Mount Yarrabah is a mountain located near Cairns in Queensland, Australia. The Mount Yarrabah lookout hike is one of the most underrated walks and lookout spots in the Greater Cairns area, and one that is even little-known by locals.
Looking east from Cairns, Mount Yarrabah stands proud above Trinity Inlet and is one of the most iconic Cairns backdrops. It’s a wonder then, why many Cairns locals flock to the Northern Beaches while ignoring the beauty of the East Trinity Region.
In this blog post, I’ll detail everything you need to know about the Mount Yarrabah hike from Cairns. I’ll also throw in some photos of the track and the view so you know what to expect!
How to Get to the Mount Yarrabah Trailhead
The Mount Yarrabah Trailhead is located Pine Creek Yarrabah Road, which is the same road leading to the Aboriginal Community. Below, I’ve included a map and GPS coordinates to find the Mount Yarrabah trailhead for your convenience.
From Cairns, you’ll need to drive south on the Bruce Highway, passed Mount Sheridan and Edmonton before turning left on Warner Road in front of Walsh’s Pyramid (there is a sign to “Yarrabah”).
Next, you will need to follow this road through the cane fields and around Trinity Inlet for approximately 26 kilometres. The road steepens after rounding Brown Bay and then descends suddenly all the way down to the Aboriginal community of Yarrabah. However, you don’t need to drive all the way into the town. The trailhead to the Mount Yarrabah hike is a 4WD track on the right side of the road located before the steep switchback descent. It is not signposted and fairly difficult to find if you don’t use the GPS coordinates below.
As you pull into the dirt clearing on the right, you will see an obvious 4WD track. You can either leave your car here and begin walking as we did or continue driving down the initial right fork 4WD track for approximately 1.4 KM before coming to a steel gate.
Yarrabah, in the traditional owners’ Yidin language, is controlled by the Aboriginal Shire of Yarrabah. The coastal town of the same name is wedged between Mount Yarrabah and the greater Murray Prior Range, and the tip of Cape Crafton. You can find out more about Yarrabah on the official local government website.
Mount Yarrabah Hiking Guide
The Mount Yarrabah hike isn’t a registered trail but follows a wide and obvious access road to the 4G telecommunications towers placed at its summit. As a result, you will hardly ever find many people hiking this trail and you’ll almost certainly have it to yourself.
If you begin from the roadside clearing pinned above, it’s a gentle stroll through beautiful and sacred rainforest dense with fern and tropical shrub until you reach the steel gate. There is a generic “security camera” sign here, but nothing to indicate that it’s private property or restricted access for hikers.
Once you pass the gate, the track steepens almost immediately. It’s tough going in some sections, but not too bad overall — I just wouldn’t want to be driving it. The scenery seems to become drier as you climb, with a dominant eucalypt forest near the top.
The hike to Mount Yarrabah summit takes approximately 45 minutes from the gate, or just over an hour from the road.
View From Mount Yarrabah
You will know once you’ve reached the Mount Yarrabah summit when you spot the first telecommunications buildings on your right. If you keep a lookout to the left before the towers, you’ll get a glimpse of the beautiful Yarrabah settlement nestled between the mountains and the sea below.
The Mount Yarrabah summit views are arguable one of the best in Cairns. Once you reach the clearing near the communications buildings, your climb will be rewarded with spanning views over Trinity Inlet, Cairns CBD and the MacAlister Range leading to the Northern Beaches.
The Mount Yarrabah view definitely offers one of the most unique views of the area and one that I think all Cairns locals should experience of their home-town!
Tip: It’s a good idea to respect the boundaries and signs put up around the telecommunications towers.
Cairns Accommodation Guide – Where to Stay
BEST BUDGET HOSTEL WITH A POOL FOR $19 A NIGHT – MAD MONKEY BACKPACKERS
The best budget backpacker option in Cairns is Mad Monkey Backpackers. This one has a swimming pool, AC, a complete kitchen and even free bike hire to take you around Cairns. There are also three locations, but we thought that the village was the best. They also organise plenty of things to do in Cairns straight form the hostel.
BUDGET HOSTEL CLOSEST TO THE ESPLANADE FOR $26 A NIGHT –YHA CAIRNS CENTRAL HOSTEL
If you’re looking to stay close to Cairns center, then you can’t beat YHA Central. It’s only a 5-minute walk to the esplanade and situated right near pubs and supermarkets. There’s also a pool and two spas, with a free breakfast included.
SLEEP ON A BOAT IN CAIRNS HARBOUR – BOATEL CAIRNS
If you’re looking for a unique stay in Cairns, then you can’t get much more unusual than staying at a “boatel”. It’s located 1 KM from Cairns and only a 6-minute walk from Cairns Rainforest Dome. The boat has free WiFi, AC, a bar and even a TV in the room.
More Cairns Hikes and Adventures
I hope you enjoyed this quick and no-frills guide to hiking Mount Yarrabah from Cairns. If you’re looking for more adventures, hikes, waterfalls and more in the region, make sure to check out some of my other articles below.
If you enjoyed the Mount Yarrabah hike or have any questions or updates, make sure to leave a comment below to help other adventurers out.
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