Mowbray National Park, Port Douglas
THE BUMP TRACK
Before 1870, many parts of far north Queensland were inaccessible. With the discovery of gold in the Hodgkinson Goldfields access up the range from Port Douglas was required to the mines, farms and towns west of the Great Dividing Range. In 1877 Christie Palmerston, a bushman, opened the Bump Road giving access from the gold fields to the port at Port Douglas and in 1880 a secondary road was added to the Herberton tin mines from the port.
The steep and undulating nature of the Bump Road made it necessary for passengers on the horse-drawn coach to get out and walk the section of the road called the Slatey Pinch. Bullock and horse teams were later used to help motorists up the steep slope with a log attached to the car and carts to act as a brake.
Today the 6 kilometre Bump track is a popular walking and mountain bike trail. It extends from Connolly Road in the Mowbray Valley, up the Macalister range to Black Mountain road through the Mowbray National Park. Ascending the range should only be attempted by fit, experienced walkers as parts of the track have a 1 in 3 gradient. Passing through coastal rainforest and acacia forests walkers are rewarded with picturesque views of the mouth of Mowbray River, the valley below and Big Mowbray falls. At the end of a steep 1.5 kilometre climb is a beautiful four kilometre flat section of the track passing through the rainforest called the landing. This was a resting place for horse and bullock teams after the arduous climb. The track passes through Robbins Creek which was once spanned by a wooden bridge, the remnants of which are still visible today. Many local walking enthusiasts use the track to prepare for trekking in the Himalayas and the Kokoada Trail.