Work starts on southern Wangetti Trail

wangetti trail

Construction has started on the Douglas and Cairns’ Shire’s purpose-built walking and mountain bike track through a World Heritage-listed area and three National Parks.

An earth turning ceremony on Transport and Main Roads land at Palm Cove last week signalled the beginning of construction on the southern section of the 94-kilometre Wangetti Trail.

The Wangetti Trail will be Queensland’s first purpose-built multi-use walking and mountain biking track in a national park and one of Australia’s leading adventure-based ecotourism experiences, attracting visitors on an international scale.

This first section of Wangetti Trail South – from Palm Cove Jetty to Ellis Beach foreshore – is a 7,850m multi-use mountain biking and hiking trail.

It will provide walkers and mountain bike riders with a unique experience to traverse through natural areas of north Queensland covering bushland and coastal areas, including the Wet Tropics of Queensland and National Parks.

The trail starts at Palm Cove Beach, where users can enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery before embarking on a trek through the Macalister Range rainforest.

At the six kilometre milestone, trail users will have the opportunity to soak up the spectacular views of Double Island, Trinity Beach and Cairns.

The trail concludes at Ellis Beach foreshore, where users can relax and enjoy the pristine coastline that leads all the way up to Port Douglas.

Stage One includes 1.3 kilometres of local multi-use pathway from Palm Cove to 6.5 kilometres of natural ground surface treatments for a shared mountain bike and hiking trail.

  • Trial alignment is designed to minimise impact on the natural environment.
  • Built structures will include gully crossings, bridges and rock armouring with the trail intersecting 26 waterways.
  • Wangetti Trail’s first stage from Palm Cove Jetty to the Ellis Beach foreshore is expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2024, weather permitting.

The dual walking and mountain bike trail from Palm Cove to Port Douglas is co-designed with Traditional Owners, the Djabugay Nation, representing five groups – Djabuganydji, Yirrganydji, Nyagali, Buluwanydji, and Guluy Traditional Owners.


During construction and operation, Wangetti Trail is predicted to support more than 150 local jobs. The trail creates long term commercial and tourism opportunities for Traditional Owners and local businesses, generating up to $300 million for the visitor economy.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said “Sustainable tourism is a $280 billion global visitor industry, highlighted by the Towards Tourism 2032 roadmap as having enormous potential for Tropical North Queensland.

“Cairns is already recognised as a world-class mountain bike adventure destination, and we see Wangetti Trail building on that reputation on our runway to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Building trails of the calibre of Wangetti takes meticulous planning with a project half the size in Tasmania talking a decade to become shovel ready.

“Once completed, Wangetti Trail will a significant contributor to the growth of the Tropical North’s domestic and international visitor economies.”


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