Location - Mount Mackay National Park, Far North Queensland, Australia
Difficulty - Grade 5
Distance - ~15 kilometres return
Time - Allow 5-8 hours return
Mount Mackay (724m) is located in the wet tropics near the Tully township and dominates the landscape of the park as it stands out due to its isolated range. The mountain is located on the western section of the park, facing Tully and the Tully Gorge National Park. Mount Douglas (339m) is on the eastern boundary of the park adjacent to Djiru National Park. The Tully Mission Beach Road (Cassowary Drive) passes through the park.
Mount Mackay National Park is 3,680ha in size and was transferred to National Park from State forest in 2005. The area provides a secure habitat and protects numerous species of conservation significance and associated habitat for those species, particularly for the mahogany glider and southern cassowary.
The ant plant Myrmecodia beccarii is a vulnerable species. It is primarily threatened by illegal collection and by exotic ants. The lifecycle of the apollo jewel butterfly Hypochrysops apollo apollo is linked with the ant plant and thus they suffer from the same threats.
The Djiru People are the Traditional Owners of this area and their native title claim covers about half the park on the eastern section.
The other mountain nearby is Mount Tyson and is a must-do.
How to get there
Start by driving to Silky Oak Tree Road (-17.965346, 145.969957). The National Park borders this road. From here, you go off-track and steeply ascend the ridgeline.