Those living in Queensland are lucky. They’re just a short drive or walk away from the beach and a lot of national parks can be reached in just a few hours. So, this state is a haven for 4WD enthusiasts who want to drive on boggy tracks or soft sand.
CREB Track is one of the best tracks for those seeking a challenging drive. It is very difficult to drive on so only vehicles with the right gear can finish it. CREB Track is 82 km long and can be completed in a day (or you can sleep at any of the campsites).
Are you planning to take this track? Here are all the things that you should know about Creb Track!
What Should I Know About CREB Track’s History?
The track cuts through the Daintree Rainforest and was made by the Cairns Regional Electricity Board (CREB), hence the name. However, the track fell into disuse when Bloomfield Track, which cuts through the coast, was opened. So, CREB Track currently operates as a recreational track and as a southern access road for the people residing in Burungu land at China Camp.
The Aborigines who are still in the area have lived there for centuries. Originally, the track was only a foot trail. After Cook and his crew arrived and took sanctuary in Cooktown in the 1770s, the area had no foreign visitors for about a century. In 1848, Kennedy’s expedition skipped this section of the area because they deemed it to be impassable (and it stayed that way up until today).
During the 1870s, gold was discovered in the Palmer River and Cooktown was rebuilt along with Maytown. The area around CREB Track was primarily mined for tin and other minerals.
Why CREB Track?
The track is hidden by lush rainforest and you will drive through a red clay surface. Do note that the track also has very steep ascents and descents that can only be traversed by 4WD vehicles with high clearance. The varying angles also make the track nearly impossible to drive through during and after just light rain. You should tread this coastal rainforest when going downhill as it can get very slippery. So, hold on to the brakes and steering wheels! Even with mud tyres, most people will have a hard time to drive on this track.
The area where CREB Track is located is also classified as a World Heritage site because of its unique ecosystem. Thus, you should take this track with the utmost care and respect the local flora and fauna. Don’t litter and stay on the track.
The first parts of the track up until 15 km are relatively easy. It is mostly a winding gravel road that cut through the rainforest. While driving, you will have great views of the forest and waterfalls along the way.
As you drive deep into the track and reach McDowall Range, the track will finally give you the thrill you’re seeking. This rough track will continue until you leave the Range and reach Daintree River. At this point, you will pass through a river crossing and finally reach the quaint town of Daintree.
The very slippery and steep clay slopes of CREB Track is not ideal for beginners, especially during wet weather. Even when the track is dry, experts 4WD enthusiasts will struggle to finish this track. This changes after a pouring rain which makes the track very dangerous even for experts. So, recovering vehicles is inevitable but it can get quite expensive particularly when the track is closed (we will discuss this later).
What Sites Should I Visit?
As you are in a World Heritage site (Wet Tropics), you will pass by forests and waterfalls along the way. There are a number of waterfalls that are found in Bloomfield and Roaring Meg. However, you will have to follow some rules, particularly in Roaring Meg. The Aboriginal people prohibit visitors to climb to the top of the waterfalls as it is a sacred site for them.
You can also visit the lookout located 35 km into CREB Track. The lookout will let you see breathtaking views of Thornton Range. If you’re done exploring the track, you can also ride on one of the river cruises that depart from Daintree.
Where Can I Stay in CREB Track?
The only campground on the track is located in the beautiful Roaring Meg. The campsite is located near a magnificent waterhole and a walking track for those who want to explore the forest. However, you will need to secure a permit before you head to the camp.
Can My 4WD Vehicle Handle CREB Track?
Even when the weather is great, only vehicles with low-range gearing, high ground clearance, and appropriate tyres (i.e. mud tyres) can pass through this track unscathed. If your 4WD vehicle is heavily loaded or you’re towing a trailer, then look for other tracks to explore.
What Should I Do to Prepare for CREB Track?
Before heading to Daintree, you should ensure that your 4WD vehicle is in good working order. Check if your tyres still have a good grip, reduce your vehicle’s load, and don’t tow trailers. Bringing your recovery equipment is also very important as there is a high probability of your vehicle getting bogged down. You should also check the weather report to check if rain is coming as it can get very slippery and boggy when wet.
You should also ensure that you won’t run out of fuel. You can refuel your tank at Cooktown in the north or Wonga Beach and Mossman on the south. Fuel is also available on Bloomfield Track on weekends; however, you will need to check for the opening hours.
To stock up on food and water, the gas station at Wonga Beach has a convenience store that has everything you’ll need for the trip.
Are There Rules That I Need to Know at CREB Track?
The track has some section that crosses private land, so travellers are asked not to wander off the main track and leave the gates as they find them. In addition, the Douglas Shire Council closes CREB Track for months each year and they place warnings on the track that warns travellers that they will have to pay for their own rescue if they drive on a closed road. The council also discourages towing as it can get very dangerous. However, if you’re careful and went there on a very dry day, you will make it through the track unscathed.
What Are 4WD Enthusiasts Saying About CREB Track?
One user from ExploreOz posted this reply on another user asking for input about CREB and Bloomfield Track:
“We have a 4.2 TD 2005 Nissan Patrol, with Mickey Thompson MTZs. We did this in September 2013 – Bloomfield Track from Cooktown (just be careful on the bends, as the locals come zooming along and like their road). We saw a few 2wd vehicles on this road. I don’t believe it’s worthy of the term ‘track’. We did the CREB on the way back to Cooktown. You have the option to take the easy way out to the right if you are heading north and therefore miss the exciting bits. We had a winch (no lockers) and didn’t use it. However, it was pretty dry. The biggest challenge was Big Red, we ‘walked’ very slowly down this one. Once you’re over Big Red, you’re pretty much half-way, and it’s a walk in the park from there.
We took our Sunland off-road van to Weipa and left it in storage at the caravan park, then tented the Cape from there, for a week. Go via Eddy’s Camp at Hopevale, it’s a beautiful spot! Another great spot is Chilli Beach on the east coast of the Cape.”
How Old Is the Wet Tropics of Queensland?
The Wet Tropics are 80 million years older than the Amazon, a vast swathe of pristine wilderness running from Cooktown in the state’s far north to Townsville in the south.
Why Is the Daintree Rainforest A World Heritage Site?
The Daintree Rainforest was recognized by the world heritage list in 1988. The area protected under World Heritage article covers an area of approximately 12,000 square km and goes from Townsville to Cooktown. 75 per cent of which is tropical rainforest, a land area equivalent to about the size of Sydney.
Where Is the Wet Tropics of Queensland Located?
The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is located between Townsville and Cooktown on the north-east coast of Queensland and has a total area of approximately 8,940 km2.
Is the Daintree Rainforest Endangered?
The Daintree Rainforest is home to an amazing variety of plants and animals including 122 rare, threatened and endangered species. … Endangered animal species include the Musky-rat Kangaroo, Spotted-tail Quoll and the Southern Cassowary. The Daintree is also home to: 30% of Australia’s marsupial species.
What Is the History of the Daintree Rainforest?
Daintree Rainforest & River History. The Daintree region which combined the the famous Daintree Rainforest and Daintree River was originally the home of Aboriginal people from the Kuku Yalanji tribe who lived in small families of 8-12 in camps spread along the banks of creeks and rivers.