Queensland’s steepest and most challenging drive is not for the faint of heart. Prepare to weave through pristine rainforest and jagged, muddy terrain in this incredible off-road adventure!
Cairns to Daintree
Our journey starts in Cairns, where you will embark on a 110-kilometre journey up the coast towards the small town of Daintree. Spend the night in this charming and colourful country village nestled between national parks and rainforests. Once you’re well-rested, it’s time to hit the road for the real deal at the CREB Track. Follow Upper Daintree Road until you reach the CREB Track sign, which will tell you if the track is open. The track is only available to access in the dry season (May to November) and is often subject to council closure if conditions are unsafe.
Daintree River to Big Red Hill
Roll over burnt orange clay and scale the winding narrow track as the fun begins! The CREB Track’s first major milestone is the Daintree River, which drivers will have to cross in its shallower parts.
After crossing the cool, rocky river, you’ll emerge onto a sand-covered dirt road surrounded by open, grassy fields. As you begin venturing into tropical rainforest, the vegetation will begin to thicken, and the track will become narrower and trickier to navigate. As the track begins to peak uphill, there’s a perfect photo opportunity upon the ‘Big Red’ hill lookout. It’s the most difficult part of the track, but here you can view panoramas of the emerald green, humming rainforest below.
China Camp to Roaring Meg Falls
Back on the main track, you’ll begin branching off to China Camp. A tin mining site in the late 1800s, China Camp’s main attraction is stunning views of Roaring Meg Falls. The CREB Track’s biggest attraction, Roaring Meg Falls is a cascading waterfall that runs over big, smooth rocks and descends onto the rainforest floor below. Harsh and mighty, yet beguiling and breathtaking, Roaring Meg Falls is aptly named and showcases the brutality of nature. It is recommended that you do not swim in the falls for safety reasons, and the Eastern Kuku Yalanji (Buru) people ask that you do not take any photos or videos.
Lion’s Den to Cooktown
Kick back and celebrate your epic journey through rough, untamed terrain with a visit to the Lion’s Den Hotel. Once you’re fed, watered and rested, it’s time to travel the remaining 30 kilometres to Cooktown. Here, the beachside town on the Cape York Peninsula offers a coastal retreat to your previous inland experience on the CREB Track.
To find out more about the CREB track, read the Autumn 2022 edition of Caravanning Australia!
Image: Cooktown (C) Tourism and Events Queensland.