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About Mount Lewis

Park alerts

No current alerts for this park. See alerts for all parks.

Getting there and getting around

From Cairns, travel north along the Captain Cook Highway. Turn left onto the Mossman–Mount Molloy Road (4 km south of Mossman) and travel up the Rex Range. About 9 km after the 'top lookout' on the range, turn right into Mount Lewis Road.

From Mount Molloy, travel north on the Mulligan Highway, turning right onto the Mossman–Mount Molloy Road just after crossing Rifle Creek. Drive for just over 10 km then turn left into Mount Lewis Road.

The road in the park is four-wheel drive only and is closed during wet weather to avoid damage to the road surface. There is no through access and visitors must return the way they came.

Wheelchair accessibility

Mount Lewis National Park has no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Park features

Mount Lewis forest drive. Photo courtesy of Stella Martin.

Mount Lewis forest drive. Photo courtesy of Stella Martin.

Many of the highest rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area are, for the most part, inaccessible. The 28 km Mount Lewis drive is a notable exception. Winding through rainforest-clad ridges and spurs, the road climbs to over 1,200 m before following the contours around the chain of peaks that form the watershed of the Mossman and Mitchell rivers.

Mount Lewis is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The area between Mount Lewis and Atherton Tableland has high habitat and species diversity, especially animal life. The beautiful upland rainforest dates back to the evolution of flowering plants on earth. Some flowers are indicative of Australia’s link with the ancient landmass of Gondwana.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted in Mount Lewis National Park.

Other accommodation

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

Things to do

Guided tours and talks

Mount Lewis National Park features in the itinerary of several tour companies. See the tourism information links.

Four-wheel driving and trail-bike riding

Map

Mount Lewis Road

Distance: 56 km return

Time: allow 3 hrs driving and riding time

Details: The best way to experience Mount Lewis National Park is by driving or riding the 56 km (return) Mount Lewis Road. Starting at the entrance to the park, the rainforest drive climbs to over 1200 m before following the contours around the chain of peaks that form the watershed of the Mossman and Mitchell rivers. There is no through access and drivers and riders must return the way they came. 

Drivers and riders must be licensed and trail-bikes and vehicles must be fully registered. Stay on formed roads—trail-bikes and vehicles are not permitted off-road.

The road is closed (at the gate) during wet weather to avoid damage to the road surface. See park alerts for up-to-date information. For road problems outside the national park contact the Tablelands Regional Council

For more information, see trail-bike riding and four-wheel driving.

Mountain biking

Map

Mount Lewis Road

Distance: 56 km return

Time: allow 5 hours riding time

Details: Explore Mount Lewis National Park by mountain bike riding the 56 km (return) Mount Lewis Road. Starting at the entrance to the park, the road climbs to over 1200 m before following the contours around the chain of peaks that form the watershed of the Mossman and Mitchell rivers. There is no through access and riders must return the way they came. 

The road is closed (at the gate) during wet weather to avoid damage to the road surface. See park alerts for up-to-date information. For road problems outside the national park contact the Tablelands Regional Council

For more information, see cycling.

Picnic and day-use areas

Although there are no dedicated day-use areas, some of the creek crossings and clearings are suitable for a picnic or short break.

Viewing wildlife

Mount Lewis is rich in unique and endemic wildlife. Look for the Mount Lewis spiny crayfish in the creeks and blue-faced parrot-finches in grassy clearings and glades. Red-bellied black snakes often sun themselves on the road and huge blue earthworms come to the surface during wet weather.

See the description of the park’s natural environment for more details about Mount Lewis’s diverse wildlife.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

  • wet weather gear.

Permits and fees

Special permits are required for commercial or organised events. Contact us for further information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Mount Lewis National Park.

Climate and weather

The lower humidity and daytime temperatures at Mount Lewis National Park are a pleasant escape from the coastal extremes. At the lower elevations, maximum summer temperatures are around 30 °C while winter temperatures can fall below 10 °C, when frosts are not uncommon. Most of the rain falls during the wet season, between December and April. As the road climbs into the mountains, the temperatures begin to drop. Warm clothes are required throughout the year. Over 900 m, when the road enters the cloud forest, conditions are very damp, even without rain. For more information see the tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available from Julatten, Mount Molloy and Mossman. For more information see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

  • Mount Lewis Road is unsealed and has sharp bends and steep grades. Drive slowly to allow time to react. Keep left, especially at sharp bends and crests.
  • Expect to share this road with pedestrians and other vehicles, including small tour buses.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear and be realistic about your riding and driving abilities. Ride and drive to the conditions.
  • When riding, avoid skidding and sliding around turns—this may result in collision with other trail users.
  • Be prepared for cool weather.
  • Treat all water before drinking.
  • Mobile phone coverage may not be reliable.
  • Tell friends or family where you are going and when you expect to return.

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

Looking after the park

  • Pull to the side to let other traffic past but do not damage vegetation or create new tracks. Use the passing bays provided.
  • Watch out for washouts, scoured road shoulders and loose surfaces. Be especially careful in wet weather when some roads and creek crossings may become impassable.
  • Avoid driving on these roads during and after heavy rain. Driving and riding on wet, unsealed roads causes damage to the road surface.
  • Stay on existing roads. If an obstruction blocks your path, don’t drive into the roadside drain to pass it. Remove the obstruction, if possible and safe to do so, or return from the direction you came. Ensure that obstructions do not block roadside drains.
  • If you get stuck, try not to use trees for winching. If you have no choice, look after the vegetation by using tree protectors.
  • Unlicensed trail-bike riders and drivers are not allowed in parks and forests. Riders and drivers must be licensed and vehicles must be fully registered.
  • Wash vehicles, bikes, shoes and gear thoroughly before entering this park to prevent the spread of weeds and diseases
  • Everything in the park is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.
  • Domestic animals are prohibited in national parks.
  • The use of firearms and chainsaws are prohibited in national parks.
  • Southern cassowaries live in Mount Lewis National Park. Please be aware of them when driving and riding in the park and remember to be Cass-O-Wary.

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

Park management

The 21,287 ha Mount Lewis State Forest became Mount Lewis Forest Reserve on 16 October 2001. On 11 December 2009 it joined the adjacent Riflemead Forest Reserve to become Mount Lewis National Park with a total area of 22,955 ha. In the future, two areas of unallocated state land—Round Mountain and Lyons Lookout—will also be added to the park, giving a total area of 27,355 ha.

QPWS manages the park to:

  • protect the park’s natural condition
  • ensure rare or threatened species are protected
  • provide facilities for minimal impact and nature-based recreation
  • protect parks from overuse
  • concentrate human activity in less sensitive areas
  • help visitors enjoy the park’s special attractions.

A section of the Mount Lewis forest drive passes through Brooklyn Sanctuary, owned by the non-profit Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Purchased in 2004, the 60,000 ha property is protected as a nature refuge.

Tourism information links

Atherton Information Centre
www.athertontablelands.com.au
Corner Silo Road and Main Street, Atherton QLD 4883
Phone: 07 4091 4222
Email:

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
24 August 2017