Hiking the Mount Sorrow trail in Cape Tribulation
Mount Sorrow towers above Cape Tribulation
Bushwalking fans holidaying in the Cape Tribulation Daintree
area have a couple of choices, of a wide variety of effort required:
the somewhat strenuous Mount Sorrow trail as a self guided bushwalk,
the quite easy and short National Parks boardwalks, or the guided rainforest
walks, which are an intermediate effort and last from two hours to a
Bushwalking or hiking in Cape Tribulation is one of the
best ways to really experience the ancient Daintree rainforest and the
only real challenging walk in the Cape Tribulation area is the Mount
Sorrow track, on the picture above you see Mount Sorrow, towering over
SOME INFO ON THE MOUNT SORROW TRAIL:
The Mount Sorrow ridge trail gives reasonably fit, moderately
experienced bushwalkers the opportunity to climb the rainforest-clad
slopes of Cape Tribulation and to enjoy some spectacular views from
an altitude of 683m. on a hike that will take around 5 to 7 hours return.
This walking track climbs from the coastal lowlands of
Cape Tribulation, up through the dense rainforest up to Mount Sorrow
and ends at a lookout that, on a clear day, gives you spectacular views
of the beautiful Daintree coastline, Snapper Island and beyond. You
should count on five to seven hours to do this walk, and not leave after
You would not be the first person to run out of daylight on the way
back, this has happened to hikers up to two times a month. The clever
ones sit on the track and wait for daylight to find their way home,
but some have kept trying to find their way in the dark and got lost,
and then spent two or three nights out there which can be uncomfortable
if you are not prepared for it with camping gear and food. English backpacker
Daniel Nute even completely disappeared without a trace in 1997.
Make sure that you carry enough water with you, as there
are no creeks along the way to refill your bottle.
During wet weather it is also quite possible to get covered in leeches.
Mount Sorrow towering over Cape Tribulation
The hiking track starts from the main road in lowland
rainforest, featuring trees with large buttress roots and a dense canopy
woven with waitawhile vines. As you climb higher, the track moves into
upland rainforest and the vegetation starts to change.
On the ridge, the vegetation is dominated by trees normally found in
drier areas like acacias. The rainforest canopy becomes lower and more
open towards the mountain top.
From the lookout (on a clear day), views all the way out
to sandcays out at the Great Barrier Reef and the beautiful Daintree
coastline can be enjoyed. To get the awesome view out to the reef you
will need a clear day, and also you need to get right to the top, as
the track runs through forest all the way.
The Mount Sorrow ridge trail is marked, but still walkers
have managed to get lost in this area and spent an uncomfortable night
up there, as most people would not carry camping equipment (camping
is not allowed up there anyway).
You need to be prepared for a very steep and difficult trail with scrambling
over rocks and tree roots in some places. Only experienced bushwalkers
with reasonable fitness level should attempt this trail, and they should
start early in the morning, preferably before 10am, to take advantage
of the cooler morning temperatures.
The actual length of the hiking trail is about 3.5kilometres
to the lookout at the top:
The first section of the trail is a bit steep and you
need to climb over several fallen trees. For the first few hundred metres
the vegetation can be covered in dust from the Bloomfield Track if the
weather has been dry.
After about a kilometre the trail goes up and down and you will see
some other interesting trees, you will notice that vegetation continuously
changes as you reach new altitudes. Several kinds of trees here exhibit
cauliflory, producing flowers from their trunks. See the epiphytes high
in the rainforest canopy.
The next part of the trail rises quite steep and is narrow
in places, and more uneven with rocks and tree roots. In this section
you move into upland rainforest where bumpy satinash and cycads are
During the last part of the hiking trail you pass through
more open forest with acacias and if you arrive at the lookout and on
a clear day you are rewarded with spectacular views along the Daintree
coastline, Snapper Island, the fringing reefs, and the sand cays out
on the Great Barrier Reef.....
Two happy hikers at the top enjoying the view
The Mount Sorrow ridge trail is not an easy walk and walkers
need to be well prepared.
Warm, waterproof clothing should be taken as weather conditions up on
the mountain can change rapidly. Be prepared for cool conditions at
Carry at least 3 litres of water per person, there are no creeks along
the track to obtain water.
All of the walk is under rainforest canopy so you will not be exposed
to the sun during the hike.
No permits or fees apply to visitors walking the Mount
Sorrow ridge trail.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Daintree National
You should not walk this trail alone.
Mobile phone coverage is very limited in Cape Tribulation
and should never be relied upon in case of emergency.
There are no toilets along the Mount Sorrow hiking trail.
Use a trowel to bury toilet waste and paper. Dig a 15cm hole at least
100m away from the trail.
Everything in the park is protected. Please leave everything
as you found it, it is against the law to remove anything from a national
park in Australia..
HOW TO GET TO THE MOUNT SORROW TRAIL:
To find the start of the Mount Sorrow hiking trail simply
keep heading north until the bitumen road finishes just past the Cape
Tribulation Beach turnoff, just after the dirt road of the Bloomfield
Track starts there will be some space to park your car on the right
When you have parked there you will see a small sign on the other side
of the road marking the start of the Mount Sorrow trail.
You will miss this if you are driving so keep an eye out for the parking
space first. See the map below to find the start of the track.
It is recommended that you let somebody know that you
go up there, just in case you get lost or don't make it out that day.
National Parks does not want to deal with any of this so if you stay
at Rainforest Hideaway then your host will know if you made it back
or not, or if you stay elsewhere then find somebody else to raise the
alarm if you don't return. It is very important that after "signing
in" you also "sign out" as several people have caused
a great deal of stress and wasted time for locals and police by simply
leaving town after the hike and incorrectly being reported as missing.
Walking this track is not recommended in very hot and
humid conditions or in wet cloudy weather when the trail is slippery
and the views are obscured. Also in wet weather you will find that at
higher altitudes you get covered in leaches. Contact QPWS Cape Tribulation
for trail conditions. The Mount Sorrow ridge trail involves steep sections
and climbing over rocks and roots, so is definitely not wheelchair accessible.
More information on the Mount Sorrow trail:
QPWS Cairns Information Centre
* 5B Sheridan St, Cairns
* PO Box 2066, Cairns QLD 4870
* ph (07) 4046 6600
* fax (07) 4046 6751
* email firstname.lastname@example.org
QPWS Mossman office
* 1 Front St, Mossman
* PO Box 251, Mossman, QLD 4873
* ph (07) 4098 2188
* fax (07) 4098 2279
QPWS Cape Tribulation office
* Cape Tribulation Road, Cape Tribulation
* PMB 10, MS 2041, Mossman QLD 4873
* ph (07) 4098 0052
* fax (07) 4098 0074
EPA Customer Service Centre
* 160 Ann Street, Brisbane
* PO Box 15155, City East QLD 4002
* ph (07) 3227 8185
* fax (07) 3227 8749
* email email@example.com