Lake Barrine Volcanic Crater Lake- Atherton Tablelands

Lake Barrine is a popular freshwater lake that is surrounded by World Heritage National Park. Lake Barrine was formed when a large volcano erupted over 17000 years ago, leaving a huge open crater that filled up with water to create the lake that tourists and locals alike visit each year to take a refreshing swim in the pure fresh water and go bushwalking and hiking around the volcano craters rim.

The Lake Barrine Tea House has also been a big draw card for their fresh home made scones jam and cream and other home made goodies that you can enjoy whilst you are looking out over the Crater Lake.

Lake Barrine Volcanic Crater Lake- Atherton Tablelands

Why Should I Visit Lake Barrine?

Lake Barrine is another of Mother Natures wonders. The wildlife in the lake are a fascination on their own with the lake only having female eels that spend 10-15years of their lives in the lake until breeding time when they get a call of the wild and go across the land to the ocean and swim to trenches in the sea off Guam and pro-create and then eventually die and their offspring then return to the Lake Barrine Volcano Crater Lake to begin the process all over again.

The ducks are another popular feature on the lake and on the boat cruise where the driver feeds them little bread nibbles turning the flock into a frenzy at times.

Make sure when you visit Lake Barrine that you participate in this volcano Crater Lake cruise as the things you will learn will amaze you.

The twin Kauri Pines are one of the worlds oldest conifer pines (no spikes). The Kauri Pines at Lake Barrine are over 1100 years old and are an emergent species which means they push their way through the forest trees to emerge to the top and spread out once they reach the top of the forest.

The hike around the volcano crater lake rim is 6 kilometres and if you are really quiet you may spot the Musky Rat Kangaroos, multiple species of bird life, butterflies, lizards and lot's more north Queensland native animals. Lake Barrine is 730m above sea level and is the largest volcanic lake in the area. Whether you choose to go for a day trip, a wildlife cruise, a walk around the edge of the lake to do some bird watching, or a swim on a hot summer's day Lake Barrine is the perfect spot for all the family to enjoy.

Lake Barrine is situated amongst the World Heritage Atherton Tablelands rainforest approximately a 1 hour drive from Cairns. As you travel south from Cairns you will travel through a small town called Gordonvale. From here there are two options you can take to reach Lake Barrine.

How To Get To Lake Barrine

Option 1

Turn right at the traffic lights at Gordonvale on to Riverstone Road and follow the road, you will reach the Gillies range, follow this range to the top of the Atherton Tablelands. Once you reach the top travel for approximately 5mins where you will see the sign Lake Barrine National Park, turn left and follow the road to Lake Barrine.

Option 2

If you are coming from Atherton you will follow the road to Yungaburra. As you continue to travel through the small town of Yungaburra approximately 8kilometres from Yungaburra you will see the turn off to Lake Barrine National Park.

Option 3

Cairns Northern Beaches – Travel South along the Captain Cook Highway which will turn to Sheridan St, continue travelling past the airport as you travel along Sheridan St you will pass the police station and courthouse on the right hand side, follow the road as it veers to the right, at the round about take the first exit as you travel along the road you will see a set of lights, at the traffic lights turn right onto Ray Jones drive continue along this road as if you were driving to Innisfail.

You are now on the Bruce Highway. As you reach Gordonvale turn right at the traffic lights at Gordonvale on to Riverstone Road and follow the road, you will reach the Gillies range; follow this range to the top of the Atherton Tablelands. Once you reach the top travel for approximately 5mins where you will see the sign Lake Barrine National Park, turn left and follow the road to Lake Barrine.

Option 4

Port Douglas – Travel along the Port Douglas Road at the intersection turn left and travel south along the Captain Cook Highway you will go past Ellis Beach and Palm Cove, continue to travel straight through all the Northern beaches roundabouts as you are travelling south along the Captain Cook Highway it will turn to Sheridan St, continue travelling past the airport as you travel along Sheridan St you will pass the police station and courthouse on the right hand side, follow the road as it veers to the right, at the round about take the first exit as you travel along the road you will see a set of lights, at the traffic lights turn right onto Ray Jones drive continue along this road as if you were driving to Innisfail.

You are now on the Bruce Highway. As you reach Gordonvale turn right at the traffic lights at Gordonvale on to Riverstone Road and follow the road, you will reach the Gillies range; follow this range to the top of the Atherton Tablelands. Once you reach the top travel for approximately 5mins where you will see the sign Lake Barrine National Park, turn left and follow the road to Lake Barrine.

Lake Barrine offers a relaxing and informative cruise around the edge of the lake. The 45 minute cruise gives you a close up view of one of the most incredible rainforest eco-systems. You also have the opportunity to see water dragons, snakes, turtles and a wide range of birdlife. Throughout the cruise the boat driver will give live commentary and give information and history of the lake and the surrounding areas. You may even be lucky enough to see some of the ducks that climb on board for a bit of bread from the driver. The cruises operate daily from 9.30am. Approximate prices start at:-

  • Adult: $16
  • Child (5-15): $8
  • Family (2 Adults & 2 Children): $40

Lake Barrine Walking Trails

Lake Barrine offers a range of walking tracks for all fitness levels. While walking round the edge of the lake an incredible array of wildlife can be spotted such as a wide range of birdlife, snakes, insects, turtles and water dragons.

Walks include:

  • An easy walk to the giant 1000 year old twin Kairi pines (wheelchair accessible). These are 2 huge giant trees that are standing side by side and are over 1000 years old. These Kairi Pines are a special site to see as George Curry set aside this area under the Lakes Trust so no trees are able to be used in this area.
  • For the experienced walker there is a 5km track around the perimeter of Lake Barrine (1 ½ hrs). This walk is brilliant for bird watchers. There are rest stations and lookouts around the rim of Lake Barrine for you to view it from all angles.

Lake Barrine Teahouse - Restaurant

As you arrive at the Lake Barrine Teahouse you can smell the freshly baked scones. Lake Barrine teahouse offers award winning Devonshire tea and scones which are all made on premises with fresh jam and cream from local producers. Light lunches are also available. Lake Barrine Teahouse is open every day of the year from 9am (except Christmas Day) so why not arrive in time to try the tasty scones and relax and admire the scenic view of the lake on the upstairs balcony. The Lake Barrine Teahouse is owned and operated by the local Curry family and as you enter the teahouse there are walls lined with photographs and historical artifacts on the Second World War and how the Lake Barrine tea house was used as a hospital for the American and Australian soldiers to rest and recover. The Lake Barrine teahouse also has a range of souvenirs such as tea towels, coffee cups, and photos to remind you of your visit to Lake Barrine Volcano Crater Lake.

Swimming At Lake Barrine

Lake Barrine is an excellent place to cool off in those hot summer months with fresh, cool water. Lake Barrine has both shallow and deep swimming areas which are accessible from beneath the teahouse. Swimming is available all year round. Please note no water craft are permitted on the Crater Lake apart from the authorized boat cruise operated by the Lake Barrine Tea House.

If you would like to visit the Atherton Tablelands and Lake Barrine on a guided Cairns Day Tour then please have a look at the tour tab at the top of the copy

Full Day Tour | Wildlife Spotting | From Cairns And The Northern Beaches | Tropical North Queensland

From AUD

$189.00

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Wilderness Eco Safaris - North Queensland
  • Departs From: Cairns, Cairns Beaches
  • Duration:

    9 hours (approx)

A rainforest adventure for the true naturalist that wants to see the real rugged raw rainforests of Cairns and the secrets that they hold. Traverse Mountain trails in a four wheel drive with six other guests and swim in pristine rivers and swimming holes. Spot the rare White Kangaroo in the Land of the Giants or see your guide handle a huge scrub python, learn about the healing properties of the flora and fauna that surrounds you and relax and enjoy a ploughman's lunch in the serenity of the Cairns Rainforests. Wilderness Eco Safaris have Exclusive Restricted Access permits so you are visiting areas of vital research importance. Book Early!

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$189.00

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Best Value Accommodation Deals in Cairns
Cairns' Atherton Tablelands Accommodation

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Rose Gums Wilderness Retreat

Rose Gums Wilderness Retreat located only 25 minutes from Lake Barrine offers secluded Treehouse style accommodation suitable for couples and families.  Each Treehouse features a Fireplace, Spa Bath and stunning views.

  • Complimentary Breakfast Hamper on arrival
  • FREE Night Offer - Stay 3 Pay 2

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Romantic Retreat with King Bed - Sweetwater Lodge Atherton Tablelands

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Sweetwater Lodge Atherton Tablelands

Enjoy a romantic getaway in your private Cottage complete with luxury King Bed, Log Fire place and alfresco kitchen.  Explore the freshwater creek, walking tracks and wildlife spotting - all at your doorstep.

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Romantic Treehouse Accommodation at Mt Quincan Crater Retreat, Cairns Tablelands

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Mt Quincan Crater Retreat

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- Gumtree on Gillies B&B Atherton Tablelands

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Gumtree on Gillies B&B Atherton Tablelands

From AUD

$190.00

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Best Value Accommodation Deals in Cairns