Things to do
- Find out more about camping in the Palmerston (Doongan) section of Wooroonooran National Park.
Camping permits are required and fees apply. Your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
A range of holiday accommodation is available in and around Innisfail, the Atherton Tableland and Cairns. For more information, see the tourism information links.
Several access points along the Palmerston Highway allow walkers to explore the ancient rainforest at the southern end of Wooroonooran National Park.
The Palmerston Highway also provides access, via K-Tree Road, to the Misty Mountains wilderness tracks, a 130km network of short and long wilderness tracks through pristine, high altitude rainforest with crystal clear creeks, waterfalls and panoramic views.
North Johnstone lookout track 4km return (1–1.5hr) Grade: difficult
Starting from Crawfords lookout, a steep, winding track drops 500m in 1.5km and leads to a lookout—an open grassy area that overlooks the North Johnstone River and Douglas Creek. Follow the track down a further 500m to reach the river. Return along the same track.
Tchupala Falls track 1.2km return (40min) Grade: easy
About 2km uphill from Crawfords lookout on the right, via the highway, a track leads to Tchupala Falls. After about 200m, the track splits. The right-hand track continues for 400m to Tchupala Falls where Henrietta Creek tumbles over a basalt barricade, one of many created by past volcanic activity. This is a permanently damp place supporting ferns, mosses and other moisture-loving plants.
Wallicher Falls and Gooligans picnic area track 3km one way (1–2hr) Grade: easy
About 2km uphill from Crawfords lookout on the right, via the highway, a track leads to Wallicher Falls, the beginning of the track is also the start of the walk to Tchupala Falls. After about 200m, the track splits. The left-hand track leads to Wallicher Falls (800m) and then continues for another 2km to Gooligans picnic area.
Gooligans picnic area to Henrietta camping area track 800m one way (30min) Grade: easy
This short track connects Gooligans picnic area with the camping area and involves wading across Henrietta Creek.
Nandroya Falls circuit track 6km return (2–3hr) Grade: moderate
From the western side of Henrietta Creek camping area, cross the footbridge over Henrietta Creek. After a short distance the track divides—the left branch leads 1.7km to Nandroya Falls, winding along the upper valley of Douglas Creek, passing the 10m high Silver Creek Falls on the way. The right branch is a longer 3.5km route to the falls. At Nandroya Falls, Douglas Creek drops in a narrow, uninterrupted, 50m fall from a basalt parapet. This walk can be done as a circuit walk, returning by the alternative route.
To the south of the Palmerston Highway, a 36km scenic drive winds through picturesque rainforest from the Palmerston Highway, via the K-tree, Maple Creek and Sutties Gap roads, to the Ravenshoe–Millaa Millaa scenic drive (Old Palmerston Highway) about 12.5km east of Ravenshoe.
Sutties Gap, K-tree, Maple Creek, Bora Ground and Maalan roads are all unsealed—four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended for Sutties Gap, Maple Creek, Bora Ground and Maalan roads. All roads are unsuitable for caravans, motor homes or buses. Roads may be slippery when wet. Gates at the entrance to these roads may be locked to stop access during times of extremely wet weather or for road works—check for park alerts.
Picnic and day-use areas
Henrietta Creek camping area has picnic tables, free gas barbecues and toilet facilities. Toilets are wheelchair accessible.
Gooligans picnic area, 1km down the Palmerston Highway from Henrietta Creek camping area, has picnic tables and toilets.
South Johnstone camping area, 12.8km along K-tree Road, has picnic tables and toilets. It is on the banks of the South Johnstone River, near a pleasant swimming hole.
Unless otherwise indicated, bicycles are only allowed on gazetted roads—they are not generally permitted on Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service walking tracks. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, vehicles, trail-bikes and other cyclists.
Some of the nearby Misty Mountains wilderness tracks are shared tracks with mountain biking permitted.
The dense rainforest, with over 500 tree species, attracts a diverse range of animals and provides many opportunities for viewing them in their natural environment. Bright butterflies are commonly encountered. Observant visitors may see a platypus swimming in the creek or a musky rat-kangaroo hopping through the forest.
See the description of the park’s natural environment for more details about the area’s wildlife.
Other things to do
This elevated walkway and tower, 1km east of Crawfords lookout, has sweeping views of the North Johnstone River gorge and surrounding rainforest-clad mountains. It allows visitors to get close to plants and animals, from the forest floor to the canopy. Information signs explain the complex web of rainforest life and the rich cultural history of the area which has great significance for the Ma:Mu Aboriginal people.
Stop at Crawfords lookout to admire the view through a gap in the forest down to the North Johnstone River far below.