Paluma is a township and suburb of Former Thuringowa (Now Townsville), with around 25 permanent residents in the Mount Spec ranges heritage-listed Wet Tropics. Paluma developed from a mining and forestry background. The first people to arrive here were tin prospectors in the 1870's after an abundance of tin in the mountains. The area remained isolated until a road was built up the range in the 1930's This industry lasted for years until landowners worked together to shut it down. The tin industry was using the creeks for washing the tin but the creeks provided the township’s water supply. The Paluma Environmental Education Centre was established in 1977 by the Queensland Department of Education on what used to be the site of the Paluma State School, visiting groups are mostly year 6 or 7 primary, but the school does cater for students from years 1 to 12. The school provides an opportunity to embrace the natural environment with one of the classrooms built underneath the canopy of the forest. The Paluma Bridge is a stone bridge in the Mt Spec ranges and was built in 1932, (the first of its kind in Queensland). Crystal clear water flows down the creek filling the deep pools of Little Crystal Creek, making it the best swimming hole in Thuringowa. Mt Spec National Park and the Township of Paluma are popular retreats for tourists and visitors.
The Paluma Dam is the second major water supply for Thuringowa (the first being the Ross River Dam) and is situated on Swamp Creek at the top of Mount Spec. The dam is part of a unique water supply system that gravity feeds up to 50 megalitres of water per day to the cities of Thuringowa and Townsville. For most of the year water flowing from the Mount Spec National Park is collected and filtered at the Crystal Creek intake and then piped under gravity to the Two cities. When Crystal Creek water levels are low, water is released into the creek from Lake Paluma via another gravity pipeline.
Lake Paluma has a capacity of 11,800 megalitres. The Lake is open for a range of nature based recreational activities such as canoeing, sailing and swimming. Lake Paluma is surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest and is only accessible via a 12km gravel road just past the township of Paluma. Visitor facilities include picnic shelters and BBQs. Bookings are essential - so please visit the Townsville city website for more info. This area is home to Platypus, Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Water Dragon and a range of rainforest fauna.
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