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Fri 25 Jul, 2014 4:58 pm
Davies Creek NP is situated between Kuranda and Mareeba and is about a 40 minute drive from Cairns. The park is accessed by a dirt road that is not quite 4wd only, however there are a few floodways, and it was quite corrugated on a few sections on my last visit. The mount Turtle circuit starts behind campsite 3/4 and returns to the road next to campsite 5/6. The track was easily visible and well marked. The final ascent is quite steep, with a bit of scrambling required, and there's some loose gravel to negotiate on the descent. The temperature was about 19 when I did the walk and while it was a little warm on the final scramble, the dappled sunlight that the light canopy allows throughout the track was quite pleasant. QPS advises 3 hrs for the circuit but a fit experienced walker should have no trouble doing it in 2hrs.
The track starts off in open woodland and the trees remain with you throughout. The track initially rises quite gently, with grass trees and cycads abundant on the upper slopes. The track eventually steepens quite markedly and winds amongst the boulders that dominate the upper slopes. Several of these provide great vantage points to admire the surrounding mountains and the tablelands. The steep climb is quite short, almost disappointingly so, and the summit is quite broad,with light tree cover and dotted with boulders. Views to Kahlpahlim Rock, Black mountain to the north and across the tablelands are your reward. There is a comms tower on Kahlpahlim rock which you have line of sight on from the summit, making it one of the few places in the park with mobile coverage. The initial descent is somewhat steep and loose underfoot, however the track gradually levels out and again becomes quite easy. You do have to cross the creek just before the end of the track, look out for the red track marker on a tree right next to the creek which points out what is probably the safest spot to cross.
While relatively short the Mount Turtle circuit is quite enjoyable, there are strenuous sections, however they are relatively short. The views are not as spectacular as those afforded by the afore mentioned Kahlpahlim Rock, the environment is quite different and seeing so many cycads and grass trees in their natural environment is quite rewarding in of itself.
Tue 05 Aug, 2014 10:13 pm
Tue 21 Oct, 2014 4:13 pm
Having seen the comms towers on Kahlpahlim Rock, I suspect your mobile coverage was more likely from Mareeba way. They look like Emergency services type antennas, and very low power compared to a mobiles base station.
Mon 27 Oct, 2014 9:03 pm
Cheers Eggs, will keep that in mind, will probably head up Kahlpahlim again this week, must admit I didn't pay them much attention last time.
Tue 28 Oct, 2014 10:19 pm
Scratch that, RFS have gotten a bit carried away, no walking around there for a while...
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