Ravenshoe: Queensland’s Highest Town and Nature Enthusiast’s Paradise

Nestled at a lofty elevation of 920 meters above sea level, Ravenshoe proudly holds the title of Queensland’s highest town. This picturesque township is home to approximately 1000 residents, with many more scattered across its scenic surroundings.

Ravenshoe Queensland

Ravenshoe, Queensland’s Highest Town

Population: 1400 (2016 Census) Area: 139 km² Postcode: 4888 Distance from Cairns:

  • Via Gillies Highway: 117.4 kilometres, with a drive time of 1 hour and 49 minutes.
  • Via Kuranda Range: 144 kilometres, with a drive time of 2 hours and 1 minute. Elevation: 930 meters Weather: Typically, the annual temperature ranges between 9°C and 28°C. In June 2018, Ravenshoe recorded a rare low of -1°C.

Positioned atop the Great Dividing Range, Ravenshoe is perfectly situated between the lush rainforests of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area to the east and the arid, open woodlands of the Gulf Savannah to the west. The area boasts natural wonders such as the awe-inspiring Millstream Falls and the serene Lake Koombooloomba.

Ravenshoe stands as the apex of the Misty Mountains walking tracks network, offering an exceptional location for wildlife enthusiasts. Here, you can encounter a diverse range of creatures, including the elusive platypus, a stunning array of possum species, over 340 bird species, and the iconic Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo among the 14 kangaroo species found in the region.

Ravenshoe train station

Historically, Ravenshoe thrived on the timber industry, extracting precious resources from the surrounding forests. However, since 1987, when the government designated 900,000 hectares of nearby rainforest as a World Heritage site, the town’s primary industries have shifted towards tourism, beef, and dairy farming.

The locals cherish their enviable lifestyle, celebrating it annually during the Torimba Festival of the Forest in October.

Windy Hill Wind Farm: Queensland’s Pioneering Wind Farm

Situated on the dormant Windy Hill volcano, Windy Hill Wind Farm proudly holds the distinction of being Queensland’s first wind farm. Its 20 wind turbines harness the consistent winds that grace the volcano’s slopes, generating electricity to power approximately 3500 homes, equivalent to the populations of nearby towns like Atherton and Mareeba.

On clear days, the lookout platform offers breathtaking panoramic views, stretching from the farming countryside to the coast.

Koombooloomba Dam: Watersports Haven

Travel south from Ravenshoe along Tully Falls Road, and you’ll reach Koombooloomba National Park and Conservation Park. This journey takes you through the scenic Tully Falls National Park before arriving at Koombooloomba National Park, just 20 kilometres from Ravenshoe.

Within these parks, you’ll find three camping options, each providing a unique experience. Whether it’s bush camping along Nitchaga Creek and Wall Creek roads, waterfront camping in the defined bush camping area, or the more equipped camping area in Koombooloomba Conservation Park, there’s a camping adventure for everyone. Camping permits are required.

Koombooloomba Dam, while nearby, is not part of the national park. Popular among water skiers and anglers, the dam offers plenty of aquatic recreation.

Millstream Falls: Australia’s Widest Single-Drop Waterfall

Millstream Falls

Big Millstream Falls, a natural wonder, is acclaimed as the widest single-drop waterfall in the country. A well-maintained walking track leads to a viewing area that offers awe-inspiring vistas of the falls. Additionally, a separate park entrance grants access to Little Millstream Falls, where visitors can admire these enchanting falls from a convenient viewing point near the car park or embark on a steep and narrow track to reach their base.

Innot Hot Springs: Soothing Waters with a Rich History

Located between Ravenshoe and Mount Garnet on the Kennedy Highway, Innot Springs is famous for its rejuvenating and healing hot springs. The mineral-rich waters of Nettle Creek have been revered for their therapeutic properties, even being bottled and shipped to Europe a century ago.

Just five kilometres northwest of Innot Hot Springs, Mount Gibson beckons gem enthusiasts and fossickers in search of gem topaz. While camping is not allowed, a fossicking license is required to explore the area.

Mount Garnet: A Haven for Gold Fossickers and Gem Collectors

Mount Garnet, a small town on the Savannah Way, has a magnetic pull for gold fossickers and gem collectors. Initially established in 1882 for copper and garnet mining, the town’s mining endeavours persisted until the early 1900s when the Mount Garnet Freehold Copper and Silver Mining Company ceased operations. Subsequently, the town flourished through tin mining in 1928, and it also became home to cattle stations and farms.

Today, the region’s mining industry encompasses zinc, copper, lead, silver, and lime extraction.

Wurruma Swamp: A Birder’s Paradise

Wurruma Swamp lures bird enthusiasts with its extraordinary birdlife, attracting an array of avian species. At certain times of the year, the swamp hosts thousands of black swans, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Unlike other local wetlands that dry up, Wurruma Swamp retains water, serving as a crucial water supply for the township.

Ravenshoe and its surrounds promise a wealth of natural beauty, historical significance, and outdoor adventures, making it an ideal destination for travellers seeking a unique Queensland experience.

MIllsteam Falls


Ravenshoe map

Places to visit Nearby