Cairns / Mt Molloy (102km) / Mareeba (40km) / Kuranda (38km) / Cairns (29km)
The turn off to the left for Mt Molloy via the Rex Range road is 10km past the Port Douglas turnoff. This road was still unsealed less than 30 years ago. The Julatten and Mt Molloy tableland is very scenic and well known for its benign climate at a little over 400m elevation. The Julatten area is a birdwatching hotspot with the Sooty Owl and Blue-faced parrot Finch being two of the local stars. The latter is found from Nov-April in the Mt Lewis area which can be reached via the Mt Lewis Rd on the right about 18km from the Cook Highway. Keep right at the fork past Cobb's Cottage and as the road is mostly unsealed, it is best to use a 4WD. The road stops at the locked gate after 11km. Useful links :
Between Mt Molloy and Mareeba, the country is no longer wet enough for rainforest but still supports a huge variety of plants. The huge Lake at Southedge is just above the main road from Mt Molloy to Mareeba.
Drive a little further and the Mareeba Wetlands are on the right at Biboohra. Well worth a visit for birdwatchers either early or late in the day. The photos below are taken around the wetlands.
Looking across Clancy's Lagoon towards the Hann Tableland
Mareeba Wetlands - Clancy's lagoon and the visitor centre
Whistling Kite Emu
Grass seed head Emu feathers
Reeds and water lilies
Goanna sculpture Termite mounds
Mareeba is the local town for the many farmers in the area. There is a very good information centre and pioneer museum at the Atherton/Mareeba/Cairns intersection.
Lamb Range from Mareeba
Kuranda is an attractive village in the rainforest and well known for its market and local arts and crafts shops. Look out for the fine porcelain from ceramic artist Mollie Bosworth.
Kuranda train station
You should not miss the Barron Falls lookout. Take the Barron Falls road and follow the signs to the car park for Wrights Lookout and the Barron Falls Lookout.
The Barron River Falls
You can also take the McDonald track which begins from behind the Wright's Lookout. Take the power line access road behind the gate. The track continues for nearly 5km to Red Bluff with great views down the Barron Gorge. It descends steeply to Surprise Ck after about 1.5km. This is a lovely swimming creek and worth visiting by itself. At Red Bluff the track joins up with the Douglas track which goes to Speewah (about 6km). Links:
The Lamb and Kuranda Ranges