Heritage Lodge River Hike (QLD)

Highlights:

  • Full-on water river hike
  • Getting your swims in
  • Unfettered private waterfall experience
Follow a well established trail to the left of the reception area and that takes you down to the river. Kiss the trail goodbye as everything from here is wading the river heading up stream “left and north” and staying on the right past 3 large and different intersections of other tributaries. You will have around 3+ swims to do and a lot of river rock hoping with some being very slippery. Arrive at the falls and the small pool. Eat a snack, lunch, swim into and under the falls. Hike out remembering to keep an eye out for the lodge on the right. Approximately 3-5 hours, start no later then 12pm.

Equipment:

  • Appropriate shoes, if you can’t walk out not much else matters. No sandals (includes rafting sandals), no thongs, full foot wrapped shoes only. Runners, hiking boots, anything that can get soaked and fully wraps your feet.
  • Wetsuits are recommended but not required. Quick dry pants, shirt, jumpers, no cotton because it will sag inhibiting your agility and restricting your warmth, this includes jeans.
  • Dry bag if you want to bring lunch, etc. Wallets, an non-photographic electronic equipment should be left hidden in your vehicle.
  • At least 2 liters of water, or a bottle with an attached filter in the lid.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Headtoarch. River area gets darker quicker because of the dense forest.

How to Get There:

Heritage Lodge is located in the Daintree Rainforest. Located almost at the end of Turpentine Rd. You can locate it with Google Maps by entering -16.166506, 145.412527 as the trail starts at Heritage Lodge. You can park any vehicle on Turpentine Rd and walk to reception/restaurant area. Check-in at the reception area by providing your name, group size, and emergency contact number along with your route. Mobile phones do not work in this dense environment. This is a good time to ask about the water level if you haven’t already phoned in for that information. High water levels make this trek virtually impossible.

Skill Level

Intermediate – Expert. River hiking is not like trail hiking. It’s consistently wet, slippery, and dangerous.

Distance:

Approximately 7k, again this is river hiking (wading), and not a brisk walk on a well maintained trail.

Elevation gain: unknown. This is not a steep route by any means. Up to the falls and down out, but by no means does the elevation play a role in the difficulty.

Dangers:

  • Stinging Tree (“Stinging Needles”)
  • Wait-A-While vines. These are in the thin variety here and are hard to see. They will literally take your hat off. The only way off them if reversing your movements. Either back up or pinch them and pull down and away from what is grabbed.
  • Spiders, a few webs will be encountered.
  • Snakes. Not a sunny area and this diminishes your chance of encounter in the day.
  • There is not a Crocodile threat on this route, however you are in the forest, always be mindful of any danger.
  • Do not, I repeat, do not leave the river more then 3 meters abreast. You are in the rainforest respect it.

Accommodations:

There are plenty of on/off the main road sites to fetch along your travels through the Daintree. You can stay at Heritage Lodge, or any other retreat in the vicinity. I recommend Lync-Haven Accommodations. Their cafe is well priced and serves a mean burger and an array of other good food until 7pm (veggie options too). They have camping, and rooms. Camping is also available behind the only gas station in the area for a small fee and all the way up to Cape Tribulation, with most places requiring reservations in peak times.