Lucinda and Halifax
Lucinda is home to the longest bulk loading sugar jetty in the world. At 5.7 km long, the jetty strikes out into Halifax bay
The jetty also holds the distinction of being the southern hemisphere’s highest-capacity bulk sugar loading facility.
Click, drag and zoom to inspect the map.
The town of Lucinda is situated at the southern end of Hinchinbrook channel. Halifax is about 8 km inland from Lucinda on the Lucinda Point Road.
There’s a turnoff from the Bruce Highway at the northern side of Ingham and five km north of Ingham on the Bruce Highway. Depending on which way you come into the town, you’ll pass by one of two sugar mills, the Victoria sugar mill, one of the largest capacity sugar mills in Australia and the Macknade mill.
Culture and History
Lucinda was established because neither Halifax or Ingham, both with sugar mills, had reliable port facilities due to the fact that the Herbert River (like most rivers on the East coast of Queensland, especially in the north) was subject to flooding, silting and consequent disruption to shipping.
To overcome this, the CSR built a jetty, provided a tramway track and moved a sugar shed from Halifax to Lucinda Point. Because the track was from Ingham, this provided the two local sugar mills at Ingham with reliable deep water port facilities. This single initiative boosted the development of the town of Ingham and effectively left Halifax without an incentive to grow.
As the local sugar industry grew, the farmers and mill workers looked for cooler coastal climates for the off-season and Lucinda became established as a holiday settlement for the two sugar towns.
Meanwhile development of Halifax, which had vied with Ingham for the title of the region’s premier town, pretty much stalled while Ingham prospered. However, Halifax remains a pleasant little town with a steady population of 400 – 500 people. There are a number of significant historical buildings including the two hotels and a Heritage-listed row of Mango trees down Macrossan street’s central reservation.
At 5.7 km, the Lucinda jetty is V-E-R-Y long and if you manage to sight along its length (there’s a bridge over it just on shore) you will see it curve down with the curvature of the earth. The jetty was damaged and put out of action for some time after Cyclone Yasi’s 290 kmh winds whipped up the ocean and hammered the structure, damaging even the heavy machinery at its end. The jetty was out of commission from early February (when the cyclone hit) to October the following year, effectively out of action for two seasons.
Halifax is notable for The Row of Street Trees which comprise a majority of mature Mango Trees, a Weeping Fig and an African Mahogany. The row, planted around 1885 – 1886 to provide significant shade and aesthetic qualities is significant for its historical, aesthetic and social qualities.
The trees are thought to have been planted c1885-86 as shade trees and are much prized by locals for these qualities today.
Nearby Sugar Mills
There are two sugar mills in the Herbert valley, Victoria Mill and Macknade Mill.
Victoria Mill is the largest mill in Australia and is worth a visit because it has a display out the front where some of the older machinery has been preserved. You can get up close to these relics from the steam age and inspect the fine examples of engineering from a bygone age. During the season, while the Australian-Italian Festival is on in Ingham, the train is fired-up and draws the attached carriages around the mill rail system, a rare treat.
Most industries around the area are dependent on sugar cane and its support industries. The area was essentially settled by Italian migrants which meant the industry was hard-hit during the second world war when most italian migrant males were interred. The area bounced-back after the war and essentially hasn’t looked back.
Halifax has two old Queensland pubs both of which offer accommodation and meals. Both Lucinda and Taylors Beach (to the south) have caravan parks. There is also luxury accommodation available at Dungeness which also has a very well equipped boat ramp and extensive parking facilities for boat-hauling rigs. The Marine Cove Resort in Dungeness has a nicely sheltered harbour and is a well-used facility for fishers who want to fish the southern reaches of the Hinchinbrook channel.
Lucinda has a well-serviced caravan park and the Lucinda Point Hotel/Motel.