Goldsborough Valley Cairns, Australia

There was once a time when the Goldsborough Valley thrummed with the sounds of picks and shovels scratching at the dirt in search of golden morsels of wealth. Thousands of miners were part of an exploding economy that supported 17 hotels and almost as many pubs.

But then the gold ran out.

Now you'd be lucky to hear anything more than the gentle washing of water over rocks and the swaying of trees.

Goldsborough Valley Cairns, Australia

The Goldsborough Valley is one of the greenest areas in the tropical north. It is hidden between high mountains south of Cairns where it funnels the Mulgrave River out to sea. This is an area of farming, cattle ranches, and thick rainforest. It is one of the favourite camping spots for Cairns locals because it is relatively close to the city and yet also feels like a world away. It's easy to look out from the top of the mountains and have absolutely no idea that a bustling city of 120 000 people is only an hours drive away.

The Goldsborough Valley campsite is at the end of the road and has all the facilities you could possibly ask for in a campsite. Each site has its own fireplace with a stock of wood to burn if required. There is a toilet block and an information centre as well. At the southern end of the campsite is a short hiking trail that leads to a gigantic waterfall. This is an easy hike that is ideal for kids. Along side the camping ground is the Mulgrave River where you can swim and canoe all day long. This stretch of the river is slow moving, and therefore is very safe.

How to get to the Goldsborough Valley

The Goldsborough Valley can only be accessed with your own car, unless you are taking a tour on a bus. It takes 1-1/4 hour's drive to reach.

To drive there, head south along the Bruce Highway until you reach the cane-farming town of Gordonvale. You will come to a set of traffic lights with a petrol station on the left hand side. Turn right onto the Gillies highway, and drive for another 20 kilometres.

On the left side of the road will be a bridge with the name “Peets' Bridge”. Cross this bridge and follow the sealed road. You are now in Goldsborough Valley. To reach the campsite, continue driving for another 15 kilometres through the undulating hills.