Goldsborough Valley, Wooroonooran National Park Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: Photo: Kerry Trapnell © Qld Govt

Visiting Goldsborough Valley safely

    Mulgrave River. Photo: Rob Ashdown, Queensland Government

    Mulgrave River. Photo: Rob Ashdown, Queensland Government

    Kearneys Falls. Photo: Rob Ashdown, Queensland Government

    Kearneys Falls. Photo: Rob Ashdown, Queensland Government

    Stinging tree. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Stinging tree. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Camping area has picnic and toilet facilities. Photo: Rob Ashdown, Queensland Government

    Camping area has picnic and toilet facilities. Photo: Rob Ashdown, Queensland Government

    Getting there and getting around

    Maps
    From Cairns

    Travel 24 km south of Cairns to Gordonvale and turn right onto the Gillies Highway. Continue along the highway for about 6 km and turn left at the signposted Goldsborough Valley turn-off. Cross Peets Bridge and continue for 16 km through farms and cane fields to the Goldsborough Valley camping and day-use areas. The last 5 km of this road is unsealed but well graded, although it can be slippery in wet conditions. It is suitable for conventional vehicles with caution. Drive slowly and watch for wildlife and oncoming traffic. It is not recommended for caravans, buses or trailers.

    From Atherton

    Drive through Yungaburra and down the Gillies Highway. Turn right at the signposted turn-off to Goldsborough Valley, then follow the directions as above.

    The road into Goldsborough Valley may be closed during the wetter months (November to April) or after heavy rain.

    See Queensland Traffic for information about road and travel conditions.

    Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

    Wheelchair accessibility

    Wheelchair-accessible toilets are provided.

    Staying safe

    • For your safety, access to Kearneys Falls, including the rock pools at the bottom of the falls, is not allowed.
    • Never jump or dive into the water.
    • Take care when walking near the river—the river banks and rocks can be slippery.
    • Be aware of rapidly rising water levels after heavy rain.
    • Stay on the tracks and boardwalk and take care on slippery surfaces, especially in wet conditions.
    • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
    • Wear protective clothing and insect repellent to protect yourself from scratches, stings and bites. Biting flies, known as marsh flies, March flies or horse flies, are often present in the tropics during the warmer months (August to April).
    • Treat all water before drinking, including tap water.
    • Be aware that stinging trees are found alongside tracks. They grow to 4m high and have large, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. The leaves, stems and red fruits are covered with tiny silica hairs that inject toxins when touched, resulting in a painful sting that can persist for months. If you are stung, and symptoms are severe, seek medical advice.
    • Bullrouts (freshwater stonefish) live in the river. Wear shoes when wading or swimming. If stung, seek medical attention.
    • Take care around cassowaries—these large birds are potentially dangerous. Stay well away from any cassowaries sighted and never feed them. Be cass-o-wary.
    • Detour around snakes—never provoke them.

    For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

    Before you visit

    Essentials to bring

    • Be self-sufficient in food, water and first-aid supplies.
    • Bring water containers and water treatment equipment.
    • Bring sunscreen, hat, suitable clothing, insect repellant and sturdy footwear.
    • Bring a screened tent or mosquito nets for protection from insects. Biting flies, known as marsh flies, March flies or horse flies, are often present in the tropics during the warmer months (August to April).
    • Carry rubbish bags to take your rubbish away with you—bins are not provided.

    Opening hours

    Wooroonooran National Park is open 24 hours a day. The Goldsborough Valley section may be closed after heavy rain, particularly in the wetter months (between November and April). Additional closures may occur for management purposes, including pest plant and pest animal control.

    Permits and fees

    Camping permits

    Camping is permitted only in the Goldsborough Valley camping area. Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite.

    Other permits

    Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities. Contact us for more information.

    Pets

    Domestic animals are not permitted in Wooroonooran National Park.

    Climate and weather

    Goldsborough Valley has a tropical climate. The best time to visit is between May and September when daytime temperatures are cooler and conditions are generally drier. During the wetter months (November to April) it is mostly hot, wet and humid with temperatures often above 30ºC.

    For more information see the tourism information links.

    Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

    Fuel and supplies

    Fuel and supplies are available from Cairns, Gordonvale, babinda, Innisfail and towns on the Atherton Tableland. For more information see the tourism information links.