Location: Paluma Range National Park, Queensland, Australia
Region: Wet Tropics, North Queensland
Grade: 5, Medium to hard, steep inclines/declines
Duration: 1-3 hours, one-way
Distance: 4 km, one-way
Maximum Elevation: 950 m
Mountain Creek is located between the heritage-listed Little Crystal Creek bridge and Paluma Village. If you are already checking out Telegraph Track, adding Mountain Creek to your adventure makes for a great loop.
Most of the walk is within the rainforest and therefore relatively shady. The upper sections of the creek are steep with rocks that can be quite slippery, especially if they are covered in moss. However, the short but steep drops you will encounter during this walk do provide many small pools for a refreshing swim if you are so inclined. Moreover, the slippery rocks certainly ease as the walk progresses.
The vegetation also continues to change as you descend. You will notice prominent shifts from wet tropics rainforest vegetation to subtropical forest and into open bushland vegetation toward the end.
As you progress further down the creek, the smaller creek rocks grow slightly in size, and before long, the creek opens up to big granite slabs and boulders through which you will have navigate.
Then, the landscape plummets to what is known as Mountain Falls. During the dry season, you can easily scramble down the west side of these falls.
There is also a smaller drop, known as Small Mountain Falls.
Take some time to enjoy this creek, especially if you are already in the area to check out Telegraph Track. The flora and fauna are remarkable, even see turtles, lizards, water dragons, and snakes.