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Exploring the Kauri Creek 4WD Track

Home > Cairns > Outdoor | Fun Things To Do | Free | National Parks | 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 January 18th 2013
Breathtaking discoveries in the Far North rainforest
A part of the 42km Tinaroo Range road network, Kauri Creek Road is a 4WD track through the Lamb Range rainforest. It can be accessed via the Danbulla Forest Drive in Tinaroo, or via Mareeba off the Tinaroo Creek Road. Free permits to travel this 4WD track can be obtained from the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing.

Once we were on the Kauri Creek track, the drive became rockier with potholes, loose gravel, and streaks of water erosion. There were a few narrow sections with dizzying drops (don't look down!), and tight corners which were impossible to see around. We slowed down to a crawl for safer driving.

Kauri Creek Road - 4WD Track
One of the smoother sections of the Kauri Creek 4WD track.

The slow pace made for a longer travel time, however the abundance of things to see made time fly by. There were birds with bright plumage, glossy ferns, creeping vines and an ever-changing landscape of towering trees. We also travelled through clouds, feeling like we were in a jungle movie.

At one point, we came across a creek tortoise making its way across the road. Fortunately it never made it to the "other side" as we stopped to shoo it back off the track.

Tropical tortoise on the Kauri Creek Road
Why did the tortoise cross the croad?

Just as we were beginning to wonder if the track would ever end, we came across a carpark direction sign. Strangely, it was facing the forest, not the road so this warranted a closer look. Lo and behold an overgrown walking track into the rainforest!

Hidden walking track off Kauri Creek Road
Finding hidden paths makes for a good adventure!

We hopped out of the car for a quick look, which turned into a good hour as we came across the beautiful rainforest Kauri Creek. It was shallow enough to walk up, so off we went. Icy mountain water, sandy gravel, waxy water plants, mossy logs and drooping wait-a-while all contributed to an exotic jungle experience.

Exotic Kauri Creek in the FNQ Rainforest
This exotic rainforest creek is worth exploring.

At the car again, reality came back to bite us in the butt with the discovery of leeches. After some screaming and carrying on from the kids, emergency salt alternative (a bag of salt and vinegar chips), and streaks of blood, we made our way home via Tinaroo.

Pros
Exotic rainforest scenery to look at & photograph
Cold mountain creek to explore
Refreshing crisp air to breath in
Glimpses of FNQ wildlife
Complex earthy mixture of scents to enjoy

Cons
Long drive, must go slow
Risky tight twisting corners and fallen trees
Wait-a-while is out to get you with its barbs
Leeches in the leafy litter
One-lane track, not many passing bays.
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Why? Because being in this tropical rainforest leaves you feeling reinvigorated and full of wildish energy!
Where: Danbulla National Park & State Forest
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Love the pros and cons ;) Leeches are a definite con! But the whole experience looks worth it.
by Katy Holliday (score: 3|1129) 1567 days ago
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