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About Djiru

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Getting there and getting around

Lacey Creek, Djiru National Park, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

Lacey Creek, Djiru National Park, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

Two day-use areas—Licuala and Lacey Creek—have been developed for visitor use within Djiru National Park.

To get to the Licuala day-use area and car park, turn north off the Tully–Mission Beach Road onto the signposted unsealed road, about 8km east of the town of Mission Beach. The day-use area and car park are 1.6km along this unsealed road. It is accessible by conventional vehicles.

Lacey Creek day-use area is beside the El Arish–Mission Beach road, 8km from the junction with the Bruce Highway and 7.5km from Mission Beach township.

Wheelchair accessibility

The toilets at Lacey Creek day-use area and part of the 1.3km Fan Palm walk at Licuala day-use area are wheelchair accessible (with assistance).

Park features

Fan palms are a feature of the Licuala day-use area. Photo: Stella Martin, Queensland Government.

Fan palms are a feature of the Licuala day-use area. Photo: Stella Martin, Queensland Government.

Since Europeans began to settle North Queensland, over 80 per cent of the lowland rainforest in the Wet Tropics has been cleared for agriculture and housing. Much of the forest in Mission Beach was selectively harvested up until the 1970s. This forest type is now preserved as national park.

From the Licuala day-use area, the short Fan Palm walk takes visitors through a native fan palm grove. The impact of Cyclone Yasi—fallen trees and sawn-off trunks—is most evident here. The dappled canopy that is usually created by the bright green, splayed fronds is slowly recovering.

At Lacey Creek, visitors can follow the Lacey Creek walk through the rainforest along, and across, the creek. Many of the features of mature tropical rainforest can be seen: tall trees with wide buttressed trunks; epiphytic ferns perched on tree branches, high in the canopy; and twining vines climbing up and over other plants to reach the light. The unmistakable features of cyclone damage are also evident here—clusters of regrowth on branch tips, fallen logs and vines, and large gaps in the canopy.

Cassowaries are often seen in this park, appearing from the surrounding forest and then melting away again.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted in Djiru National Park.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Mission Beach. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Fan Palm walk, Djiru National Park. Photo: Stella Martin, Queensland Government.

Fan Palm walk, Djiru National Park. Photo: Stella Martin, Queensland Government.

Viewing platform at Lacey Creek. Photo: Greg Watson.

Viewing platform at Lacey Creek. Photo: Greg Watson.

Endangered southern cassowary, Queensland. Photo: Saif Ismalji, courtesy of Tourism Queensland.

Endangered southern cassowary, Queensland. Photo: Saif Ismalji, courtesy of Tourism Queensland.

Walking and mountain biking

Several short and long walks allow visitors to explore the lowland rainforest in Djiru National Park, while the Musgravea track is a shared-use track for walkers and mountain-bikers. It is the only track in Djiru National Park where bicycles are permitted.

Map

Lacey Creek walk (Grade: easy)

Distance: 1.5km return
Time: allow 45mins walking time
Details: This walk is best appreciated when walked in an anti-clockwise direction. Starting from the cassowary information shelter, the track passes through rainforest and exits at the picnic area near the car park. Signs along the track provide information about the evolution of various plants and animals. About half way round, a viewing platform allows walkers to peer into a calm pool of Lacey Creek and spot saw-shelled turtles and fish of various types. Signs help with identification.

Fan Palm walk (Grade: easy)

Distance: 1.3km return
Time: allow 20mins walking time
Details: This loop track winds through a native fan palm forest. Signs along the walk describe how rainforest plants are adapted to survive in this low light, seasonally-flooded area. Much evidence of cyclone damage can be seen along the track. The boardwalk part of the track is wheelchair accessible (with assistance).

Children's walk (Grade: easy)

Distance: 400m return
Time: allow 10mins walking time
Details: This short loop takes children on a discovery walk through the fan palm forest, following ‘cassowary footprints’ to a ‘nest’.

Dreaming trail (Grade: moderate)

Distance: 3.2km one way
Time: allow 1.5hrs walking time
Details: This walking track starts across the road from the Lacey Creek day-use area. It climbs over quite steep terrain and exits about 2km further east, along the El Arish–Mission Beach road—the same exit as the Musgravea track. The Dreaming trail and the Musgravea track join shortly before the road exit.

Musgravea track

  Walkers Mountain bikers
Grade Moderate

Easy: wide trail with gentle gradient and smooth surface. Some obstacles such as roots, logs and rocks. Suitable for beginner mountain bike riders with basic riding skills and off-road bikes.

Time allow 2.5hrs allow 1hr

Distance: 6km one way
Details: This is a shared-use track for walkers and mountain bikes. It is the only track in Djiru National Park where bicycles are permitted. This track is mainly flat, suitable for all weather access and requires a medium level of fitness. It follows an old forestry road used in the 1960s and 1970s to haul timber from South Mission Beach to the El Arish timber mill. The track heads north from the car park at the Licuala day-use area and exits on to the El Arish–Mission Beach road about 2km east of the Lacey Creek day-use area. Creeks in this area are subject to flash flooding and caution should be exercised. The Musgravea track and the Dreaming trail join shortly before the road exit.

Picnic and day-use areas

The day-use area at Lacey Creek has wheelchair-accessible toilets, gas barbecues and picnic tables.

There are picnic tables at the Licuala day-use area. These tables are surrounded by a fence to prevent cassowaries from joining your picnic—do not share your meal with these big birds.

Viewing wildlife

The lowland rainforest in Djiru National Park is a good place for birdwatching. Expect to see a range of birds, from the enormous flightless cassowary to small kingfishers flitting along the creeks. Saw-shelled turtles and a range of freshwater fish can be found in Lacey Creek.

See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about Djiru National Park's diverse wildlife.

Other things to do

Cassowary information shelter

At Lacey Creek day-use area stroll to the cassowary information shelter and learn about cassowaries, which are frequently seen in the area.

Cassowaries rely on the rainforest for their food and shelter. The fruit of over 230 rainforest plants provides them with a large menu to choose from. Signs identify a variety of the food plants growing near the cassowary information shelter.

Things to know before you go

Musgravea track, Djiru National Park. Photo: Stella Martin, Queensland Government.

Musgravea track, Djiru National Park. Photo: Stella Martin, Queensland Government.

Essentials to bring

To ensure an enjoyable visit bring:

  • sufficient drinking water
  • protective clothing, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun
  • suitable shoes for walking on rough surfaces
  • insect repellent to protect against insect bites
  • rubbish bags
  • binoculars—helpful for spotting wildlife.

Opening hours

Djiru National Park is open 24hrs a day, all year round.

Pets

Leave your pets at home. Domestic animals are not permitted in Djiru National Park.

Permits and fees

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

Climate and weather

The Mission Beach–Tully area is one of the wettest parts of the Wet Tropics; Tully has an average annual rainfall of about 4500mm. Most of the high rainfall occurs between late December and April. These summer months are characterised by high temperatures, with maximums generally above 30°C and very high humidity relieved only by intense downpours of rain. The winter months, by contrast, are very pleasant with lower humidity and temperatures (a daily range of about 16–26°C) and frequent clear, sunny days. For more information see the tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Mission Beach and nearby Tully and El Arish townships. For more information see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

Lacey Creek, Djiru National Park. Photo: Stella Martin, Queensland Government.

Lacey Creek, Djiru National Park. Photo: Stella Martin, Queensland Government.

Make safety a priority when visiting this national park.

  • When riding, abide by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) rules of the trail.
  • When riding, wear appropriate safety gear and be realistic about your cycling abilities.
  • Slow down when approaching other track users. Follow the give-way code—cyclists must give way to walkers and alert others when approaching.
  • Maintain at least 50m between riders.
  • Stay on the boardwalks and walking tracks and take care on loose and uneven walking track surfaces, particularly in wet conditions.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, protective clothing and sturdy footwear.
  • Always carry water and try to walk in the cooler part of the day.

Be cass-o-wary

Cassowaries, which are often seen in Djiru National Park, are potentially dangerous. Avoid unnecessary risks and help protect cassowaries by following these guidelines:

  • never approach cassowaries
  • never approach chicks—male cassowaries will defend them
  • never feed cassowaries—it is illegal and dangerous and has caused cassowary deaths
  • always discard food scraps in closed bins
  • always slow down when driving in cassowary territory
  • never stop your vehicle to look at cassowaries on the road

Avoid contact with tar trees

Beware of tar trees Semecarpus australiensis that are found in coastal areas. Contact with the tree, particularly the tar-like sap, causes severe blistering in most people. Resembling cashews, the fruits are set in a succulent, orange stem and have an irritating skin. Contact with all parts of this tree, which looks like a mango tree, should be avoided.

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

Looking after the park

Assist the Traditional Owners and rangers to look after this special place.

  • Mountain biking is only permitted on the Musgravea track.
  • Stay on marked trails—riding and walking over vegetation, breaking branches, taking shortcuts and forming new tracks damages the environment.
  • Only cross natural watercourses at designated crossing points on the trail or track.
  • Limit the spread of weeds by ensuring clothes, shoes, gear and bikes are clean and free of seeds before arriving at the park.
  • Take your rubbish with you—litter is unsightly and harmful to wildlife. Remember that cigarette butts are rubbish too.
  • Feeding of wildlife is not permitted—it can affect the health of animals and alter their behaviour.
  • Leave domestic animals at home—they are not permitted in national parks.
  • Everything in the park is protected. Leave everything as you found it.
  • Motorised vehicles, including trail bikes, are not permitted on the Musgravea trail.

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

Park management

Part of Djiru National Park lies within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The park is managed to preserve the area’s natural, cultural and scenic values while providing nature-based recreational opportunities for visitors.

Previously a state forest, this area became Tam O’Shanter National Park in December 2005. On 9 December 2009 Tam O'Shanter National Park became Djiru National Park. This name change honours the Traditional Owners of the area, the Djiru Aboriginal people.

Djiru National Park is managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with the Wet Tropics Management Authority and the Djiru Aboriginal people.

Tourism information links

Innisfail Information Centre
www.tropicalcoasttourism.com.au/innisfail
ANZAC Park, Bruce Highway, Innisfail QLD 4860
ph: 0428 228 962
email:

Mission Beach Business & Tourism
www.missionbeachtourism.com
Porters Promenade, Mission Beach QLD 4852
ph (07) 4068 7099
email 

Tully Visitor and Heritage Centre
www.tropicalcoasttourism.com.au
Bruce Highway, Tully QLD 4854
ph (07) 4068 2288
email 

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
29 August 2018