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About Mount Hypipamee

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Getting there and getting around

Mount Hypipamee National Park is on the Kennedy Highway, 25 km south of Atherton. Atherton is 96 km from Cairns via the Kennedy Highway and 80 km via the Gillies Highway. The park can also be reached from Malanda (15 km) via athe partially unsealed Upper Barron Road.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities or tracks although the track to the viewing platform is sealed.

Park features

The Mount Hypipamee diatreme. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

The Mount Hypipamee diatreme. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Located high on the southern Evelyn Tableland, in the Hugh Nelson Range, this park is centred around a diatreme or volcanic pipe, thought to have been created by a massive gas explosion.

A platform at the end of a 400 m walking track through the rainforest provides an uninterrupted view of the remaining crater. The crater is almost 70 m across with sheer granite walls (the surface rock through which the gas exploded). Fifty-eight metres below the rim is a lake over 70 m deep, covered with a green layer of native waterweed.

A remarkable variety of vegetation types, including high-altitude rainforest, grow in this small park. It is a hot spot for possums with several different species found in the area and a good place for seeing high-altitude birds.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted at Mount Hypipamee National Park.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Atherton, Yungaburra, Malanda, Herberton and Ravenshoe. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Things to do

The viewing platform at the crater. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

The viewing platform at the crater. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

A tier of Dinner Falls. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

A tier of Dinner Falls. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Victoria's riflebird. Photo: Queensland Government.

Victoria's riflebird. Photo: Queensland Government.

Walking

There are two walking tracks in Mount Hypipamee National Park. These tracks can be walked independently or as a circuit.

Crater track (Grade: easy)

Distance: 800 m return
Time: allow 30 mins walking time
Details: A sealed track through the rainforest leads to a viewing platform overlooking the crater. Return along the same track.

Dinner Falls circuit (Grade: moderate)

Distance: 1.2 km return
Time: allow 45 mins walking time
Details: An alternative route back to the car park from the crater, this track leads to Dinner Falls, a series of cascades in the headwaters of the Barron River. The track surface is uneven with exposed rocks and roots and can be slippery when wet. Some sections are reasonably steep. This circuit can be walked in either direction.

Picnic and day-use areas

Picnic tables and toilets are provided. Place all rubbish in the bins and refrain from feeding the wildlife.

Viewing wildlife

The diverse vegetation supports a number of different animals and this park is a great place to see several species of possum and Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos. During the day most are sleeping in dens but occasionally green ringtail possums and Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos are seen dozing on branches.

Look for upland rainforest birds, including a number of Wet Tropics endemic species. These include Victoria's riflebird, bridled honeyeater and golden and tooth-billed bowerbirds.

Go spotlighting and see the possums that live in the park as well as fungi and invertebrates, some of which glow with an eerie bioluminescence. Spotlighting from the open space of the road allows you to view the canopy and gives the best chance of seeing animals. Listen for a rustle or a distinctive scent and look for the animal's eye shine. This reflected light from a nocturnal animal's eyes can be very bright and varies from red through yellow to white depending on species and sex.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

To enjoy your time at Mount Hypipamee National Park remember to bring:

  • spotlights or torches
  • warm clothing for cool nights.

Opening hours

Mount Hypipamee National Park is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

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

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Mount Hypipamee National Park.

Climate and weather

Mount Hypipamee is almost 1000 m above sea level so temperatures and humidity are lower than at the coast. Maximum summer temperatures are around 29 °C while winter temperatures can fall below 10 °C at night. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Ravenshoe, Herberton and Atherton. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

Avoid stinging trees. Photo: Tamara Vallance, Queensland Government

Avoid stinging trees. Photo: Tamara Vallance, Queensland Government

Southern cassowary at Mount Hypipamee. Photo: Michael Overland, Queensland Government

Southern cassowary at Mount Hypipamee. Photo: Michael Overland, Queensland Government

  • Remain on the walking tracks at all times and stay behind the fence at the viewing platform. Supervise children closely.
  • Avoid stinging trees. These plants grow to 4 m high and have large, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Do not touch these plants as it will result in a very painful sting. If you are stung and symptoms are severe, seek medical advice.

Be cass-o-wary

Cassowaries, which are occasionally seen in Mount Hypipamee 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
  • keep dogs behind fences or on a leash; dogs are not permitted in national parks.

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

Looking after the park

Coppery rainforest form of the common brushtail possum. Photo: Queensland Government.

Coppery rainforest form of the common brushtail possum. Photo: Queensland Government.

  • Brushtail possums are often seen around the carpark, especially at dusk. Do not feed the possums, or other wildlife, as it causes unnaturally large concentrations of animals in the area, leading to aggressive interaction and the displacement of other species. Human food is also unhealthy for wildlife.
  • Place your rubbish in the bins provided.
  • Do not throw any objects into the crater.

Spotlight etiquette

A well-planned spotlight activity will deliver great results with very little effort or impact on the environment. Here are a few things that will make your experience memorable:

  • Keep bulb wattage to 30 or less. This increases the chance of finding animals (by not warning them) and will extend viewing times.
  • Bring binoculars for better viewing.
  • Use senses to find wildlife. Look for eye shine, listen for leaves rustling and inhale the smells.
  • Use a white light to explore the forest, and then add a red or orange (cellophane) filter to view wildlife.
  • Remember loud voices and sounds will scare away the wildlife and ruin the experience.
  • Lights should never be set on nesting birds—this can cause them great distress.

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

Park management

Mount Hypipamee was gazetted a national park in 1934. In 1988 it was included within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA).

Tourism information links

Atherton Visitor Information Centre
www.itablelands.com.au
Corner Silo Road and Main Street, Atherton QLD 4883
ph (07) 4091 4222
email

Malanda Falls Visitor Centre
www.malandafalls.com
132 Malanda-Atherton Road, Malanda QLD 4885
ph (07) 4096 6957
email

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
26 April 2017