Mt Lewis National Park; incredible rainforest by 4WD

We’re always a big fan of exploring the area nearby, and whilst staying at Mary Farms Creek Camp, we discovered Mt Lewis National Park, which looked like an amazing place to check out.

We headed off on morning, winding our way through the beautiful, green region onto Mt Lewis Road, and were quite shocked with what we saw. 

Keen for more Queensland 4WD Tracks? We’ve got a post to keep you busy for a while!

Mount Lewis exploration
Mount Lewis is a pretty spectacular spot, and great track
Beautiful Creek at Mount Lewis
There’s some amazing scenes as you drive up and down

Where is Mt Lewis National Park?

This incredible location is just inland from Mossman and Port Douglas, and is not too far away from Mossman Gorge.

To get there, you need to head to the Highlander Tavern Julatten, and continue along the road. Mt Lewis Road is the one that takes you up the mountain, and as the sign will tell you just before the gravel, its a no through road, so don’t expect to pop out the other side anywhere!

Mount Lewis National Park
This is not too far from Mossman and Mareeba

What is there?

The transition of the national park was truly shocking, in an incredible kind of way. You start off weaving your way around corners on a single lane, bitumen road with beautiful rural properties on either side, and then it turns to gravel, and almost immediately you are completely surrounded by rainforest.

Now, we’ve seen a lot of rainforest, but when you can barely see the sky, and your vehicle is touching the vines and tree branches, you’re getting up close and personal.

Driving through Mount Lewis
The transition up the Mountain is quite astonishing

The track is a single lane, gravel track that goes up the mountain for around 28km, with only tiny sections where you can actually see out through the vast rainforest, either up to the sky, or out off the mountain.

It was so dark in sections that I actually flicked my lightbar on, which didn’t seem to make much of a dent.

Mount Lewis Fog
The track is narrow, often foggy and incredibly picturesque

When we visited it was raining on and off, and misty in sections, creating a rainforest ambience that very few would get to drive through.

Exploring Mount Lewis National Park
Heading back down in the Dmax, with lots of fog

Do you need a 4WD?

It looks like there’s been a heap of work done to this track over the years, and you might get away with an AWD vehicle with some clearance, but a 4WD is certainly more recommended.

There’s a lot of humps that are put in to stop the water wrecking the track, and limited clearance is going to cause you a problem, especially with limited options for turning around.

Mount Lewis in the Dmax
Most of the track is gravel and easy

See the vlog

YouTube video

How difficult is the track?

The track is primarily gravel, but it does have a few little erosion gullies, rocky sections and some of the crossings have decent drops off either end (150mm or so), so take it easy.

We did the first part of it in high range, and then I went to low range when the transmission temperatures were sitting around 103 degrees. Overall, its a really easy track, but you do need to pay attention as it can be slippery, and you don’t want to be making mistakes up here.

Turning around on Mount Lewis
Turning around is hard in many spots; its quite narrow

Watch for fallen trees

Being a less travelled National Park, we found quite a few tree branches and sticks on the road. Most were easily driven over without any real work, but we did come across a bigger tree with multiple branches blocking the track.

I decided to cut it out the way with the bow saw I had on board, and after 20 minutes of hard work we continued, only to find a much larger tree blocking the track right near the end.

This was far more dangerous to remove, and we decided to turn around and head back. Pay attention to the trees that are fallen; some stick out onto the tracks and are taped, but they clearly fall often, and likely don’t get cleared that regularly.

I’d suggest you take a chainsaw or saw with you, in case one comes down behind you! We were certainly glad of having one on our visit to Blencoe Falls, where we got stuck behind a fallen tree.

Fallen tree on Mount Lewis
We came across two trees blocking the track

Stay on the track

It’s pretty clear that a lot of work has gone into putting gravel down on the track, and when you deviate off the gravel this becomes very clear.

I dodged a couple of tree branches and rocks, and more than once felt the Dmax slide one way or another, and when I turned around you could clearly see slide marks. I have absolute confidence that if you went too far off the track you’d end up in a world of pain.

Turning around in a tight spot was impossible without being in 4WD, with the wheels slipping on mud that would give you absolutely zero traction, so take it easy and stay on the track!

Driving up Mt Lewis
Stay on the track, where there’s plenty of grip

How long does this take?

If you are at the Tavern, doing the 28 odd kilometres to the end of the track might take you an hour to an hour and a half. With some stops (choose sensible locations), and the return, you are looking at around 3 hours to do the entire track, but you can shorten it as much as you’d like.

Mount Lewis is really pretty
You could spend a few hours here easily

Is this worth doing?

We had a lot of fun driving through the Mt Lewis National Park. I’m not sure you need to drive in as far as we did, as the scenery is all similar, but doing a third or half of the track is absolutely worth it.

This is like a small version of the Bloomfield Track, and its much less well known, which is always more fun. We really appreciated this region, and if you have time its absolutely worth a look.

Mt Lewis National Park sign
Mount Lewis National Park is certainly worth a look

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