Lambs Head/Kahlpahlim Rock Loop
This climb is not for the inexperienced but if you are a fit and skilled hiker, the rewards are spectacular. Just shy of 13km long, the circuit takes in both rainforest and woodland on the 721m climb. Try to go on a clear day to make the most of the lookouts and the summit. It will take around six to seven hours. Lambs head is the highest point in the Lamb Range in Dinden National Park. The walk starts on Davies Creek Road.
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Turtle Rock Circuit
Expect to take about three hours to bushwalk the Turtle Rock Circuit. Your destination – yes, it is shaped like a turtle – offers fantastic views out over Davies Creek National Park. You should be moderately fit to do it, and the start has a sharpish climb and there’s some rock scrambling. The route is a 6.4km loop, ascending 303m through an ever-changing landscape. In particular keep an eye out for native orchids. The trail is blessed with a swimming spot enroute as well as diverse rock formations. Do the hike anticlockwise if you want to do the worst part first and a gentle downhill for the return. The walk is off Davies Creek Road past Davies Creek Falls.
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Perhaps more short walk than hike, Granite Gorge has several rambles of around one kilometre but packed with big boulders, swimming holes, creeks and best of all – rock wallabies. The privately-owned nature park has a colony endemic to Mareeba that can be fed by hand. If you want to stretch your legs, there’s a longer, harder walk to Whale Rock, which involves crossing boulders with crevices in between. Granite Rock has an entrance fee. It’s off Paglietta Road and is 12km from Mareeba.
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Bunda Bibandji Rock Art Trail
The trail is suitable for walkers of most ages and fitness levels. It’s graded 3 with some steep sections. There are forests of pink bloodwood as well as lots of grass trees along the trail. As the path climbs, granite outcrops appear. It is these that house the ancient and significant rock art galleries. The rock art was painted by the Buluwandji people before they were taken from their lands in 1916 to the Mona Mona Mission. Some of the work is considered to be at least 3500 years old. The site was an important birthing and hunting place and remains sacred. It’s the most significant rock art site in the Cairns region. The walk is about 2km return and will take about an hour. You will need a four-wheel drive vehicle for the trip out on Bridle Creek Road.
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