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About Herberton Range

Getting there and getting around

Maps

Herberton Range Regional Park

From Herberton travel south on Longlands Gap Road for 3.2 km. Turn left into Rolley Road and follow it 2.4 km to E Hill Road. Turn right into E Hill Road and travel 3.3 km to the park. From Atherton travel south on the Kennedy Highway for 14.1 km. Turn right into Plath Road and follow it 3.8 km to the park.

Baldy Mountain Forest Reserve

To access the Mount Baldy walking track, from Atherton travel 1.6 km south on the Atherton Herberton Road. Turn right into Rifle Range Road and travel 590 m. Turn left and park in the small car park on the left.  Do not continue on to the rifle range.

Herberton Range ridge road and Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park

Access the Herberton Range ridge road from the southern or northern entrances.

For the northern entrance, drive 1.6 km south on the Atherton Herberton Road. Turn right into Rifle Range Road and travel 1.8 km (going past the rifle range) to the trail head sign at the start of the Herberton Range ridge road. The trail in the Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park also start from here.

The southern entrance is 12 km south of Atherton on the Atherton Herberton Road. After descending from the range, turn right onto the dirt road before the railway crossing and travel the short distance to the trail head sign at the start of the Herberton Range ridge road. Please leave gates as you find them.

Herberton Range National Park 

The unmarked fire trails in the north-west section of Herberton Range National Park (PDF, 122K)  can be accessed from the Atherton Herberton Road or Wongabel Road. The trails are very steep and rocky and should only be accessed by experienced drivers in suitable off-road vehicles.

Internal roads

These parks, forest and reserve have a network of internal roads and firebreaks, available to four-wheel-drive vehicles only. The roads are unsealed, often narrow and can have sharp bends and rough surfaces. Take care when driving and be aware of pedestrians, motorbikes, bicycles, horses and other vehicles. Not all trails and roads are shown on the maps and intersections may or may not be signposted.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities in Herberton Range National Park, Herberton Range Regional Park, Herberton Range State Forest or Baldy Mountain Forest Reserve.

Park features

View to Stewart Head (1220 m) from Herberton Range Regional Park. Photo: Tamara Vallance, Queensland Government

View to Stewart Head (1220 m) from Herberton Range Regional Park. Photo: Tamara Vallance, Queensland Government

A range of forest types, waterfalls, creeks, peaks and diverse wildlife are protected in these parks, reserve and forest.

High-altitude rainforest, endangered wet schlerophyll forest and drier open forests cloak the peaks, foothills and slopes, supporting a wide range of animals including many endemic to the Wet Tropics.

Enjoy expansive eastern views across the tablelands from the Mount Baldy summit and Drovers lookout. Drive or ride the Herberton Range ridge road or enjoy one of the many trails for walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers.

Camping and accommodation

Bush camp in various locations throughout Baldy Mountain Forest Reserve. Camping permits are required and fees and restrictions apply.

Camping is not permitted in Herberton Range National Park, Herberton Range Regional Park or Herberton Range State Forest.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation on the Atherton and Evelyn tablelands. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Things to do

View from Mount Baldy. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

View from Mount Baldy. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

The Herberton Range offers many opportunities for the visitor to explore and enjoy the natural surrounds:

Walking

The Atherton walking trails were winners in the Government Achievement section of the 2015 QORF Queensland Outdoor Recreation Awards. Don’t miss you chance to visit this award-winning facility.

Maps

Key to track grades 

Each track is classified according to its most difficult section although other sections may be of an easier level.

Grade 4

Bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signs may be limited.

Grade 5  Very experienced bushwalkers with specialised skills including navigation and emergency first aid. Tracks are likely to be very rough, very steep and unmarked. Walks may be more than 20 km.

 Halls Falls track, Herberton Range Regional Park (Grade: 5)

Distance: 520 m return

Time: allow 15 mins walking time

Details: Take this short walk through a forest of brushbox to where numerous streams of cool, clear water tumble gently over the polished granite walls. Take care on uneven and slippery surfaces and beware of loose rocks. This is a walking track only—horses and mountain bikes are not permitted.

 Mount Baldy walking track, Baldy Mountain Forest Reserve (Grade: 4)

Distance: 4.3 km return

Time: allow 2.5 hrs walking time

Details: This difficult walk to the 1017 m summit of Mount Baldy offers generous views of the Atherton Tableland and Lake Tinaroo. The walk is strenuous with steep sections and loose rock. Only fit and experienced walkers should attempt this track. The walking track ends at the summit and walkers must return the way they came. This is the only walking track that dogs are permitted on and they must be on a leash.

Trail-bike riding and driving

Maps

Drive or ride Herberton Range’s network of internal roads and firebreaks. Not all roads are shown on the maps and intersections may not be sign posted. Riders and drivers must be licensed and trail-bikes and vehicles must be registered. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, horses, cyclists and other vehicles. Stay on formed roads and firebreaks—trail-bikes and vehicles are not permitted off-road, including on walking tracks and mountain bike trails.

The unmarked fire trails in the north-west section of Herberton Range National Park (PDF, 122K) are suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles only. These trails are very steep and rocky and should only be accessed by experienced drivers in suitable off-road vehicles.

Drovers Lookout track, Herberton Range Regional Park

Distance: 250 m return

Time: allow 0.5 min driving time

Details: This short track to Drovers Lookout will reward you with expansive eastern views over the tablelands. Remember to take your camera.

Herberton Range ridge road, Baldy Mountain Forest Reserve

Distance: 17.5 km one way

Time: allow 1.5 hrs driving time

Details: This four-wheel-drive road winds its way through a section of the Herberton Range, rising from 780 m near the rifle range to just over 1200 m at the highest point. The road travels through open forest of mostly bloodwoods and ironbarks. As the elevation increases, the vegetation changes to rainforest, with wet, high-altitude rainforest surrounding the peaks. On the lower slopes and foothills the road travels through a drier forest of turpentines, red mahogany and she-oaks. Riders and drivers must be licensed and trail-bikes and vehicles must be registered. Expect to share the road with pedestrians, horses, cyclists and other vehicles.

For more information, see trail-bike riding and four-wheel driving.

Mountain biking

Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park

This network of mountain bike trails in the Herberton Range is accessed from the northern entrance to the Herberton Range ridge road (PDF, 122K). Detailed information including trail grades and distances can be found at Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park.

Internal roads

Mountain bike through Herberton Range on the network of internal roads and firebreaks. Not all roads are shown on the maps and intersections may not be sign posted. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, trail-bikes, horses, vehicles and other cyclists.

For more information, see cycling.

Horse riding

Horse riding is permitted in the Herberton Range Regional Park on the trails indicated on the map (PDF, 142K). Not all trails and roads are shown on the map and intersections may not be signposted. Horse riding is also permitted on roads and firebreaks in Herberton Range State Forest and Baldy Mountain Forest Reserve.

Horse riding is not permitted in Herberton Range National Park.

Things to know before you go

Myrtle rust

Myrtle rust—a fungal disease affecting many native plants—has been found in Herberton Range State Forest. The disease poses a significant threat to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Be aware of what myrtle rust looks like before visiting the park and avoid contact with infected trees.

Essentials to bring

To enjoy your time in these parks and reserves remember to bring:

  • drinking water
  • sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt
  • appropriate safety gear for riding

Opening hours

The Herberton Range’s parks, reserve and forest are open 24 hours a day. Parts of the park are occasionally closed during the wet season and for planned burns or wildfires. See park alerts for up-to-date information.

Permits and fees

Bush camping is permitted in parts of Baldy Mountain Forest Reserve only. Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Special permits are required for commercial and some organised group activities. 

Pets

Dogs are permitted on the Mount Baldy walking track and other State forest and forest reserve sections, but must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed to stay overnight. Camping with dogs is not permitted. In the other parts of the Herberton Range, all domestic animals are prohibited.

Climate and weather

The lower humidity and daytime temperatures of the tablelands are a pleasant escape from the coastal extremes. Maximum summer temperatures are around 29 °C while winter temperatures can fall below 10 °C at night, when frosts are not uncommon. Most of the rain falls during the wet season, between December and April. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available from Atherton, Herberton and other tablelands towns. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

  • Mobile phone coverage is not reliable.
  • Tell friends or family where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Treat all water before drinking.
  • Always carry water, wear a hat and sturdy footwear, and try to walk in the cooler part of the day.
  • Stay on tracks, trails and roads and take care on uneven surfaces, especially in wet conditions.
  • Expect to share roads with pedestrians, trail-bikes, mountain bikes, horses and vehicles.
  • Watch out for washouts, scoured road shoulders and loose surfaces. Be especially careful in wet weather when some roads and creek crossings may become impassable.
  • Look for wildlife, especially in the early morning and late afternoon.

Ride safely

  • Wear appropriate safety gear and be realistic about your cycling abilities.
  • Be aware of road crossings and give way to vehicles.
  • Slow down when approaching other track users. Alert others when approaching.
  • Maintain at least 50 m between riders
  • Avoid skidding and sliding—this may result in collision with other trail users and damage to the trail surface.
  • Sylvia Creek can rise rapidly in heavy rain. Beware of swift flowing water.
  • Service roads in the Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park allow for injured riders and damaged bikes to be retrieved from the network. Make note of the location of the roads on the map (PDF, 1.8M), and as you ride the trails.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Creek in Herberton Range Regional Park. Photo: Ian Holloway, Queensland Government

Creek in Herberton Range Regional Park. Photo: Ian Holloway, Queensland Government

  • Stay on the roads and trails—riding and driving off roads and trails or short-cutting between roads and trails is prohibited
  • If driving and an obstruction blocks the road, don’t drive into the roadside drain to pass it. Remove the obstruction, if possible and safe to do so, or return from the direction you came. When moving obstructions do not block roadside drains.
  • Avoid driving on roads and riding on trails during and after heavy rain.
  • Horses and other vehicles are not permitted on the mountain biking network.
  • Roads and unmarked fire trails are accessible for walkers, horse riders and vehicles. Vehicles must be registered and drivers must be licensed.
  • Firearms and chainsaws must not be used in the parks, reserve and forest.
  • Everything is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.
  • Take your rubbish with you when you leave.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Myrtle rust

Myrtle rust—a fungal disease affecting many native plants—has been found in Herberton Range State Forest. The disease poses a significant threat to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Follow these guidelines to help prevent its spread:

Do not collect or move plant material, living or dead.

  • Stay on roads or vehicle tracks when driving to reduce contact between vehicles and plants.
  • Always stay on walking track to reduce contact with infected plants.
  • Avoid contact with infected plants as this may spread spores.
  • Go clean—clean your vehicle, bicycle, camping and hiking equipment (including clothes and footwear) when you leave each site or as soon as you arrive home. Remove soil, leaves and mud and clean with water and detergent.

Learn more about myrtle rust and how to minimise its spread.

Park management

The 15,650 ha Herberton Range State Forest was declared in 16 October 1954. On 30 May 2003, 7707 ha were converted to forest reserve, 6547 ha of which became Herberton Range National Park on 28 November 2008. The remaining 197 ha of forest reserve were converted to conservation park to support the continuation of horse riding in the area. On 10 December 2010, 7100 ha of Herberton Range State Forest was converted to Baldy Mountain Forest Reserve.

The parks, forest and reserve are managed on a day-to-day basis by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Sections of the regional park and national park are included in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Management of the World Heritage Area is coordinated through a partnership between the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments, the Traditional Owners and the wider community.

Tourism information links

Atherton Information Centre
www.athertoninformationcentre.com.au
Corner of Main and Silo Roads, Atherton QLD 4883
Phone: (07) 4091 4222 or (07) 4091 7394
Email:

Herberton Mining Museum and Visitor Information Centre
www.herbertonvisitorcentre.com.au
1 Jacks Road, Herberton QLD 4887
Phone: (07) 4096 3474
Email:

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
13 November 2015