Bluewater Gorge Bush Bashing

Bluewater Creek to the north of Townsville is well known and regarded by locals and tourists alike. A popular swimming and recreational spot within 30 minutes’ drive of the CBD, this creek line has been enjoyed by generations.

Have you ever wondered where this beautiful creek line begins? Most have only experienced a small section of the lower reaches of Bluewater Creek, the frequently visited section around the Bruce Highway.

The Bluewater Gorge is where Bluewater Creek begins.

Of all the gorges I’ve hiked and explored, the Bluewater Gorge is certainly one of my favourites, however to access this marvel, you have to be ready for some next level bush bashing through some rugged terrain.

Many years ago, scouts took groups of little adventurers to camp close to the Bluewater Gorge on navigation and remote bush skills adventures. The remnants of the campground on the north western side of the gorge is still visible today, as are some of the old trail markers.

Navigating our way down the East Branch of Upper Keelbottom Creek towards the Bluewater Gorge had its challenges. Although narrow and surrounded by thick rainforest and scrub either side, there were some beautiful swimming holes and clear rainforest pools along the creek line.

We bush bashed our way through sections of thick rainforest close to the creek, huge patches of chest high lantana stretching for up to 100 metres at a time, and dense, thick bushland. This area has not burnt in what appears to be many seasons.

As we approached the gorge, I was totally reliant on GPS navigation due to the terrain.

The Bluewater Gorge is massive. It’s roughly 300 metres wide in places, roughly 100-140 metres deep in places and is almost 1.5km long.

Surrounded by dense bushland on the northern side and sparsely vegetated steep rocky terrain on the southern side, hiking and exploring into the gorge from either side is not an option given how steep the terrain is on both sides. The best way to explore inside the gorge would be to hike in from the lower or mid reaches of Bluewater Creek, which I plan on doing in the coming weeks.

We hiked and explored the north side of the gorge. Numerous small creeks and watercourses flow into the massive gorge from all directions. It would certainly be a sight to see after heavy rain in the area.

The heavens opened as we bush bashed our way back to the start point, which combined with the terrain, made for a tough day at the office, however the views from the north side and into the gorge made the hike well worth the adventure!

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