Don’t be fooled – this is not the place where all the chicken comes from! Ingham isn’t really famous for anything other than the Tyto Wetlands and the ‘Pub with No Beer’.
Back in 1943, a pub called the Day Dawn Hotel in Ingham was visited by a group of American servicemen who drank the place dry. The next day, local sugar farmer Dan Sheahan rode his horse 30km to have a beer at the pub and was so disappointed, he wrote a poem about it. Fourteen year later, Slim Dusty turned it into a song and it was Australia’s first worldwide number one hit – ‘The Pub With No Beer’. In 1960, the pub was renamed Lee’s Hotel and they have plenty of beer.
The Tyto Wetlands are named after and home to the Eastern Grass Owl (Tyto longimembris), and 230 other species of birds. The track around the lagoon is about 3kms (4.5km round trip from the car park) so it’s ideal to visit the Tyto Wetlands early in the day or in the late afternoon. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any grass owls, simply because we didn’t have the patience to quietly birdwatch.
This little sugar-exporting town is where all the sugar goes to be sent off as bulk raw sugar to the Asia-Pacific area. To handle the load, Lucinda has a jetty that is 5.76km long that actually follows the curve of the earth. It’s the world’s longest offshore sugar loading facility and service jetty.
Not far away is Victoria Mill, home to the largest sugar mill in the southern hemisphere. The mill recycles the waste into energy through an electricity generation plant that feeds power back into the grid.
About 16km north of Ingham is a fantastic view of Hinchinbrook Island National Park with the surrounding mountains and river below – one of the best lookouts we have seen on our trip.
Located within the Paluma Range National Park, Jarouma Falls is a nice place to stop for a swim and a picnic. What’s beautiful about Jarouma Falls is the rock – there are huge stripes of blue rock amongst the grey. Camping, toilets, showers, picnic facilities are available and there are a few creek crossings on the way in. Please be careful during the wet season as these creek crossings can swell and be dangerous.
Just under an hour away is Australia’s highest permanent single drop water fall – Wallaman Falls. The view from the top is gorgeous and there’s a path leads down to bottom pool.