One of the hidden gems of Cairns is a series of walking tracks through Barron Gorge National Park with one in particular leading to an amazing lookout point, Glacier Rock Lookout. If you love walking through the rainforest, we can highly recommend making a start in this area where you’ll encounter some spectacular views of the valley and the coastline. One of our favourite walks takes you to Glacier Rock on both the Smiths and Douglas tracks. Glacier Rock is an ancient glacier which displays quartz veins on the sides and is quite resistant to erosion.
It can be a bit tough and challenging for novices, but definitely achievable especially if you take your time to soak up the sights. The end is very much worth it though as the lookout provides stunning views of the Cairns coastline and mountain ranges.
To get there drive north from Cairns to Kamerunga and turn into Stoney Creek Rainforest Estate. Drive through the valley and park at the Stoney Creek carpark. Walk across the creek where a sign on the right hand side marking the Douglas Track. There are a few long distance walks in this region, so for reference here’s a great summary of the walking track network to get you started.
If you are up for the hike, here are some great tips for walking safety for any novices to bush walking or people new to the region:
* Plan to complete your bush walk before it gets dark.
* Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
* Choose bush walks suitable to your fitness and experience level.
* Keep to the signed track, supervise children at all times and stay clear of cliff edges even if it looks like a great photo opportunity.
* Carry plenty of drinking water, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent and good walking shoes.
* Mobile phone coverage will be unreliable.
* Be aware of stinging trees – plants with a heart shaped leaf. Do not touch these.
We have done these walks and everything is well signed and signs are in place to notify you of the track you’re walking on. You’d have to be trying pretty hard to get lost on the track as everything is maintained fairly well being a National Park. Should you feel a bit hot and bothered there’s an opportunity for a swim at Stony Creek on the loop back. The trip can take approximately 3 hours return depending upon your fitness level and any stops on the way.