Skip to content

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.


The Department of Tourism and Sport acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Queensland and offers its respect to Elders past, present and emerging as we work towards a just, equitable and reconciled Australia.

Project sponsors

The Queensland Government is delivering the $47.1 million Wangetti Trail in Tropical North Queensland, which includes additional investment of $8 million from the Australian Government’s National Tourism Icons Program.

gov-logos.jpg © Queensland Government

Project overview

The Wangetti Trail will be around 94 kilometres (6 days/5 nights on foot) from Palm Cove to Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland. The trail will showcase the stunning coastal, hinterland and wet tropics scenery of Djabugay Nation country from Palm Cove to Mowbray River.

Once fully operational, the Trail will include a choice of public camping facilities and high-end eco-accommodation offerings.

The Wangetti Trail is a game-changing ecotourism offering for Far North Queensland, tapping into one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors in the world. It will deliver more than 150 local jobs during construction and operation, along with sustainable and long-term business opportunities for locals, the Traditional Owners, and their future generations.

It's estimated the Trail will attract thousands of new visitors to the region, and  is set to inject up to $300 million into the local economy.

The Trail aligns with the Ecotourism Plan for Queensland’s Protected Areas 2023-2028, which outlines the government’s commitments and actions for fostering ecotourism in spectacular natural locations including national and marine parks, and other protected areas.

All facilities along the Trail will be delivered in accordance with the Department of Environment and Science’s Implementation Framework: Ecotourism Facilities on National Parks (PDF, 1.3MB) and Best Practice Ecotourism Development Guidelines (PDF, 753KB).

Project benefits

  • New ecotourism experiences in Queensland
  • 150 new local jobs during construction and operations
  • Thousands of new visitors to Far North Queensland, and  is set to inject up to $300 million into the local economy
  • Sustainable and long-term business opportunities for locals, Traditional Owners and their future generations
  • New funding and re-investment sources to preserve, protect and present national parks and their cultural heritage
  • Better controls to limit damaging and uncontrolled activities within parks including feral animal management
  • New opportunities for cultural tourism experiences to create stronger appreciation and understanding of First Nations culture
  • New opportunities to develop a model for private sector investment in ecotourism opportunities to maximise economic and financial benefits for the community
  • Will help build regional community resilience and support long-term growth and liveability in Tropical North Queensland.

Trail Route

View the detailed proposed alignment map for the Wangetti Trail.

The Trail has been co-designed with Traditional Owners, following extensive consultation and collaboration.

Once completed, the Trail will span a World Heritage area, three national parks, two local government areas, three separate registered native title claims, and also numerous freehold and reserves held in trust landholdings.

The Wangetti Trail is expected to be ‘Grade 3’ (medium difficulty) for walkers and ‘More Difficult’ for mountain bikers, providing an accessible but challenging offering for visitors.

The Queensland Government is seeking approvals for the whole Wangetti Trail to include multi-use options (walking and mountain biking) from Palm Cove to Port Douglas, including the possibility of utilising existing Trail links to help determine how the trail will be used.

These alignment options have been developed to minimise disturbance within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and avoid sensitive environmental and cultural areas identified by ecologists and Traditional Owners.

Access points for emergency services, rangers and park operators are proposed to utilise existing tracks and trails near the Wangetti Trail alignment. They may change over time subject to environmental assessment and approvals.

Design and construction of the Wangetti Trail

The Trail will be delivered in three sections:

Community consultation

The Queensland Government has held multiple rounds of community consultation on the Wangetti Trail project since 2019, where members of the community have been invited to submit their ideas and comments on the trail.

This feedback has helped to inform the project as it progresses into the next stages.

Frequently asked questions – Wangetti Trail

  • Delivering an iconic ecotourism experience like the Wangetti Trail requires extensive planning and engagement, with multiple stakeholders and environmental considerations.

    The first stage of the project, Mowbray River works and the construction of the new Mowbray River Pedestrian Bridge is now complete, and will be accessible in the near future.

    The main Wangetti Trail will be delivered in three sections, with early works commencing in the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ road corridor in July 2023 for the first section from Palm Cove Jetty to Ellis Beach Foreshore.

  • The Queensland Government is seeking approvals for the whole Wangetti Trail to include multi-use options (walking and mountain biking) from Palm Cove to Port Douglas.

  • The Ecotourism Trails program uses a collaborative model with governments, Traditional Owners, local communities and the private sector to create genuine ecotourism experiences, unlock new income streams for preserving and managing parks, and create long-term economic opportunities for Traditional Owners on country.

    The Queensland Government has been engaging with the Traditional Owners about the Wangetti Trail since July 2018. Cultural Heritage Management Agreements for the Wangetti Trail outline how to manage project activities to avoid harm to Indigenous cultural heritage including artefacts or places of significance.

    The project team continue to work with the Traditional Owners of the area to identify their aspirations for the project and build their capacity and capabilities to become job and business ready for new opportunities.

    On 29 July 2020, the Queensland Government officially handed back Wangetti land to the Wangetti Aboriginal Land Trust, a significant milestone in the journey of the Traditional Owners. The Traditional Owners intend to use this land to develop long-term jobs, land and business opportunities as part of the Wangetti Trail project.

  • No. Queensland Ecotourism Trails are designed, to the greatest possible extent, to be ecologically sustainable and aimed at preserving and protecting community resources, and their natural and cultural values for future generations.

    The Wangetti Trail will extend through the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics area, where visitor safety and environmental protection of sensitive ecosystems are top priorities, so the proposed Wangetti Trail is designed for walkers and mountain bike riders only.

  • Yes. New alignment options have been developed to minimise disturbance within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and avoid sensitive environmental and cultural areas identified by ecologists and Traditional Owners.

    The trail's alignment has been extensively surveyed by ecologists, environmental planners, engineers and other technical experts.

  • The Queensland Government is in the process of finalising key technical issues and final approvals and agreements. This includes working with local authorities, and all levels of government to ensure construction on the Wangetti Trail can commence.

  • The State began the market process with a Registration of Interest (ROI) stage in mid-2019, but this process was suspended during 2020-2021 due to COVID-19’s impacts on the tourism industry.

    The project team will recommence the market sounding process in 2024.

Subscribe to Wangetti Trail News

Our Wangetti Trail News is a publication for Queensland’s Ecotourism industry. This e-newsletter keeps our stakeholders up to date on the progress and key milestones of the Wangetti Trail.

Contact us

Phone: 1800 957 852 (Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm AEST)


Last updated: 29 Jan 2024