The Jungleman’s Walkabout





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 year the railway arrived in Herberton and some thirty years after Herberton was settled, 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 route follows the approximate path taken by the two friends. 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.


  • Start: Kalinvale Donkey Depot, KALUNGA (Ion Idriess operated his own tin ”show” near here).
  • Finish: Irvinebank Tavern”
  • Reverse itinerary available by arrangement
  • See the trek in Every Trail: Jungleman’s Walkabout- EveryTrail
  • 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


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