Visiting Kuranda and Mowbray safely
Getting there and getting around
Access to both Kuranda and Mowbray national parks is via Black Mountain Road.
Black Mountain Road
The 43km, mostly unsealed Black Mountain Road traverses both Kuranda and Mowbray national parks, as well as State forest and private land. It runs from the Kennedy Highway near Kuranda in the south to the Mossman–Mount Molloy Road, near Julatten, in the north. Its northern and southern extremities are accessible by conventional vehicle, while the middle section is suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles only.
From the southern end of Black Mountain Road, near Kuranda, the first 18km is a formed gravel and bitumen road accessible by conventional vehicle (dry weather only). The next 20km, to the junction with the Bump Track, is suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles only and should not be attempted after rain. North of the Bump Track, the road is unsealed but accessible by conventional vehicle (dry weather only) to its junction with Euluma Creek Road.
Black Mountain Road is closed during the wetter months and after periods of heavy rain. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
See Queensland Traffic for information about road and travel conditions.
Please drive slowly to avoid possible collisions with wildlife including cassowaries and cattle that sometimes lie on the road. All vehicles must give way to logging trucks.
Access from Kuranda
From Kuranda take the Black Mountain Road turn-off from the Kennedy Highway (300m to the eastern side of the Barron River bridge).
Access from Julatten and Mossman
From Julatten, turn off the Mossman–Mount Molloy Road at the Julatten school into Euluma Creek Road. Travel 6.3km to Black Mountain Road, and then 5.5km to the top of the Bump Track. Alternatively, turn into Euluma Creek Road from the Mossman–Mount Molloy Road, 12km from the Captain Cook Highway and 16km from Mossman.
Access to the Bump Track
To reach the bottom of the Bump Track, head south from Port Douglas along the Captain Cook Highway to Craiglie. Turn right into Mowbray River Road 1.5km south of Craiglie. Turn off Mowbray River Road into Connolly Road and continue for 3.5km to the Bump Track. To reach the top of the Bump Track, follow directions to Black Mountain Road from Julatten, Mossman or Kuranda as above. Motor vehicles, including trail bikes, are not permitted on the Bump Track.
There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities or tracks.
Take some simple precautions to ensure a safe, enjoyable visit:
- Always carry water, wear a hat and sturdy footwear, and try to walk in the cooler part of the day.
- Be alert for snakes when exploring the area. Wear protective clothing such as long pants and closed-in shoes.
- Stay on the track. You may get lost if you leave the road or walking track. Take a map if possible and follow markers and signs carefully. Let someone responsible know your plans in case you get lost.
- Stay on the track and take care on uneven surfaces, especially in wet conditions.
- Take care when driving. Black Mountain Road is unsealed and has sharp curves and rough surfaces. After rain the road can become slippery and boggy.
- Wear appropriate safety gear and be realistic about your riding and driving abilities. Ride and drive to the conditions.
- Beware of other road users. Vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders use roads in these parks.
- Obey speed limits and obey safety and advisory signs
- Be aware that stinging trees are found alongside many walking tracks. They grow to 4m high and have large, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Do not touch this plant as it may result in a very painful sting.
- Cassowaries are potentially dangerous. Avoid unnecessary risks and help protect cassowaries—be cass-o-wary.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Before you visit
Myrtle rust—a fungal disease affecting many native plants—has been found in Kuranda National Park. The disease poses a significant threat to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Be aware of what myrtle rust looks like before visiting the park and avoid contact with infected trees.
Essentials to bring
To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit always bring:
- a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
- insect repellent and suitable clothing to protect against insect bites
- sturdy, reliable footwear
- drinking water.
Mowbray and Kuranda national parks are open 24hrs a day. For your safety, walk in daylight hours only. Black Mountain Road may be impassable after wet conditions.
Permits and fees
Mountain bikers do not need permits for the Bump Track or Twin Bridges track, except for group or commercial activities. Horse riders intending to access the Bump Track and the Bicentennial National Trail, where it traverses Mowbray National Park, need to obtain a letter of authorisation from the QPWS Regional Manager, valid for a 12 month period. View permits and fees for further information.
Domestic animals, including dogs, are not allowed in Mowbray or Kuranda national parks. Horses are permitted on the Bump Track and Bicentennial National Trail with a letter of authorisation from the QPWS Regional Manager. See permits and fees for more information.
Climate and weather
Kuranda and Mowbray national parks have a tropical climate. In summer, maximum temperatures range from 27°C to 33°C with high humidity, and between December and April, there are frequent, heavy downpours of rain and the possibility of thunderstorms and cyclones.
The cooler, drier months from May to September are the best time to visit. The weather is pleasantly warm with reduced humidity and average maximum temperatures of 26°C.
For more information see the tourism information links.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available at nearby Cairns, Kuranda and Mossman. For more information see the tourism information links.
- Temporary track closure: Twin Bridges track (formerly East Black Mountain Road), Mowbray National Park 31 August 2020 to 31 January 2024