When you pick up your Cairns hire car, where will you go? There are plenty of great road trips in and around Cairns, so why not head into the Atherton Tablelands and visit the crater lakes? There’s Lake Eacham, Lake Barrine, Lake Euramoo and the Mount Hypipamee Crater Lake. Let’s take a look at your next road trip!
Head south in your Cairns car hire on the Bruce HWY until you reach Gordonvale. Then take the Gillies Range Rd (which turns into the Boar Pocket Rd followed by the Danbulla Rd) until you see the sign for Lake Euramoo on the right. Located in the Danbulla National Park, the total drive takes you about 1 hour and 20 minutes and is well worth the trip.
This rainforest lake is a unique dumbbell shape that was formed from twin eruptions of subterranean gas occurring approximately 23,000 years ago. Today, it’s filled with crystal clear water (max depth 20m) and surrounded by lush rainforests with a viewing platform and a 20-minute walking track that takes you around the lake.
If you head back out onto the Gillies Range Rd in your Cairns hire car and keep going south for 30-minutes, you’ll find Lake Barrine. Twin to Lake Eacham (max depth 65m), both of these lakes were created by volcanic eruptions less than 20,000 years ago.
Surrounded by lush rainforest, Lake Barrine is a popular spot for tourists, particularly since the Lake Barrine Teahouse sits on the edge of the lake. Their lake cruises are popular with tourists and their delicious Devonshire Teas are made from a secret recipe!
If you want to walk off your scones, jam and cream then take the 5km circuit track or enjoy a refreshing dip in the lake. Wildlife and birds are abundant at Lake Barrine, so don’t forget your camera!
If you take the McLean Rd south from Lake Barrine, then the Gadgarra Rd (which turns into Wrights Creek Rd) and then Lakes Dr, you’ll end up at Lake Eacham. It sounds a long way but it’s only a short 5-minute drive in your Cairns car hire!
On the way, you’ll pass Wrights Creek Falls which is worth a stop either before or after your visit to Lake Eacham. It’s a spot that’s loved by locals and not well-known by tourists because it’s off the beaten track. The trail that leads to the falls is narrow and twisty but when you reach the falls they’ll take your breath away. They’re not huge like some other waterfalls but they are as pretty as a picture!
So, back to Lake Eacham (max depth 66m) which offers crystal clear waters and is popular with kayakers, snorkelers and swimmers. Access to the water is easy via a pontoon and there’s a viewing platform if you’re not into water sports. There’s also a 3km walking track around the lake and plenty of opportunities for wildlife photos.
For a snack, why not drive into Yungaburra, which is just an 8-minute drive along Gillies Range Rd, west of Lake Eacham? This charming rural town is popular with tourists, offering an alfresco coffee culture, boutique shopping and the famous Yungaburra Markets. Check out the Yungaburra Hotel Dining Room for lunch, the Whistle Stop Café or the Gillies Café & Bar.
A 30-minute drive south in your luxury car hire Cairns along Upper Barron Rd takes you to Mount Hypipamee Crater Lake. Formed around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, Mount Hypipamee Crater Lake is referred to as a volcanic pipe caused by a massive pressure of gas built up by volcanic activity that exploded out of a vent, forming a pipe-like structure.
The Barron River originates from Mount Hypipamee National Park before flowing 60 km across the Atherton Tablelands and into Barron Gorge where it falls 250m onto the coastal lowlands and eventually, the Coral Sea.
At the crater lake, there’s a viewing platform that’s 58m above the lake but the pipe goes down at least another 85m from the surface of the water. Surrounded by sheer granite walls, this lake is definitely worth a visit. Access is via an 800m track from the car park but it does have a few steep sections.
Then there’s Dinner Falls, which is just a minute’s walk from Crater Lake, along another walking track that starts at Mount Hypipamee Crater Rd. The track is an easy walk along a 1.2 km loop between the crater lake and Dinner Falls. At the falls you’ll see the fabulous cascading waterfalls and can take the opportunity for a quick dip in the clear pools below the falls.
From Mount Hypipamee Crater Lake, it’s a 1 hr 40-minute drive back to Cairns in your Cairns hire car. For more great road trips, check out our blog, give us a call on 0447 809 899 or BOOK ONLINE today.