Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Danbulla State Forest

What's special?

Stretching from Tinaroo Range to Lamb Range on the Atherton Tableland, Danbulla State Forest surrounds picturesque Lake Tinaroo on the Barron River. This beautiful forest contains tropical rainforest and open forest remnants, softwood plantation forests, a crater lake and historic sites.

The forest is home to a wonderful variety of animals including the northern bettong, green-eyed treefrog, Lumholtz tree-kangaroo, Herbert River ringtail possum, red goshawk, and many rare plants.

Danbulla contains the magnificent Cathedral Fig, a strangler fig reputed to be the best place for a dawn bird chorus on the tableland. Danbulla State Forest is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The forest is managed for a variety of sustainable uses for the benefit of the community.

Download Danbulla State Forest visitor information.

Exploring Danbulla

You will need more than a day to discover Danbulla’s special attractions. One of the best ways to explore the forest is the 28km unsealed forest drive. Allow at least an hour. Start your drive at the Tinaroo Dam spillway. Picnic tables, barbecues and toilets are provided below the dam wall. (You can also do the drive in reverse from the Gillies Highway.)

Drive along the shores of Lake Tinaroo, stopping at Platypus Rocks Lookout for a view over the lake and tableland. Have a picnic at Kauri Creek. Walk through the rainforest to a viewing platform over Lake Euramoo, a crater lake. Have a picnic at The Chimneys, the remains of an early 20th century settlement. A shelter shed, gas barbecues and toilets are provided. Continue along the forest drive to the mysterious Mobo Creek Crater and the magnificent Cathedral Fig.

Go canoeing at Kauri Creek inlet or School Point. Take your binoculars and go birwatching.

Choose from five camping areas around the lake. Platypus camping and picnic area has a hoop pine plantation setting and is 5km from the dam wall. Tent sites, toilets, fire rings, wood barbecues, picnic tables and tap water are provided. Camp in the rainforest at Downfall Creek, 7km from the dam wall. Toilets, tap water and fire rings are provided. Kauri Creek, a small camping area 10km from the dam wall, has cold showers, tap water, fire rings and toilets. School Point, the site of the former Euramoo school, is 18km from the dam wall and 1km off the forest drive. Toilets, seats, tap water and fire rings are provided for campers and picnickers. Fong-On-Bay, 18km from the dam wall and 4·7km off the forest drive, has toilets and fire rings and is popular for water sports, when the lake is full. Boil the water for five minutes before drinking.

The School House is available for group camping by prior arrangement. All camping areas are suitable for caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes.

Dogs are not allowed in any of the camping areas.

At 800m above sea level, Danbulla enjoys milder conditions than the coast, so is a popular summer escape. Be prepared for cool winter nights.


Wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent. Take drinking water. On the Kauri Creek walk, you have to be prepared to wade through the creek.


The toilets in all camping areas except Kauri Creek, Cathedral Fig boardwalk and Euramoo viewing platform are wheelchair-accessible.

Getting there

Danbulla is about 90 minutes’ drive from Cairns on the north-eastern shores of Lake Tinaroo and accessible by conventional vehicle. The dam wall is 18km east of Atherton. Danbulla Forest Drive can be reached from the Gillies Highway or through Kuranda, Mareeba, Tolga, Kairi and Tinaroo. The Red Cedar Tree walk is off Gadgarra Road, 11km east of Yungaburra via the Gillies Highway.

Sources & Further reading


Journey Back Through Time
Experience Australia
Aboriginal Australia
National Parks
Photo Galleries
Site Map
                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading