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Emu Creek, Petford

Home > Cairns > Outdoor | Free | Family | Escape the City | Adventure
by Lisa Morgan (subscribe)
...living life as it is meant to be experienced - outside the rat race, barefooted and content in one's own skin.
Published March 19th 2013
Make your own fun
Emu Creek Petford
The mineral rich Emu Creek at Petford


Kennedy Expedition 1848
Bronze plaque commemorating the Kennedy Expedition in 1848
We went for a swim at Emu Creek, stopping at the McGrath Bridge where the Edmund Kennedy expedition and a hundred sheep camped in 1848. A rock with a brass sign now commemorates Kennedy, who was fatally speared before reaching his destination.

The impromptu history lesson aside, the kids headed down to explore under the bridge while the adults got to lug the food down to set up lunch. Emu Creek may not seem like much at first appearances, however this is a place where you make your own fun.

After lunch, we headed off along the creek banks to explore and noticed immediately the area was littered with interesting multi-coloured pebbles and rocks. We collected some unique keepsakes before crossing the creek to find a spot to swim and play.

Fallen Log Seat at Emu Creek
Convenient log seat at Emu Creek
There was a fantastic spot right in the middle of Emu Creek with fallen logs making up handy seats in the middle of pools of water. We sat and watched the older kids building a rock dam before they abandoned it for a swim in one of the deeper sections. There were also quiet stretches of shallow water for the little ones to splash safely in. All up it was a perfect spot which catered to everyone's abilities.

Where there are kids, water, and rocks, there is bound to be rock throwing for the sake of making big splashes. This soon turned into rock skimming competitions and as things were getting out of hand, we moved on to making a rock cistern, carefully stacking rocks up.
Rock Dam Building
The children's abandoned rock dam wall


When it was time to leave, nobody wanted to go. We took note of a couple flat stretches of grassland next to the creek as potential future camp spots and headed back up to the vehicles.

On a spontaneous impulse, we decided to head home via the Petford-Herberton Road instead of going back down the Bourke Development Road through Dimbulah. What originally started out as a half day outing became a full day's adventure, but it was well worth it.

There are also more swimming spots along the Herberton-Petford Road as Emu Creek runs parallel to the road for some distance.

Swimming at Emu Creek
Swimming at Emu Creek
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Why? Rock collecting, swimming, and camping
When: Anytime
Where: Emu Creek, near Petford, Far North QLD
Cost: Free
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