Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Djagany (goanna) walk, Wet Tropics Great Walk. Starting at Wallaman Falls in Girringun National Park, the Djagany (Jar-gar-nee) walk follows an old forestry track through she-oaks, open forest and rainforest. Cool, tranquil creek crossings provide a welcome respite from the heat on your way to the Henrietta gate pick-up point.
Day 1—Wallaman Falls to Pack Trail camp site (23.3 kilometres)
From Wallaman Falls, follow an old forestry track through a range of landscapes including she-oak dominated country, open forest and rainforest. From the Wet Tropics Great Walk information shelter, wander down the road and across the Stony Creek bridge to the start of the walk. Small gullies teeming with ferns and palms are scattered throughout the forest. If you look carefully, you might catch a glimpse of the brilliant blue Ulysses butterflies fluttering through gullies or forest kingfishers perched on branches in the shade. About five kilometres along the track you will come to a large clearing. This was once a forestry quarry. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is rehabilitating the area. In time this scar on the landscape will disappear. The remains of an old forestry camp can be seen a further 7.2 kilometres down the track. For about 10 years this camp was home to the road gangs, forestry officers and timber cutters, who worked here. Just past the forestry camp is Garrawalt Creek, a perfect spot to stop for lunch. Spend a moment peering into the rock pools and be rewarded with a glimpse of a platypus or hear the plop of a water dragon seeking refuge in the stream. After lunch, you will cross over three more creeks. Flagstone Creek is the last creek crossing for nearly 14 kilometres, so fill up your water containers. Continue on a further 4.4 kilometres to the Pack Trail camp site, your home for the night.
Day 2—Pack Trail camp site to Stony Creek campsite (13.9 kilometres)
After a peaceful night sleeping under the stars this morning’s walk will take you back in time. Re-live the past by walking part of the Dalrymple Track forged in the 1860s by George Dalrymple and his team. The track provided an essential route for bullock teams hauling basic supplies from the Port of Cardwell to the frontier homesteads. Be prepared for a steep decent on unstable surfaces. Part way down the steep hill, there is a break in the canopy. Enjoy the sensational views across the Herbert River Valley. At the base of the hill you will pass through a big scrubby gully. A little further along the track, do not take the signposted track to the Yamanie pick-up point but continue on through the open forest towards Stony Creek. About 1.8 kilometres past this turn-off, keep watch for a grove of cycads. These ancient plants were part of the landscape when dinosaurs roamed the land. They were the dominant form of vegetation about 193–136 million years ago and have changed very little since that time. Garrawalt Creek is only another three kilometres away. This is a great place to stop for lunch or just for a rest under a shady tree. The creeks along this part of the walk run into the Herbert River which is not far from the track. Crocodiles can be found in the Herbert River. Be aware! You are now in croc country. Estuarine or saltwater crocodiles are an important part of north Queensland’s wetlands, freshwater and marine areas. They are one of the largest predators in these habitats and help to maintain the overall health and balance of these ecosystems. They live mainly in the tidal reaches of rivers, as well as in freshwater lagoons, swamps and waterways — up to hundreds of kilometres from the sea. Crocodiles are most active at night. Remember to be croc wise in croc country.Continue on for another 4.4 kilometres till you reach the Stony Creek camp site. Set up camp, and enjoy a well-earned rest for the night.
Day 3 Stony Creek camp site to Henrietta gate pick-up point (19.6 kilometres)
Fill your water bottles before leaving the campsite. Water is not available for nearly 13 kilometres. As you wander the track, you will see that some areas are not the pristine natural environments you expect to find in a national park. Despite the presence of pest plants and animals, this area is special. Previously, most of the area was used for grazing. It was purchased by the Queensland Government in 1994, and is now part of Girringun National Park. The area is protected habitat for the endangered mahogany glider and work is underway to control the spread of pest plants and remove pest animals. Henrietta Creek is the ideal spot to stop for lunch and to fill your water bottles before tackling the last section of the track. Another six kilometres and you will pass Lemon Tree Gully, aptly named for the lemon tree that still bears fruit. Only 5.2 kilometres of walking remains until you reach the Henrietta gate and your pick-up point.
Walkers must be fully self-sufficient and have the right equipment and gear. Remember to tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. You should carry at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and personal locator beacons (PLBs) are the most effective.
Distance: 56.8 kilometres one way.
Time: allow three days.