Granite Gorge – Mareeba, North Queensland. Off The Beaten Track
Granite Gorge – Mareeba
Granite Gorge is nestled in a eucalyptus forest, quiet and tranquil, with a maze of walking tracks over acres of massive granite boulders through national park; most of the tracks are flat and easy-going leading to cliffs with panoramic views over the countryside below. Situated 12 klms west of Mareeba on Chewko Road, the Gorge is like no other place in the world, this spectacular landscape stretches as far as the eye can see, volcanic activity has forged up huge weird-looking boulders with some resembling animals, these massive boulders will leave you in awe.
The rocks form a breath-taking sight with vast drops revealing views of volcanic rock terrain, native trees and creek beds, unique wildlife and many bird species. There are three one kilometer walking tracks and smaller circuits that will stir fond memories long after you have walked them.
Granite Gorge is one of the few places that you can get up close and personal with cute, inquisitive native rock wallabies in their natural habitat, these little wallabies are unadorned wallabies (Petrogale inornata, Mareeba Race) This rare and endangered species are unique to this area of Mareeba. The wallabies are known to live on the top of mountain ranges but this is the only place that they can be seen up close and fed in the wild. Macropod pellets are available and the wallabies can be fed all day, the best feeding experience is in the afternoon where up to 50 will congregate in the feeding area to be fed and petted. Adults as well as children cannot resist the wonder of these friendly little marsupials and it is a pleasure to interact with these cheeky wild wallabies as they grab your little packet of pellets. The wallabies are not camera-shy and will stand and watch you photograph them. The inquisitive ones will hop up to you and touch your lens on the wish it could contain some feeding pellets. Irresistible, adorable, gentle and friendly they are happy to be patted and are an ideal safe animal for introducing young children and not so young children to native wildlife.
Granite Gorge has an abundance of wildlife including wild possums, 5 types of gliders, frilled necked and other lizards, 2 types of quolls, turtles, eels, and echidnas inhabit the area, in winter at night-time dingo howls can be heard from way off at the bottom of the Gorge. There is a variety of pets and wild animals to be seen in the Granite Gorge Nature Park area, horses, chickens, bantams, cockatoos, parrots and lizards, at night you can torch-light in the trees above the camping area and you may see frog mouth owls, fruit bats, and other bird species, take a walk around the area and see the bower full of white shells and pieces of coloured glass collected by the male bower bird to impress his intended mate. There bowers are usually not so accessible and it rare to see one.
The bower bird hops around the park during the day and his bower is a short walk away across a grassed field.
The boulders at Granite Gorge were formed from volcanic activity which created a dramatic and chaotic path for the stream to meander through, there are several safe swimming pools along the way and there is swimming at the weir. Be aware of slippery rocks in the wet season and the extra water flow as the stream fills. The Land is privately owned and there is a small fee of $5 per person or $10 per family for day visitors, all facilities are maintained, the Granite Gorge Nature Park is a nature experience for the whole family to enjoy, visit the Kiosk and art Gallery,
Purchase your bag of pellets (Safe food for the wallabies) and experience the joy of feeding the Rock Wallabies. There are cabins, powered and unpowered camping sites, camp kitchen, toilets, the park is pet friendly and camp fires are allowed. Granite Gorge Nature Park is ideal for a break in your travels and to connect with nature and wildlife, Granite Gorge will implant fond memories of your holiday in North Queensland.
TIP Don’t forget your camera you may be surprised to look over the Gorge and see a hot Air balloon silently appear before your eyes with the volcanic rocks and countryside as a backdrop it’s a wonderful photo opportunity.