Manjal Jimalji (Devils Thumb) trail
This challenging trail provides an opportunity to discover the unique vegetation of the upland and lowland rainforests. The amazing range of bird life found here changes with altitude.
- Journey type
- 10.6km return Start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path
- Time suggested
- Allow 8hr
- Grade 4 walking track
- Conventional vehicle
- Lookout (natural)
Manjal Jimalji is the Eastern Kuku Yalanji place name for the locally known Devils Thumb. Manjal Jimalji is a significant cultural site that tells the story of fire creation.
The Manjal Jimalji trail requires an above average level of fitness. Be prepared for steep ascents and slippery surfaces.
To ensure your walk is safe and comfortable, try to walk between May and November when the weather and trail conditions are at their best. The trail becomes slippery in wet and cloudy weather. Walking the trail is not recommended in these conditions. Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.
Stay on the walking trail at all times—this reduces the risk of injury, prevents disturbance to native vegetation and reduces erosion. Serious injuries have occurred in this area as a result of walkers leaving the designated trail.
As outlined below, the trail is broken up into sections identified by natural landmarks. Distance markers have also been placed at 1km intervals along the trail. These markers can be used to help you track your progress.
Little Falls Creek to coral fern patch
The trail starts at Little Falls Creek. Take care when crossing the creek as the rocks can be very slippery. After crossing Little Falls Creek, the trail climbs steeply through the lowland rainforest. Bloodwoods and wattles tower above the rainforest canopy and thickets of lawyer vine can be seen along the edge of the trail.
As the trail ascends the vegetation begins to change. At 900m in elevation, 3km along the trail, you reach the upland rainforest. Look for the red flowers of a Proteaceae or the blue kauri pine.
Coral fern patch to Split Rock
Another 300m along the trail the rainforest stops abruptly at a natural clearing filled with wiry coral fern and the wind-hardy mountain tea-tree. Help to preserve this picturesque vegetation by remaining on the trail at all times.
At an altitude of 1,000m the absence of rainforest plants provides excellent views and an ideal spot for a break. On a clear day this vantage point allows walkers to see the Mossman and Port Douglas coastline.
At this point walkers need to decide whether to continue to the lookout (which is a further 4km return) or turn back. To continue to the lookout walkers should have climbing skills, above average fitness and at least five hours of remaining daylight.
At about 3.7km the trail re-enters the rainforest. Another 400m along the trail look for a large cracked boulder known as Split Rock.
Split Rock to the lookout
From Split Rock the trail gently undulates before reaching Manjal Jimalji (Devils Thumb), which is located below the crest of the ridge. Large boulders are present along this last section of the trail and climbing skills are required.
On a clear day, enjoy the extensive views from the lookout. The rainforest-clad Main Coast Range, of which Manjal Jimalji is a part, runs parallel to the coast. To the east, views of the Mossman lowlands and coastline are possible. The Dagmar Range can be seen to the north and the impressive Wundu (Thornton Peak) and Daintree valley to the north-east.
Conditions at the lookout are often damp as moisture-laden clouds move in from the sea and are trapped by the steep ranges. Around the boulders, mist-nourished plants are shaped by the wind. Look for the red-flowering native rhododendron.
Getting there and getting around
Manjal Jimalji (Devils Thumb) trail is located in Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park (CYPAL). The trail begins in the Whyanbeel Valley at Little Falls Creek about 17km north of Mossman, which is 80km north of Cairns along the Captain Cook Highway.
- Travel north on the Mossman–Daintree Road.
- About 8km north of Mossman the Mossman–Daintree Road veers to the right while Miallo Road continues straight ahead.
- Follow Miallo Road for 3km then turn left into Whyanbeel Road.
- Travel a further 4km, crossing the bridge over Whyanbeel Creek, and take the second road on the left towards the Karnak Playhouse.
- Continue past the Karnak Playhouse until you cross a cattle grid.
- After crossing the grid, park your car off the road.
- Follow the walking track, indicated by orange markers and directional signs, for 700m to the start of the Manjal Jimalji (Devils Thumb) trail. Remember, some of this land is private property so be respectful by staying on designated roads and walking tracks.
The Manjal Jimalji (Devils Thumb) trail is not wheelchair accessible.
The Manjal Jimalji (Devils Thumb) trail should only be attempted in daylight hours—plan your walk so that you return before nightfall. Walking this trail is not recommended in very hot and humid conditions or wet, cloudy weather when the trail becomes slippery.
Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.