An outstanding walk for exercise, bird-watching, or just taking in the expansive views across the wetlands of the Townsville Town Common. Combining the Lagoon Trail and the Freshwater Trail allows you to circumnavigate the freshwater lagoon. There are excellent opportunities for viewing both wetland birds (Brolgas are frequently seen), and open forest birds. Part of the Freshwater Track traverses the top of an old earthen dam through the centre of the wetlands. The track is mostly flat and does not involve any climbing. The route is a shared walking/cycling track, and is mostly open with good visibility. Winter months, and mornings and afternoons are best.

Bird Watching
Cycling Permitted
Swamp or Wetland
Maximum Elevation

Getting there:

The walk can be accessed from the Cape Pallarenda Road entrance gate, or the Freshwater Carpark in the centre of the park.


Which maps cover the area?

Route/Trail notes:

From the Pallarenda entrance gate follow the trail for approximately 1 kilometre to the junction of the Lagoon and Freshwater Trails. At the junction turn left onto the Freshwater Trail to circumnavigate the lagoon in a clockwise direction (either direction is fine but these notes refer to a clockwise circuit). The next section of the trail follows the edge of the lagoon, mostly just inside the surrounding open forest, leading to the Jacana Birdhide and the Freshwater Birdhide, also passing close to the Freshwater Carpark (an alternate access point). Whilst there are often few birds at the Freshwater hide, its worth having a look for the frogs that shelter on the walls inside the hide. After returning to the main trail (turn right after leaving the Freshwater hide), the trail soon opens out into the wetland. The next section traverses the top of an old earthen dam wall that was constructed decades ago to enhance the freshwater wetland. On the left-hand (south) side of the wall is a tidal influenced, saltwater environment; on the right-hand (northern) side is a freshwater environment. This creates the great diversity of wetland birds that can be seen from this section of the trail.

The next trail junction will be found near the base of the large rock visible in the distance, appropriately named Bald Rock. At this junction turn right onto the Lagoon Trail and continue to follow the edge of the lagoon. The entrance gate at Cape Pallarenda Road is 4.6 kilometres from this point. The Many Peaks Track to Mt Marlow and Pallarenda also commences at this junction. Note this is a longer and more difficult track climbing onto the ridge (refer to seperate Mt Marlow - Many Peaks Track notes). 

The Freshwater Carpark provides an alternate starting/finishing point for this circuit. Access to the Freshwater Carpark is via a 7 kilometre gravel road through the centre of the park, commencing near the Rowes Bay Golf Club. Commencing the walk at the Freshwater Carpark will make the circuit approximately 2 kilometres shorter as it cuts out the section linking to the Cape Pallarenda Road entrance.



Other References/Comments:

How can I find more info? Any guide books?

GPS Tracks

  • No GPS available for this walk yet.


Started this walk from the Cape Pallarenda Car park. Lots of flies and March flies along the first part of the walk but the back end of the walk is really beautiful. Super hot even in April so go early.

Bobbe on 15 Apr, 2023


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