'Unlock the North' Road Trip - Hinchinbrook Ecotourism

Recently Townsville Enterprise travelled north to the beautiful Hinchinbrook region to visit Dungeness, Hinchinbrook Island and Wallaman Falls. This area truly is nature's playground and is bursting with potential for nature-based tourism experiences. 

Townsville North Queensland region is world leading in experiences centered around fishing, wildlife and hiking (read more). As we rebuild from impacts of COVID-19, there is a significant opportunity to leverage our destination’s strengths to help the tourism sector to recover, a sector which is critical to the fabric of our community and one which supports 37,000 jobs across North Queensland.  Demand for ecotourism experiences are only anticipated to grow and the time to invest in our tourism products and experiences is now. 

Dungeness Marine Access

The region’s closest access point to the Great Barrier Reef is the Dungeness Enterprise Channel located in Lucinda, North Queensland. From Dungeness it is a short 20 minute boat transfer to Hinchinbrook Island or a 90 minute transfer to outer Great Barrier Reef (approximately 30 minutes less than Townsville). Currently, Dungeness’ access is dependent on tides and the limited infrastructure poses significant limitations and safety concerns.

Hinchinbrook Shire Council (HSC) is proposing to undertake capital and maintenance dredging at the site as well as construction of a rock-amoured wall at the channel entrance. This would improve access to the Dungeness Enterprise Channel, providing an enhanced visitor experience but also enabling growth in the marine tourism sector.

The project requires $5M in funding.  
Paluma to Wallaman Trail

Hiking and mountain biking is a key growth segment within the tourism industry. Iconic trails from across Australia and New Zealand such as the Overland Track, Great Ocean Walk and Milford Sound Track attract thousands of high value visitors annually, injecting millions in economic value and placing regional destinations on the map for tourists from across the globe.

A potential trail has been proposed from Paluma to Wallaman Falls. The 125km trail would be experienced over approximately 7 days/6 nights. This trail not only offers world-class scenery and landscapes but would provide visitors a spiritual and immersive experience travelling in the footsteps of ancient Indigenous tribes. 

Following a concept plan which was funded and supported by the Townsville City Council, Hinchinbrook Shire Council and Charters Towers Regional Council, The State Government is currently working towards a full business case for this project. A funding commitment to the capital works and fast-tracking the delivery of this business case is the next opportunity. 

Message from our Director of Visitor Economy and Marketing, Lisa Woolfe

We have a small window of opportunity to expedite North Queensland’s tourism recovery by leveraging our outdoor attractions, building awareness of the destination, and growing our product offering. Townsville Enterprise released a tourism strategy last year which identified new ecotourism experiences as a key priority for the industry. Projects that our councils are driving like the Paluma to Wallaman Trail and Dungeness will be key to realising this vision and unlocking the true tourism potential of our region.

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