• Six day camping trek

  • Start: Kalinvale Donkey Depot, KALUNGA

  • (Ion Idriess operated his own tin ”show” near herein 1910).

  • Finish: Irvinebank Tavern”

  • Reverse itinerary available by arrangement

  • Distance: approx 36km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Overall Climb/Descent >160m

  • Surface: rough roads, disused pack tracks and tracks/ cross-country in rocky/ stony ground

  • Duration: Six days/ five nights.

  • Catering and rations: Meals will be fresh initially then we will utilise dried foods to reduce weight. The meals will be nutritious and tasty. Our menus are easily adjusted to suit vegetarian or other dietary requirements with notice on booking.

  • Attractions: Access to areas impassable to wheeled vehicles. Swimming, rock wallabies, spectacular scenery, geology, and historical interest including old mining towns and rock art sites, pristine open forest with amazing variety of plants


This is a six-day trek that traverses parts of the Back O’Cairns. This harsh landscape was explored and prospected by Australian pioneers only 130 years ago. In 1910, The Railway from Cairns had advanced to Herberton, John Moffat's mining empire was reaching its peak, and new towns were springing up as new mineral wealth was discovered., the prolific author, Ion Idriess, and his companion the mysterious "Jungle-man” walked from Herberton to the then tin mining town and industrial centre of Irvinebank via the Ranges.

The Jungle Man invites Idriess to explore this bonanza "then we can follow right up the divide, and drop down on Stannary Hills or Irvinebank. An easy walk...."


The route follows the approximate path taken by the Ion Idriess and his companion, the mysterious "Jungleman". Idriess describes this and other adventures in his book, Back O’Cairns, compiled from his diaries and published some 45 years later in the 1960's.

A team of pack donkeys will carry all the camping furniture, food and your luggage. Trekkers may enjoy the walk without carrying a heavy pack, and enjoy some comforts of safari camp-stretcher beds, dining tables and chairs and even some red wine with dinner that has been cooked over an open fire. We can sit around the fire after dinner and watch Bush TV with a yarn or two and enjoy a glass of red wine or a mug of billy tea.