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Cassowary Coast - Regional trail

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Photo of a place on Cassowary Coast - Regional trail

Cardwell was established as a northern port for inland cattle stations in 1864. The Dalrymple Track, about 15km south of Cardwell was built to access the ‘Valley of the Lagoons’ station. It is now a popular walking trail and includes an 1860s stone bridge. The Port of Cardwell developed to include a pilot’s quarters, police barracks, lock-up, courthouse, customs house, lands office and a telegraph station. By 1884, Cardwell was the centre of local government for the area. The Divisional Board Hall, courthouse and the post office now form the Bush Telegraph Heritage Centre.

Further north, the Tully area was cleared by Chinese banana farmers in the early twentieth century and banana and sugar cultivation dominated. In 1924, Tully was surveyed, the railway was completed from the south and a sugar mill was built. Ironically the sugar mill is currently owned by a Chinese company. Two significant Tully buildings resulted from the Government’s public works building program during the Great Depression; the 1938 Tully State School and the 1941 Tully Courthouse.

About 25km north of Tully, detour through Silkwood and north to Mena Creek where you will find Paronella Park. Jose Paronella sought to build a palace for his fiancé in the early 1930s. It was modelled on the Alcazar in Seville. The attraction was a popular place of recreation during the war for American and Australian servicemen who were training on the Atherton Tablelands.

Another 10km to the north, Innisfail was originally known as Geraldton. This township was almost wiped out by a cyclone in 1918. The town was rebuilt in concrete and is now known as the Art Deco capital of North Queensland. The 1938 Johnstone Shire Hall is a prime example. Also of interest is the remarkable Lit Sun Goong Chinese Temple in Owen Street, reflecting the contribution of the Chinese community to the development of Innisfail.


Listing 14 places within this trail.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023