Looking for Day Walk suggestions near Port Douglas

Queensland specific bushwalking discussion.
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Queensland specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Looking for Day Walk suggestions near Port Douglas

Postby johnw » Mon 25 Jun, 2012 2:14 pm

I will be spending 7 days staying in Port Douglas in a couple of weeks time with my wife, brother-in-law and his four kids aged 2 to 10. It is only a short trip but I hope to have 3 or 4 days for bushwalking (day trips only). I am an experienced bushwalker and usually prefer moderate grade walks around 10-20 km for day trips. I will be doing most walking solo. My wife is not a bushwalker, although she (and maybe the kids + BIL) may do a really easy short walk or two. I have started doing my own research but, as I don't know the region at all, it would be good to have some local knowledge. I have started a list of potentials but don't have it with me right now. I will have a rental vehicle but it is only conventional 2WD, so unfortunately anything requiring 4WD access is out. I would also prefer to limit the amount of driving needed, given the short trip duration. Kuranda/Barron Gorge area and Mt Baldy are a couple of places that I was looking at among others, but some options closer to Port Douglas would be good. I generally prefer walks with an objective destination e.g. to a peak, waterfall, gorge lookout, lake, historical feature etc. But I have a completely open mind on the possibilities, any suggestions welcome.
John W

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Re: Looking for Day Walk suggestions near Port Douglas

Postby nq111 » Mon 25 Jun, 2012 6:01 pm

http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/daintr ... about.html

http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/daintr ... about.html

http://www.wild.com.au/uploads/wild/gen ... ree_NP.pdf

Take the kids to Mossman Gorge - too many people but nice all the same.

A mountain bike track but also maybe an option: http://www.wettropics.gov.au/ttd/trackdtl?idtrack=30

Unfortunately most of the walking is 15 minute boardwalks.
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Re: Looking for Day Walk suggestions near Port Douglas

Postby nq111 » Mon 25 Jun, 2012 6:02 pm

Oh - and please post on here what else you find plus any notes after your holiday :)
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Re: Looking for Day Walk suggestions near Port Douglas

Postby johnw » Tue 26 Jun, 2012 9:14 am

nq111 wrote:Oh - and please post on here what else you find plus any notes after your holiday :)

Yes will do :). Thanks very much for the info nq111, I'll investigate those links more thoroughly. Yes my research so far comes up with a lot of short boardwalk options and touristy things, some of which we'll do with the kids as we haven't visited before. Obviously I haven't got a huge amount of time available but hopefully enough for a longer walk or two to get the feel of the region. The Bump Track was actually one I had started to look at. You have prompted me to also look through my collection of Wild back issues.
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Re: Looking for Day Walk suggestions near Port Douglas

Postby johnw » Mon 23 Jul, 2012 2:15 pm

nq111 wrote:Oh - and please post on here what else you find plus any notes after your holiday :)

So, we flew back to Sydney via Brisbane on Saturday evening after 8 days of mainly good weather. I did get a few short walks in amongst the touristy stuff. Nothing very taxing but enough to give me some idea of the area. On my own I managed to do Wangetti to Hartley's Creek Falls, and another day from the top end of the Bump Track to the head of Big Mowbray Falls. We drove up to Cape Tribulation one day and completed a couple of short boardwalks in Daintree NP (Marrja and Dubuji). While my wife waited I took off on my own in the rain and did the Jindalba circuit track (after first completing the boardwalk of the same name with the family group - we had our one and only cassowary sighting here - it was foraging on the other side of the creek. Unfortunately too far away and dim light for a photo). Mt Sorrow, Thornton Peak (sounds like a mission) etc will have to wait for now. Drove through the Atherton Tableland region on Saturday and visited the Curtain Fig en route (although I doubt that it would qualify as a bushwalk).

Outside of bushwalking also went up to Kuranda on the train and back on the skyrail (I did do the short rainforest pathway and river walk in Kuranda). And the obligatory cruise out to Low Isles for some snorkelling on the reef. So we had a pretty full week in hindsight. Some of it not cheap but I guess you only live once :). We had a good time and are considering a return trip at some point. I think I would stick with the dry season, not sure I could handle the humidity of the wet.
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Re: Looking for Day Walk suggestions near Port Douglas

Postby nq111 » Tue 24 Jul, 2012 7:53 pm

Thanks for that John,

Looks like you did alright given the family nature of the holiday and hopefully got a taste for the region. Would have been wet recently too which makes the character of the rainforest nicer (IMO).

Unfortunately, NQ is not very well set up for the serious walking crowd - and many of the better walks seem to have very limited public information.
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Re: Looking for Day Walk suggestions near Port Douglas

Postby johnw » Tue 24 Jul, 2012 9:58 pm

nq111 wrote:Thanks for that John,

Looks like you did alright given the family nature of the holiday and hopefully got a taste for the region. Would have been wet recently too which makes the character of the rainforest nicer (IMO).

Unfortunately, NQ is not very well set up for the serious walking crowd - and many of the better walks seem to have very limited public information.

Yes I'd agree with all that nq111. Before the trip I picked up a 2nd hand copy of Tropical walking tracks : Port Douglas, the Daintree & Cooktown by Kym Dungey & Jane Whytlaw. That helped with some local walk info. Even so I had difficulty finding the start of the Hartleys Creek Falls track. I found a man whipper snippering in the grounds of the old crocodile farm next to it, which he told me is now private accommodation. He vaguely knew the track but had only attemped to walk up there once, apparently finding the going too difficult beyond the rock pools about halfway up. He didn't think it was possible to reach the falls, which left me scratching my head :?. Anyway he was very obliging and got out an old topo map which confirmed that I was in the right vicinity and heading for the intended spot. He wished me luck but I had no trouble locating the falls and the walk was quite easy, old fire trail mainly with just a few steep pinches. The start was at an old wire gate with a no unauthorised access sign (or similar wording), virtually overgrown at the start and in places and not very inviting initially, but persistence paid off and it was well worth the effort :). I think locals do go up there occasionally as I noticed several cars parked near the gate on Saturday plus plenty of evidence of mountain bike tyre tracks during my walk. And yes, walking in the Daintree rainforest in the rain was really nice :).
John W

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