Goldfield trail, Wooroonooran National Park
This trail links The Boulders Scenic Reserve, seven kilometres from Babinda, and Goldsborough Valley. The ends of the trail are over 60 kilometres apart by road and neither is serviced by public transport. Walkers should consider this before setting out and arrange transport at their destination, or consider returning to their starting point. Alternatively the trail could be walked on different days, from either The Boulders or Goldsborough Valley, as two separate return trips.... more
At The Boulders Scenic Reserve the trail starts beyond the children's play area, near the toilets. Take the right-hand path at the Y junction and cross the wooden bridge. The trail follows Babinda Creek upstream and after 1 km enters Wooroonooran National Park. The trail leaves the main creek edge but continues along flat ground, crossing several smaller creeks. This section was partly logged before being declared Bellenden Ker National Park in 1921. The park name was changed to Wooroonooran National Park in 1994.
After about three kilometres the trail rejoins the creek and starts to climb steadily for the next kilometre or so. There are no grand views from this trail but about four kilometres from the start you begin to get the first of many glimpses of the high Bellenden Ker Range through the trees. At about 4.5 kilometres there is a fairly large creek lined with king ferns. Walkers wanting to do a shorter 4-5 hour return walk should turn back here.
After crossing the creek the trail becomes slightly wetter with more king ferns. Red-bellied black snakes are reasonably common, sunning themselves in patches of sunlight. These are venomous snakes and should be avoided. At about 5.5 kilometres the trail crosses another picturesque creek with mossy boulders and large king ferns. You can rest in this peaceful setting and listen for the calls of the rainforest birds: the raucous screams of the sulphur-crested cockatoos or the chatter of smaller bush birds like the scrubwrens and thornbills. Look out for Australian brush-turkeys turning over leaf litter on the forest floor.
From this creek the trail climbs steeply but beyond six kilometres it becomes undulating, with more views of the Bellenden Ker Range. The ground is quite rough and care should be taken, especially after wet weather. After some fairly steep climbs and descents you may hear, on your right, the roar of the East Mulgrave Falls, about two kilometres away.
After about eight kilometres the trail follows a ridge with valleys dropping away to the left. Some very steep descents eventually bring walkers to flatter ground and a series of creek crossings. Beyond the nine kilometre mark there is a wide creek crossing and the forest opens out. Follow the trail for a further two kilometres to reach the causeway over the East Mulgrave River. Not far beyond this it joins the Mulgrave River.
The clear, deep pools of the river are a refreshing sight. Although there are no facilities, bush camping is permitted but fees apply and permits must be booked in advance. Please note that after heavy rain it may be impossible to wade across the East Mulgrave River causeway.
From the causeway the trail follows a wide, former logging track along the banks of the Mulgrave River, crossing numerous creeks. Rainforest, with some picturesque strangler figs, arches over much of the trail with abundant native gingers at ground level. After 15 kilometres the trail crosses an area of high grass with views of Kearneys Falls to the right. Another four kilometres brings walkers to the Goldsborough Valley camping area and the end of the trail.
The trail may also be walked in the other direction, starting from the Goldsborough Valley camping area and finishing at The Boulders Scenic Reserve.
Always ensure a responsible person knows your walking plans and when you expect to return. Take care on slippery rocks and be aware that water levels can change suddenly without warning. Flash floods are common in the wet season.
Distance: 19 kilometres one way.
Time: allow 7-9 hours walking time.... less
The Goldfield Track is most often walked one way, with walkers being picked up at the other end and there are often tourism operators walking this trail with groups of travellers.
The walk can be done as a long day walk or as an overnight camping trip.
Flash floods are common in the wet season. Daytime temperatures and humidity can be high at any time of the year and nights can be very cool. Please carry suitable clothing to accommodate all extremes.
August to September is generally the driest period, but heavy rain can fall at any time. Some sections of the walking track may be closed during the wet season, between October and May.
Visit between April and October when the weather and track conditions are at their best.
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