Cardwell / by Ethan Astall

WELCOME TO THE CASSOWARY COAST (and saltwater croc country), FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND, as we crossed the line that somehow deems FNQ- we were both frothing at the site of the steep mountains surrounding us in every direction, the thick dense forestries that meet the ocean and gaze over the hill onto the sight of Hinchinbrook Island while driving into the town of Cardwell.

Cardwell is a sleepy little fishing village that you pass through on the Bruce highway on the way north, originally named Port Hinchinbrook in 1864, but renamed Cardwell (sorry guys, probably should have stuck with that) as, besides being on the old Bruce highway north, the biggest thing putting this place on the map is Hinchinbrook Island; the largest island national park in Australia and only 8kms off shore… you could swim (if you we’re keen on getting attacked by a saltwater croc) or you could pay the $140 return boat ferry, Still an adrenaline rush paying the fee; knowing it could send you broke any time soon.

Besides Hinchinbrook Island, Cardwell itself is a pretty relaxing place, with a long esplanade - ideal for a skate along, a long jetty to throw a line in and some swimming holes just outside of town. We kicked off to the Cardwell spa pools - described in the local tourist info centre as a “photographers dream” with photos featuring bright blue swimming holes, and various Instagram famous blog accounts, posing ever so candidly. We can confirm - the pools are no longer bright blue out of wet season, like everything else around FNQ, things are heavily reliant on the season, although in saying that…it’s “dry” season, and it’s rained most days we’ve been up here. (Card)well anyway, it’s been great.