Lonely Planet Writer

Australia is planning a spectacular new bike and walking trail near Cairns

An incredible new 76-kilometre bike and hiking path along some of Australia’s most spectacular coastline has moved a step closer.

The Wangetti Trail. Image by Queensland Government​

The Wangetti Trail would connect the towns of Palm Cove and Port Douglas bringing trekkers through a rugged landscape overlooking the ocean in Northern Queensland. It would run parallel to the Great Barrier Reef and would be easily accessible from the popular tourist city of Cairns. Queensland’s Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said: “the trail will provide walkers and mountain-bike riders with a bushland and ocean experience, showcasing the beauty of the Wet Tropics, the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage areas.”

The trail is 76km. Image by Queensland Government

The local government have just invested AUS$950,000 (€599,337) in putting together a business case for the project. The plan has also been given support by the local Yirrganydji people who are the traditional owners of the land. The coastline, which was known as the “Good Ways” in the indigenous language will be developed in a way that respects its cultural heritage and native title rights. The path would bring mountain bikers and hikers through the Kuranda National Park, an important habitat for several important species found only in Australia.

The trail is suitable for walking or cycling. Image by Queensland Government

Amongst the rare animals that call that part of Queensland home are the southern cassowary, the Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo, and the Victoria’s riflebird (known also as the duwuduwu). The trail could be walked in around six days and five nights with plans to develop glamping, camp sites and eco-tourist facilities along it. On a mountain bike, cyclists could cover the more than fifty miles of path in two days with a single overnight … if they were in a hurry. En route, there are at least five beaches, a series of spectacular lookout points, a “swimming hole” and several waterfalls. Specialised consultants and engineers would be used to ensure the design was not just perfect but also to minimise any impact on the environment. “Great care will be taken to ensure that the proposed trail does not impact on our cherished natural wonders,” said Kate Jones.