Entrance to Cardwell, Highway 1
|Population||1,250 (2006 census)|
|Elevation||5 m (16 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Cassowary Coast Region|
Cardwell is a tropical coastal town in northeastern Queensland. It is located at the southern extremity of the Cassowary Coast. At the 2006 census, Cardwell had a population of 1,250. The Bruce Highway National Highway 1 and the North Coast railway line are the dominant transport routes; connecting with the Queensland provincial cities of Cairns and Townsville. Cardwell suffered significant damage from Cyclone Yasi, a category 5 cyclone, in February 2011.
West of Cardwell the rugged topography of the Cardwell Range intercepts the trade winds resulting in high rainfall. The coastal escarpment is covered in rainforest which transitions to the west to eucalypt woodland and tropical savanna. Cardwell Range biodiversity has been protected by the introduction of Forestry Reserves, National Parks and Queensland World Heritage Wet Tropics Areas. Seaward lies the Coral Sea, the Great Barrier Reef and Lagoon, Rockingham Bay and Hinchinbrook Channel. Islands are visible from Cardwell including protected areas i.e. Hinchinbrook Island, Goold Island and the Brook Islands Group.
Oyster Point is one kilometre south of Cardwell. This location experienced one of Australia's important conservation battles. With the establishment of Port Hinchinbrook, the Marina Public Boat Ramp provides year round access to the protected marine environments of Hinchinbrook Channel, Estuaries, Islands and Great Barrier Reef. The Cardwell Jetty is an important infrastructure asset, where visitors can socialize and view the coastal scenery; and anglers can enjoy both day and evening fishing activities.
The Aboriginal heritage is defined by Language Groups; the boundary of the Dyirbal and Warrgamay lies between Cardwell and Tully in the north. The first Europeans settled in the area in January 1864 in order to create a port initially called "Port Hinchinbrook". Subsequently the town was renamed after Edward Cardwell, 1st Viscount Cardwell.
Cardwell was the first port settlement on the Queensland coast north of Port Denison (Bowen). The first party of non-indigenous people to settle at Rockingham Bay arrived in January 1864. They were 20 in number and they came from Bowen on the small schooner Policeman with the 3 ton cutter Heather Bell in tow.
Cardwell Post Office opened on 10 July 1864.
Cardwell has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Valley of Lagoons Road: Stone Bridge, Dalrymple Gap Track
- 51 Victoria Street: Cardwell Divisional Board Hall (former) and Honour Board
- 53 Victoria Street: Cardwell Post Office - Residence (former)
Cardwell also has a granite monument erected in memory of Walter Jervoise Scott, a pioneer of the Valley of Lagoons. The monument was sent from Great Britain by his brothers intended for his grave at Valley of Lagoons. On arrival at Cardwell, it was found to be too large to transport up the rough track to Valley of Lagoons, so it was erected in Cardwell instead.
- Ashleigh Southern, water polo player
- Margaret Thorsborne, naturalist, conservationist and environmental activist
- The Cardwell Bush Telegraph heritage centre, one of the oldest buildings in North Queensland, is located at the southern end of the town.
- Cardwell railway station
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Cardwell (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
- Bureau of Meteorology Retrieved 2008-01-27.
- "Cardwell decimated by Cyclone Yasi". The Cairns Post. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- (4 February 2011).Weary residents begin cyclone clean-up. ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved on 17 April 2012.
- "Port Hinchinbrook resort protest". Green Left Weekly. 1998. Retrieved 7 March 2008.
- "The New Settlement at Rockingham Bay.". Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1871) (Qld.: National Library of Australia). 25 August 1864. p. 4. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- "The New Settlement At Rockingham Bay.". Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875) (Sydney, NSW: National Library of Australia). 11 August 1864. p. 2. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Stone Bridge, Dalrymple Gap Track (entry 600393)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Cardwell Divisional Board Hall (former) and Honour Board (entry 601768)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Cardwell Post Office - Residence (former) (entry 600392)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- ""CARAVAN TALES.".". The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) (Brisbane, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 24 April 1930. p. 4. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- Bolton, G. C. "Scott, Walter Jervoise (1835–1890)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre for Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- "Cardwell Post Office - Residence (former)". Australian Heritage Places Inventory. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
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