Here in Cairns the busiest time of the year is actually winter. As you read that are you wondering why would visitors want to spend time in a seaside city in the middle of winter rather than basking in the summer season?
That’s an easy one to answer. Winter is actually our dry season, and with our great winter temperatures of around 20 – 25 degrees everyone agrees that winter is the perfect time to visit Cairns.
Summer brings with it the wet season and while that means rain and sultry summer days, it also brings with it some fantastic photo opportunities that you won’t see any other time of the year and Barron Gorge and the waterfalls within the Gorge are something you can’t miss.
The Gorge is amazing whether the falls are flowing or not, but once we start the wet season, the 60km of rivers which form the Barron River start flowing, ending in a 250 metre fall to the lowlands below the Gorge.
There are four great walks in the Barron Gorge National Park, all of which are close to us here at Wanggulay. First up is Din Din Barron Falls lookout. This is an easy walk which takes around 40 minutes to complete the 1.2km return walk. Din Din Barron Falls lookout is wheelchair accessible (with aid), and the boardwalk that is suspended above the forest floor winds through the canopy to the lookout and Barron Falls railway platform providing great views and photo opportunities. From here you can also watch the gondolas gently ascending the Gorge and twice a day see the Kuranda Scenic Railway train arrive and depart the station below.
Wrights lookout is an easy 3km return walk which will take you about an hour. This lovely walk provides you views and photo opportunities over the Barron Gorge, towards Cairns city and the coastline. Surprise Creek walk is a moderate grade walk which follows the first section of the McDonalds track from Wrights lookout. The rainforest opens up onto woodland before steeply descending to Surprise Creek. You can then discover the pools and rapids upstream. Surprise Creek walk is approximately 2.8km return and you should allow at least an hour and a half to complete it.
The fourth walk is an easy 2km return track named the Stoney Creek Garndal Garndal track. This is a rough but fairly easy to walk track and will take you through the Stoney Creek gorge, having you walking alongside Stoney Creek and up to the causeway of the old weir. You will discover clear pools and small waterfalls as well as a large boulder lookout giving you views over the creek downstream of the weir.
We love the wet season up here at Wanggulay – the sound of rain falling at night, the warm days and the great photo opportunities the rain brings all make for a great holiday.
Photo taken by: Queensland National Parks