The Dalrymple Gap Walking Track
10.6Km – 6 Hours – One Way – Difficult
Follow the footsteps of George Dalrymple on this historical trail created in the 1800’s. Visit the stone bridge that is over 150 years old. This walk will not disappoint!
Additional Information: You can park your car at the carpark and only walk half of the walk, OR utilize the “Dalrymple Gap drop off and pick up service”.
How to get there: 13 kilometres south of Cardwell near Damper Creek crossing. Turn right off the highway to the car park area.
CLICK HERE for the printable map
CLICK HERE for the track notes.
Attie Creek Falls
500m each way – steep walk – 15 minutes each way (This is part of the Cardwell Forest Drive)
Visit Cardwell’s own waterfall! Attie Creek Falls is the perfect spot for lunch and a refreshing swim in the mountain waters! This walk is only short, but be prepared to spend some time at this wonderful waterfall. Pack morning tea and some lunch, take a gas cooker and make a cuppa whilst enjoying this amazing waterfall so close to Cardwell! This is a must while visiting Cardwell.
How to get there: Attie Creek Falls is part of Cardwell’s Forest Drive. If you are into bush walking, we recommend incorporating the Dead Horse Creek Walk and The Spa Pools on your adventure! Make a day of exploring this amazing area!
Please follow the Cardwell Forest Drive Map
Dead Horse Creek Walk
This walk is an un marked track. Just follow the creek north or south for as far as you like. (This is part of the Cardwell Forest Drive)
This is a beautiful rainforest walk that follows Dead Horse Creek. Prepare to get your feet wet! Take some swimmers, there are some beautiful swimming holes along the way! Pack a lunch and a gas cooker for a cuppa, and really immerse yourself in this creek walk!
How to get there: Dead Horse Creek is part of Cardwell’s Forest Drive. If you are into bush walking, we recommend incorporating Attie Creek Falls and The Spa Pools on your adventure! Make a day of exploring this amazing area!
Please follow the Cardwell Forest Drive Map
Bicton Hill circuit track—3.9km return (2-2.5hrs) Grade: moderate
The track begins on Bicton Hill’s exposed eastern side, where sturdy trees such as brush box and swamp mahogany grow. Climbing steadily, the track circles around to the hill’s sheltered western side, which supports one of Australia’s few remaining examples of lowland rainforest. A trip to the summit ends at a lookout offering spectacular mainland and island views. From the lookout, continue around the circuit until it meets back with the original track to continue down the way you ascended. Cyclone Yasi damaged much of the canopy along the track—there is little shade along the way.
Djiru National Park – Mission Beach
There are several short and long walks allow visitors to explore the lowland rainforest in Djiru National Park. The Musgravea track is a shared-use track for walkers and mountain-bikers. It is the only track in Djiru National Park where bicycles are permitted.
Picnic and day-use areas
The day-use area at Lacey Creek has wheelchair-accessible toilets, gas barbecues and picnic tables.
There are picnic tables at the Licuala day-use area. These tables are surrounded by a fence to prevent cassowaries from joining your picnic—do not share your meal with these big birds.
The lowland rainforest in Djiru National Park is a good place for birdwatching. Expect to see a range of birds, from the enormous flightless cassowary to small kingfishers flitting along the creeks. Saw-shelled turtles and a range of freshwater fish can be found in Lacey Creek.
See the description of the park’s natural environment for more details about Djiru National Park’s diverse wildlife.
Lacey Creek walk (Grade: easy)
Distance: 1.5km return
Time: allow 45mins walking time
Details: This walk is best appreciated when walked in an anti-clockwise direction. Starting from the cassowary information shelter, the track passes through rainforest and exits at the picnic area near the car park. Signs along the track provide information about the evolution of various plants and animals. About half way round, a viewing platform allows walkers to peer into a calm pool of Lacey Creek and spot saw-shelled turtles and fish of various types. Signs help with identification.
Fan Palm walk (Grade: easy)
Distance: 1.3km return
Time: allow 20mins walking time
Details: This loop track winds through a native fan palm forest. Signs along the walk describe how rainforest plants are adapted to survive in this low light, seasonally-flooded area. Much evidence of cyclone damage can be seen along the track. The boardwalk part of the track is wheelchair accessible (with assistance).
Children’s walk (Grade: easy)
Distance: 400m return
Time: allow 10mins walking time
Details: This short loop takes children on a discovery walk through the fan palm forest, following ‘cassowary footprints’ to a ‘nest’.
Dreaming trail (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 3.2km one way
Time: allow 1.5hrs walking time
Details: This walking track starts across the road from the Lacey Creek day-use area. It climbs over quite steep terrain and exits about 2km further east, along the El Arish–Mission Beach road—the same exit as the Musgravea track. The Dreaming trail and the Musgravea track join shortly before the road exit.
Musgravea Track – Shared use with Mountain Bikes
Distance: 6km one way
Details: This is a shared-use track for walkers and mountain bikes. It is the only track in Djiru National Park where bicycles are permitted. This track is mainly flat, suitable for all weather access and requires a medium level of fitness. It follows an old forestry road used in the 1960s and 1970s to haul timber from South Mission Beach to the El Arish timber mill. The track heads north from the car park at the Licuala day-use area and exits on to the El Arish–Mission Beach road about 2km east of the Lacey Creek day-use area. Creeks in this area are subject to flash flooding and caution should be exercised. The Musgravea track and the Dreaming trail join shortly before the road exit.
Time: 2.5 hours – One way
Wide trail with gentle gradient and smooth surface. Some obstacles such as roots, logs and rocks.
Time: Allow 1Hours for mountain bikers
Wide trail with gentle gradient and smooth surface. Some obstacles such as roots, logs and rocks. Suitable for beginner mountain bike riders with basic riding skills and off-road bikes.
The Kennedy Track is a 7 kilometre long walk and will take you around four hours to complete if you don’t drag your feet. This definitely is not a flora and fauna outing you would want to take the kids on.
From the Mission Beach Visitor Centre, take the road to Tully and, not far out of town; turn off to South Mission Beach. The trailhead for the Kennedy Track is located at the southern end of the beach, where Kennedy Esplanade terminates just past the boat ramp.
This hiking trail was named after Edmund Kennedy who began his ill-fated expedition to Cape York from Tam O’Shanteer Point in 1848.
The first part of the hiking trail is through shady pandanus and eucalypt forest, undulating up and down the coastal hills with beautiful views of the Coral Sea, the Barnard Islands, Dunk Island, Bedarra Island and Tam O’Shanter Point. After a little more than a kilometre there is a set of steps down to the long curved beach of Lugger Bay. Be aware that sometimes this beach and the mangroves beyond can sometimes be flooded by the high tide which I discovered early one morning after getting all set for the big walk.
After leaving the sandy beach and crossing the creek and mangroves, there is a short climb up Tam O’Shanter Point to a lookout with superb ocean views.
If you choose to keep walking, the track winds its way around the rocky point to Kennedy Bay where there are toilet and picnic facilities, where you can stop for a rest and freshen up.
For the even more adventurous, there is a rougher track along the coast to the mouth of the Hull River from here – about 4 kilometers return.
We always recommend being well prepared when going hiking and ensure you have enough food and water and insect repellent should it be required for some unexpected overnight stay.