Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail
If you are ready to stretch your legs try the 20.5km Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail. It takes you through rich agricultural landscape and some patches of endangered Mabi rainforest. The trail has both well interpreted indigenous history and extensive WWII info. It’s a gentle track, with a slight fall to the north. Start at either Platypus Park near Atherton or Walkamin.
Summit Mount Emerald
If you are set for something more strenuous the 9.5km to summit Mount Emerald and back should get your heart pumping. There are great views of the vast Atherton Tablelands at the top but on the way hikers pass through eucalyptus forest along the Great Dividing Range. There’s also a plane wreck, remnants of a tragic 1990 crash. It is difficult and allow about 5 hours. From Atherton, find Anderson Road and go 2km to its end, the hike starts on the right-hand side of the road.
Ramble round Lake Barrine
Like your hiking flat-ish? The circuit of Lake Barrine is long enough at 5kms for a decent walk and will take about 120 minutes and is moderate going. But it’s shaded the whole way, set alongside a volcanic crater lake. Look out for giant Kauri pines and the abundant wildlife, particularly birds. Reward yourself with smoko at the Tea House when you return. Lake Barrine is just off the Gillies Highway, 9km east of Yungaburra.
Conquer Mount Bartle Frere
If you are a serious hiker – and that means very, very skilled – think about a two-day hike to the top of Mount Bartle Frere. You need to be fit, experienced and well prepared. You also need to book a camping permit. The weather is very changeable and can be very harsh. The trail is unformed and you will have to scramble in some places. But the rewards – and they are rewards – on climbing Queensland’s highest mountain on a good day are uninterrupted views from the Atherton Tablelands to the coast, plus passing through amazing rainforest that few people disturb on the way up this 1611m peak. Access through Topaz, near Malanda.
Mt Hypipamee treasure
If you are in the Herberton region Mt Hypipamee National Park has several rainforest walks that will take you into amazing volcanic country without too much effort. The Crater Track and Dinner Falls Circuit lead to a viewing platform above the volcanic pipe created by gas explosions. The tube (or hole in the ground) with water at the bottom, is 61 metres across and 82 metres deep. The Crater Track is rated easy and 800m return while the picturesque Dinner Falls Circuit is longer at 1.2km and a little bit harder. Both start at the park’s carpark just off the Kennedy Highway.
If you are planning any hiking adventures, please ensure you visit https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au for up to date information on tracks.
Written by Tanya Snelling. Originally published 21st August 2018