Deal Direct With Local Tourism Businesses
People come to Ravenshoe for its outlying areas that offer spectacular scenery and World Heritage Rainforest. The region is a mixture of lush rainforest, sub-tropical flora and rolling mountain pastures.
At 930 metres above sea level, Ravenshoe outranks Herberton by 15 metres as the highest town in Queensland. It is located 147 kms from Cairns and takes approximately 2 hours drive to reach.
Ravenshoe’s history has been tumultuous and controversial, and many battles have been fought between lobby groups over environmental issues. The town was founded by the timber industry when William Mazlin discovered vast stands of cedar there in 1881. The first sawmill was built in 1899, and by 1910 it was a thriving economic centre. For 70 years timber felling was the primary industry in Ravenshoe and the town was a rural success. However, 1987 was the end of the line. The Federal Labor government allocated 900,000 hectares of rainforest around Ravenshoe for World Heritage Listing, which prohibited the felling of any trees in the allotment. The Ravenshoe locals protested that their livelihood would be destroyed and the town would die.
Ravenshoe today is one of Queensland's charming rural towns due to its isolation and creative population. The community is a growing and vibrant one, a magnet for creative people, and well worth a visit. A stroll down the main street is an interesting glance at a town once struggling to keep afloat, and now re-invented itself. The older buildings are freshly painted, have lush gardens and attract interesting tenants. Fantastic craft shops, and a high quality art gallery (operating in the area for 7 years!) are examples of the creative talent which exists within this Australian town.
The community is also blessed with a talented Writers Group whose members have won national prizes – their poetry is showcased in the Win's Gallery - and an enthusiastic Ravenshoe Amateur Theatrical Society (RATS). From the first Saturday in October, for two weeks Ravenshoe’s Festival of the Forests presents a competitive wood craft display which draws competitors and visitors from all over Australia.
Fortunately, the environmental sanctity of the Ravenshoe forests has been preserved and there are unique attractions for visitors in Ravenshoe, such as the historic Millstream Express. This genuine steam train departs Ravenshoe every Saturday and Sunday during the months of April to January for a scenic journey north to Tumoulin. The train winds through the forests surrounding the Millstream River.
Local attractions include the Millstream Falls, which is a spectacular sight especially during the wet season, when it becomes the widest waterfall in Australia, and the Little Millstream Falls. There are a number of attractive walking tracks, the most recent being the complex series of hiking tracks known as the Misty Mountain Trails. Birdwatchers, bush walkers, nature enthusiasts... Ravenshoe is a must visit for you!
The Ravenshoe Information Centre has an interesting and entertaining display of Ravenshoe settler and Aboriginal history and a display of the twelve species of possum which are found around the town. 25 kms south along the narrow but mainly sealed Tully Falls road are two magnificent views of the Tully Gorge. The Falls only flow in the wet season as the water has been diverted to generate hydro electricity. The 293 metre Tully Falls is an impressive sight. Further along the same road is the undeveloped Koombooloomba Dam where you can camp, swim and fish with only the noise of trees and birds in the background.
Just outside of Ravenshoe along the road to Millaa Millaa, are incredible wind generators. As you drive over the rolling hills, enormous white fan blades supported by huge poles emerge in front of you. This is the quintessential blending of natural country landscape with modern technology. The power generated from the wind turbines is sold to electricity companies and used to power residential houses in the area.
The site is located on the aptly named Windy Hill, just off the Kennedy Highway near Glendinning Road, about 5km from Ravenshoe. The diameter of the clockwise-spinning rotors is 46 metres, with each blade 22 metres long. The speed of the blades is 43-92 metres per second at the tips.
A special thank you goes to Win Board at Win's Gallery in Ravenshoe who kindly assisted us in putting together this information. We urge you to visit Win's Gallery on your visit to Ravenshoe, as her work is well published in national and international magazines, and her gallery features many of the gifted artists in the region.
Accommodation available in Ravenshoe
Ravenshoe is home to an abundance of unique accommodation, the most prevalent being bed and breakfasts. Most bed and breakfast accommodation in Ravenshoe has a focus on romance and cosiness. Expect open fires, king sized beds, chocolates and other decadent treats.