Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Emerald Creek is a site on the Atherton Tablelands and is well known for riparian forest (vine scrub) species, as well as a good selection of species that would otherwise be found in rainforest or eucalyptus woodland. The site consists of a series of waterfalls and large pools linked by the creek itself. All along the creek itself is a dense forest called Vine Scrub in Australia, which forms a narrow lush band along the watercourse itself. Away from the creek and its associated water features can be found dry Eucalypt woodland.
This site is one of the more reliable locations in the area for the localised White-browed Robin, as well as a range of other interesting species.
 Notable Species
Some of the more notable species found at this location include: Whistling Kite, Painted Buttonquail and other Button Quail species. Rufous Owl, Australian Masked Owl, Squatter Pigeon, Little Lorikeet,Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Red-winged Parrot, Pale-headed Rosella, Lewin's Honeyeater, White-throated Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Scarlet Honeyeater, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, White-browed Robin, Eastern Yellow Robin, Northern Fantail, Weebill, Striated Pardalote, Rufous Whistler, Golden Whistler, Grey Whistler, Varied Sittella, Pied Currawong, Black-throated Finch and Double-barred Finch.
As well as Rufous Owl, other nocturnal species do turn up here including Australian Masked Owl and Nightjars, especially White-throated Nightjar. Australian Owlet-nightjar is also recorded from time to time.
There are old records of Buff-breasted Buttonquail here and in similar locations in drier parts of the Atherton Tablelands, however a recent survey failed to turn up any positive sightings of this species.
 Other Wildlife
An agamid lizard known as the Tommy Roundhead is abundant and readily observed around the campsite and along the trail.
 Site Information
 History and Use
The 5335 ha Dinden State Forest was gazetted in 1990, 4295 ha of which was converted to Dinden West Forest Reserve on the 3rd of June 2011. The reserve is managed for the purposes of nature conservation and nature-based recreation. The numerous pools are often used by visitors for swimming and cooling off in the heat. The trail gives access to higher parts of the creek and the surrounding dry woodland.
 Areas of Interest
Good birds can be found anywhere in the area. Rufous Owl often roost in trees near the picnic ground, but any shaded spots along the waterline are worth checking. Similarly White-browed Robin, can be found in the riparian forest along the creek. A good selection of dry country species can be observed from the car park and picnic ground and also on the moderately-graded 1.9km return Emerald Creek Falls walking track. The track leads upstream through dry sclerophyll forest dominated by eucalypts, acacias and grevillias, with some pandanus trees in moister gullies. The track ends at a lookout.
 Access and Facilities
Emerald Creek can be accessed from Cairns by following the Kennedy Highway towards Mareeba for about 60km. About 3km before the township of Mareeba, turn left on to the Tinaroo Creek Road for about 3km and then turn left into Cobra Road. The road is unsealed for the final 6km. It is steep in places and should not be attempted with a caravan or trailers. It can also be tricky going in wet weather for other road users.
There is a picnic area with tables, wood-burning barbecues and toilets. Beyond the picnic area, Emerald Creek is not wheelchair accessible and this includes the trails.
There is no accommodation on site, nor is camping allowed.
The Emerald Creek Falls walking track is a 1.9km return walk.
There is 24 hour access to Emerald Creek, ideal for those planning on looking for night birds away from their roost sites.
 Contact Details
 External Links