Mt Whitfield Conservation Park (also known as Mt Whitfield Regional Park) is a rainforest surrounded by the urban development of Cairns. Covering 300 hectares, it’s a popular place for locals and visitors alike to escape the city.
Mt Whitfield is a valuable natural resource. As a forested range completely isolated from other natural vegetation, Mt Whitfield is incredibly delicate, consisting mostly of rainforest, with patches of both eucalyptus forests and grasslands with cycads. Australian brush turkeys, orange-footed scrubfowl, and—for the lucky few—buff-breasted paradise-kingfishers can be seen in the park.
Mt Whitfield has two walking tracks. The Red Arrow Circuit takes about an hour to complete and has a 1.5-km return. The Red Arrow Circuit begins by climbing up a rainforest gully to a sheltered lookout that gives views over Cairns, the airport, and the Northern Beaches. The track then winds through open forest and descends through thick stands of bamboo. The Blue Arrow Circuit is a 6.6-km return and takes four to five hours to complete. The hike climbs through rainforest to a high of 300 meters above sea level, and an optional sidetrack leads to the summit of Mt Lumley Hill, with views over Trinity Bay and the mangrove forests that line Barron River.
Mt Whitfield is about 3 miles (5 km) from central Cairns and is easily accessible by car or the city bus service. Camping is not allowed in the park, but day-use areas and picnic shelters are provided at the top of the Red Arrow Circuit.