Things to do
Camping is not permitted in Kuranda and Mowbray national parks. Camping is available at nearby Speewah Conservation Park.
There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Cairns, Kuranda and Mossman. For more information see the tourism information links.
There are two long-distance walks in the parks—the Bump Track in Mowbray National Park; and Twin Bridges track that passes through both Mowbray and Kuranda national parks.
Bump Track (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 12km return
Time: Allow about 8hrs walking time
Details: The Bump Track, a feeder track for the Bicentennial National Trail, is a multi-use track open to horses (permits required) and mountain bikes as well as walkers. It traverses Mowbray National Park between the coastal lowlands and Black Mountain Road. Passing through rainforest and eucalypt forest with some steep sections, the track offers views of Big Mowbray Falls and the Mowbray River mouth. Motor vehicles and trail bikes are not allowed on the Bump Track.
Twin Bridges track (Grade: easy)
Distance: 18km one way
Time: Allow about 5hrs walking time
Details: Twin Bridges track follows the route of the original Black Mountain Road, to the east of the current road. It diverges from Black Mountain Road 27km from the Kennedy Highway and rejoins it 2km from the top of the Bump Track. Closed by gates at both ends, it is a wide, open multi-use track for walkers and mountain bikers. Motor vehicles, trail bikes and horses are not allowed on Twin Bridges track.
The Bump Track, as a feeder track for the 5330km Bicentennial National Trail, is suitable for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers. As the Bump Track is within Mowbray National Park, horse riders will need to obtain a letter of authorisation from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) Regional Director, valid for a 12 month period. Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities. For more information about horse riding on the Bump Track and Bicentennial National Trail see permits and fees.
Horses are not permitted anywhere else in Kuranda or Mowbray national parks, including Twin Bridges track.
Trail bikes are not allowed on the Twin Bridges or Bump tracks.
Trail-bike riding and four-wheel driving
Black Mountain Road
Distance: 43km one-way
Grade: Allow 2 hours riding time
Details: Explore Kuranda Mowbray National Park on a scenic ride or drive along Black Mountain Road, from the Kennedy Highway near Kuranda to the Mossman-Mount Molloy Road near Julatten. This 43km one-way drive is a formed gravel and bitumen road for the first 18km; the next 20km is unsealed and not suitable for conventional vehicles. Black Mountain Road may be closed during the wetter months (December to April) and after periods of heavy rain. Riders and drivers must be licensed and trail-bikes and vehicles must be fully registered. Drive slowly to avoid possible collisions with wildlife including cassowaries and cattle that sometimes lie on the road. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles. For more information about access and road conditions see getting there and getting around.
Stay on formed roads—trail-bikes and vehicles are not permitted off-road, or on walking tracks, including the Bump and Twin Bridges tracks.
Southern cassowaries (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii) inhabit the rainforest in this area. These large flightless birds, which can reach 2m in height, are shy and should be treated with caution as they are capable of causing injury. Males with chicks can be seen around Black Mountain Road in Kuranda National Park. Do not attempt to feed them.
Early morning walks along Black Mountain Road reward birdwatchers with sightings of many different birds including pheasant coucals Centropus phasianinus, forest kingfishers Todiramphus macleayii, white-breasted woodswallows Artamus leucorynchus, sulphur-crested cockatoos Cacatua galerita, spangled drongos Dicrurus bracteatus, Australasian figbirds Sphecotheres vieilloti and several kinds of honeyeaters. Look for grey Accipiter novaehollandiae and brown goshawks Accipiter fasciatus and white-bellied sea-eagles Haliaeetus leucogaster circling overhead or perched in high branches. In early summer, male riflebirds Ptiloris victoriae are sometimes seen on tall, dead trees and, in the evenings, bush stone-curlews Burhinus grallarius emit their mournful calls.
- Temporary closure: Twin Bridges track (East Black Mountain Road) 31 August 2020 to 25 November 2022