Bloomfied Track

Bloomfield Track

The Daintree in far north Queensland is one of the ultimate grey nomad destinations. The World Heritage Listed area includes 12,000 square kilometres of rainforest, waterfalls, mountains, gorges and spectacular coastal scenery.

Like the Gibb River Road and the Oodnadatta Track, the Bloomfield Track is one of those unsealed roads which holds almost mythical status among around-Australia travellers. The track, opened in 1984 despite fierce opposition from environmentalists, runs for 32 kilometres from Cape Tribulation to the Aboriginal community of Wujal Wujal. It’s not a drive for the faint-hearted, and the creek crossings and steep sections mean it is 4WD-only and not suitable for caravans.

If you’re travelling the track in just one direction, it’s generally recommended you do so north to south. The road becomes unsealed just north of Cape Tribulation, although the going is fairly easy for six kilometres or so until you reach the giant Strangler Fig tree and, shortly afterwards, Emmagen Creek. A refreshing dip in the swimming hole here is perfect preparation for the adventure ahead.

The difficulty of the drive varies wildly depending on recent weather and road conditions. There can be at least four tricky crossings and there are also steep sections at Donovan’s Range is 20% (1:5), and Cowie Range, 33% (1:3). You should take local advice before taking on the track.

It’s worth the effort though, as the track takes you to pristine rainforest, swimming holes, beaches and stunning waterfalls. The attractions come thick and fast. Donovans Lookout offers sensational views over the coastline, while remote South Cowie Beach is simply magnificent. There’s another swimming hole at Woobadda Creek, and then it’s on to the Bloomfield River crossing, now open again after being closed by Cyclone Yasi.  Don’t try swimming with the crocs here!

The 40-metre Bloomfield Falls near Wujal Wujal are a fittingly spectacular climax to the drive. While this is where the Bloomfield Track proper ends, most travellers continue north through Bloomfield, Rossville, and Helensvale (where a stop at the historic Lions Den Hotel is an absolute must).

Just north of Helenvale is Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park and its stark and imposing granite boulders. It’s then any easy 30 kilometre drive to the grey nomad mecca of Cooktown. After  exploring and relaxing for a while here, more adventures further north will beckon, or it’ll be time to shoot back south along the Mulligan Highway to pick up the van!


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