Bushwalking Areas & Clubs
There's some absolutely fantastic bushwalking to be done around the rainforests of Cairns. There's gorgeous National Parks surrounding the city of Cairns and also a short boat ride away on Green Island and Fitzroy Island.
It's an excellent day out for everyone with lot of gorgeous flora and fauna - it's not only rainforest but also natural Australian bushland. Many of the walks are easily accessible for people of all ages and fitness levels so you can take an easy stroll or get your heart pumping with more of a high impact trek.
Always take a map, plenty of water, sunscreen and let people know where you are going before you start off on your adventure.
Cairns Bushwalking Areas
Barron Falls Lookout Track
Each day the Kuranda train and Skyrail cableway pass through the Barron Gorge National Park. One of the main attractions of the park is the Barron Falls and you can get a little bit closer for a better view by following the Barron Falls Lookout Track.
This begins on an elevated walk which takes you through the rainforest canopy and then down the hill to the railway platform. On the way there are explanatory signs, plenty of places to take a rest and some gorgeous places to lookout and take a photograph.
Bartle-Frere Trails Eastern and Western Approach
The eastern or western approach Bartle-Frere Trails are only for bushwalkers who are well prepared and fit. It's a 15km trail that takes you from the Atherton Tablelands and across the Bellenden Ker Range. Then you'll cross through the Wooroonooran National Park and climb Bartle Frere which is the highest mountain in Queensland reaching 1622 metres.
The Goldfield Track links the Boulders Scenic Reserve to the Goldsborough Valley and through the World Heritage listed Wooroonooran National Park. Follow the Babinda Creek through rainforest and then start the climb up to Bartle Frere and Bellenden Ker, Queensland's highest peak. Then start the drop which takes you over mountain creeks and over the East Mulgrave River. You can choose to camp here and then take the old logging track which follow the river to Goldborough Valley camping area.
Nandroya Falls Circuit
The Nandroya Falls Circuit takes you through the Palmerston section of Wooroonooran National Park. The circuit beings at Henrietta Creek camp site and takes you on a 2.3km trek to the Nandroya Falls. Nandroya Falls is the culmination of Douglas Creek where it first tumbles down a 50 metre fall and then takes another fall which is is smaller but wider. At the falls you can choose between two tracks: one takes you up into the valley and past Douglas Creek and the other on a longer circuit back to the beginning and the base of the falls.
Douglas and Smith Tracks
The Djabaguy people are the traditional owners of the Barron Gorge National Park and the Douglas and Smith tracks have been their traditional walkways for thousands of years. The tracks also became the first tracks that connected the coast to the hinterland goldfriends in 1876. The Rainforest Estate takes you along an old road and then up to the Kuranda railway line, here you can climb up to Red Bluff and gain some gorgeous views of the valley and coast. If you're up to it you can keep going to Glacier Ridge and view the gorge from high above. Next, walk through some beautiful rainforest and hop over small streams as you head to Speewah.
Blue and Red Arrow Circuits
Mount Whitfield Conservation Park offers visitors to Cairns with two close tracks located close to the city centre. The Blue Arrow Trail takes 3.5 hours of walking through the park and up to Mt Lumley Hill which gives a great view along the coast and Coral Sea. The Red Arrow circuit only takes 1 hour and will still give you all the great views over Cairns. Hopefully if you're lucky while your trekking your way through the rainforest and woodlands you'll come across a brush turkey.
Fitzroy Island Summit Circuit
Hop on board a boat and head to Fitzroy Island and take a walk along the Fitzroy Island Summit Circuit. The walking track is a little difficult as the terrain is rugged and varied. The circuit takes you from the northern end of the island through rainforest, mangroves, past coral beaches and granite outcrops and then leads to the highest summit on the island. This gives you great views of the surrounding reef and even Cairns.
Josephine Falls Walking Track
Queensland's highest mountain Bartle Frere is the starting point for Josephine Creek which runs down the mountain becoming larger and larger until it tumbles over the granite boulders of Josephine Falls. Josephine Falls Walking Track takes you through gorgeous tropical rainforest with viewing platforms that look down on Josephine Creek and Falls. It's a gorgeous place to take a photo and the top pool platform has wheelchair access so everyone can enjoy the beauty.
Kauri Creek Rainforest Walk
Taking a walk through the Kauri Creek Rainforest Walk will take you along the banks of Kauri Creek past strangler figs, lush rainforest and places of important local history. Before you join up to the old logging track make sure you dip your toes in the cooling and soothing waters of the Kauri Creek.
Rainforest Circuit Track
The Rainforest Circuit Track is also known as the Rex Creek Circuit and takes you through the Mossman Gorge section of the Daintree National Park. It's an absolutely beautiful journey into the Wet Tropics Heritage Area where you'll meet blue Ulysses butterflies, forest dragons, cascading Wurumbu Creek and Manjal Dimbi.
Cairns Bushwalking Clubs
Joining up with a bushwalkers club is a great way to get the low down on local knowledge. Membership is available through the clubs however if you're just in town for a holiday most clubs will allow you to join them or let you know of good tour guides fo rthe area. Members of these clubs have a great respect for their natural and historical surrounds and are a fountain of knowledge on different National Parks.
The Cairns Bushwalkers
PO Box 1397, Cairns, Qld, 4870
Tablelands Walking Club
PO Box 1020, Tolga, Queensland, 4882
More Cairns Bushwalking Links
- National Parks Association of Queensland
- More information on Bushwalking in Queensland can be found at the Bushwalking Queensland website