Herbert River (Juwun Walk/Snake Walk)

Herbert River (Juwun Walk/Snake Walk)

Location - Girringun National Park, Kirrama Range, Far North Queensland, Australia
Distance - 51 km
Difficulty - 5, Strenuous

The Herbert River Gorge, situated within Girringun National Park, serves as a natural transition from the lush Wet Tropics to the drier Einasleigh Uplands. As a dynamic waterway, the Herbert River begins in the Atherton Tablelands and flows 306 kilometres to the Coral Sea. This region supports diverse wildlife and offers outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canyoning.

Renowned for its diverse ecosystems, the river supports a variety of wildlife, including numerous fish species and birds. The Herbert River Gorge, a river highlight, offers spectacular scenery with steep, rugged cliffs and lush rainforests. The gorge showcases a rich tapestry of ecosystems, from open forest and rainforest with hoop pines to savanna woodlands.

Additionally, the river's fertile banks are vital for local agriculture, particularly sugarcane cultivation towards Abergowrie. The Herbert River plays a significant role in the cultural and social fabric of the region, being an essential resource for the local Indigenous communities. Its waters and surrounding areas are steeped in rich cultural history and traditional significance.

The route will take you via the Herbert River from Blencoe Falls to the Abergowrie area, with most people exiting at Yamanie. The Herbert River Gorge, west of Ingham, takes around 4 to 5 days to walk and is remote; not many people do it. There are no real tracks; follow the river.

We recommend starting slightly differently from the QPWS published route if you are comfortable with off-track bushwalking, going down the ridge line to the junction of Blencoe Creek and Herbert River so that you can explore the lower part of Blencoe Falls. You can make it a longer walk by going upstream to Herbert River from the junction of Blencoe Creek as well. You'll need the river to be at lower levels for safe river crossings, so avoid times around the wet season. There are large crocs in this river!

It feels so remote, it's so picturesque, and it's also quite a challenge. Besides, Blencoe Falls is huge and a must-see sight. If you have the time, camp at Goshen Station and visit the Herbert River Falls.

Both the Juwun and Jambal routes pass through the traditional lands of the Warrgamaygan, Warungnu, and Girramay Aboriginal people. They hope you will enjoy the walks and respect this sacred place.

blencoe falls lookout

Highlights

  • Big W—About halfway down, Part of the Herbert River looks pretty cool from the air.
  • Herbert River Falls, Blencoe Falls, and Yamanie Falls (side trip). Blencoe Falls is a three-tiered waterfall dropping 300 metres into the gorge. A viewing area is accessible via a rough track
  • Wildlife and bird watching - birds, fish, crocodiles, wild cattle, and wallabies. The area is home to emus, kangaroos, various bird species, and the endangered mahogany glider.
  • Wild dogs/ dingoes footprints and trails.
  • The night sky is super clear and perfect for night photography
  • Heaps of Barramundi and sooty grunter fish are perfect for fishing. Bring a rod.

Interactive Map

Juwun Walk Itinerary

Day 1

Distance: Approximately 10 km

Start at Blencoe Falls, follow open, dry country and service roads to a lookout over the Herbert River, and descend steeply to the first campsite with a small creek at the confluence.

Day 2-3

Distance: Variable, dependent on chosen camping spots and river crossings.

Continue along the river, crossing at safe, shallow points—camp along the riverbank or near Yamanie Creek. Yamanie Falls detour—rock-hop upstream to the falls, a prime swimming spot.

Day 4

Distance: Approximately 7-10 km

Traverse through dense rainforest and overgrown paths up the river. Cross the river near Henrietta Gate.

What to take

  • Something to treat your water. There's plenty of water for drinking, but there are cattle around, so it's recommended that you treat your water before sterilising it.
  • It's pretty remote and not without hazards, so bring an EPIRB/PLB/sat phone.

Hazards to watch out for

  • Heat stroke (Midday heat) & Sunburn
  • Snakes (death adders, taipans, etc)
  • Crocodiles - They are salties, and they're big!
  • Bushfires - check the national park alerts & weather before setting off on your journey.
  • Be cautious of wildlife and stray cattle.

Notes

  • Keep on the right side near Blanket Creek, or else you get cliffed out.
  • Bushlands on either side of the valley
  • Campsite 1: sandy dunes next to croc hole. High rocks to fish from. Views of the sand dunes and the entire gorge. Blanket Creek can also be seen.
  • As this is a national park, open fires are prohibited.
  • Be croc-wise! Sleep at least forty metres away from the water's edge. Coccs are most active at dawn and dusk.
  • Reminder to book your camping permits.
blencoe falls hike

http://www.wettropics.gov.au/juwun-walk-wet-tropics-great-walk.html
https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-wet-tropics/index.html
https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-wet-tropics-juwun-jabal/pdf/juwun-jambal-walk-map.pdf
https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-wet-tropics/pdf/wet-tropics-location-map.pdf
https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-wet-tropics-wallaman/pdf/wallaman-falls-map.pdf


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