Paluma is a township of around 28 permanent residents in the Mount Spec ranges and is the southernmost point of Townsville's heritage-listed Wet Tropics. Paluma developed from a mining and forestry background. The first people to arrive here were tin prospectors in the 1870s after an abundance of tin in the mountains. The area remained isolated until a road was built up the range in the 1930s. This industry lasted for years until landowners worked together to shut it down. The tin industry was using the creeks for washing the tin, however this was incompatible with using the creeks for the Paluma’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 Little Crystal Creek Bridge is a stone-faced arch bridge in the Mount Spec Ranges built in 1933. It is the only arch road bridge that remains in service in Queensland. Crystal clear water flows down the creek filling the deep pools of Little Crystal Creek, making it an excellent natural swimming hole. Mount Spec National Park and the Township of Paluma are popular retreats for tourists and visitors.