango and lychee farm we arrive to a full carpark and make our way through the picnic area toward the waterhole. Some families have scored the picnic tables while others came prepared with rugs and erected tarpaulins as tents – you never know when it will rain and the sun is strong.
When to visit Crystal Creek Townsville
At this time of year – the “Wet Season” – the water should be rushing through – creating a current and cleaning the moss from the rocks.
On this visit there was a steady trickle flowing through the lagoon keeping it fresh but the water had a definite green tinge. The water tumbled down from the cool rainforest of the Paluma Range, crashing over huge slippery boulders on it’s way to the flat coastal plain. Even down here on the coast the creek is known for it’s freezing cold water, but on Boxing Day it was cool enough to be refreshing but lacked the chill factor. The sticky hot weather and ominous clouds were full of the (unfulfilled) promise of rain. The clouds were preferable though, to the bursts of sunlight which made us boil.
Even at the low levels, the water was deep enough to be able to jump safely from the rocks into the deepest hole. We spotted fish to 30cm long and I know from experience that at night curious eels come out from their watery hiding holes amongst the rocks.
We intend to come back here when we take delivery of our Caravan in February and stay once again in the campground. After 5 p.m. when the lagoon is deserted, we will don our bathers grab a cold drink and set up waterside.
The quiet of the Australian bush + a twilight swim = Paradise.
Looking upstream toward Mt. Spec and the Paluma Range.
Looking downstream where rapids eventually lead beneath the highway, via random swimming holes to the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef.
Didn’t Bring a Chair? No Worries, just pull up a piece of rock.
The downstream extremity of the waterhole.
From here the creek reverts to rapids.
Little Crystal Creek Townsville
The road continues on up the Paluma Range to Mt. Spec. En-route is another swimming hole called Little Crystal Creek. You can read about it here.
Paradise Lagoon at Big Crystal Creek is one of our reasons to drive north from Townsville to Lucinda.
Glass containers are not allowed at the waterhole.
There are free BBQ’s, flushing toilets and cold showers on site.
Bring an esky (Cooler) with food and drinks (plastic or aluminium containers), hat, towel, sunscreen and insect repellent.
Pack a camera to capture the Kookaburras and Giant Monitor Lizards that frequent the picnic grounds.
The swimming hole is deep and flotation devices are popular with families.
A camping ground adjoins the day area and shared amenities block.
This LINK has information for bookings.
Paradise Waterhole is 45 minutes north of Townsville.
2km further along the road are the rock slides. A trip to the slides involves a 15 minute walk and it is wise to bring old shorts to wear over your bathers.