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About Manjal Jimalji trail

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Getting there and getting around

Manjal Jimalji trail is located in Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park. The trail begins in the Whyanbeel Valley at Little Falls Creek about 17 km north of Mossman, which is 80 km north of Cairns along the Captain Cook Highway.

From Mossman, travel north on the Mossman–Daintree Road. About 8 km north of Mossman the Mossman–Daintree Road veers to the right while Miallo Road continues straight ahead. Follow Miallo Road for 3 km then turn left into Whyanbeel Road. Travel a further 4 km, crossing the bridge over Whyanbeel Creek, and take the second road on the left towards the Karnak Playhouse. Continue past the Karnak Playhouse until you cross a cattle grid. After crossing the grid, park your car off the road. Follow the walking track, indicated by orange markers and directional signs, for 700 m to the start of the Manjal Jimalji trail. Remember, some of this land is private property so be respectful by staying on designated roads and walking tracks.

Wheelchair accessibility

The Manjal Jimalji trail is not wheelchair accessible.

Trail features

Manjal Jimalji is the Eastern Kuku Yalanji place name for the locally known Devils Thumb. Manjal Jimalji is a significant cultural site that tells the story of fire creation.

This challenging trail provides an opportunity to discover the unique vegetation of the upland and lowland rainforests. The amazing range of bird life found here changes with altitude. On a clear day, walkers can enjoy stunning views of the coastline from the lookout.

The Manjal Jimalji trail requires an above average level of fitness. Be prepared for steep ascents and slippery surfaces.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted along the Manjal Jimalji trail.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Mossman, Port Douglas and Cairns.

For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Walking

The Manjal Jimalji trail is not for everyone. Although well marked, the trail has steep ascents and slippery surfaces and walkers must be prepared for rock scrambling in places. Only experienced bushwalkers with above average fitness should attempt this trail.

To ensure your walk is safe and comfortable, try to walk between May and November when the weather and trail conditions are at their best. The trail becomes slippery in wet and cloudy weather. Walking the trail is not recommended in these conditions. Contact the NPSR Mossman office for details of current trail conditions.

Stay on the walking trail at all times—this reduces the risk of injury, prevents disturbance to native vegetation and reduces erosion. Serious injuries have occurred in this area as a result of walkers leaving the designated trail.

As outlined below, the trail is broken up into sections identified by natural landmarks. Distance markers have also been placed at 1 km intervals along the trail. These markers can be used to help you track your progress.

Manjal Jimalji trail—10.6 km return (allow 8 hr) Grade: difficult (steep ascents and slippery surfaces).

Little Falls Creek to coral fern patch

The trail starts at Little Falls Creek. Take care when crossing the creek as the rocks can be very slippery. After crossing Little Falls Creek the trail climbs steeply through the lowland rainforest. Bloodwoods and wattles tower above the rainforest canopy and thickets of lawyer vine can be seen along the edge of the trail.

As the trail ascends the vegetation begins to change. At 900 m in elevation, 3 km along the trail, you reach the upland rainforest. Look for the red flowers of a Proteaceae or the blue kauri pine.

Coral fern patch to Split Rock

Another 300 m along the trail the rainforest stops abruptly at a natural clearing filled with wiry coral fern and the wind-hardy mountain tea-tree. Help to preserve this picturesque vegetation by remaining on the trail at all times.

At an altitude of 1,000 m the absence of rainforest plants provides excellent views and an ideal spot for a break. On a clear day this vantage point allows walkers to see the Mossman and Port Douglas coastline.

At this point walkers need to decide whether to continue to the lookout (which is a further 4 km return) or turn back. To continue to the lookout walkers should have climbing skills, above average fitness and at least five hours of remaining daylight.

At about 3.7 km the trail re-enters the rainforest. Another 400 m along the trail look for a large cracked boulder known as Split Rock.

Split Rock to the lookout

From Split Rock the trail gently undulates before reaching Manjal Jimalji, which is located below the crest of the ridge. Large boulders are present along this last section of the trail and climbing skills are required.

On a clear day, enjoy the extensive views from the lookout. The rainforest-clad Main Coast Range, of which Manjal Jimalji is a part, runs parallel to the coast. To the east, views of the Mossman lowlands and coastline are possible. The Dagmar Range can be seen to the north and the impressive Wundu (Thornton Peak) and Daintree valley to the north-east.

Conditions at the lookout are often damp as moisture-laden clouds move in from the sea and are trapped by the steep ranges. Around the boulders, mist-nourished plants are shaped by the wind. Look for the red-flowering native rhododendron.

Viewing wildlife

Birdwatching can be particularly rewarding along this trail, due to the changes in forest type and altitude. The bird life changes significantly as you ascend along the trail. Through the lowland rainforest look for metallic starlings, yellow-spotted honeyeaters and the endangered southern cassowary. Listen for the 'wallock-woo' of the wompoo fruit-dove.

Once you reach 600 m in elevation, about 2 km along the trail, keep watch for fernwrens, grey-headed robins and chowchillas—these birds are generally restricted to altitudes above 600 m, so catching sight of them or hearing them call is a treat for walkers.

At higher altitudes walkers should keep watch for golden bowerbirds, tooth-billed bowerbirds and white-cheeked honeyeaters—unique to rainforest areas above 900 m.

Black-bellied swamp snakes and venomous rough-scaled snakes often bask in the sun. Never provoke, harass or disturb these animals. Remember, this is a national park—all animals, including snakes, are protected.

Things to know before you go

The Manjal Jimalji trail is isolated and help can be hours away. You must be responsible for your own safety and be well prepared. Remember to tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Don't forget to contact them on your safe return. Have a contingency plan in place if you fail to contact them by the agreed time. If you change your plans, inform them. The Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing is not responsible for ensuring the safe return of walkers.

Essentials to bring

  • a basic first-aid kit (including a space blanket)
  • waterproof clothing as it is often wet, windy and cold near the summit
  • boots or strong shoes
  • adequate drinking water—no water is available along the trail
  • a map and a compass
  • sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and insect repellent
  • at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) are the most effective. Mobile phone coverage is unreliable.

Opening hours

The Manjal Jimalji trail should only be attempted in daylight hours—plan your walk so that you return before nightfall. Walking this trail is not recommended in very hot and humid conditions or wet, cloudy weather when the trail becomes slippery. Contact the NPSR Mossman office for details of current trail conditions.

Permits and fees

No permits or fees apply to visitors walking the Manjal Jimalji trail.

Pets

Pets are not permitted in Daintree National Park.

Climate and weather

The area in which Daintree National Park is located has one of the wettest climates in Australia. During the wet season, from December to April, there are frequent heavy downpours. Some areas receive over 6 m of rainfall annually. Maximum temperatures through the wet season range from 27 to 33 °C, with humidity often exceeding 80 per cent.

The cooler, drier months from May to November are the best time to visit. The weather is pleasantly warm during this time, with reduced humidity and the maximum temperature averaging 26 °C.

Walking this trail is not recommended in very hot and humid conditions or wet, cloudy weather when the trail becomes slippery. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at various locations at Cairns, Port Douglas and Mossman.

Staying safe

The Manjal Jimalji trail is difficult and isolated. Walkers must be well prepared and responsible for their own safety. Consider your ability and the trail conditions carefully before setting out. Contact the NPSR Mossman office for details of current trail conditions.

It is important to stay on the walking trail at all times—serious injuries have occurred in this area as a result of walkers leaving the designated trail. Your safety is our concern, but your responsibility.

  • Plan to complete your walk well before dark.
  • Never walk alone.
  • Carry adequate drinking water—no water is available along the trail.
  • Carry a map and compass.
  • Carry at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) are the most effective. Mobile phone coverage is unreliable.
  • Take care—rocks and tree roots can be slippery.
  • Wear boots or strong shoes.
  • Stay on the walking trail at all times—this reduces the risk of injury, prevents disturbance to native vegetation and reduces erosion.
  • Wear insect repellent, clothing and shoes to protect yourself from stings, scratches and bites.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
  • Take waterproof clothing as it is often wet, windy and cold near the summit.
  • Carry a first-aid kit and know how to use it.
  • Detour around snakes. Never provoke them.
  • Cassowaries live in this area. Never approach or feed these animals and remember to be Cass-O-Wary.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the walk

We need your help to protect this area and keep it in its natural state.

  • Domestic animals are prohibited in national parks as they can disturb and harm wildlife.
  • Do not scare, chase or feed animals.
  • Take rubbish (including food scraps) home with you.
  • Stay on the trail. Shortcutting damages vegetation and causes erosion.
  • Toilets are not provided. Use a trowel to bury toilet waste and paper. Dig a 15 cm hole at least 100 m away from watercourses and the trail. Take all sanitary items with you—they do not decompose.
  • Please do not pull yourself up steep sections of the trail using vegetation, as plants may be damaged.
  • Remember, this is a national park—everything is protected.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Walk management

Daintree National Park is managed by the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing (NPSR) for the purposes of nature conservation and nature-based recreation. It is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Daintree National Park, made up of Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation, covers 73,500 ha.

In 2007, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people signed a series of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) with the Queensland Government and other bodies. The ILUAs recognise Eastern Kuku Yalanji's rights to be custodians and managers of their traditional country. Under one of these ILUAs Eastern Kuku Yalanji people will be more involved in managing Daintree National Park.

Tourism information links

Cairns & Tropical North Visitor Information Centre

www.cairnsgreatbarrierreef.com.au

51 The Esplanade, Cairns, Qld 4870
ph (07) 4051 3588
fax (07) 4051 7509
email

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
24 October 2016