Goldsborough Valley, Wooroonooran National Park Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: Photo: Kerry Trapnell © Qld Govt

Things to do

    Goldsborough Valley camping area. Photo: Rob Ashdown, Queensland Government

    Goldsborough Valley camping area. Photo: Rob Ashdown, Queensland Government

    Kearneys Falls viewing area. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Kearneys Falls viewing area. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Day-use area. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Day-use area. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Interpretive signs explain traditional plant uses. Photo: Rob Ashdown, Queensland Government

    Interpretive signs explain traditional plant uses. Photo: Rob Ashdown, Queensland Government

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    The Goldsborough Valley camping area is beside the Mulgrave River. Toilets, barbeques, fire rings, picnic shelters and tap water are provided—treat water before drinking.

    Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

    Other accommodation

    A range of accommodation is available in and around Cairns and also on the nearby Atherton Tableland. These include hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, caravan parks and commercial camping areas. For more information see the tourism information links.

    Walking

    Wajil walk (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 1.7 km return

    Time: Allow about 1–1.5 hrs walking time

    Details: The walk begins at the camping area and winds through lowland rainforest to the base of the scenic Kearneys Falls. The walk is mostly graded, with sections of stairs and a short boardwalk at the end with good views of the falls. Discover the unique culture and stories of the Dulabed Malanbarra Yidinji Aboriginal people through signs along the walk.

    Goldfield trail (Grade: moderate)

    Distance: 19 km one way

    Time: Allow about 7–9 hrs walking time

    Details: Follow the footsteps of the gold prospectors on the historic Goldfield trail. The trail starts at the far end of the camping area and follows the Mulgrave River. Passing out of the valley the trail climbs to a saddle in the Bellenden Ker Range and then descends to follow Babinda Creek, finishing at the Boulders Scenic Reserve near Babinda. The trail is long and crosses moderately steep terrain. The section of trail between Goldsborough Valley and the East Mulgrave causeway
    (8 km) is also used by mountain bikers. Walkers need to arrange for transport at the other end of the trail.

    See the Goldfield trail web page for more information.

    Picnic and day-use areas

    The serene and shady day-use area, near the camping area, on the bank of the Mulgrave River provides picnic tables, barbecues, wheelchair-accessible toilets and tap water. Treat all water before drinking.

    Fishing

    Fishing is permitted in the Mulgrave River. Fisheries regulations apply—information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures is available from Fisheries Queensland.

    Viewing wildlife

    Many birds and butterflies may be seen in Goldsborough Valley. Buff-breasted paradise-kingfishers Tanysiptera sylvia migrate from New Guinea between October and April. Australian brush-turkeys Alectura lathami and orange-footed scrubfowls Megapodius reinwardt can be seen scraping the forest floor for leaf litter to build their large mound nests. Look for flashes of colour as butterflies, such as the Cairns birdwing Ornithoptera euphorion, flutter by.

    At night listen for the distinctive call of the lesser sooty owl Tyto tenebricosa multipunctata—a piercing descending whistle like a falling bomb. The 'toc' call of males of the tapping green-eyed frog Litoria genimaculata may also be heard in the night.

    By the river you may see eastern water dragons Physignathus lesueurii. These large, shy lizards can be seen sitting on tree limbs overhanging the river. When disturbed they will drop quickly into the water and disappear.

    The river is home to numerous freshwater fish, such as rainbowfish Melanotaenia spp. and flyspecked hardyheads Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum. Be aware that bullrouts Notesthes robusta—well-camouflaged freshwater stonefish with venomous spines—live in the river and can inflict a painful wound. Seek medical attention if stung.

    See the description of the park’s natural environment for more details about the Goldsborough Valley’s diverse wildlife.

    Other things to do

    Cycling

    Mountain bike along the Goldsborough Valley end of the Goldfield trail. Bike riding is restricted to an 8 km section of the trail from the Goldsborough Valley camping area to the East Mulgrave causeway. Permits are not required to ride mountain bikes along this section of the Goldfield trail.

    Mountain bikes are not permitted on the East Mulgrave causeway and on the 11 km section of the trail between the causeway and the Babinda Boulders Scenic Reserve.

    For more information, see cycling.

    River access

    There are a number of access points to the Mulgrave River from both the camping and day-use areas. Be aware that the water is often fast flowing and the river banks and rocks can be slippery.

    Canoeing conditions are best between March and May—at other times the water may be flowing too fast, or water levels may not be high enough to allow safe passage.