FANCY A HIKE – TRY WHITE ROCK PEAK
The walk to White Rock Peak is not as grueling as many of the hill climbs around Cairns, as most of the climbing is done in the seat of your car, but it is still a rough bush trail.
From almost anywhere in Cairns you can see Mt Sheridan and White Rock Peak looming on the western horizon at the southern end of the Whitfield Range. The walk starts on Lake Morris Road, a narrow winding scenic drive that starts halfway along Reservoir Road at the base of the Whitfield Range.
At the start of Lake Morris Road, set the car odometer and drive 10km to an inconspicuous dirt road on the left, directly under the high voltage power lines on Mt Sheridan. A locked gate restricts vehicle access, but there is a parking spot on the grassy verge on the hairpin bend 30m before the entrance. A 3.5km return walk through State Forest starts at the gate.
This unspoiled rainforest walk follows the saddle between Mount Sheridan and White Rock Peak along the high ridge that separates Cairns from the forested wilderness to the west. Initially the walk follows a service road past two large pylons where there are views over Cairns and Trinity Inlet, and then winds up a steep incline to a telecommunications tower on Mt Sheridan peak, 605m above sea level. Trees block any views from the peak. This section takes about 15 minutes.
A narrow foot track skirts around the tower’s security fence to the start of the walking trail. The trail is flagged at irregular intervals with coloured tape. At the eastern end of the saddle where the trail starts to climb toward White Rock Peak there are tree falls blocking the path; walkers have flagged alternate routes around these falls.
A flagged white steel post and a brass survey marker identify White Rock Peak. From the peak, a steep slippery trail leads down the eastern face of the mountain to the top of White Rock. The descent is easier if you ease yourself down using the saplings beside the path for support. The panoramic view of Cairns, Trinity Inlet and the towns and sugarcane farms to the south makes the 50m scrabble worthwhile.
Distance: 3.5km return Time: 1.5 hours return (source: White Rock Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter)