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
Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places
on each POI page.
If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
- Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
- You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
- If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
- If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.
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.