Set sail on a boat cruise around Lake Barrine to admire the lake’s verdant scenery and learn more about the unique ecosystems of the Wet Tropics rainforest. After taking in the views from the water, hike the three-mile (five-kilometer) trail around the lake to discover the rainforest up close, or follow the boardwalk to see the Twin Kauris, a pair of towering kauri pine trees believed to be more than 1,000 years old.
Boat cruises and walking trails all start out from the Lake Barrine Teahouse Café on the north shore; for the full experience, end your visit with a traditional Devonshire Tea, including tea, coffee, and English-style scones with jam and cream.
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Things to know before you go
- Lake Barrine is a popular spot for nature lovers, hikers, and wildlife enthusiasts; the easy walking trails are suitable for all ages and abilities.
- Bring your swimsuit as swimming is possible in the lake year-round.
- The Lake Barrine Teahouse Café serves drinks and cakes. Restrooms and picnic areas are also available.
- Boat cruises take 45 minutes and include live commentary.
- The café and boat cruises are wheelchair accessible.
How to get there
Lake Barrine is located in the Atherton Tablelands region, 35 miles (56 kilometers) southwest of Cairns. It’s about a one-hour drive from Cairns along the Gillies Highway. There is no public transport directly to the lake.
When to get there
The most pleasant weather for walking and boat cruises is during the dry season (April to October), but it’s possible to visit the lake year round and it’s a refreshing spot to cool off during the humid summer. Boat cruises run once or twice daily all year, typically in the morning, when wildlife is most active.
Wildlife Spotting at Lake Barrine
The Wet Tropics rainforest around Lake Barrine is home to an impressive variety of wildlife, including many rare and endemic species. Look out for Boyd's forest dragons as you stroll through the trees; musky rat-kangaroos hopping around the lakeside; and saw-shelled turtles, amethystine pythons, and eastern water dragons around the lake. The area is also a popular spot for bird watching, with more than 130 bird species, including Australian pelicans and brush turkeys.
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- Granite Gorge Nature Park
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- Cairns Aquarium
- Esplanade Boardwalk
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- Michaelmas Cay
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