17,000 years ago, a large volcano erupted in Australia’s north-east corner, near what we now know as the city of Cairns. The core was blasted from this volcano leaving a huge crater, which filled with rainwater over time to create Lake Barrine.
From less-than-peaceful beginnings, Lake Barrine has become the perfect place for a relaxing getaway. A massive body of fresh water tucked within opulent cool rainforest, Lake Barrine is a family friendly, low-key holiday destination with opportunities for hikers, photographers, and wildlife enthusiasts.
Visitors looking for relaxation can indulge in tea, scones, jam and cream at the lakeside teahouse, built in 1926, and wander the lush, manicured garden surroundings. Guided boat tours to view the Lake’s distinctive ecosystem are available, while the picnic grounds provide the perfect spot for a family lunch. The clear waters of Lake Barrine make an enjoyable swimming spot for swimmers of all levels of fitness and experience.
Those who would prefer to be more active should explore the World Heritage rainforest that surrounds Lake Barrine, where a network of walking tracks allows for anything from a short stroll to a 5 km hike. The 1,000 year old Twin Kauri Pine trees are the area’s most popular attraction, some over an incredible 45 metres tall and 6 metres in girth. Local wildlife is diverse and abundant, with water dragons, snakes, birds, turtles, eels, all kinds of birds, and even the musky rat-kangaroo are all commonly spotted.
Lake Barrine is located in Crater Lakes National Park, an hour’s drive from Cairns on the Gillies Highway. Tourists are well catered for, but camping and pets are prohibited in the area surrounding the lake. The teahouse is open from 9am to 4pm, every day except Christmas Day.