Plus The Lion’s Den and Archer Point – could you ask for a better trip?
The CREB Track: It’s touted as one of the most difficult tracks in north QLD… and that only advanced 4WDers (the seasoned pros) should drive it.
Some parts are hard to navigate. However, it wasn’t until we were right in the middle of a downward slope with the car slipping and us holding our breath that we realised only someone with experience could handle this.
Several parts of the track have alternative routes and bypasses and you know it’s going to be more fun and more challenging if you don’t take the bypass.
Side note – Rafa has done this track previously but coming from Cooktown to the Daintree. This adventure calls us north from Cairns to Cooktown, so he is excited to go back up the track.
And while it’s not the hardest track we’ve done, it’s up there with a “hang on to your seat and hold your breath” type of track.
The CREB Track
The CREB Track sign will tell you if it’s open
Roaring Meg Falls
Creek crossing on the CREB Track
The drive to the CREB Track winding through the Daintree hills
The track winds through the beautiful rainforest and is worth the day trip from Cairns up to the Lion’s Den.
To get there from Cairns, head up Captain Cook Highway past Port Douglas, Mossman, and into Daintree Village.
Make sure you stop at Daintree Village and have a look at the river and grab a bite to eat. You can also go on a croc-spotting cruise while you are there.
Heading out along Upper Daintree Road, away from Daintree Village, you will come to the CREB track. There are plenty of signs to show you the way.
CREB Track open for business on the day we drove it
It’s a gorgeous, picturesque drive to the first river crossing and into the track.
Two blokes were having a swim when we passed through. Of course, this is not advisable as there are crocs in the Daintree River. But they said it was too shallow for crocs.
Admittedly, it was very shallow but we will take your word for it, mate, but we’re not swimming!
Once on the track, it can get pretty steep, so you know you’re getting higher. There are a lot of little creeks to cross on your way, so make sure you stop and put your feet in the water.
We stopped to have lunch at one of the creeks, and got so relaxed we didn’t want to leave.
Camping on the CREB Track
The Lions Den Hotel campsite
The Lion’s Den, an iconic pub at the top of the CREB Track
At the top of the CREB Track, sits The Lion’s Den, and it is the place to meet for a cold one after a hard day of four-wheel driving.
It’s a fascinating place, full of memorabilia, money, and people’s signatures – all over the walls! Every square inch of the place has signatures dating back to 1981. That’s the earliest one we could find!
But the pub was established in 1875 and is now as iconic as the four-wheel-drive tracks that surround it. In fact, you’ve only been to Far North Queensland if you’ve been to The Lion’s Den!
Located in Bloomfield, only 30km from Cooktown, you can do the CREB Track up from Cairns, stay at the Lion’s Den that night, and then go down the Bloomfield Track the next day, past Cape Tribulation and through to Daintree.
Old jetty at Archer Point, Cooktown
Day-use area beach at Archer Point
On top of the hill at the lighthouse
Next on the list: Archer Point, a new favourite
We had already driven the Bloomfield Track, so we stopped for the night at the Lion’s Den, had some yummy pub grub that night, and headed on to Archer Point the following morning. It’s definitely a new favourite on our FNQ adventures.
If you decide to make a long weekend of it, you can go on to Archer Point and camp there.
The Yuku Baja Muliku people are the Traditional Custodians of Archer Point. There are no facilities at this free camp, but the expansive views alone are worth the short drive from The Lion’s Den. It’s about 20km south of Cooktown.
Note: It’s always windy at Archer Point! We were talking to locals on what we thought was a super windy day, only to be told it was pretty mild and it can get a lot windier!
Just keep that in mind if you’re camping.
Most people stop at Archer Point Lighthouse, which is the active lighthouse. But the best part of our stay at Archer Point was putting up the hammock between two palm trees and relaxing with not another human in sight!
Word of warning – there are crocs around Archer Point (everywhere, we were told!) We didn’t see any, but apparently, there’s a big one that lives in the mangroves just off the day-use beach area and lots of them down at the creek behind the ranger’s station.
Calm blue waters of the Archer Point beach
Liz and Rafa
Strong winds push the trees sideways
Why should you do this trek north?
It will be like nothing else you’ve experienced. Rainforest to the beach, hot and calm to windy and crazy, civilisation to bush-bashing. Who could ask for anything more!