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About Mount Sorrow

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Getting there and getting around

The Mount Sorrow ridge trail is in Cape Tribulation, Daintree National Park. Travel 104 kilometres north of Cairns via the Captain Cook Highway to the Daintree River crossing. The ferry operates 6.00 am to midnight every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday, with occasional breaks in service for extreme floods or mechanical repairs. Fees apply for the ferry crossing.

Beyond the ferry, travel about 36 kilometres to the Kulki day-use area at Cape Tribulation. Conventional vehicle access is possible. The road is narrow and winding. Towing a caravan is not recommended.

Park your vehicle at the Kulki day-use area and walk 150 metres north along the Cape Tribulation – Bloomfield Road to a gravel pull-off area. The signposted start of the trail is directly opposite this pull-off area.

The unsealed road north from Cape Tribulation to Bloomfield is only suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles due to steep grades and creek crossings. Drive slowly and keep watch for wildlife crossing the road.

Contact the RACQ to enquire about local road conditions.

Wheelchair accessibility

The Mount Sorrow ridge trail is not wheelchair accessible.

Trail features

The Mount Sorrow ridge trail provides opportunities for fit, experienced and well-prepared bushwalkers to experience rainforest-clad slopes and spectacular views from an elevation of 680 metres.

The trail starts in a lowland rainforest valley, featuring trees with large buttress roots and a canopy woven with large woody vines. As the ridge ascends, the trail moves into upland rainforest and the slow-growing orania palm becomes common. Look for Boyd's forest dragons perching on trees quite close to the trail. On the ridge the vegetation is dominated by acacias (wattles). The wind-sheared forest canopy becomes lower and more open towards the mountain summit.

From the lookout spangled drongos and small flocks of topknot pigeons can be observed in the air, while a variety of butterflies drift around on the wind. On a clear day, the beautiful Daintree coastline can be seen stretching southwards to Snapper Island and beyond, and the shadows of the individual reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef can be glimpsed in the ocean.

Read more about the nature, culture and history of the Mount Sorrow ridge trail.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

There is no camping permitted on the Mount Sorrow ridge trail.

The closest campground is at Noah Beach, eight kilometres south of Cape Tribulation. Camping permits are required and fees apply. The camping area may be closed after heavy rain and throughout the wet season.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation—private camping areas, hostels, resorts and holiday units—throughout the area adjacent to Daintree National Park. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

View from Mount Sorrow lookout, Daintree National Park. Photo: Queensland Government

View from Mount Sorrow lookout, Daintree National Park. Photo: Queensland Government

Walking

Mount Sorrow ridge trail—seven kilometres return (Allow six hours) Grade: difficult

This trail climbs from the coastal lowlands of Cape Tribulation, up the rainforest-clad ridge of Mount Sorrow to a lookout offering views of the beautiful Daintree coastline, Snapper Island and beyond.

The Mount Sorrow ridge trail is not for everyone. Although marked, walkers have been lost in this area. You must be prepared for a very steep and difficult trail with log scrambling required in some places. Only experienced bushwalkers with above average fitness should attempt this trail.

Walk times are approximate only and based on travel in good weather conditions. You will need to adjust these times to suit your group's level of experience and fitness. The times are for walking only. Remember to allow plenty of extra time for rest stops, meal breaks and sightseeing. Distance markers have been placed at one kilometre intervals along the walk to help monitor your progress.

Set off well before 10.00 am, to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and to allow time to return. Return via the same route. Leave the lookout before 2.00 pm to allow at least three hours of daylight for the return journey.

Contact QPWS Mossman office for trail conditions.

Trail notes

0–1 kilometre: this section of the trail is fairly steep and partly obstructed by several large fallen trees. For the first few hundred metres the vegetation has a covering of dust from the Bloomfield Road. Fan palms (Licuala ramsayi) feature in this lowland rainforest with a pandanus understorey.

1–2 kilometres: throughout this section, the trail undulates and requires ‘log hopping’ and stepping around roots. Several kinds of trees exhibit cauliflory, producing flower buds and fruit from their trunks, roots and main branches. Look for the large white flowers growing on the trunk of the Ryparosa kurrangii, a plant that is restricted in Australia to the area between Cape Tribulation and the Daintree River. Remember to look up to see epiphytes in the canopy.

2–3 kilometres: this part of the trail ascends extremely steeply. It is narrow in places and uneven with rocks and tree roots covering the trail surface. In this upland rainforest, cycads are prominent along with bumpy satinash (Syzygium cormiflorum) and the slow-growing orania palm (Oraniopsis appendiculata). A species of a primitive club moss (Selaginella sp.) with layers of small fern-like fronds can also be seen in patches on the ground. At the base of the steep ridge, notice that the vegetation has become stunted due to wind-shearing.

3 kilometres to the lookout: the final section of the trail passes through open forest dominated by acacias (wattles). From the lookout (680 metres elevation) views to the south-east encompass the Daintree coastline and Cape Tribulation township. Snapper Island and shadows of the fringing reefs along the coastline are spectacular sights on a clear day. Look for butterflies drifting around at this high elevation and birds such as spangled drongos and topknot pigeons flying past the lookout platform.

Picnic and day-use areas

There are no day-use areas along the Mount Sorrow ridge trail.

Kulki day-use area at Cape Tribulation provides toilets and picnic tables. A boardwalk leads from the picnic area to a viewing platform overlooking the ocean and beach. A short walk from the Kulki car park takes you to beautiful Myall Beach.

Things to know before you go

To ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable walk, please prepare thoroughly.

Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Remember 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.

Essentials to bring

The Mount Sorrow ridge trail is difficult and walkers need to be well prepared. Walkers must be fully self-sufficient and ensure they pack the right equipment. Make sure that you take:

  • a basic first-aid kit including a space blanket
  • warm, waterproof clothing
  • sturdy, reliable footwear
  • insect repellent
  • at least 3–4 litres of water per person
  • nourishing, lightweight food and high-energy snacks
  • satellite phone or emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB).

Opening hours

The Mount Sorrow ridge trail should only be attempted in daylight hours—plan your walk so that you return well before nightfall. Walking this trail is not recommended in very hot and humid conditions or wet, cloudy weather when the trail becomes slippery. Contact QPWS Mossman office for trail conditions.

Permits and fees

No permits or fees apply to visitors walking the Mount Sorrow ridge trail.

Camping permits are required and fees apply for Noah Beach campground, about eight kilometres south of Mount Sorrow.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Daintree National Park.

Climate and weather

The area in which this trail is located has one of the wettest climates in Australia. During the wet season, from November to April, there are heavy, frequent downpours. Some areas receive over four metres of rainfall annually. Maximum temperatures through the wet season range from 27 to 33 degrees Celsius, with humidity often exceeding 80 per cent.

To ensure your visit is enjoyable and comfortable, try to do this trail between May and October when the weather and trail conditions are at their best. During this time the temperatures are generally cooler and the weather drier.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Rainforest Village, 14 kilometres north of the Daintree River ferry. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

The Mount Sorrow ridge trail is difficult and walkers must be well prepared and responsible for their own safety. Contact QPWS Mossman office for trail conditions. Consider your ability and the trail conditions carefully before setting out.

  • Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Remember 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.
  • Always keep to the marked trail as walkers have been lost in this area.
  • This is a very steep and difficult trail. Walkers need to be fit, self-reliant and well prepared.
  • Never walk alone. Small groups of four are ideal.
  • There is no water available along the trail. Walkers should carry 3–4 litres of water per person and remember to drink regularly to avoid heat stress.
  • Venomous snakes live in the park. Detour around snakes. Never provoke them.
  • Leeches are usually present in leaf litter and wet vegetation. For protection against leeches wear enclosed footwear, long pants and insect repellent.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
  • Be aware that lawyer vine is found alongside the trail. This plant has hooks that can catch on clothing and skin.
  • Take care around cassowaries. These large birds are potentially dangerous. Stay well away from any cassowaries sighted and never feed them. Be Cass-o-wary.
  • In the event of an emergency, communication equipment is vital. 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 extremely limited and should not be relied upon as the only form of emergency communication. In case of an emergency, if network coverage is available, dial 000 on your charged mobile phone. If 000 does not work you can dial 112.

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

Looking after the walk

  • Do not pull yourself up steep sections of the trail using vegetation, as plants may be damaged.
  • Always stay on the trail. Do not cut corners or create new trails as this leads to erosion and adjacent areas may be unstable.
  • Toilets are not provided. Use a trowel to bury toilet waste and paper. Dig a 15 centimetre hole at least 100 metres away from the trail. Take all sanitary items with you—they do not decompose.
  • Littering the national park is prohibited. Rubbish bins are not provided. Do not bury rubbish—take it with you when you leave.
  • Do not disturb or feed wildlife.
  • Everything in the park is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.

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

Walk management

In 1981 Cape Tribulation National Park was declared, protecting 17,000 hectares of rainforest. The area was amalgamated into Daintree National Park in 1995.

Daintree National Park is managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with the Wet Tropics Management Authority, for the purposes of nature conservation and nature-based recreation. It is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and is adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Tourism information links

Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre
www.cairnsgreatbarrierreef.org.au
51 The Esplanade, Cairns Qld 4870
ph (07) 4051 3588
fax (07) 4051 7509
email

For information on road conditions contact:

RACQ (The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland)
www.racq.com.au
ph 1300 130 595 for 24 hour road reports

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

Further information

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Last updated
24 October 2016