- Trip Includes
About the Pub Walk
A walk that encompasses four historical Queenslander hotels in five days, linked by walking a network of tracks and country lanes through world heritage rainforests, against the rich agricultural backdrop of the Atherton Tableland. A team of loveable pack donkeys carry your luggage and lunches throughout the walk. You’ll be helping to lead the donkeys through this beautiful landscape. Getting to know your Donkey crew along the way is definitely a highlight!!
You’ll enjoy swims in local waterholes, birdwatching, platypus spotting, pub dinners and sundowners with your team of travellers keen to get off the beaten path and enjoy a different style of walking in our own back yard.
Walking distance approx. 38km.
*Check out the wonderful gallery images taken by Michael Peterson
Daily Itinerary below -
Arrive CairnsArrival day in Cairns. Overnight here at the historic Hides Hotel.
AthertonYou'll be collected from the Hides Hotel this morning and transferred to the Atherton Hinterland Motel to start your journey. A pre-trek briefing will be held here before you are introduced to our pack donkeys. Enjoy dinner together at the Barron Valley Hotel. This heritage-listed, art deco style hotel is circa 1911. Known locally as the “BV”, this hotel is still in the ownership of the Nasser family who moved from Western Queensland and purchased the original wooden hotel. The family rebuilt in Art Deco style prior to WWII. During WWII the hotel became the Officers Club for Australian and US forces training on the Atherton Tablelands in preparation for the south-west Pacific Campaign. General Blamey briefly established his Headquarters in the Hotel. The building is faithfully refurbished to the original art-deco decoration and design, including the large billiard room upstairs. The accommodation is now being utilised by a busy fruit picking labour force, so we will overnight at the nearby Atherton Hinterland Motel.
Barron RiverWalk to Picnic Crossing via Hallorans Hill. Walking distance: Approx.10 km. After a hearty breakfast at the motel, and packing the donkey team, ascend Hallorans Hill, via a prepared walking track, the summit of an extinct shield volcano and now a conservation park. See the Mabi type rainforest firsthand and pause to admire extensive views across the Tableland to Queensland’s highest mountains, Bartle Frere and Bellenden Kerr, during morning tea. (Views are weather dependant) Then make our way across country to join the route of Robson’s Track, the packers highway from Herberton to Redbank. James Robson was presented a gold watch and a signed testimonial for blazing the track to Herberton by 48 grateful businessmen of Cairns and Herberton in a ceremony held at Stewart’s store in Redbank on 1st January 1884. Cross the Barron River at Picnic Crossing where we stop for lunch and to camp at Bonadio’s RV Park. The banks of the Barron River have been comprehensively revegetated with Mabi type rainforest and now is the home for several rare possums, tree kangaroos and other wildlife. We pitch camp, turn out the donkeys for some grazing then have time for some Platypus spotting before returning to camp for a “Sundowner” and a fireside dinner cooked in the Park’s Camp Kitchen. After dinner, there will be the opportunity to participate in a spotlighting tour in the surrounding rainforest. (B, L, D)
Kookaburra Lodge MotelWalk to Yungaburra via Petersens Creek. Walking distance: Approx. 7km. Load the donkeys after a breakfast of fireside toasted muffins, bacon, cereals and continue towards Yungaburra, passing through a group of cinder cones known as the Seven Sisters (more evidence of the Tablelands fiery past) via a disused stock route and track system to cross Petersen Creek using the suspension bridge, then through Yungaburra village to Kookaburra Lodge Motel, tonight’s accommodation. Once settled in, there is time to explore the heritage village of Yungaburra, visit the “Yungaburra Pub” or engage in some Platypus spotting or walk the couple of kilometres to the Curtain Fig Tree. This evening, gather at the Lake Eacham Hotel for drinks and dinner in the 1920’s style dining room. The Lake Eacham Hotel was built in tropical Federation style to accommodate tourists on the arrival of the railway from Cairns in 1912. It is a rambling wooden structure, full of red cedar, silky oak and character. and remains a popular watering hole and landmark of Yungaburra. (B, L)
Lake EachamWalk to Lake Eacham. Walking distance: Approx.10 km After repacking the donkeys, walk to Lake Eacham, for lunch and a swim. Complete today’s walk through about 1 km of rainforest-skirted road to the Lake Eacham Tourist Park, where we will stay in cabins and have another Al Fresco campfire dinner. The pack team will agist overnight in a paddock once used to breed donkeys by a previous park proprietor. Perhaps stroll the Lake Eacham Circuit Walk (3Km) to investigate the rainforest further or return to the lake for a swim before a fireside dinner. (B, L, D)
Malanda HotelWalk to Malanda. Walking distance: Approx.11 km. We find our way through a network of country lanes and more rainforest to the Peeramon Hotel for lunch and extensive views over the Tablelands. A classic Queensland style character pub, The Peeramon Hotel is also connected to the arrival of the railway and was built to slate the thirst of the bullock team drivers and timber industry workers who were harvesting a wealth of rainforest timber. After a light lunch at the Peermon Hotel, trek downhill to the Malanda Hotel. This hotel was constructed by the English Family from local rainforest timbers in the grand style of the 1920’s in response to the arrival of the railway in 1912. This hotel is currently the largest wooden hotel in the Southern Hemisphere. The arrival of the railway enabled the export of valuable cabinet timbers and the clearing of the rainforest to make way for the now famous Malanda dairy industry. Depending how long we have lingered over lunch, we can make the short stroll down to the Malanda Falls and swimming pool to cool down, look for a tree Kangaroo or generally relax before dinner in the Malanda Hotel’s grand dining room. Our accommodation tonight is in cabins at Malanda Falls Caravan Park. (B, L)
Return to CairnsAfter a fireside breakfast bid farewell to the donkeys, then drive back to Cairns via Kuranda. (B)
- Transfers from Cairns to Atherton Tablelands return
- First night accommodation in Cairns (room only)
- One night camping, two nights motel and two nights cabin accommodation during walk.
- Pack donkeys to carry your gear and camp equipment
- Breakfasts, morning teas and lunches during walk
- All camping equipment – sleeping bags available for hire
- National Park entry fees
- Regional experienced guide
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