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Published April 29th 2021
On Mount Spec Rd is Little Crystal Creek, a beautiful creek with clear waters running under a heritage-listed stone arch bridge built in the 1930s.
Little Crystal Creek Bridge over Little Crystal Creek. There are stairs to access the creek. Photo by Author.
The Nywaigi Aboriginal people welcome you to their country and ask that your respect and enjoy the place. Little Crystal Creek is a very popular spot for visitors and locals. The pristine waters are very inviting, especially on hot days. Little Crystal Creek is a favourite destination for residents of the City of Townsville.
The sign indicating Little Crystal Creek. Photo by Author.
Little Crystal Creek is part of the Mount Spec section of Paluma Range National park - the southern gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Here, eucalypts of the open forest give way to hoop pines which line the creek on the rainforest margin.
Look for the Ulysses butterfly fluttering high in the rainforest canopy, their brilliant blue wings conspicuous against the dark green of the rainforest foliage. Kingfishers perch high in the treetops, darting down to swoop on large insects or small lizards, their next meal.
A loud 'y-a-a-a-ss' signals the arrival of a Victoria's riflebird. Known for its elaborate attempts to attract a female, the male bird fans its wings and tilts its head back to show off its bright plumage. - from the board.
The road and the bridge were constructed between 1930 -1936 under the Unemployment Relief Scheme during the Great Depression.
Two bob a day
Little Crystal Creek bridge took two years to be completed. Stone from the surrounding landscapes was used and evidence of drill holes can be seen in the rock behind you. Using hand drills and sledges, a hole was made to plant dynamite and the rock was blasted away. Today, Little crystal Creek bridge is reportedly the only concrete, arch road bridge in Queensland that remains in service.
A venture to provide work for the unemployed during the great depression of the 1930s, the 18 km road and bridge were built in the era of hand tools. Two tractors, a few trucks and two air compressors were initially the only mechanical aids. For two bob a day and with two men per tent, employment lasted six weeks for single men, 10 weeks if married. The main campsite for the workers was located where the carpark currently lies. - from the board
The historic bridge, Little Crystal Creek and day use area make this spot a great day out. There is an ample carpark to accommodate many cars.
The construction of Little Crystal Creek Bridge in 1930. The creek was called Salty Creek, it was changed later in Little Crystal Creek. Photo fromhttps://apps.des.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/explorer/detail/?id=602652
Tin was discovered in 1875 west of Paluma and it was then necessary to have a good access road, not only for the tin miners but also for visitors to the ranges, as the scenic beauty and temperate climate of the Paluma Range had been noted since the early 1900s.
An aspect of Little Crystal Creek. Photo by Author.
A sanatorium was established in the ranges. Public interest in mountain retreats had endured from colonial times, when the summer's heat was to be avoided and recuperation at higher, cooler altitudes was prescribed for diseases such as tuberculosis, a trend which continued during World War II, when patients of the disease were still privately recuperating in Paluma.
The creek forms multiple cascades along the rocks. Photo by Author.