Gordonvale

Population 4421

Gordonvale is a sugar-milling town just south of Cairns with well-preserved streetscapes, historic buildings and the 922-metre-high Walsh's Pyramid that forms the backdrop to the town. People flock to the mountain in August for a race to the top. The town's less glorious claim to fame is that cane toads were released here in 1935 in an attempt to eradicate sugarcane pests.

Visitor Information

Cnr Bruce Hwy and Munro St, Babinda; (07) 4067 1008.

Nearby national parks

  • Wooroonooran National Park

    Part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Wooroonooran National Park boasts the two highest mountains in Queensland, along with wild...more

  • Crater Lakes National Park

    Part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, this national park surrounds two lakes, Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham. These are volcanic...more

  • Barron Gorge National Park

    One of the state’s most popular places, Barron Gorge National Park offers lush tropical rainforest in a rugged mountain setting of...more

Nearby towns

  • Cairns

    This modern, colourful city is the capital of the Tropical North and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, but was once a service town for...more

  • Yungaburra

    Yungaburra is a historic town on the edge of the Atherton Tableland. Originally a resting spot for miners, it was slow to develop. The...more

  • Babinda

    A small sugar town south of Cairns, Babinda boasts abundant wildlife, secluded swimming holes and untouched rainforest in its surrounds. In...more

In Town

Settlers Museum: with displays and dioramas depicting early pioneer life in the shire. Includes blacksmith's shop, old store and a Chinese display; open 10am–2pm Mon–Sat (closed Dec–Feb); Gordon St.

Nearby

Goldsborough Valley State Forest The lowland rainforest along the Goldsborough Valley is protected here. Walk to the falls along the 1.6 km Kearneys Falls track and learn about the local Aboriginal culture and customs from the informative displays. The 18 km historic Goldfields Trail travels through nearby Wooroonooran National Park to the Boulders near Babinda; 25 km SW via Gillies Hwy.

Mulgrave River: runs next to Gordonvale and is popular for swimming, canoeing, kayaking and bushwalking.

Wooroonooran National Park: waterfalls, walking tracks and Walsh's Pyramid; 10 km S; for the southern sections see Babinda and Millaa Millaa.

Orchid Valley Nursery and Gardens: tours of tropical gardens; 15 km SW.

Cairns Crocodile Farm: crocodiles and other native wildlife with daily tours; around 5 min north on road to Yarrabah.

Fishing spots near town

Trinity Inlet 15 km

The Cairns region offers more than gamefishing. South of the city are rivers like the Russell and Mulgrave; to the north are the Daintree and Mowbray Rivers. Anglers heading inland will find opportunities like the famous... Find out more


Cairns 20 km

Many international game anglers regard Cairns as the game fish capital of the world, with plenty of big black marlin – the Holy Grail of gamefishing. Granders or Julies, call them what you will, these huge female... Find out more


Russell Heads 24 km

Russell Heads is the junction and estuary system of the Russell and Mulgrave Rivers, south of Cairns. I was fishing with Kieran Livingstone who had a Cairns Custom Craft aluminium, a solid boat ideal for river and... Find out more


Lake Tinaroo 24 km

Lake Tinaroo is built across the Barron River Gorge in the Atherton Tablelands; about two hours’ drive from Cairns via Gordonvale and Yungaburra. The lake was the first of Queensland’s impoundments stocked... Find out more


Eco-friendly activities around town

Savannahlander 20 km

This small two- or three-carriage train heads out across the savannah country from Cairns to Forsayth on a four-day round trip, allowing you to get off at towns and see key places, such as Undara, along the way. You can... Find out more


Wildlife experience - Cairns 35 km

Combine several of the Cairns area’s main wildlife attractions into one seamless day out: the Kuranda Scenic Railway, Skyrail, Kuranda Koala Gardens, Birdworld and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. Book through... Find out more


Cheese-tasting 49 km

In the lush highlands of Millaa Millaa, overlooking Mount Bartle Frere, the certified biodynamic Mungalli Creek Dairy has a superb range of organic cheeses and yoghurts for sale and tastings. You can watch the delectable... Find out more


Golf courses around town

Paradise Palms Country Club 37 km

‘Paradise’ is appropriately named. Situated 25 minutes north of Cairns, and just off the Captain Cook Highway, this is a beautiful golf course. The rainforest-covered Great Dividing Range dominates the... Find out more


Breweries around town

Blue Sky Brewery 19 km

After a significant period between drinks, Cairns once again has a working brewery with the opening of Blue Sky Brewery in 2008. Located in the heart of the city, the microbrewery, bar and restaurant complex has six... Find out more


Campsites around town

School Point camping area 19 km

School Point can be reached by 2WD or boat. It has has 8 numbered campsites with a gravel surface. To get here, turn off Danbulla Forest Dr 16 km from the western entrance, or 12 km from the eastern entrance, and follow... Find out more


Kauri Creek camping area 20 km

A great spot for swimming and canoeing, Kauri Creek is 9 km from the western entrance and 19 km from the eastern entrance of Danbulla Forest Dr. Open fires are allowed in fire rings; generators are not permitted.... Find out more


Goldsborough Valley camping area 20 km

This grassy, shady site for self-sufficient campers is on the banks of the Mulgrave River, 25 km south-west of Gordonvale. There are 4 numbered sites for e-permit holders, each with its own alcove. Open fires are... Find out more


Dinden camping area (bush camping) 20 km

A 4WD is advisable for accessing these 6 bush campsites, 5 km along Davies Creek Rd from Davies Creek National Park. It is preferable to visit in the dry season (Apr–Oct). Bring your own water, rubbish bags, and a... Find out more


Downfall Creek camping area 21 km

This campground is 7 km from the western entrance and 21 km from the eastern entrance of the Danbulla Forest Dr. Campers can take the 2.4 km walk through the forest to Kauri Creek. Bring all self-sufficient supplies,... Find out more


Fong-On Bay camping area 22 km

A favourite with waterskiers, this campground is divided into 2 sections with good water access: Bulmba and Gungul. To get here, turn off Danbulla Forest Dr 16.5 km from the western entrance, or 11.5 km from the eastern... Find out more


Platypus camping area 24 km

Platypus campground, 4 km from the western entrance, has 18 numbered sites for small tents, large tents and vans. Open fires are allowed here in the provided fire rings and BBQs (except when fire bans apply); bring your... Find out more


Davies Creek camping area 24 km

Camp beside the creek at this clearing 6 km from the Kennedy Hwy, accessible by conventional vehicles. There are 8 sites with space for 10 campers per site. Bring firewood for the allocated fireplaces, and all... Find out more


High Island camping area (boat-based camping) 25 km

This campground on the north-west side of High Island has space for 14 self-sufficient campers. Open fires and generators are not permitted, so bring a gas/fuel stove.... Find out more


Discovery Holiday Parks – Lake Tinaroo 26 km

Just 150 m from Lake Tinaroo, this caravan park has an excellent range of facilities for a comfortable stay after a day of boating or waterskiing on the lake. Other activities include fishing for barramundi or sooty... Find out more


Caravan parks around town

Big4 Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort 15 km

Enjoy the excellent facilities of this quality park, on the southern approach to the city 7 km from the centre of Cairns. There is a cafe, free minigolf, tennis and aqua aerobics, and the list continues. Bookings are... Find out more


Cairnsvilla and Leisure Park 20 km

The park is 4 km from the centre of Cairns, set in a quiet area with beautiful tropical surrounds. It has very good facilities including a mini-mart and a TV room. It is an ideal park for a holiday.... Find out more


Cairns Sunland Leisure Park 21 km

Located in suburban Cairns, this park is easily accessible and is a good base to spend a few days. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more


BIG4 Cairns Crystal Cascades Holiday Park 21 km

This good quality park is easily accessible and only about 5 km from the centre of Cairns. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more


Cool Waters Holiday Park 23 km

Located in the foothills a few kilometers out of Cairns, this is a quality park with very good facilities. Pets are allowed, but small dogs only. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more


Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park 26 km

This park is located on Tinaroo Dam, 17 km from Atherton. It is popular with anglers who come year round to catch barramundi from the stocked reservoir. The park has good basic facilities. Bookings are required in peak... Find out more


Lake Placid Tourist Park 28 km

This park is about 10 km north-west of Cairns, on the bank of the Barron River. Enjoy the covered barbecue area, and the Skyrail terminal, a major attraction, is nearby. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more


Walkamin Central Van Park 38 km

This is a relatively new owner-operated park adjacent to the Kennedy Highway. There are excellent amenities and a large central building with a camp kitchen and large open fireplace. There is not a lot of shade, but we... Find out more


BIG4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park 39 km

On the outskirts of Atherton, about 2 km from the town centre, this tidy park has large shady trees and makes a good base for a few days while exploring the area. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more


Ellis Beach Oceanfront Bungalows 44 km

This small, absolute beachfront park is 30 km north of Cairns. Ellis Beach was voted the cleanest beach in Queensland and has a patrolled swimming area. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more


Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Rose Gums Wilderness Retreat 25 km

By renting out nine elegant eco-accredited treehouses (near Malanda), the owners have funded a massive weed-clearing and revegetation program – including planting 20 000 trees – on their 92-hectare property,... Find out more


The Canopy, near Malanda 38 km

Located at Tarzali, this place comprises six beautiful glass and timber treehouses set in 40 hectares of rainforest that has never been logged, with Lumholtz tree-kangaroos creeping around, green ringtail possums,... Find out more


Possum Valley Rainforest Cottages 51 km

Near Millaa Millaa, the two secluded bush cabins here, on 62 hectares of bushland and rainforest, can sleep up to eight people each, and are completely powered by solar technology and a small water turbine in Possum... Find out more


Rest areas around town

Gordonvale park area 1 km

33km N of Babinda (R) or 27km S of Cairns (L)

Just off the highway at the Mulgrave River.


The Boulders camping area 28 km

T/O at Babinda

Small campground located 6km west of the highway via the main street. Near a picnic area in the rainforest. Limited sites.


Babinda rest area 32 km

T/O at Babinda

Secluded area on a riverbank located 500m south-east of the highway via the old Bruce Hwy.


Bramston Beach camping area 38 km

At Bramston Beach

Idyllic foreshore campground situated 17km east of the highway.


Fred Drew rest area 51 km

4km N of Innisfail (L) or 26km S of Babinda (R)

Just off the road at the junction with the Palmerston Hwy.


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