Mount Bartle Frere 3-Day Traverse
A climb over Queensland’s highest peak and one of the State 8, Mount Bartle Frere, is a challenging, but rewarding experience. This unique landscape is the only tropical peak of the eight highest mountains in each Australian State & Territory. You will be led by your local guide who has a keen eye for spotting Wooroonooran wildlife and will remind you to keep your ears open for the rainforest symphony.
Hike the eastern trailhead to Big Rock Camp and Broken Nose return
An early start allows the group to meet and greet in either Cairns and/or Atherton. We then transfer to Josephine Falls in Wooroonooran National Park, 75km south of Cairns where we’ll have a hot cuppa and a snack. After a visit to Josephine Falls, we check gear and share out group food, tents and bedding if needed. From the eastern trailhead we commence a 3km ‘warm up’ hike to Big Rock Camp. Here we drop packs, have lunch on the creek’s edge, refill water bottles and hike to the beautiful lookout at Broken Nose (962m). This is a challenging 4km/4 hour return trip rewarded with a swim and relax in Majuba Creek before setting up camp and enjoying the evening meal. Tonight we sleep deep within the rainforest on the banks of Majuba Creek.
✧ Grade: moderate to challenging
✧ Meals: lunch & dinner
Hike to Eastern Summit Camp
We enjoy a leisurely breakfast and refreshing splash in Majuba Creek before breaking camp and embarking on the 4.5km hike to the Eastern Summit Camp. While today’s hike is relatively short in distance, anticipate you will be on the trail for about 5 hours as the altitude gain on Queensland’s highest mountain is ‘impressive’. The trail is narrow and steep, so expect to get sweaty as we pull ourselves up on trees, roots and boulders. Keep a look out for the leaf litter specialist - our infamous annelid. Fortunately we are under a beautiful mixed rainforest canopy for most of the day, sheltering us from the tropical sun. On arrival at Eastern Summit Camp and refuge shelter we rest and relax, and on a clear day enjoy some of the best views in Far North Queensland, taking in the Coral Sea and surrounding countryside. By early evening we will be ready for a hearty, group cooked dinner. Tonight we sleep on small pads near the refuge shelter.
✧ Grade: challenging
✧ Meals: all meals provided
Hike to western trailhead via Bartle Frere summit
With an early start, if we don’t wake wrapped in the mist of the clouds or even above them, we’ll enjoy the beautiful sunrise and views over breakfast. Once we have broken camp we encounter the impressive boulder field, this is a challenging but rewarding crossing. We then reach the summit at 1622m, a triumph by any bushwalker’s standard. After a rest we hike down to Frog’s Hollow on the headwaters of the Russell River. En route we stop for short breaks, rewarded by further views at North West Peak and a splash in the beautiful Bobbin Bobbin Falls. We may also be fortunate enough to spot the rare, endemic Golden Bowerbird and its intricate bower, or the third tallest living bird - the endangered Southern Cassowary. Today’s hike is approximately 8km, descending 700m through beautiful upland rainforest.
✧ Grade: challenging
✧ Meals: breakfast & lunch
After an exhilarating three day traverse of the highest mountain in Queensland we reach our transfer at the western trailhead takeout point and return to Cairns or Atherton.
NOTE: Contingency plan for adverse weather conditions making continuing unsafe*:
As there is only one track from Majuba Creek up to Mount Bartle Frere's summit and the terrain gains in steepness and difficulty (red clay and granite boulders in sections), should adverse weather conditions present on the morning of day two, a sound judgment will be made by your guide at Big Rock Camp. If it proves unsafe to continue Plan B will take effect.
Contingency plan for day 2 - Hike back to eastern trailhead, shuttle to 20km north to the Babinda Boulders Campground. From here we can take our time on the short walk along the creek passing the Babinda Boulders and return to camp for the night.
Contingency plan for day 3 - We hike the Goldfield Trail, 19km/9hrs. Follow an historic gold prospecting trail over the saddle between Mount Bartle Frere and Mount Bellenden Ker (second highest mountain in Queensland) to Goldsborough Valley.
✧ Grade: moderate
✧ Meals: all meals provided
*Should the group not be able to complete the traverse due to unfavourable weather conditions, TAG offers you an opportunity to return at half-price to attempt Bartle Frere with us again.
- Min 3 / max 9 guests
- Involves carrying a full backpack
- Camping in tents
- Transfers from/to Cairns
- All meals including snacks
- Tents / sleeping mats / group gear
- National Park fees
Per guest GST incl.