- Getting there and getting around
- Park features
- Camping and accommodation
- Things to do
- Things to know before you go
- Staying safe
- Looking after the park
- Park management
- Tourism information links
- Further information
Lake Barrine is on the eastern part of the Atherton Tableland. It is about 60km or one hour's drive from Cairns via the Gillies Highway. The Atherton Tableland is also accessible via the Kennedy Highway from Cairns, the Palmerston Highway from Innisfail or the Mossman–Mt Molloy Road from Port Douglas.
The privately-owned teahouse has ramps and wheelchair-accessible toilets.
The Lake Barrine Teahouse offers meals and drinks, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.
In geological terms Lake Barrine is a volcanic maar, surrounded by rainforest. The deep waters of the lake and the pleasant coolness of the Atherton Tableland have combined to make Lake Barrine a popular stop for visitors to the area. The track around the lake allows for forest-fringed, secluded views of the lake and excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife.
A pair of towering bull kauri pine trees, over 45m tall, is a feature of the park.
Lake cruises operate from the privately-owned Lake Barrine Teahouse. The gentle boat trip gives a different perspective on the lake and its wildlife. The privately-owned teahouse offers meals with relaxed views over the water.
- Read more about the nature, culture and history of Lake Barrine.
Camping is not permitted within the national park.
There is a range of holiday accommodation near Lake Barrine and in and around Yungaburra, Malanda and Atherton. For more information, see the tourism information links.
See eastern water dragons along the Lake circuit track. Photo: Tamara Vallance.
Walk the short track to Lake Barrine's twin kauri pine trees, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.
Guided boat cruises on Lake Barrine, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.
- Picnic and day-use areas
- Guided tours and talks
- Viewing wildlife
- Nature kids—connect with nature program
Lake circuit track (Grade: easy to moderate)
Distance: 5km return
Time: allow 2hrs walking time
Details: A pleasant walk around the crater lake passes through rainforest characteristic of the type found on fertile basalt (red) soils in areas of high rainfall. This track offers secluded forest-fringed views of the lake and excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife, including saw-shelled turtles and eastern water dragons.
Twin kauris walk (Grade: easy)
Distance: 160m return
Time: allow 10mins walking time
Details: Walk from the lower car park to the boardwalk at the base of two exceptionally large bull kauri pines. These ancient giants are believed to be more than 1000 years old. Towering over the canopy, they are 50m tall and have a trunk diameter of 2.7m. Kauris, common in some rainforest types, are descendants of species that dominated tableland forests for thousands of years. Kauris today are almost identical to fossil kauris found in rocks 300 million years old.
Rainforest walk (Grade: easy)
Distance: 600m one way
Time: allow 15mins walking time
Details: This rainforest track starts on the entrance road into Lake Barrine and joins the circuit track just past the twin kauri boardwalk. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the tropical rainforest.
Picnic tables and toilets are provided. Visitors are encouraged to place all their rubbish in the bins provided and to refrain from feeding the wildlife.
The privately-owned Lake Barrine Teahouse offers meals and drinks.
Private non-motorised boats are welcome at Lake Barrine.
Swimming is permitted at Lake Barrine but care must be taken when boat cruises are running. Duck lice may irritate the skin of swimmers at certain times of the year.
Fishing, including the use of lines, traps and nets, is not permitted in Lake Barrine.
Lake Barrine has an abundance of wildlife and several bird and mammal species are endemic to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The saw-shelled turtle and eastern water dragon are common lake residents. Amethystine pythons, whose dazzling pattern blends cryptically into the forest background, are also found on the edges of the water. The colourful Boyd's forest dragon, a lizard that grows to 45 cm, may be seen clinging to narrow tree trunks. Over 130 bird species have been recorded in and around the lake. The aquatic environment of Lake Barrine is more favourable for waterbirds than that of Lake Eacham. Shallow edges with reeds, water lilies and fallen trees that act as natural perches attract a varied collection of waterbirds. The ornamental gardens surrounding the teahouse, and grassy edges along the boundaries, support a variety of birds that would otherwise not be seen in the park. Musky rat-kangaroos are active during the day and are often seen by visitors walking around the lake.
- See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about Lake Barrine wildlife.
The Connect with Nature program offers a range of nature-based activities for children at Lake Eacham.
- Download the Lake Eacham Connect with Nature activities and events calendar
Essentials to bring
To ensure you have an enjoyable visit please remember to bring:
- drinking water
- sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt, to protect yourself from the sun.
Lake Barrine is open 24 hours a day.
Permits and fees
Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities. Contact us for further information.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Crater Lakes National Park.
Climate and weather
Lake Barrine lies 720m above sea level and the lower humidity and temperatures are a pleasant escape from the coastal extremes. Maximum summer temperatures are around 30°C while winter temperatures can fall below 10°C at night.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available in Yungaburra and other towns on the Atherton Tableland. For more information, see the tourism information links.
Be aware of stinging trees. Photo: Tamara Vallance.
- Please remain on the walking tracks and boardwalks at all times.
- Take adequate water when walking and protect yourself from the sun.
- Take note of safety signs and distance markers.
- Be aware that stinging trees are found alongside the tracks. Never touch this plant as it may result in a painful sting. If you are stung, and symptoms are severe, seek medical attention.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
- Place your rubbish in the bins provided.
- Never feed wildlife (including fish, eels and waterbirds) as it can affect their health and alter the natural population balance. You may also get bitten or scratched.
- Fishing, including the use of lines, traps and nets, is prohibited in Lake Barrine.
- Camping, including sleeping in campervans and vehicles, is not permitted in Crater Lakes National Park.
- Domestic animals are prohibited in national parks.
- Bicycles are not allowed on walking tracks.
- Cassowaries are occasionally seen at Lake Barrine. They are potentially dangerous. Avoid unnecessary risks and help protect these endangered animals by following these guidelines in cassowary country.
- Never approach cassowaries.
- Never approach chicks—male cassowaries will defend them.
- Never feed cassowaries—it is illegal and dangerous and has caused cassowary deaths.
- Always discard food scraps in closed bins.
- Always slow down when driving in cassowary territory.
- Never stop your vehicle to look at cassowaries on the road.
See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.
Lake Barrine was gazetted a national park in 1934. In 1988 it was included within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, and in 1994, joined with Lake Eacham under the one name—Crater Lakes National Park.
Crater Lakes National Park is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Management of the World Heritage area is coordinated through a partnership between the Commonwealth and Queensland governments, the Traditional Owners and the wider community.
The teahouse and gardens are on private land.
For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.