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Visiting Danbulla safely
Danbulla National Park and Danbulla State Forest are on the central part of the Atherton Tableland. Danbulla Road is a 28km drive, suitable for conventional vehicles, that runs through the park and forest. The eastern entrance to the road is on Boar Pocket Road, just near the top of the Gillies Highway, about 60km or 1.5hrs drive from Cairns. The western entrance is reached via the township of Kairi, which is about 80km from Cairns via the Gillies Highway, and about 90km from Cairns via the Kennedy Highway and Mareeba. The Atherton Tableland is also accessible via the Palmerston Highway from Innisfail and via the Mossman–Mount Molloy Road from Port Douglas.
Take care when driving. Danbulla Road is narrow, unsealed and has sharp curves and rough surfaces. Be aware of other vehicles, pedestrians and wildlife on the road. Logging trucks also use this road. Exercise extreme caution and look out for oncoming vehicles. The Tablelands Regional Council has erected signs indicating this road is unsuitable for caravans. For any road access problems, please contact the Tablelands Regional Council.
There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities in Danbulla National Park and State Forest.
- Keep to the walking tracks at all times and take note of the safety signs.
- Wear sunscreen, a hat and protective clothing when exploring the area.
- Take care on wet and slippery rocks.
- Treat tap and creek water before drinking.
- Never dive or jump into the water; it may be shallower than it looks and there could be hidden, submerged objects.
- Mobile phone coverage is not reliable.
Take care when driving. Danbulla Road is narrow, unsealed and has sharp curves and rough surfaces. Be aware of other vehicles, logging trucks, pedestrians and wildlife on the road. The Tablelands Regional Council has erected signs indicating this road is unsuitable for caravans. For any road access problems please contact the Tablelands Regional Council.
Mount Edith and Kauri Creek roads are unsealed and may be closed during periods of extended wet weather. Take care to remain on the left side of the road and be on the lookout for oncoming traffic. Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.
The lake contains many submerged trees and other hidden hazards. These hazards vary as the water level in the lake changes. Vessel masters must ensure they navigate with extreme caution.
- There are no patrolled swimming areas in Lake Tinaroo, and you enter the water at your own risk.
- Swimmers have been seriously injured by boats. Take care around boats and skiiers.
- Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Essentials to bring
- drinking water
- sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days, to protect yourself from the sun.
Danbulla National Park and State Forest are open 24hrs a day.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required and fees apply. Your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
- Find out more about camping in Danbulla National Park and State Forest.
If you intend conducting a commercial tour, wedding, school excursion or scientific research in Tully Gorge National Park, a permit may be required. See park permits and policies for further information.
Details for non-commercial walking groups is available in the walking section.
A stocked impoundment permit is required to fish in Lake Tinaroo.
Dogs are permitted on a leash at the Platypus Rock lookout, Kauri Creek day-use area and The Chimneys day-use area. Domestic animals are not permitted anywhere else in the Danbulla area.
Climate and weather
Danbulla National Park and State Forest are 800m above sea level and their lower humidity and temperatures are a pleasant escape from the coastal extremes. Maximum summer temperatures are around 30°C while winter temperatures can fall below 10°C at night, when frosts are not uncommon. Most of the rain falls during the wet season, between December and March. For more information see the tourism information links.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available from any of the towns on the tableland. The closest town to the eastern end of the drive is Yungaburra, and at the western end is Tinaroo township. For more information see the tourism information links.