Julatten & Mt Lewis
Julatten is a place where you can have your cake and eat it too – in a manner of speaking. This small community situated in the mountains of the Port Douglas Hinterland has reputedly one of the top ten most liveable climates in the world. At 1200 ft above sea level, cooler than the coast and a lot less humid, the rolling green hills of Julatten, once a rich dairy farming area, boasts perfect growing conditions. There are numerous fruit orchards including lychees, mangoes and bananas and fresh local produce including a large variety of locally grown vegetables and herbs is available from various farm gates along the main road, and also through local cafes/shops in the nearby town of Mt Molloy. Fresh locally farmed barramundi are also available for purchase from the farm gate together with barramundi spring rolls and locally caught wild tiger prawns.
Julatten also boasts a country pub offering lovely views and good food along with a lovely log fire in winter. Keen bird-watchers will head off up to Mt Lewis National Park, where an old logging track meanders for 28km to an altitude of 1200m making it home to all of the 13 Wet Tropics endemic bird species. Ironically this track now offers a chance to appreciate the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest. At the southern end Julatten’s famous “Bump Track” makes its way down to the coast through the rainforest of the Mowbray National Park, and is particularly popular with walkers and mountain-bike riders. Horse-riding is a popular activity in the area with rides also available through the Bump Track.
With such a unique tropical climate, stunning mountain views, private rainforests and abundant animal and birdlife together with the outstanding produce and culinary delights on offer, Julatten also boasts a number of accommodation options for travellers and visitors to the area from world class unique Retreats to B and B’s, caravan and camp grounds, and specialist accommodation for bird-watching. This Port Douglas Hinterland is the perfect destination for anyone searching for peace and tranquillity but within easy access to the best the region has to offer. Fortified with fresh country air and wholesome foods, just a short 30 minute scenic drive away leads you to the sophistication of Port Douglas and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
Mount Lewis, one high rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The area between the Mount Lewis and Atherton Tableland is especially diverse. The beautiful upland rainforest dates back to the evolution of flowering plants on earth. Some flowers are indicative of Australia’s link with the ancient landmass of Gondwana.
Drive a four-wheel-drive or ride a mountain bike on the 56 kilometre (return) Mount Lewis Road. Starting at the entrance to the park, the rainforest drive climbs to over 1200 metres before following the contours around the chain of peaks that form the watershed of the Mossman and Mitchell rivers. Picnic at one of the creek crossings. Look for the Mount Lewis spiny crayfish in the creeks and blue-faced parrot-finches in grassy clearings and glades. Spot red-bellied black snakes basking on the road and huge blue earthworms coming to the ground’s surface during wet weather.