Cardwell Forest Drive - Naturally Fed Spa Pools and Rainforest

Freshwater Swimming in the Girringun National Park
Explore this amazing slice of paradise and marvel at the ancient rainforest

Located in the Girringun National Park, Cardwell Forest Drive is 26km of scenic loops featuring this natural fed spa pool, swimming holes and waterfalls with great picnic spots. 

The Cardwell Forest Drive is a must-do drive! Surround yourself with forest, waterfalls and swimming holes, and experience everything that this area has to offer.

The Cardwell Forest Drive is roughly a 1-2 hour drive, including all stops. The trip starts at the state forest behind Cardwell. You can drive through pine plantations to the Cardwell lookout for an amazing view out to Hinchinbrook, Goold, Garden and the Family Group Islands. And additional 1.60km return walk yields magnificent views of the Hinchinbrook Channel.

Continuing along the forest drive and Attie Creek, where you’ll find picnic facilities with a shady swimming hole nearby that is suitable for youngsters. If you’re up for it, take the 15 minute walk up to the 25-metre falls at Attie Creek. Make sure you pack your walking shoes!

Next stop from Attie Creek is Dead Horse Creek, where you’ll also find picnic areas. Walk up the Creek for a few minutes, and you’ll come to the first of many pools, which are perfect for swimming. Continuing along, and the creek bed becomes steeper and more spectacular.

The picnic area and stop on the drive is the Spa Pool. The rock pool is easily accessed. The Spa itself is a natural depression in the creek bed that causes the water to bubble and swirl like a jacuzzi.

All of the swimming holes along the Cardwell Forest Drive are crocodile, shark and stinger-free, but be careful of the slippery and submerged rocks, as they may be hazardous.

How to get here (MAP)

Cardwell Spa Pools
Photo by yagutakaa