Location - Paluma Range National Park, Queensland, Australia
Difficulty - 5, moderate to difficult, off-track
Distance - ~12 kilometres return
Time - allow 7 hours return
The Blue Lagoon is a large waterhole located in upper Crystal Creek. The Townsville Bushwalking Club has done this hike several times and it's often done in conjunction with other swimming holes around the area. This hike is nicknamed "The Three Lagoons Hike".
How to get there
Start parking your vehicle at either the track near Torsten's Rock Garden or at Paluma Dam and then hike to Crystal Falls. Once you reach Crystal Creek, turn left (up stream) and you will soon arrive at the first swimming hole which is known as Crystal Creek Falls Lagoon.
Continue upstream several hundred metres to the next lagoon. The hike to the blue lagoon is pretty straightforward but off-track and navigation experience is recommended. From Crystal Falls, start by hiking up on the right side of the creek when looking upstream.
Cross over the creek before or at the Crystal Cascade (also called Secret Cascade) which is 250 metres upstream. Continue though the lush ferns 150 metres to The Blue Lagoon. There is room for several tents at The Blue Lagoon – please practice Leave No Trace principles.
Return via the same route.
Alternatively, you may like to continue on up Crystal Creek exploring the water races and the historical, mining rich area. After a while you'll reach the three lagoon, a cascade at the junction of Dolby and Crystal Creeks known as Crystal Spa and Junction Falls Lagoon.
Return via the Paluma Trails to where you parked your vehicle.
Before you set out on this journey, be sure you have sufficient and appropriate navigational skills and equipment. You must be able to navigate the trails and junctions (e.g., a map of the area showing the junctions is useful) as well as the off-track sections (e.g., a GPS or map and compass would be key), and you must have a sufficient knowledge base so that you can use the equipment effectively.
Be aware of the undercut edges around the water races and be aware that their may be open, vertical mine shafts in the area. Do not enter mines as the ground can collapse at any time. Results could be fatal.Photos by Keith Dyson, Jodie Rummer, and Luen Warneke