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Cane Cutter Way - 42 Kilometres Of Magic
sugarcaneQueensland's Cane Cutter Way spans 42 kilometres of the Bruce Highway in the Tropical North of the state. This stunning stretch of drive is perfect for those wishing to discover a wealth of hidden treasures that have now become some of Australia's most picturesque and quaint towns. This drive begins in Innisfail and will eventually take you to the quaint little town of Silkwood. Although it may seem like a short drive, you should set a few days aside to really appreciate it true wonder and beauty.

As the name suggests, this drive will take you past endless fields of sugarcane and tropical fruits, as well as countless scattered pockets of rainforest. The drive is also characterised by red soil plains and the charm of old world sugar towns and settlements. This whole region is deeply steeped in history and and boasts a charisma of immense beauty, that shines brightly through this virtually untouched area. Majestic mountains ranges and treasured forests stretch as far as the eye can see, offering a myriad of stunning backdrops that truly set the scene for this driving experience.


As mentioned before, Innisfail marks the beginning of the route and offers a great insight into what is ahead. Innisfail is a prosperous, colourful town, nestled on both sides of the Johnstone River. It enjoys a picturesque surrounding of luscious green landscape, which encloses the town in a blanket of beauty. To begin the route, follow the signs along the Bruce Highway which lead you towards South Johnstone and Mena Creek.

However, just to stay on the safe side, drop into the Visitor Information Centre before you leave and pick up some of the brochures and maps for the route. The friendly locals here are happy to help you plan your journey and ensure that you soak up all that the Can Cutter Way has to offer.

The Carrajah Hotel in Wangan, is a great place to stop for a homee style pub meal. This pub encompasses a country pub atmosphere, the boasts some fantastic meals that use only the best of the local produce. Lunch at Carrajah Hotel offers a traditional Aussie experience; one of many that you can enjoy on this driving journey.

South Johnstone

The next key town you will come across is the little settlement of South Johnstone. This delightful little town boasts a rich old world charm, making it the perfect place to stop for a while and sightsee more of the area.

The old sugar mill can be found here, demonstrating how important sugar farming is to the local way of life. When driving through this town, be sure to keep an eye open for the bustling cane trams of the cane fires, burning in the distance.

Make a stop at the "Off the Rails Cafe" where you will be able to enjoy a pleasant afternoon tea of find food and coffee. The cafe is also home to a gourmet gallery which you will be able to walk through and have the opportunity to purchase some of the local art, jewellery and books on display.

Mena Creek

As you venture further along the scenic drive, you will come across Paronella Park. This place is perfect for camping, as the caravan park here offers some great sites on which you can pitch a tent and settle in for the night. The park has great facilities and its close proximity to the gardens make the atmosphere a pleasant one.

Set your alarm for an early start so that you can make the most of your bush walking adventures here. Paronella Park is part of the Cairns Rainforest and therefore offers guided tours of the walks along withunique bush tucker tours. Discover the majestic castles that have made this park so famous and uncover the Indigenous Aboriginal culture that is evident along the walking tracks.

Travel a little further up the road from here and you will come across the picturesque Mena Creek. This is the perfect place to further your bush walking adventure, especially if you attempt the Misty Mountain Trail. This region is packed with many great walks that suit all fitness levels and will introduce you to some simply stunning rainforest settings. For a refreshing end to the day, take a dip in the cool, calming waters of the Mena Creek Falls and Swimming Pool. This is an ideal oasis to soak up the relaxing and peaceful nature of the region.

All this fresh air and bush trekking is guaranteed to take it out of you, so let the friendly people at the Mena Creek Hotel look after you for the night. Relax by the fire, with a cold beer and home cooked meal, then retire to a comfortable bed and prepare for the final stretch of your journey in the morning.


Take the final stretch of your journey at a leisurely pace and soak up the stunning surroundings of the southern end of the Cane Cutter Way. You will eventually pass through the small country town of Japoonvale, where you can stop for a picnic lunch and finish it off with a refreshing dip in Liverpool Creek.

Just a few more kilometres down the road you will reach the final town of the route, Silkwood. Home to Australia's smallest bank and the Murdering Point Winery, this hidden village is the perfect way to finish your driving journey. It offers some of Australia's finest tropical wines and ports, allowing you to reminisce on the pleasurable memories of the Cane Cutter Way.

Christine Barton

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