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Things to do
Camping is available at Lower Davies Creek camping area in Davies Creek National Park and further along Davies Creek Road at Upper Davies Creek camping area in Dinden National Park. Both are e-permit camping areas and all sites must be booked in advance.
Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
- Find out more about camping at Davies Creek and Dinden national parks.
There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Cairns, Mareeba, Kuranda and Atherton. For more information, see the tourism information links.
A range of walking tracks are provided in Davies Creek and Dinden national parks, Dinden West Forest Reserve and Bare Hill Conservation Park from short and easy through to the difficult 12.3km Kahlpahlim Rock circuit.
- Davies Creek and Dinden national parks, Dinden West Forest Reserve and Bare Hill Conservation Park map
- Kahlpahlim Rock circuit map
- Emerald Creek Falls walking tracks map
Key to track standards
The classification system is based on Australian Standards. Please note that while each track is classified according to its most difficult section, other sections may be of an easier level.
- No bushwalking experience required.
- Easy level track, suitable for all fitness levels.
- All junctions signposted and may include interpretive signs.
- Some bushwalking experience recommended.
- Tracks may have short steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps.
- Distinct tracks with junctions signposted.
- Bushwalking experience recommended.
- Tracks may be long, rough and very steep with muddy sections likely to be encountered.
- Limited signage.
Clohesy River fig tree boardwalk
Distance: 300m return
Details: This wheelchair-accessible boardwalk encircles the magnificent Clohesy River fig tree. Signs along the walk interpret the local rainforest environment.
This walk begins 9km along Clohesy River Road via the Kennedy Highway (9km north east of the intersection with Davies Creek Road or 10km south west of Kuranda). Access is only possible by four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Bunda Bibandji rock art walking track
Distance: 1.9km return
Time: allow 1hr walking time
Details: Follow Davies Creek Road for 2.5km and turn left down Bridle Creek Road. Follow Bridle Creek Road for 5km to the signposted turn-off to Bunda Bibandji rock art walking track.
Walk through an open forest dominated by pink bloodwood with an understorey carpet of grass trees. Along the way, look for tree identification labels for a number of species and learn the traditional names of these plants. The track gradually climbs up to granite outcrops where two rock art galleries depicting figures in red and yellow ochre are found. The track is suitable for most ages and fitness levels with some bushwalking experience recommended. The track has a compacted surface, short uphill sections and some steps.
Davies Creek Falls circuit track
Distance: 1.1km return
Details: This circuit track begins in the car park, 2km past Lower Davies Creek camping area along Davies Creek Road. The marked trail leads to two lookouts. One provides a view back along the valley while the other overlooks Davies Creek Falls as it plunges 75m into the valley below. Please enjoy the views from the lookouts but remain behind the barriers at all times—deaths have occurred at this site.
From the lookout, the track continues alongside a tranquil section of the creek lined with paperbark trees, pandanus and banksias. The track then leads to a sandy creek-side picnic and swimming area, where platypus may be seen, and returns to the car park up a slope dotted with grass trees.
Emerald Creek Falls lookout walking track
Distance: 1.9km return
Time: allow about 1hr walking time
Details: From the car park, the track leads upstream through dry sclerophyll forest characterised by eucalypts, acacia and grevilleas, with some pandanus trees in the moister gullies. The track ends at a lookout that provides views, not only of the falls, but also back along the valley and across the northern Atherton Tableland.
Bottom of Emerald Creek Falls walking track
Distance: 1.6km return
Time: 40min return
Details: From the car park, walk 575m, the track to the bottom of the falls branches off to the left, leaving the lookout track at the signposted junction. The track moves through gullies, over rocks and between water gums. Two crossings of Emerald Creek lead to the smooth, sloping (and slippery!) granite rock surfaces adjacent to the bottom falls area. The track ends here—return via the same track.
Attempting this track during or after wet weather is not recommended as the sloping granite rock surfaces become extremely slippery.
Turtle Rock circuit trail
Distance: 8km return
Details: This is a difficult trail that should only be undertaken by fit and experienced walkers. It is best to start the walk early in the cool of the day. Never walk alone. Carry plenty of water and inform a reliable person of your plans.
This trail starts near the toilet block between camp sites 3 and 4 in Upper Davies Creek camping area. It passes through open eucalypt forest scattered with grass trees before climbing a ridge. The track becomes quite rough and steep with loose gravel in the final climb to the 936m summit. At the summit there are impressive boulders and spectacular views in all directions. The trail continues over the summit and descends via a different ridge, reaching and crossing Davies Creek between camp sites 5 and 6. This section of the walk is marked by orange markers on trees. A short walk along Davies Creek Road takes you back to where you started.
At around 1300m above sea level, Kahlpahlim Rock is the highest point on the Lamb Range. The sheer size of the rock and the views over the Davies Creek catchment are impressive. Two steep but beautiful trails (Kahlpahlim Rock and Ridge trails) lead to the granite boulders of Kahlpahlim Rock. They converge near the top allowing hikers to walk the track as a circuit. See the table below for details.
These trails are well marked with orange trail markers but are difficult and should only be undertaken by fit and experienced walkers. Start the walk early, to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and allow time to return. It is not advisable to start the walk when the top of the mountain is covered in cloud or after wet weather. The best time to visit is in the drier months between September and November.
Access to the trail heads is seasonal and four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended. Carry at least 2–3L of drinking water per person—water is not available along the trails. Inform a reliable person of your plans.
The Ridge trail starts 11km along Davies Creek Road (1km beyond the turn-off to Upper Davies Creek camping area camp sites 5 and 6). It travels through open forest featuring tall rose gum, turpentine and casuarina trees. This trail has a steep incline and passes through open, partly shady country. After 3.6km take the left-hand trail at the junction and walk 1km to the enormous granite boulders of Kahlpahlim Rock. For your safety do not venture past the boulders.
Kahlpahlim Rock trail
The Kahlpahlim Rock trail starts 13.3km along Davies Creek Road (2.3km beyond the start of the Ridge trail). The trail ascends steeply along a former logging track before passing through rainforest, featuring magnificent blue kauri pine trees, and crossing two small creeks. Listen for calls of tooth-billed bowerbirds that loudly mimic the songs of other birds. After leaving the rainforest, the trail travels steeply through dry forest of casuarina and banksia trees before coming to a junction 4.4km along the trail. Walk 1km along the right-hand trail to reach the enormous granite boulders of Kahlpahlim Rock. For your safety do not venture past the boulders.
Kahlpahlim Rock circuit (combines Ridge trail and Kahlpahlim Rock trail)
This track can be walked as a circuit starting at either trail head described above. A 2.3km walk along Davies Creek Road returns to your vehicle. The Kahlpahlim Rock trail is quite steep but is shaded for much of the way. The Ridge trail offers a more manageable incline, but passes through open, less shady country.
Four-wheel driving and trail-bike riding
Explore the Shoteel Creek and Clohesy River valleys on the scenic Clohesy River Road. This 33km road is unsealed with numerous river crossings. Explore the many clear flowing creeks, read about the history and geology of the area and visit the Clohesy River fig tree.
No access is provided to Lake Morris or Cairns beyond the locked gates at the end of Clohesy River Road. Turn around in the signed clearing just before the gate as the road beyond is narrow with steep drop-offs.
There are two locked gates along Bridle Creek Road. Motorised vehicles (including trail-bikes) are not allowed on this section of road.
Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, cyclists and trail-bike riders as well as other four-wheel-drive vehicles and trail-bike riders. Drivers and riders must be licensed and vehicles (including trail-bikes) must be road-registered. For more information, see four-wheel driving and trail-bike riding.
Picnic and day-use areas
There is a picnic area 200m before Lower Davies Creek camping area and another along the Davies Creek Falls circuit track, 2km past Lower Davies Creek camping area along Davies Creek Road. No facilities are provided and camping is not permitted in these areas.
Lower Davies Creek camping area also provides access to Davies Creek for day visitors. This shaded area beside the creek has picnic tables and wheelchair-accessible toilets. Day visitors should be considerate of campers and not use the sites designated for camping.
In Dinden West Forest Reserve, picnic tables and toilets are provided in the day-use area near the carpark. The site is set among tall gum trees beside Emerald Creek and is an ideal picnic spot.
Davies Creek Mountain Bike Park
This network of mountain bike trails in the Lamb Range between Mareeba and Kuranda is accessed from the Kennedy Highway, approximately 13km from Mareeba. Follow the Davies Creek signs. Detailed information including trail grades and distances can be found at Davies Creek Mountain Bike Park.
Bicycles are allowed on Clohesy River, Bridle Creek and Davies Creek roads, but not on any of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service walking tracks or boardwalks. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, vehicles, trail-bikes and other cyclists.
The scenic Clohesy River Road (33km return) is unsealed with numerous river crossings.
Two locked gates are located along Bridle Creek Road. Bicycles may pass through these gates but motorised vehicles (including trail bikes) are not allowed on this section of road.
Davies Creek and Dinden national parks, Dinden West Forest Reserve and Bare Hill Conservation Park all offer excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife. See a number of plant and animal species, many of conservation significance. Enjoy the colourful and aromatic wildflower displays in spring.
- See the description of these parks' natural environment for more details about their diverse flora and fauna.
Other things to do
Swim in Davies Creek or Emerald Creek and relax on the granite boulders worn smooth by thousands of years of flowing water. Take care on slippery rocks in and near the creeks.
- For more information see the tourism information links.