Windin Falls had come up in conversations a few times with different people recently, apparently they are quite impressive. We were intrigued to see them for ourselves and as we’d seen a photo of mountain bikers at the falls we figured we must be able to ride there. With a morning free we left home, where it was dry… and arrived at Lamins lookout where it was definitely wet. It had dawned on us that while we had remembered the hard boiled eggs, we forgot our raincoats… We were dubious about getting out of the car but our motto is generally to ignore what the weather is doing and go anyway!
We enjoyed a terrific ~7.5km descent down the picturesque Gourka Rd - with Rainforest on one side and farmlands on the other - complete with mud flecked backsides we could see there was more down to come – woohoo! But… we thought we better stop and check the rough instructions we had only to realise we should’ve turned off 7km earlier… So the speedy descent turned into a rather slow assent back up, but with a couple of eggs down the hatch it was no problemO!
From the Old Cairns Track where we turned off we had a lot of downhill again yah! We came to the fork in the road described by the mud map, to the left was private property and to the right we found a hefty metal gate. We figured that this gate must be a Queensland Parks & Wildlife Services gate to keep 4WDs out, it didn’t say no mountain bikes so we lifted our bikes over it and rode on.
The track narrowed considerably and got quite technical and slippery in some parts – it was so much fun on our capable bikes, we were looking for a tree with a marker which is supposed to be the start of the track to the falls. We pressed on for quite a way, but we were running out of time as we had English country dancing to get to… so we turned around at a high point. Later, when we described where we turned around to our mate who’s been to Windin Falls before it sounds like we were VERY close!
It’s awesome to go down… but it’s always in the back of the mind that we are going to have to go back up that again. Obviously the return journey was always going to be a lot slower, but you see much more so it can be as enjoyable in it’s own way and on this occasion we were amply rewarded. First we saw a most curious Cassowary scat that stood up like the Leaning tower of Pisa, then not long after we were lucky to see a magnificent male Cassowary and his not 1, not 2 but 3 chicks! The stunning Cairns Birdwing butterfly also made an appearance fluttering on by… Ahhhh, we love the Wet Tropics!
After 2.5 hours in the rain, we were well and truly soaked through and a little browner in parts than we were when we left… so getting back to the car, we wiped the mud off as best we could – donned our dancing clothes and went to Malanda.
So, while we didn’t find Windin Falls, we are determined to find it next time round. We’ll make it part of a much bigger adventure that will take us down the Old Cairns Track to Kearney’s Flats Camp ground on the Mulgrave River… that definitely won’t be just a morning ride!
Words by Liliana Williamson (February 2018)