The CREB track is the service access track for the Ergon Energy powerline to Cooktown
. It traverses a spectacular, yet sensitive, part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage
Area from the Daintree
River through China Camp to Wujal Wujal
. The CREB Track was originally intended as a service track for the Cairns
Regional Electricity Board (CREB) power line. Heading south from Ayton, near Bloomfield, the CREB Track winds its way first through open wooded ridges to Dawnvale station, and then slowly works its way deeper into rainforest and mountainous terrain where it climbs and descends precipitously, eventually reaching the Daintree
River. Lush tropical rainforest, clear flowing streams, stunning waterfalls and spectacular views from ridge tops, make this one of the most exciting journeys you can do in the Far North.
The CREB Track is typically closed during the wet season and anyone considering travelling on this track should first seek additional information such as track closure/opening dates and track conditions, etc.
For further information, click for the CREB Track Page on the Cairns Regional Council Website
or call (07) 4044 3044.
How to Use this Trek Note
In this trek note, we provide Place to Place distances (see Directions tab), a downloadable plot file, and POI files to enable you to use this as your driving itinerary, or as a base guide to add other side trips. As with all ExplorOz Trek Notes, you can reverse the order of the direction notes by clicking the arrow alongside the words Start/Finish at the very top of the information on this page.
To see the route, click on the Map tab. Then use the Moving Map Control to take a virtual tour of the route. You can also click on the "What to See & Do" & "Where to Stay" tabs to see more about each Place that the route follows. Click each listed item to open a separate page (and download) for each Place for further information to enrich your understanding of the area.
If you use the Print button at the top of the page the text from all sections will be reformatted into one easy to read document (except for detailed Place information – do these separately). If you are an ExplorOz Member, you'll also be able to download any individually selected Places
(or all in one batch download) as POI/waypoint files to use in your GPS (all popular formats available).
The CREB Track is located in the Daintree
region. Some of the track is within the Wet Tropics Managed World Heritage
Wilderness Area, other parts are on private property and in State Forest. There is an ongoing process to review use of such restricted tracks within National Parks and World Heritage
Areas, so users are encouraged to not cause undue damage to the area by attempting to traverse in wet conditions. There are gates at the boundary of the Wet Tropics Management Authority area, and these will no doubt be closed when weather is not suitable for travel on the track.
The World Heritage Daintree
Rainforest is the second largest rainforest system in the world. The Daintree
rainforest is the centre of the wet tropics region, and as such is very rarely dry. With around one hundred and ninety wet days a year, it may be difficult to find a day when it is not wet. Travel on the CREB track is extremely treacherous when even slightly wet, due to very slippery clay soils and extremely steep slopes. The dry time in the region is June to September, but rains can fall at this time. “Winter” rain falls from April to May and sometimes into early June. Such rain is often accompanied by fresh easterly winds.
This region is home to the Kuku Yulanji people. They have weathered some very difficult times throughout the history of their contact with Europeans, but they have managed to retain a great deal of their culture. Aboriginal guides offer tours in various parts of the area.
The Kuku Yulanji people now live mostly in communities at the Mossman Gorge
and on the northern bank of the Bloomfield River. Historically the area supported a high density population
, with highly developed social structures.
Contact with Europeans was very often violent with fatalities sustained on both sides. European influences undermined the aboriginal cultural system which among other things, had a heavy dependence on food prepared from toxic rainforest species, that required lengthy and involved preparation.
After the passage of Captain James Cook
, one hundred years passed before any European explorers
ventured into the steamy regions of far north Queensland
. The tragic loss of Kennedy and most of his party in 1848 seemed to reinforce the notion that this land was dangerous and uninhabitable.
The discovery of gold was the key to exploration and habitation. Frederick Warner found gold on what would be named the Palmer River
. The explorer and prospector James Venture Mulligan set out from nearby gold fields with the aim of finding payable gold at the Palmer. His success precipitated a huge rush to the area and lead to the establishment of Cooktown
Hann was the first to venture into the upper Daintree
where the CREB track is located. Hann came from the Mitchell river, heading for the coast at the Bloomfield River. So astounded was he with the steep terrain, that he wrote in his journal that he was thankful he had “landed safely on to the low lands”
Further European exploration eventually lead to timber getting, particularly Cedar which grew in abundance, and then to sugar plantations, first established near the Daintree
river and then more successfully at the junction of two rivers near what is now the township of Mossman
The CREB Track is definitely only for experienced four-wheel drivers. When dry, experienced drivers will find it enjoyable and not difficult, but steep grades will require care. During or following even light showers of rain, the track becomes quite scary and difficult, and will test even experienced drivers. Best travel times are May to September, but rain can fall anytime. Combine rainfall with red clay soils and very steep grades, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Ensure your four-wheel drive vehicle is in good working order, and that you have tyres with lots of grip. Do not tow trailers. A very heavily loaded vehicle is not recommended.
Since this track is on private property and through world heritage
rainforest, do not attempt it when wet. This is a very sensitive area, being both World Heritage
and private property. Track damage could well result in permanent closure of this track. It is highly recommended that you contact the authorities to check on the status of the CREB Track before travel.
Permits are not required to travel on the CREB track however restrictions and protocols apply for visiting the popular Roaring Meg Falls
. Contact (07) 4098 6248 (Burungu Aboriginal Corporation).
Fuel Supplies & Usage
||Diesel||4cyl 11 litres
||ULP||4cyl 13 litres
||LPG||4cyl 15 litres|
|6cyl 12 litres||6cyl 14 litres||6cyl 14 litres|
|8cyl 12 litres||8cyl 13 litres|
Fuel is available further north at Cooktown
and to the South at Wonga Beach
. Fuel is available at Bloomfield on Saturday’s and Sunday’s only but you will need to check for opening hours.
Best Time To Visit
Track is closed during the wet season, generally from December to May.
Closest Climatic Station
Low Isles Lighthouse
Distance from Trek Mid Point 40.85km SE
|Mean Max. °C
|Mean Min. °C
|Mean Rain mm
Best time to travel Ok time to travel Travel NOT recommended
Services & Supplies
The following locations have various services and supplies: Daintree
Supplies is available further north at Cooktown
and to the South at Wonga Beach
. The Caltex service station and convenience store at Wonga Beach
has groceries and take-away food.