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Little Crystal Creek and Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma Area

Home > Queensland > Escape the City | Outdoor | Places of Interest | Walks
by Cris (subscribe)
I am an Organiser of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More on Meetup. Visit the website at https://www.meetup.com/HikingInSEQLDandMore/ is free to join all the activities posted on the hiking group.
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, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
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.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
The sign indicating Little Crystal Creek. Photo by Author.


There is an informative signboard nearby the bridge.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
The board provides historical information, a map and information about safety. Photo by Author.


The creek is easily accessible by stairs and it is located about 18 minutes and 11 km from Paluma Village. The narrow and winding road is scenic but requires care when driving.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
There are many sets of stairs to access the pools and the creek below. Photo by Author.


Meet the locals

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.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
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


Mount Spec Rd is heritage listed from Mutarnee to Paluma. The bridge built over Little Crystal Creek is also heritage listed and provides access to Paluma Village and Paluma Range National Park.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
An awesome natural rock pool to cool down and relax. Photo by Author.


Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
Little Crystal Creek cascading over the rocks. Photo by Author.


Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners, Day use area at Little Crystal Creek,
A beautiful spot to stop, have a swim and a picnic. Photo by Author.


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.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
An aspect of Little Crystal Creek. Photo by Author.


Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
There are trees with fruits along the creek. Photo by Author.


Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
Beautiful flowers. Photo by Author.


The Paluma Range area was promoted for tourism and as a health resort from as early as 1902, when a correspondent from the North Queensland Herald visited the Mount Spec tin mines.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
The masonry bridge and the creek. Photo by Author


The North Queensland Register of 28 July 1913, suggested that a township be gazetted at Cloudy Clearing, the original name for the site of Paluma.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
A small waterfall formed by 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.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
The creek forms multiple cascades along the rocks. Photo by Author.


The stone arch bridge over Little Crystal Creek is an iconic feature in the area and visitors and locals stop to take photos of the bridge.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
The bridge was considered different when it was constructed. Photo by Author.


Nearby, the bridge there is a large carpark and there is also a day use area with toilets, picnic tables and a tap. Water needs to be treated before drinking.

Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners, Day use area at Little Crystal Creek,
The day use area at Little Crystal Creek. Photo by Author.


Little Crystal Creek, Little Crystal Creek Bridge, Paluma, Tin mines, Paluma National Park, Mutarnee, Tin Miners,
Paluma map. Photo by Author.



Related articles by Author

Jourama Falls Trail, Paluma National Park
www.weekendnotes.com/jourama-falls-trail-paluma-national-park

Birthday Creek Falls Hike, Paluma National Park
www.weekendnotes.com/birthday-creek-falls-hike-paluma-national-park

Andree Griffin Hike, Paluma Village
www.weekendnotes.com/andree-griffin-hike-paluma-village

A Journey in Paluma Village
www.weekendnotes.com/a-journey-to-paluma-village

McClelland's Lookout, Cloudy Creek Track, Witt's Lookout, Paluma Village
www.weekendnotes.com/paluma-range-national-park-townsville



Reference

www.queensland.com/au/en/things-to-do/attractions/p-5d91a7fab8ee8e787c9ba82d-little-crystal-creek.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Spec_Road_and_Little_Crystal_Creek_Bridge

https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/explorer/detail/?id=602652
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Where: 93 Mount Spec Rd, Crystal Creek QLD 4816
Your Comment
Another interesting and informative article Cris. It looks a fascinating and historic walk.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4054) 385 days ago
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