Adventures in Tropical North Queensland
Tropical North Queensland is one big outdoor adventure and hidden under the forest canopies hugging Port Douglas are trails filled with free range nature play for your tribe to take a walk on the wild side. So lets switch up family FUNday by simply lacing up your sneakers, locking away your wallet, and hanging up your car keys. It’s time to head for the hills.
It’s all about inhaling the green goodness, soaking up the wild sights and sounds and exhaling the everyday stresses when you explore the jungle tracks with your tiny trail blazers.
TOP 5 TRACKS
...for eco exploring families to immerse, unplug and reconnect in nature
Fastly becoming a ‘Must Do’ in Port Douglas is the Flagstaff Hill Walking track which connects the iconic Four Mile Beach and Rex Smeal Park around the outer rim of Port Douglas’s peninsula. You can opt to join the 1.5km track from either insta worthy viewpoints or make it a 3km return trip.
Starting off beachside begins with a series of steps that bring you high above the coconut palms looking back along the entire sandy beach stretch then further up to a super fun suspended viewing platform over the Coral Sea. The dirt track then heads into native bushland with a series of varying gradient hills and steps rewarded with pocket views across the Daintree Ranges, Snapper Island and Low Isles.
There is a water fountain and a seat mid-way for a little rest and recover and a peaceful welcome at Little Cove where the youngsters are likely to make a run for it to climb the giant fig tree or play in the park.
The popular section of this track in the Mowbray Valley packs a punch with no warm-up path instead an instant hill and steps to climb up amongst the Eucalypts to almost 400m above sea level. When you proudly conquer the first 2kms look out across the ranges to the Coral Sea and waterfall in the valley.
Along the way there is lots of stop points to catch your breath with historic information to read together. From here the track levels out and takes you another 2kms into the rainforest where you can trek across an unkept trail to the waterfall or along a maintained track to Robbins Creek for a safe splash about and cool down.
Then it’s a matter of what goes up must come down for the return trip which the kids zip through.
Hartleys Creek Waterfall
If your gang has stamina in spades then head off the beaten track in search of Hartley’s Creek Waterfall.
This 7km return adventure starts at Wangetti on the Captain Cook Highway and follows the creek uphill along a bush track and at about 2.5kms in opens up with granite rock formations and shady rainforest that you can slide into for a quick dip with flowing water. Then it’s time to soldier on continuously striding up and down from ridge to creek bed.
The final stage requires some rock scrambling to reach the waterfall and crystal clear swimming hole but it totally worth the soothing sounds, cool water temps and absolute serenity - well as much peace as you can have with kids in tow.
The rainforest circuit at the magical Mossman Gorge combines two tracks with the first easily navigated and manged by all abilities under the shade of the towering rainforest canopy.
It begins on raised environmental accredited boardwalks with views below to the forest floor and tranquil creeks, then across to the viewing platform of the mighty Mossman River rushing over the giant boulders. Now trek across the Rex Creek Suspension Bridge like jungle explorers and tackle the 2.4 km circuit with views of Mount Demi and the sounds of rainforest wildlife.
Take a detour on your way back down to the sandy riverbed to chill your tootsies, search for jungle perch, swim safely or just let time stand still in this special spot of the Kuku Yalanji people.
In the heart of the world’s oldest rainforest is a series of relaxing boardwalks that offer a choose your own adventure through a world heritage listed area. The Madja Botonical Walk is a effortless short pathway through lush rainforest and interesting fact boards to Oliver Creek where you may just spot a crocodile swimming on by.
Dubuji Boardwalk is a 1.8km stretch through giant fan palms and mangrove systems teaming with life. This opens out on the white sands of Myall beach for some fun beach combing but definitely no swimming in salty croc country. At the headland of Cape Tribulation you can follow the fringing coastal forest from the beach where the kids can swing on the vines or the pathway up to the lookout.
Amazing views sparkle over the coral sea where the rainforest meets the reef and across the northern ranges. The little people will organically learn along this slow-paced journey and leave becoming instant protectors and eco warriors of this unique environment.