Complete guide to reaching one of the best views on offer at the incredible Cape Tribulation in Far North Queensland. The Mount Sorrow hike is a bit more difficult than some of the other short walks, but the views make it unmissable.
For those visiting Cape Tribulation, one of the most epic hiking opportunities you’ll find is the Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail. This steep and wet slog up the dense mountain range looming over Cape Tribulation is a great way to get a real taste of the ancient Daintree Rainforest in the Heritage Listed Wet Tropics Region.
Although the Mount Sorrow hike is often regarded as one of the most difficult hikes in Cape Tribulation, this short guide should help you get through it!
- How to Get to the Mount Sorrow Trailhead
- The Mount Sorrow Hike
- The Mount Sorrow Summit Lookout
- Tip: Keep Going to the Top of Mount Sorrow for Better Views
- How to Get to Cape Tribulation
- More Things To do in Far North Queensland
How to Get to the Mount Sorrow Trailhead
The Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail begins just off the side of Ryker's Road, approximately 100 metres after the turn to Kulki Boardwalk. You'll find it just after the cape, at the end of Myall Beach.
There is a small clearing on the right side of the road (driving north), where you can pull over and park your car. The Mount Sorrow hiking trail is on the opposite side of the road from this clearing. You'll see a small trailhead sign just before you enter into the dense rainforest and begin your ascent.
- Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 16°04'41.1"S 145°28'03.9"E
RELATED: Devil's Thumb Hiking Guide
The Mount Sorrow Hike
- Hike Distance: 8.8 km return
- Duration: 3-4 hours return
- Elevation: Mount Sorrow summit: 700 m AMSL
+850 metres total elevation gain
- Difficulty: Moderate - Difficult
The Mount Sorrow hike is rated as one of the more difficult hiking trails that is popular among adventure seekers in Cape Tribulation. In saying that, for those with a bit of experience hiking in the Australian bush and with a relatively good level of fitness, it shouldn't be too difficult.
The trail is well-marked and cleared throughout. However, you'll need to keep an eye out for orange markers on the trees to make sure you're on the right path.
However, it's also a good idea to keep in mind that Cape Tribulation is a tropical area. It can get very wet, and sloppy (and leachy) in the wet season. Plan accordingly. I'd recommend bringing some deet for sure!
Mount Sorrow Hike GPX Map
Below is a GPX File that follows my route to the top. You can also check out the same map on Strava.
GPX File: Download
My Strava: Visit
Part 1: First Ascent
Immediately upon entering the rainforest at the Mount Sorrow hike trailhead, you'll be surrounded by towering rainforest trees and tropical ferns as far as the eye can see. The trail is obvious, so continue onwards and you will begin the first climb.
This section is not too steep, but is a good place to spot wild rainforest animals. We spotted a couple of Boyd's Forest Dragons but unfortunately they were too quick to snap a photo of.
After a short climb, the trail levels out for a comfortable stroll for about one kilometre.
Part 2: Second Ascent
After about 45 minutes from setting off, you'll begin the main ascent up the Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail. This climb is quite steep, but doesn't involve any technical climbing. There are ropes in the steepest sections to help you pull yourself up the muddy rainforest terrain.
You'll have about 2.2 kilometres to gain nearly 500 metres of altitude, most of which is just a steady, leg-burning push. Just continue to follow the orange markers on the trees and avoid going off the track.
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The Mount Sorrow Summit Lookout
Once you finally reach the top, you'll be greeted with a small, fenced platform where you can enjoy the view of the ocean.
Unfortunately, the high canopy of tree growth blocks the majority of the view. Thankfully though, there is an option to push on and follow the ridge up to a much, much better viewpoint just a couple of hundred metres beyond.
Tip: Keep Going to the Top of Mount Sorrow for Better Views
If you look down, you'll notice that there is a worn trail that leads around the lookout platform and beyond. This isn't an official trail, but leads to a viewpoint along the Mount Sorrow ridge that offers some of the best views of Cape Tribulation.
We certainly weren't too impressed with the official lookout platform, so we decided to push on. This worn trail follows a narrow and fairly steep ridgeline, so we took our time. Just a few hundred metres from the official lookout, we broke out of the forest on a cleared section of the ridge that made that was a well-deserved reward after the wet, steamy struggle up the Mount Sorrow Ridge trail!
The descent follows the same trail that we came up on. So, after enjoying the view and snapping some great shots of where the rainforest truly meets. the reef, we continued back down for a well-deserved rest.
The Ultimate Cape Tribulation Travel Resource
Looking for more Cape Trib travel guides & adventure inspiration? Below are my most comprehensive blog posts that will serve as a great free resource for your trip.
How to Get to Cape Tribulation
For those still in the planning stages of their Cape Tribulation trip, you might still be wondering about how to get here.
The vast majority of visitors to Cape Trib come from either Cairns or Port Douglas. The only way to get to Cape Tribulation is to take the Daintree Car Ferry, or book a day trip.
Read More: Cairns to Cape Tribulation Drive
Car Rentals in Far North Queensland
Cairns is one of the most popular travel destinations in Australia and car rentals quickly book out! I recommend booking well in advance. I always use RentalCars.com as they compare the widest range of rentals across dealerships in the Far North.
The Daintree Ferry
The Daintree Ferry is a vehicle ferry which runs all day, between 5AM and midnight, at least once an hour. The ferry ticket costs $25 for the return trip, and is open-ended, so you can return any time.
You'll need a car to reach the ferry terminal. If you're looking for a rental car in Port Douglas or Cairns, I'd recommend comparing dealers on RentalCars.com to get the best deals.
Tip: Located adjacent to the Daintree Ferry Terminal is the world-famous Daintree crocodile tour. If you've got a bit of time to kill between ferries, I'd highly recommend booking a croc-spotting tour with Solar Whisper for the best chances of spotting big salties in the Daintree.
Stay in Port Douglas!
Port Douglas, just a short hop from Cairns makes for an ideal alternative (or addition) with great accommodation options such as:
- Top Resort: Sheraton Grand Mirage
- Mid Range: Oaks Resort
- Budget: Global Backpackers
- ...+10 more in this Port Douglas Accommodation Guide
Epic Cairns to Daintree Tour
Don't stress, visitors to Cairns or Port Douglas without their own means of transport can still look forward to an epic Cape Tribulation trip! Currently, the best rated and cheapest deal is this Full-Day Tour to Cape Tribulation from Cairns or Port Douglas.
Where to Say at Cape Tribulation
Below I've included some tips on the best places to stay on your trip to Cape Tribulation. If you'd like more suggestions with photos, read my comprehensive accommodation guide to Cape Tribulation.
- Incredible rainforest stay: Wildwood Rainforest Cottages - Located in the heart of Cape Tribulation, Wildwood is set on a rare exotic fruit orchard. Guests have exclusive access to the orchard and can freely explore the 800+ trees on the property, picking and sampling any of the fruits in season. All rooms provide access to a landscaped garden and fire pits for guests to cook out under the stars.
- Best Hostel in Cape Trib: Daintree Crocodylus Hostel - Backpackers and those on a budget who would prefer a bit more of a raw Daintree experience, I'd recommend the Crocodylus hostel. Located in Cow Bay, closer to the ferry, but just a short hop from Cape Tribulation and Myall Beach, this hostel offers safari-tent style rooms which are built from wood and canvas, with high ceilings, fans and mosquito net.
- Epic Holiday House For Groups: Cape Tribulation Holiday House - With a group or prefer a big house in the rainforest all to yourself? This accommodation is the highest-rated holiday house in Cape Tribulation. It's set on 5 acres of rainforest and includes a huge balcony, 2 bedrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen!
More Things To do in Far North Queensland
Enjoy this hiking guide Mount Sorrow on the Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail? If this is the kind of adventure you're after on your visit to Far North Queensland, don't miss some of my other guides. I've written hundreds of adventure travel guides for this region. So, make sure you check out some of the ones below.
Otherwise, if you're visiting Cairns, don't miss this epic guide to the must-do things in Cairns, or this comprehensive Cairns waterfall guide!
Read: 7 Best Cape Tribulation Tours