Creek crossing on the CREB track

Tackling the CREB track (Part 1)

The CREB track from Daintree to Wujul Wujul has been on our bucket list for about ten years know!

It is reported to be one of the most challenging 4×4 tracks in Australia with steep slopes and stunning scenery.

The CREB track is impassable in the wet and often closed.

CREB stands for Cairns Regional Electricity Board and was the old maintenance track for power lines from Cairns to Cooktown.

However became obsolete once the Bloomfield track was cut closer to the coast.

Anyone that knows the Daintree area are aware that the area is mountainous covered with thick rainforest.

One can only imagine the early explorers trying to hack their way through the “wait-a-while” vine.

Or First Nations residents living and thriving in this abundant wilderness – albeit barefoot. I’m talking seriously tough feet.

You can travel the CREB track from north to south or vice versa.

Starting in Cairns we headed north and began our journey at Daintree Village.

Check for closures

Before heading off on the CREB track, it is HIGHLY ADVISABLE to check the status of the track via the Douglas Shire Council.

While we successfully made the journey a few weeks ago, checking now after recent rain the track is closed again.

Even after moderate rainfall, the track can become treacherous or impassable and vehicles easily become bogged or stranded.

You should check local weather conditions before attempting to drive the track and do not take your vehicle on to the track unless you are equipped with and know how to use self-recovery equipment.

If the CREB track is closed, you can detour down the Bloomfield track instead. And for a Cairns to Cairns weekender, head to Elim Beach and Cape Bedford.

Do not attempt the track in the wet (when closed).

The CREB track is very steep and almost entirely made of clay. Hence we were sliding in the dry so you will not get far in the wet!

Trying to do the track in the wet also rip’s up the track, therefore maintenance is more expensive.

So please be considerate of other drivers when deciding on taking the trip.

The CREB track passes through Aboriginal Land.

Before leaving it is also wise to check with local elder and First Nations elder CJ Fischer on (07) 4098 6278.

CJ lives on the track and just past the huge “Big Red” hill and conducts tours from the Yandilly campground. Bookings essential.

The campground was amazing and next time we will stay and take a rainforest tour with CJ.

How to get there?

Head north from Cairns towards Daintree Village.

Travel through the village, and out of town along Upper Daintree Road until you see the CREB track sign.

We simply asked Google for directions to the CREB track and it was EASY!

Watch Part 1 of our journey along the CREB track below.

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CREB Track sign

Well worth a visit if the track is open. An easy day trip from Cairns to the Lions Den hotel (near Cooktown). Better still take the camping gear and stop at Yandilly campground. Do not attempt this track in the wet.

 

 

Snowflake and the Cruiser

Snowflake Karen's short wheel base Pajero is dwarfed by the new chopped and stretched Cruiser. Parked up at the start of the CREB track.

 

Land Cruiser on the CREB track

The new (well new to us - it's a 2014 model) 200 series Cruiser, chopped and stretched (650) with GVM 4495 upgrade by Creative Conversions with Patriot Campers (now PCOR) canopy. First trip in the big tourer.

Daintree River crossing on the CREB track

Crossing the Daintree River in dry periods is pretty easy, hence on this day the water only reached the top of the tyres. At the time of writing there was a shallower bar that came across a bit further down from the crossing as can be seen in the video drone footage, so be sure and suss out the shallowest part. If it's flooded forget it.

Tree fern leaf

The CREB track winds thorough some of the most stunning rainforest. Most memorable is because these King ferns line the track and are spectacular.

Autohome Columbus roof top tent

The Autohome Columbus sits nice and streamlined on the roof.

Benefits of a roof top tent

Going remote is sometime easier without a trailer. Which is why we have our Autohome Columbus roof top tents. Made in Italy the canvas and finishing is superb. Karen's version is over 11 years old, has traversed the country for months at a time and is as good as the day we bought it. Hence we got one for the Cruiser.

You can leave all your bedding inside (without dust ingress) and sleep bug free on a super comfy mattress. Only takes literally seconds to put up. Highly recommend.

The company held the original patent for roof top tents from back in the 1950's. So they've had plenty of time to perfect it. The original and the best IMO.

 

CREB track winding over the range.

Watch our next episode to see how the trucks go on the appropriately named "Big Hill" to the top of the range.

 

I hope you enjoyed our video on the CREB track.

Be sure and catch our next installment (CREB track part 2) as we tackle the "Big Hill"

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About The Author

Karen Rudkin

Karen Rudkin-Moody became hooked on fishing after being introduced to the sport in 1989. Karen is a marine biologist specializing in estuarine marine protected areas, finishing her successful career in Queensland Marine Parks as Ranger In Charge of the Wet Tropics region within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Karen now works with her husband, accomplished fishing guide Ryan Moody, encouraging people to get away from their computers and into the great outdoors.

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