An hour north of Townsville, in Big Crystal Creek in Munan Gumburu / Paluma Range National Park, you’ll find a waterfall to your left and a rock slide to your right… hello waterpark wonderland!


Quick Overview

Big Crystal Creek is a fresh-water swimming spot, located in Queensland’s Munan Gumburu (Paluma Range) National Park. Driving from Townsville, it should take around an hour to reach.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Nywaigi Nation, the traditional Country of the Nywaigi people who have occupied and cared for this land for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


  • A natural slip ’n’ slide down smooth, slippery rocks
  • A lush little waterfall cascading into a gorgeous swimming hole
  • Camping spots and a bunch of other pristine swimming pools nearby

Finding Big Crystal Creek

The absolute gem, Big Crystal Creek, can be found not too far north of Townsville and is a must-visit freshwater swim spot for anyone visiting Queensland’s tropical north.

If you’re in Townsville and looking to find Big Crystal Creek, jump on the Bruce Highway heading north for around 55 minutes, before taking a left onto Barrett Road and another left onto Spiegelhauer Road.

On the way, you’ll pass the Big Crystal Creek camping spot positioned right on the creek bed which you can stay at for free! You’ll also pass Paradise Waterhole, another freshwater swim spot that has its own campground that you can book online beforehand.

Around 2km past Paradise Waterhole you’ll come to a dirt lot aka the car park, so jump out and continue by foot, following the road beyond the gate about 500m until the signpost directs you to the left.

This’ll bring you out at the spectacular waterhole – Big Crystal Creek! Don’t be surprised if you need a few hours to explore this spot properly!


Photo thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Don’t be shy! Ride the rock slides and make a splash or frolic further upstream to find more private pools.

The rock slides are insanely fun and you can actually get a fair bit of speed, but if you’re like me and are looking to fly off the edge that’ll give you the most air, watch yourself!

Read more: Staying Safe Around Swimming Holes

For those not tempted by the slip ’n’ slide, you can retreat to the tranquil waterfall and splash around in the crystal clear green pool.

For me, this is the ultimate swimming spot on the coast of Queensland. Get amongst it!


Waterfalls and Rockslides // Big Crystal Creek (QLD) Tiffany Hulm waterhole

Essential Gear

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Sun protection
  • Insect repellent
  • Swimmers
  • A towel

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

How To Get There

Follow Bruce Highway north from Townsville for 45 minutes then take a left onto Barrett Road. Follow Barrett Road onto Spiegelhauer Road and continue to Big Crystal Creek.

Skill Level


Distance Covered

500m walk from car park


Photo thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland