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About Speewah

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Getting there and getting around

Speewah Conservation Park, an open rainforest-fringed grassy area, is adjacent to the Barron Gorge National Park. Photo: Tourism Kuranda.

Speewah Conservation Park, an open rainforest-fringed grassy area, is adjacent to the Barron Gorge National Park. Photo: Tourism Kuranda.

Maps

From Cairns, travel north along the Captain Cook Highway. Follow the Kuranda signs and turn left onto the Kennedy Highway, which winds up the coastal mountain range. Continue past the Kuranda turn-off for 6.5km and then turn left onto Speewah Road. Continue through the Speewah township and follow the signs for 5.2km along Speewah Road. Turn left onto the winding Stoney Creek Road and then left onto the steep Smiths Track road, which leads to the conservation park.

Speewah Road is not suitable for towing caravans.

See the Department of Transport and Main Roads for information about road and travel conditions.

Wheelchair accessibility

The toilets and shower facilities at Speewah camping area are wheelchair accessible. Assistance may be required in grassy areas of the camping area.

Park features

The park, donated for conservation purposes, provides visitors with an easily-accessible rainforest experience. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

The park, donated for conservation purposes, provides visitors with an easily-accessible rainforest experience. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Speewah Conservation Park, covering an area of 15.2ha, was gazetted as a conservation park on 17 December 2004, following a donation of land to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) by local residents Ron and Pam Elgar. It is adjacent to Barron Gorge National Park.

Smooth, green-trunked cadagi trees Corymbia torelliana and tall kauri pines Agathis robusta provide a scenic setting and the surrounding rainforest provides a tranquil backdrop for the camping and day-use areas.

Speewah camping area is a convenient base for exploring the long-distance walking track network in Barron Gorge National Park.

Camping and accommodation

Speewah camping area. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Speewah camping area. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Camping

Speewah is the nearest camping area to Barron Gorge National Park. It offers three individual sites plus a large communal tent area. Facilities include two gas barbecues and a wheelchair-accessible amenities block with a cold shower and toilets.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Kuranda, Mareeba and Cairns. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Boardwalks along the Djina-Wu walk allows easy walking for all ages. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Boardwalks along the Djina-Wu walk allows easy walking for all ages. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Speewah trail head provides access to the long-distance walks through Barron Gorge National Park. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Speewah trail head provides access to the long-distance walks through Barron Gorge National Park. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Explore the diverse rainforest on short walks from the Speewah trailhead. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Explore the diverse rainforest on short walks from the Speewah trailhead. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Enjoy a picnic in the day-use area after your rainforest walk. Photo: Queensland Government.

Enjoy a picnic in the day-use area after your rainforest walk. Photo: Queensland Government.

Speewah Conservation Park offers many opportunities for visitors to explore and enjoy the easily-accessible rainforest of adjacent Barron Gorge National Park—have a picnic or barbecue, take a short rainforest walk or do some birdwatching.

Walking

Several circuit walks are possible from Speewah Conservation Park ranging from short to half-day walks. Speewah is also a major trailhead for the long-distance one-day hikes that traverse Barron Gorge National Park. See Barron Gorge National Park for more information on the long-distance walking tracks accessible from Speewah Conservation Park.

Maps

Djina-Wu (get ready to walk) track (Grade: easy)

Distance: 1.5km return

Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

Details: This track links Speewah camping area to the historic Douglas and Smiths tracks of Barron Gorge National Park. It is an easy walk through spectacular rainforest with several creek crossings, boardwalks and a high bridge over a major gully. When you reach the Douglas and Smiths tracks junction (5 on map (PDF, 166K)) retrace your steps to return to the Speewah camping area.

Djina-Wu/Smiths track/Stoney Creek Road (Grade: easy–moderate)

Distance: 5km circuit

Time: Allow about 2.5hrs walking time.

Details: Follow the Djina-Wu track to the Smiths and Douglas tracks junction (5). Follow the Smiths track for 1.4km as it climbs a spur through dense rainforest then, at the track junction, follow the track for 500m to Stoney Creek Road, passing through a gate at the park boundary. The walk return to the camping area along Stoney Creek Road (900m) and Smiths Track Road (800m).

Djina-Wu/Douglas/Gandal Wandun/Smiths tracks (Grade: easy–moderate)

Distance: 8km circuit

Time: Allow about 5hrs walking time

Details: Follow the Djina-Wu track to the Smiths and Douglas tracks junction (5) and continue along the undulating Douglas track for 2 km. At the Gandal Wandun track junction (4), follow the Gandal Wandun track, a pleasant undulating 1.5km rainforest walk that links the Smith and Douglas tracks. At the Smiths track junction (8), turn towards Speewah and follow Smiths track to Cadagi Corner (7). Smiths Track then gradually ascends along a section of old logging track for about 1.5km then passes through the gate at the park boundary. The walk returns to the camping area along Stoney Creek Road (900m) and Smiths Track Road (800m).

Djina-Wu/Douglas track/Glacier Rock (Grade: easy–moderate)

Distance: 9.6km return

Time: Allow about 6–8hrs walking time

Details: Follow the Djina-Wu track to the Smiths and Douglas tracks junction (5) and continue along the undulating Douglas track for 3.75km, After the Gandal Wandun track junction (4), the Douglas track becomes steeper as it approaches Glacier Rock. A short (260m) side track (3) leads to the Glacier Rock lookout for views over Stoney Creek towards Mount Whitfield and the coast. The walk returns along the same track.

Picnic and day-use area

Speewah Conservation Park has barbecue facilities near the camping area and platform tables near the creek. There is also a wheelchair-accessible amenities block with a cold shower and toilets.

Things to know before you go

Walkers should be prepared with suitable shoes and clothing as well as drinking water and insect repellant. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Walkers should be prepared with suitable shoes and clothing as well as drinking water and insect repellant. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Douglas track crosses several small creeks. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Douglas track crosses several small creeks. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Walking tracks are well sign-posted. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Walking tracks are well sign-posted. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Essentials to bring

To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit always bring:

  • drinking water
  • sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
  • insect repellent and suitable clothing to protect against insect bites
  • sturdy reliable footwear
  • rubbish bags
  • first-aid kit
  • campers should bring screened tents or mosquito nets for protection from insects at night.

Opening hours

Speewah Conservation Park is open 24hrs a day. For your safety, walk in daylight hours only. The Kuranda Visitor Information Centre is open 10.00am to 4.00pm every day, except Christmas Day.

Permits and fees

Camping permits

Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Other permits

Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities. Contact us for further information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Speewah Conservation Park.

Climate and weather

Speewah Conservationl Park has a tropical climate. In summer, maximum temperatures range from 27°C to 33°C with high humidity, and between December and April, there are frequent heavy downpours of rain and the possibility of thunderstorms and tropical cyclones.

Although you can visit the park all year round, the cooler, drier months of the year (from May to September) are the best times to visit. The weather is pleasantly warm with reduced humidity and average maximum temperatures of 26°C.

For more information, see the tourism information links.

Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meterology.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and limited supplies are available at Speewah township and in nearby Kuranda. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

Orientation information is provided at the trailhead. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Orientation information is provided at the trailhead. Photo: Julie Swartz, Queensland Government

Take some simple precautions to ensure a safe, enjoyable visit.

  • Keep on the walking tracks and boardwalks at all times.
  • Always carry water, wear hats, sunscreen and sturdy footwear.
  • Wear protective clothing and insect repellent for protection against stings, scratches and insect bites, especially bites from ticks.
  • Take care on uneven, slippery track surfaces, especially when wet.
  • Be aware that stinging trees are found alongside many walking tracks. They grow to 4m high and have large, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Do not touch this plant as it may result in a very painful sting.
  • Cassowaries are potentially dangerous. Avoid unnecessary risks and help protect cassowaries—be cass-o-wary.
  • Stay clear of feral pigs—they can be dangerous if provoked.

Bushfires

Beware of bushfires. If there is a bushfire, follow the track to the nearest road or creek for refuge. Large logs, a ditch or burnt ground can also provide protection in some situations. Avoid areas of heavy fuel, such as deep leaf litter or thick vegetation, and stay low to the ground where the air is coolest and contains the least smoke. In high fire danger conditions, walking tracks and other areas may be closed. It is essential for your safety to follow the instructions on signs in these conditions. If you see a bushfire, please alert a ranger or the police as soon as possible.

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

Looking after the park

  • Domestic animals are not permitted in conservation parks. Leave all pets at home.
  • Rubbish bins are not provided—take rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Do not remove plant material, living or dead.
  • Do not feed wildlife or leave food or scraps around the camping or day-use areas.

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

Park management

Speewah Conservation Park is managed by QPWS to conserve its natural and cultural values, while providing nature-based recreational opportunities for visitors.

Tourism information links

Kuranda Visitor Information Centre
www.kuranda.org 
Coondoo Street, Kuranda QLD 4881
ph (07) 4093 9311
email 

Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre
www.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au 
51 The Esplanade, Cairns QLD 4870
ph (07) 4051 3588
email

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
29 March 2017