Explore Lake Barrine
Explore Lake Barrine.
Adventures in the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland.
There are many reasons to visit the topaz blue Lake Barrine, including swimming, cruising on the lake, hiking, having a lovely picnic, enjoying the fresh food at the iconic Lake Barrine Teahouse and wildlife spotting.
Lake Barrine is a crystal blue freshwater lake located in the Crater Lakes National Parks, in the Atherton Tablelands, fringed by the rainforest and with a lovely teahouse.
Crater Lakes National Park is in Tropical North Queensland and includes two sections: Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham. Both lakes originated from explosions of the hot magma and then the craters filled up with rainwater. The lakes are surrounded by luscious rainforest and it is possible to circumnavigate them by walking on the trails. Crater Lakes National Park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and protects unique flora and fauna.
The blue waters of Lake Barrine are very inviting on warm days.
The origin of Lake Barrine.
Lake Barrine was formed relatively recently by the explosion of a large volcano. About 17, 000 years ago, the lava of the volcano came in contact with water and the steam generated caused an explosion.
Samples of sediments collected at the bottom of the lake and analysed showed the earliest sediments were deposited around 17,000 years ago, suggesting the explosion took place a little earlier.
The huge crater was then filled with rainwater, there are no streams or springs feeding the beautiful lake. There is only a small creek going out of the lake when it is raining hard. Lake Barrine is 730m above sea level, with a maximum depth of 65m. In the lake, there are fish, turtles, eastern water dragons and eels. In particular, the eels spend many years in the lake before migrating to the sea. Somehow the eels manage to reach creeks, rivers and then the ocean where they reproduce. Young eels return to fresh water to repeat the life cycle.
Lake Barrine is surrounded by the rainforest with the lovely Barrine Teahouse.
Walking around Lake Barrine.
The trail around Lake Barrine is immersed in the World Heritage Forest, it is about 5km long, easy, allow about 1.5 hours. Bring with you water and a camera, best if you have hiking boots or shoes.
At the beginning of the walk, there are two giant, one thousand years old kauri pine trees. These trees can survive only between altitudes of 600 and 1,000m, in areas with high rainfall and deep clay soils. Kauri trees are found only in small areas in the Atherton Tablelands. They do not have the needle-like leaves typical of conifers, they have broad leaves to make sure young trees growing in the dim light of the forest can capture as much light as possible.
The lake is not visible along the walking trail, except from a few platforms. The trail is peaceful and it is possible to hear many birds calling, like the eastern whipbirds, catbirds and chowchillas. The walk is under the canopy on a well-maintained trail.
The towering kauri trees, Agathis microstachya,
over 50 m tall, are the largest of Australia's conifer species and are estimated to be 1,000 years old.
The trail around Lake Barrine is well-kept and easy.
Along the trails, there are a few platforms that allow views over the blue lake.
Old fig trees form amazing tunnels.
Sometimes on the trail, it is possible to catch glimpses of the lake.
There are boardwalks to make sure the visitors don't trample in the forest.
Musky rat kangaroo.
On the edges of Lake Barrine, in the forest, live unique, little marsupials called musky rat kangaroos. They are the most primitive of the macropod’s family, kangaroos and wallabies, the only living descendants from Gondwana ancestors, evolving in the rainforest about 33 million years ago.
Musky rat kangaroos are forest dwellers, eating plants and fruits from the rainforest, and becoming seed dispersers. They are diurnal creatures, so is possible to spot them during the day while they eat and collect materials with their prehensile tail.
Musky rat kangaroos live only in Far North Queensland and Lake Barrine is a possible place where to spot them. Photo courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Musky-rat-eating.jpg
Lake Barrine Teahouse.
The charming Lake Barrine Teahouse lies in an incomparable beautiful set up. Built on the shore of the blue water of the crater lake, ornated with glorious flowers, in a peaceful area at the fringe of the World Heritage Forest, the Barrine Teahouse has welcomed guests for about a century.
In 1923, George Curry fell in love with the lake and he lived in a corrugated iron hut on the fringe of the tranquil lake, showing the visitors around the lake in a rowboat. Today the fourth generation of the Curry family manages the teahouse and the boat cruises.
The food is an important part of the teahouse, which serves seasonal fresh food, homemade cakes and biscuits. The famous Devonshire Tea includes locally grown tea, and coffee, served with scones made with an old recipe, presented with locally made ooray plum and blueberry jam and freshly whipped cream.
You can enjoy refreshments inside the welcoming dining room or you can sit on the verandah overlooking the beautiful lake.
The entry to the teahouse.
The famous Devonshire tea of Barrine Teahouse is still served today.
Lake Barrine Teahouse has been welcoming guests for almost 100 years. The dining room is perfect for families and large gatherings. Order at the reception and sit down to enjoy the peace of the place.
The old fireplace has been converted into a space for the kids.
There are nice souvenirs on sale to take home with you. There is also the famous Ooray plum and blueberry conserve made in Malanda in the Rainforest Bounty, an amazing local product!
The Curry family has been deeply involved in Lake Barrine Teahouse since the 1920s, when George Curry began to share the special nature of Lake Barrine with visitors and holidaymakers.
Today a modern electric boat takes visitors around the lake to discover the beauty and the tranquillity of the place. It is a different way of seeing the lake and there is the possibility to spot wildlife.
Booking is essential and the boat cruise has to have at least 15 people booked, the trips run for 1.5 hours. The price is $35 per person, including morning tea with homemade shortbread, Anzac biscuits, Kombucha, tea and coffee. It is also possible to have a lunch cruise and private customized boat cruises for corporate social events, weddings, receptions, baptisms, baby showers, anniversaries and more.
A cruise on the boat allows the visitors a different way to enjoy Barrine Lake.
Lake Barrine During World War 2.
The war affected the Atherton Tablelands in many ways and in May 1943 the 2/24th Battalion come to Lake Barrine for a swimming carnival. By August a Convalescent Depot was created to provide rest and recreation for wounded soldiers recovering from the fighting.
The soldiers were sent to Lake Barrine to recover before being sent back to the war. During their time at Lake Barrine, they were allowed to drink beer. Today is still possible to find a few old beer bottles, stamped with the year 1942, half buried in the rainforest leaf litter.
After the war, many soldiers returned to Lake Barrine where they found a place of peace and healing from the difficult years of the war.
The Barrine Teahouse was used by soldiers to recover from the injuries of war. Photo courtesy of https://www.lakebarrine.com.au
To book your special event or inquire about contact Lake Barrine Teahouse:
(07) 4095 3847
Different aspects of Lake Barrine.
Dr Geraldine McGuire and her husband Athy returned from Indonesia after 25 years to discover the destruction of large areas of tropical rainforest. Determine to rehabilitate the degraded land, they got inspired to dedicate their own farm to a vibrant rainforest, focusing on native fruit species.
After trying many species of native plants, they chose to plant lemon aspen, Cape York Lilly Pilly, Boonjie Tamarind and the Ooray Plum. In that way, now they have a large supply of native food and their mission is to change the way people eat and to restore the forest. Rainforest Bounty was born and has become a leader in regenerative agricultural systems in Australia and the world.
“I’m an agricultural and environmental scientist specialising in rehabilitating degraded landscapes across northern Australia, Asia and the Pacific. The key elements of the rehabilitation incorporate regenerative agricultural principles while working collaboratively with Indigenous communities,” said Geraldine.
Jars of jam made with the ooray plums grown in the Rainforest Bounty, Malanda sold at The Barrine Rainforest.
How to get to Lake Barrine and The Barrine Teahouse.
Lake Barrine is 20 minutes, 22km, east of Atherton town and only 9 minutes, 10km, east of the town of Yungaburra.
Lake Barrine is 1 hour and 58km southwest of Cairns town.
Lake Barrine Teahouse and Rainforest Cruises are located in Crater Lakes National Park
Address: Lake Barrine Access, Lake Barrine QLD 4884.
Business Hours of The Barrine Teahouse.
More articles from the Author.
Explore the Atherton Tablelands in a Week
222378 - 2023-07-09 00:43:52