Tackling the Douglas Track. My first walk in FNQ

“Would you like to come for a walk? It’s not very hard.”

“It’s not very hard”. When someone tells me it’s “not hard”, I’m learning that there are different definitions of “hard” and I maybe shouldn’t trust their judgement or assessment. And it’s not just friends, it’s also with Queensland National Parks and Wildlife. I will never again believe their definition of “easy”.

Thomas and Karyn invited me for an “easy two hour” walk up the Douglas Track. “Easy” OMG! It was far and away the hardest trek I’ve done. Thomas’s phone and my FitBit recorded that in-the-end, we walked just over 9km over 4 hours. Vertical. I can walk 9km on a Brisbane suburban street and bike-path no worries, but up a rocky and uneven side of a hill, well I am literally speechless …

This was my first FNQ walk so I’m not sure if this is a “thing”, but the paths on the Douglas Track are not straightforward – for 4 hours we had to get carefully navigate muddy paths filled with rocks and tree roots. It was VERY hard going.

Of course if you’re a trail junkie or a ‘Lorna Jane’, you might find it easy, and might even run up and down the Douglas Track. But for the not-so-young hiker, and/or who is only JUST coming off the couch and onto the trail (like me), the Douglas Track is easily moderate to hard.

One hundred times I wanted to give up – and the voices in my head were telling me to stop at every section. And I’m grateful for Thomas and Karyn for slowing their own pace to let me catch up.

View of Glacier Rock from the road.

Climbing to Glacier Rock was not on my bucket-list. Even though I’ve driven past it a thousand times, I didn’t even know Glacier Rock existed before yesterday. And now I’ve climbed it. So I’m sneakily adding it to my bucket list and crossing it off.

Anyway, enough for my rant … here are the details of the walk.

There are two Douglas Tracks walks. We didn’t do the full loop walk. We started at Stoney Creek Road, Kamerunga. (Park in the car-park), walk across the causeway and up the hill.

It had been raining in Cairns the week before we arrived so the causeway was covered with water. We had to take off our shoes to cross.

And then up we went. The trail is very rocky with lots of roots.

At each point, there is a trail, filled with rocks and roots. But up we go regardless.

And up we go.

Signage – not particularly meaningful given my fitness and how difficult the track was. 750 metres doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a killer when you’re not prepared.

It is the rainforest so of course there are strangler figs everywhere. I should have stood beside this boulder to demonstrate how large the boulder was. It was massive!

More of the trail …

A good spot to pull up for a quick rest …

Nearly at the top!

We found the Kuranda Rail. But we missed the train which passes four times per day.

The inevitable selfie – smiling but dying on the inside …

Above the railway, there is a steel bridge and then steps up. The steps are so steep that on the way down you have to hold on.

First real view and all this table needs is a tree …

Not much shade up the top. Make sure you bring your sunscreen!

The view …

Time for another selfie …

It’s a little confusing when you reach the top. You have to walk along the red road to get Glacier Rock walk. Again – make sure you bring the sunscreen as it’s hot and sunny up there.

Time for another stop before we head off again.

(Again) smiling but smashed …

The landscape changes as we get closer to the top …

And we made it … 

The three of us … trail warriors!

And the view … 

This was the first walk I’ve done using hiking sticks and I highly recommend it. My week ankles mean that I get nervous around unstable grounds. The sticks were absolutely essential for me to get this walk completed. The downhill was much quicker, but because of the uneven surface and because we were tired, it wasn’t a quick descent. But we moved a little fast knowing that Stoney Creek was waiting for us at the bottom. As soon as we walked out – I threw off the FitBit and the iPhone and jumped straight into the freezing water of Stoney Creek.

Wrap-Up: It’s not an easy walk if you’re not an experienced walker. You can do it but you really need to take it easy. Keep an eye on the kids – there are some spots where the path is narrow and the drop is high. And make sure you take plenty of water, a snack for when you reach the top, a hat and walking sticks.

3 thoughts on “Tackling the Douglas Track. My first walk in FNQ”

    1. Hey! It was hard going, but worth it in the end. Karyn & Thomas will give you the run-down on it. I only wish I’d been a little more together and taken some better pics when I get to the top. Enjoy it!

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