RAVENSHOE TO MOUNT GARNET


Also known as the Cairns Highlands, this area boasts prolific birdlife, wildlife and a range of attractions that cannot be found anywhere else in Tropical North Queensland. From Ravenshoe to Mount Garnet, the region is dotted with tiny settlements the visitor will find very appealling and extremely interesting.

RAVENSHOE

Ravenshoe, at 930 metres above sea level, is the highest town in Queensland, beating Herberton by just 15 metres! The town nestles in a region of mountain pastures and lush World Heritage listed rainforest. The road north of the town, leading to Herberton, is the highest declared road in Queensland at 1,143 metres. Ravenshoe is at the crossroads of the Atherton Tablelands and the Savannah lands of the Northern Outback, and is a significant stopover for travellers, either passing through by road or hiking the Misty Mountain Trails.

Windmill Farm, located very close to Ravenshoe, in the Cairns Highlands.If driving from Millaa Millaa, you will have a hard time not noticing the massive wind generators about five kilometres before you reach Ravenshoe. There are over twenty of them, each 46 metres high, with blades 22 metres long. As you drive over the rolling hills, it is a spectacular sight to behold and has become a popular tourist attraction. The windmills were built to provide the district with an alternate, environmentally friendly power supply. The site is located on (of course) Windy Hill, and in fact, the huge amount of power generated by the 'wind farm' not only supplies local residents, but the excess is sold to electricty companies to earn income for the town. Trivia buffs among you may be interested to know that on a particularly windy day, the blades can spin at almost 100 metres per second at the tips.

Unlike other towns in the area, Ravenshoe's history was not based around mining, but forestry. In 1881, at about the same time as other regions of the Atherton Tablelands were being explored for their precious deposits of gold and tin, vast stands of cedar were discovered around what is now Ravenshoe. The first sawmill was built in 1899 but the town remained relatively undeveloped until the railway was extended from the coast to nearby Millaa Millaa in 1910. Bullock teams could then be used to haul the high quality rainforest timbers from Ravensoe sawmills to the railhead, bound for markets around Australia and overseas.

The area continued to rely on timber for its survival for 70 years, and it was understandable that the locals protested when the government nominated almost a million hectares of rainforest around Ravenshoe for World Heritage Listing in 1987. Almost 20 percent of this area had previously been designated for timber production. Initial fears were that Ravenshoe would decline in the same way as so many mining towns had, once their precious deposits were exhausted. But the town has managed to reinvent itself, and the older buildings have been well maintained, with attractive gardens. Ravenshoe now has a reputation for attracting creative, artistic residents, and there are many interesting craft shops in the town, along with a high quality art gallery. And the good news is that the pristine Ravenshoe forests have been preserved as a unique attraction for visitors.

The soothing warm waters of Innot Hot Springs, near Ravenshoe, in the Atherton Tablelands.The soothing warm waters of Innot Hot Springs, near Ravenshoe, in the Atherton Tablelands.The forests are popular with bushwalkers and birdwatchers, and there are a number of great walking tracks signed. To the south of Ravenshoe, 25 kilometres along an unsealed road, you will find a magnificent view of Tully Gorge, and Tully Falls. Along the Kennedy Highway which leads to Mount Garnet, are the Millstream Falls, a spectacular sight especially during the wet season, when it becomes the widest waterfall in Australia. A great spot for a refreshing swim.

On the way to Mount Garnet, you will come across Innot Hot Springs, at the edge of the Northern Outback. The village is set on Nettle Creek, and legend has it that the water from the source of the natural mineral springs have beneficial effects on the weary traveller. In fact, during the 1800's, the mineral water was bottled and sent to Europe for use in medicinal purposes. Mules hauled the water over the Cardwell Range all the way to Townsville, where it was bottled at the Innot Cordial Factory.

Hot Spring Village offers visitors seven different pools, each of them with different temperatures, and several other spas to benefit from the healthy properties of the hot springs.

MOUNT GARNET

Mount Garnet is an old mining town, initially relying on its deposits of copper. After just a few years, the world copper price plummeted, and the mining company pulled out of Mount Garnet. But the miners stayed, and built a thriving industry excavating tin.

These days, attention has turned to zinc and silica, which are extracted just outside the town. The area around Mount Garnet is still renowned as a worthwhile location for gold prospectors and gem collectors. The town is a good base to explore the Mount Gibson topaz fossicking area, five kilometres northwest of Innot Hot Springs. Don't forget a fossicking licence is required. Licences can be obtained at the Mobil Store/Hot Springs Health Waters, in Innot Hot Springs.

The Wurruma Swamp, just east of Mount Garnet, is one of the wonders of the area, and is a favourite with birdwatchers. At certain times of the year the swamp is home to literally thousands of black swans.

Continuing west from Mount Garnet for approximately 1.5 hours, the Kennedy Highway will bring you to the amazing Undara Lava tubes, near Mount Surprise. This is truly one of the region's prehistoric treasures, the largest and longest lava tube system on the planet, with a lava field that extended up to 160 kilometres from the crater. For more details of that spectacular destination, please visit our Cairns Unlimited UNDARA page.

ATTRACTIONS AND THINGS TO DO - RAVENSHOE TO MOUNT GARNET


CHILVERTON DAY SPA AND RESTAURANT
12028 Kennedy Highway, Evelyn (by appointment only)
Phone (07) 4097 6785
www.chilvertoncottages.com.au/day-spa

Relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul!

Whether you are enjoying your treatments with friends or just spoiling yourself with a well-deserved treat, you will find that this is the place to totally unwind and gather your thoughts, de-stress your mind and re-energise your weary body.

All occasions are catered for; hen's parties, birthday treats, anniversary gifts or just that total escape from reality that you so deserve. We can tailor a package that will suit your needs, or you can choose just one of the treatments.

Indulge yourself by taking time out for you. Be pampered in the Chilverton Cottages, Restaurant and Day Spa. Relax, unwind and enjoy the benefits of a sauna visit, foot detox, foot spa, clay wrap or massage plus a healthy lunch.
WILD WATCH
Ravenshoe
Phone (07) 4097 7408 / Mobile 0429 438 064
website link coming soon!

Bird Watching, Wildlife and Photography Tours!

Born in England, Jonathan has extensive experience leading bird watching, wildlife, photography and rainforest excursions. Since 1987 he has led over 3600 excursions in the Tropical North Queensland region and Australia-wide.

Wild Watch offers the visitor an unparalleled opportunity to observe some of Tropical North Queensland's unique wildlife in a diversity of habitats. With tours spanning elevations from coral cays within the Great Barrier Reef to highland tropical rainforest at over 1000 metres elevation.

This exceptional diversity of environments encompasses lowland, foothills, upland and highland rainforests, tall wet sclerophyll forest, dry sclerophyll forest, savannah, extensive wetlands, arable lands, mangroves, mudflats, inter-tidal zone and coral cays.

Of particular interest are the World Heritage listed rainforests which are considered to be one of the most ecologically rich and evolutionary significant sites in the world.


HISTORICAL SITES

RAVENSHOE VISITORS CENTRE AND NGANYAJI INTERPRETIVE CENTRE
24 Moore Street, Phone / Fax (07) 4097 7700.
The Ravenshoe Visitors centre and Nganyaji Interpretive Centre provide a valuable insight into the pre and post European history of the area. The Nganyaji (meaning 'all of us together') Centre showcases the traditional lifestyle of the local Jirrbal tribe, featuring displays of their rainforest villages, hunting and gathering practices, community life and culture. Entry is free.

A view of the Wind Hill, east of Ravenshoe, in the Atherton Tablelands.WIND FARM
The 'Windy Hill' windfarm provides a clean energy solution to 3500 homes in the region, and the 40 metre high windmills make for quite a sight against the backdrop of rolling green hills. Wind Hill, located around three kilometres from Ravenshoe, is Queensland's largest wind farm, with 20 windmill working at all times. Windy Hill has a free public viewing area and carpark.

NATURAL SITES

WATERFALLS
Besides the popular Millstream Falls and Tully Falls, which belong to the popular Waterfall Circuit, visitors will also enjoy:

LITTLE MILLSTREAM FALLS
Little Millstream Falls are a delightful series of falls cascading into a small lagoon. Approx half hour walk each way. From Ravenshoe, go to Tully Falls Road, turn onto Wooroora Road 1.25 kilometers on the right.

PEPINA FALLS
To get to Pepina Falls just follow signs from Old Palmerston Highway between Ravenshoe and Millaa Millaa. They are a good spot to see a platypus, mostly early morning and late afternoon.

SOUITA FALLS
To get to Souita Falls, from Old Palmerston Highway Ravenshoe to Millaa Millaa turn onto Middlebrook Road. The falls are fantastic for birdwatching and platypus spotting in the pool at the base of the falls.

LAKE KOOMBOOLOOMBA
At the end of Tully falls Road is Lake Koombooloomba, a hydro-electric water storage facilities which doubles as a recreational area for fishing and watersports. There is good barramundi fishing in the dam all year, and you can camp, swim and fish in the peace and quiet of the forest.

FORTY MILE SCRUB NATIONAL PARK
This is one of the few inland dry rainforest remnants in north Queensland. Camping is not permitted, but it's a pleasant spot for a picnic or a short walk. Toilet facilities and sheltered picnic tables are provided in the day use area beside the Kennedy Highway. For more information about this park, please visit our TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND'S NATIONAL PARKS page.

UNDARA VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK
The Undara Volcano is just one of over 160 volcanoes, vents and cones within the McBride volcanic province. Undara is significant because of the huge lava flow that formed the largest and longest lava tube system on the planet. The lava field extends 90 kilometres to the north and 160 kilometres to the north-west of the crater! Guided tours of the caves are available, and accommodation is in the nearby Lava Lodge, your choice of luxuriously renovated vintage railway carriages, on-site tents, or campsites. For more information about this park, please visit our UNDARA page.

Millstream Falls, on the Atherton Tablelands, are Australia's widest single-drop waterfall.MILLSTREAM FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Millstream Falls is reputedly Australia's widest single-drop waterfall. The park is an open forest of towering bloodwoods and stringybark trees, and is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Toilets, a shelter shed, picnic tables, wood barbecues and tank water are provided. Camping is not allowed in the park. For more information about this park, please visit our TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND'S NATIONAL PARKS page.

MARKETS

The Ravenshoe Markets happen every fourth Sunday of the month, between 8:00am and 12:00pm. Between 30 and 40, some of them undercover, stalls offer local produce, arts and crafts and trash and treasure. You may have the opportunity to see fun and entertaining buskers and find a really good bargain in one of the second hand shops located only a short walk from the market. The markets are located in the Railway Station, Grigg Street.

EVENTS

TORIMBA FESTIVAL
Among lots of events, this huge celebration for Ravenshoe includes 'Festival of the Forest', a renowned competitive exhibition of timber crafts and the multiple uses native timber, a festival that draws competitors and visitors from all over Australia. Other events included in this festival are the 'Torimba Market & Mardi Grass' and the 'Torimba Ball', with non-stop music from 7:00pm onwards. The ball takes place at the Town Hall and it is there where the Festival Queen will be crowned.

ACCOMMODATION - RAVENSHOE TO MOUNT GARNET

Ravenshoe accommodation offers a number of choices, but once you pass Innot Hot Springs to the west, your lodging options are limited. In Ravenshoe, the visitor will find traditional pub style accommodation as well a number of bed and breakfast homestays, and self contained cottages. Innot Hot Springs and Ravenshoe both offer budget motel accommodation and a caravan parks with cabins or units. Scroll down or use the buttons on the right to choose your style of Ravenshoe holiday accommodation.

PUBS


INNOT HOT SPRING HOTEL MOTEL
Kennedy Highway, Innot Hot Springs
Phone / Fax (07) 4097 0203
Drop in and enjoy a beer in the friendly and relaxing atmosphere, and take in some history of a bygone era.

MOUNT GARNET HOTEL
Lot 5 Garnet Street, Mount Garnet
Phone (07) 4097 9210
Mount Garnet Hotel offers 14 traditional pub style rooms consisting of single, double, twin and a dormitory which sleeps up to five. The hotel also has two double and two single air conditioned rooms, all at budget prices.

HOTEL TULLY FALLS
34 Grigg Street, Ravenshoe
Phone (07) 4097 6136 / Fax (07) 4097 7111


MOTELS

KOOL MOON MOTEL
6 Moore Street, Ravenshoe
Phone (07) 4097 6407 / Fax (07) 4097 6427


 HOLIDAY APARTMENTS


BED AND BREAKFASTS AND FARMSTAYS


CHILVERTON COTTAGES RESTAURANT AND DAY SPA
12028 Kennedy Highway, Ravenshoe
Phone / Fax (07) 4097 6785
Chilverton Cottages and Fine Dining's two fully self contained cottages are surrounded by Rose Gum (Eucalyptus grandis) forest and are set on the banks of the beautiful Millstream.

THE POND COTTAGE B&B
844 Tully Falls Road, Ravenshoe
Phone (07) 4097 7189 / Fax (07) 4097 7585
Secluded fully self contained cottage nestled among acres of plantation timber, overlooking a wide tree-fern lined pond. Heated spa pool on the verandah overlooking the waterway.

POSSUM VALLEY RAINFOREST COTTAGES
Evelyn Central via Ravenshoe
Phone (07) 40978177 / Fax (07) 40978177
Two self contained cottages in a truly secluded location, five kilometres from the nearest neighbour. Private bathrooms, barbecues, rainforest walks and swimming hole. Electricity is solar and hydro generated.

Tragically, the "Old Convent Bed and Breakfast" burnt down in March 2009.


CARAVAN PARKS AND CAMPGROUNDS

HOT SPRINGS HEALTH WATERS
Kennedy Highway, Innot Hot Springs
Phone (07) 4097 0136
Stop and relax, soak in the therapeutic minerals waters of the spa pool or in one or more of the six pools available, all filled with the natural mineral waters from the Hot Spring in Nettle Creek.

TALL TIMBERS MOTEL AND CARAVAN PARK
Kennedy Highway, Ravenshoe
Phone (07) 4097 6325