Before I go on I would just like to say that this walk is INCREDIBLE. I went there thinking of it as a 'tick off the list' walk and wasn't that excited about it, pictured it being fairly barren dry country and just wasn't that inspired. But I was very wrong, this is a walk that I would be happy to do again and again, it's so remote and so picturesque and also quite a challenge. And Blencoe Falls is HUGE!
I did this walk last year over 4 days, and like you Pammie7 I found it very difficult to find any info on this walk online, which was both frustrating and also added to the adventure. We started at Blencoe Falls, and rather than walk to Wallaman falls we exited the walk at the Henrietta gate near Abergowrie (you can see it marked on the map) as we didn't have enough days to do the fall walk to Wallaman. I'm planning on doing it again next month, and doing Blencoe through to Wallaman, which is what brought me to this website, again looking for info! So thought I'd post here in case it's helpful for anyone.
This walk is logistically difficult due to the car shuffle required; however, the Kirrama Range Rd has just been opened, meaning it is MUCH easier to get to Blencoe Falls by car from either Cairns or Townsville. I'm from Cairns, and we got dropped at Blencoe Falls by a friend, and then got the Ingham travel bus to pick us up at Henrietta gate and bring us back to Ingham (from Ingham it is easy to get the greyhound bus to either Cairns or Townsville).
Some deets about the walk:
Day 1: From Blencoe, you track through some open dry country for a few kilometres, some on small tracks and some on a service road. You reach a lovely lookout point looking down the Herbert to where you will be walking. From there, it's a STEEP, gravelly, somewhat slippery descent on a marked trail to the bottom and our first campsite on the mouth of a small creek that runs into the Herbert, a beautiful camping site with a very impressive vista. Upstream are some rapids that had some great little swimming spots and a wealth of sooty grunter (make sure you bring some fishing gear - you can catch your dinner every night!!).
Day 2 and 3 we followed the river - there's no specific marked trail, you just rock hop up the river and follow the numerous cow tracks. Every now and then you'll have to cross the river, as one side will always be easier to walk on than the other. You sort of just need to look at the terrain and figure this out as you go - we definitely got it wrong at times and found ourselves trekking through horrible boulder fields or scratchy prickle forests for far too long!! When crossing the river, make sure you cross in rapids, where it's shallow and safe. At the end of Day 2 we just found a random nice spot on the river to camp (there's plenty of great spots). Day 3 we made it to Yamanie Creek, and you can camp in quite a few spots near the creek entrance.
Yamanie Creek/Falls: Make sure you do this detour to Yamanie Falls. It's about an hour one-way rockhopping up the creek - the boulders get bigger and more and more spectacular as you walk till eventually they're as big as small houses and the falls are stunning and it's a great swimming spot.
Day 4: Walked up river until we got to a place known to the locals as 'lemon tree'. The morning of day 4 we traversed through some VERY dense rainforest (literally had to hack our way through. It was hectic) and also there is a section where you have the river on the right, and just through the trees to the left there's a large waterhole which would both be awesome for birding and is also apparently a regular hangout for a very large crocodile judging by the size of the tracks we saw leading from the river through the trees to the waterhole! Keep an eye out for the tracks, it's pretty cool to see. From lemon tree, there is a road you can take to walk the remaining few kilometres to Henrietta gate. We decided to keep walking up river rather than take the road, but it gets quite difficult and the tracks are VERY overgrown.. perhaps still remaining damage from cyclone Yasi? We eventually found a spot where the road joined up again with the river and we hopped on the road for the last couple km's. When you reach the river you need to cross - the road crosses here so it's quite shallow although quite wide. You can camp here, or continue on the road roughly 1km from the river to Henrietta gate.
As I mentioned I've not done the section from Yamanie to Wallaman, but I intend to do that next time. I'm going to allow 6 days total including car shuffles and driving time.
- there are scrub bulls around the place, keep an eye out and keep some distance. We saw a few and had no trouble, generally they would move away as we approached, but you'd hate to stir one up.
- YES the river is full of crocodiles!!! We saw croc slides on most of the waterholes on the river, some big, some small, but it's a fair bet there's a croc living in most waterholes you see even if you don't see them. They will hear you coming and disappear before you arrive unless you can be very stealthy. As much as you may want to swim, don't go swimming in a waterhole. However, we swam frequently in shallow areas of rapids between waterholes - no problems! Also don't be going and washing your dishes down by the river's edge of an evening
but DO get your torch out and do some croc spotting at night. Nothing creepier than a set of red eyes watching you watching them watching you...
- Bring a fishing rod.
- There's obviously plenty of water for drinking, but there's cattle around, so I reckon a water filter is a good idea.
- It's pretty remote and not without hazards so would definitely recommend an epirb/sat phone.
That's all, would love to hear from anyone else who's done the walk!