Henrietta Creek, Wooroonooran National Park
Photo credit: https://www.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au/listing/product/nandroya-falls/
Hooray for Henrietta. The area around this campground is the gateway to the Misty Mountains and other brilliant hiking destinations in Wooroonooran National Park. There are short walks to some amazing waterfalls, great lookouts and longer hikes to tantalize the senses of the more determined bush walker. You can also connect a series of these walks together to spend some quality time outdoors and enjoy a swim in nature.
Henrietta Creek Campgrounds, Nandroya Falls, Wallicher Falls, Tchupala Falls, Gooligans Creek, FNQ
Henrietta creek is the home of the Mamu Aboriginal people and whilst walking through the rainforest here you might feel like one of the first to explore this region, it has a sensational raw feeling to it. About 50km from Innisfail up the Palmerston highway this region is not on the general tourist map, but it really should be. It includes Wallicher Falls, Tchupala Falls, Nandroya Falls, Crawfords Lookout and the Johnston River Lookout to name a few. These can be done as individual walks or combined together to form a longer hike. There is also a great National Park campsite where you can spend the night in the middle of the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics.
The Johnston River Lookout walk begins at Crawfords lookout, 650m past Mamu Tropical Skywalk when travelling from Innisfail. The walk is approximately 2km each way as it zig zags down from the main highway. It is a strenuous walk but definitely worth the sweat for such sweet views. It will take about 45 minutes to get down to the lookout and throughout this walk you will be surrounded by some of the most sensational rainforest vegetation, it is extremely thick in parts and there is also a small river crossing (but with a bit of coordination you should keep your feet dry) and then you will be astounded by the wonders of the North Johnston River.
The other walks can all be started from the campground itself. If you are feeling lazy, you can shorten the Tchupala and Wallicher Falls walks by starting them from a parking bay on the main highway on the way to Henrietta. If you wish to get the full Wooroonooran experience you can leave from the campgrounds and walk via Gooligans picnic area where there is a chance to take a break and enjoy the surrounds with a morning tea break and a quick dip in the water. This is about a kilometer along the way to the other 2 waterfalls. A further kilometer down the trail is Wallicher Falls where you are unlikely to see another soul and can enjoy the bliss of the tropics in peace and quiet. Tchupala Falls is a further kilometer away before you face a 3km walk back to the camp. Although the complete walk is 6km return it is relatively flat and the pathway is well formed and easy to follow. Allow yourself between 2 and 3 hours in order to be able to take in the scenery.
On the northern side of the campgrounds is the circular walk to Nandroya Falls which is the more challenging hike. It is a circuit walk of just under 7km and will take around two and a half hours to complete including a swim in the creek, Nandroya Falls or even under Silver Falls along the trail. From the car park you will need to cross over the bridge and there is about a 700m walk before the trail splits into a beautiful circuit which reunites before the base of Nandroya. The walk to the left is a slightly shorter approach to the Falls and you will pass by Silver Falls on the way. There are a few small river crosses, but you should be able to keep your feet dry though these. Along the way there are some rainforest delights, massive trees, some fantastic fungi on the side of the trail, and some raucous rock formations along the side of the trail. It is hard to decide on which is my favourite waterfall in the Henrietta region but if you like a tall waterfall, Nandroya skies above the others at 50m high.
Whilst walking through this region please remember that you are in the wilderness of the Wet Tropics, it can be extremely dangerous. Please always check the conditions before embarking and whilst hiking be on the lookout for the dangerous stinging tree and wait a while bushes that can slow you down. Also be wary of the fact there can be some leeches along the trail as this a very wet part of the rainforest.
This region is definitely worth spending a bit of quality time at, even if you don’t feel like doing kilometers of hiking it is a great place to chill out and you can even swim at the creek close to the campground. All hail Henrietta.