Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Mowbray and Kuranda State Forests

What's special?

Tropical rainforest and open eucalypt forest are protected in Mowbray and Kuranda State Forests in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Pyramid-shaped Black Mountain towers over the surrounding countryside.

Together, the forests form an important wildlife habitat between Lamb Range to the south and Carbine Tableland to the north. The tropical rainforest is home to the endangered southern cassowary and rare Lumholtz tree-kangaroo.

The old Port Douglas-Thornborough Road, known as the Bump Track, was once a lifeline for isolated settlers, miners and townships. Blazed by renowned bushman, Christie Palmerston in April 1877, the Bump Track became the main route between the Hodgkinson goldfields near Mt Mulligan and Port Douglas.

Exploring Mowbray and Kuranda

Bushwalk or travel by mountain bike or horse along the historic 265km Bump Track. Obtain a permit for bike or horse riding. You need a permit to traverse if travelling beyond Julatten along the Black Mountain Road by four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Drive through spectacular rainforest along the 43km Black Mountain Road. The first 18km from the Kuranda end is conventional access. No permit is required to drive this section. Four-wheel-drive and a permit to traverse are needed beyond Flaggy Creek.


Allow a full day to walk the Bump Track and visit Big Mowbray Falls. Take drinking water. Wear a hat and sunscreen. Arrange to be collected from the top of the track near Julatten or the bottom of the track near Craiglee.

Getting there

Head south from Port Douglas along the Captain Cook Highway to Craiglee. Turn right into Mowbray River Road 15km south of Craiglea then travel along Connolly Road for 35km to the Bump Track. Black Mountain Road is a half-day trip for visitors from Cairns or Port Douglas.

To reach Black Mountain Road from Kuranda, take the Black Mountain Road turnoff, 300m on the eastern side of the Barron River Bridge at Kuranda, 27km from Cairns. From Julatten, take the Euluma Creek turnoff at the Julatten school.

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