The Kirrima Range Road was reopened on 6 December 2014 after nearly a decade of being closed to the public.
The road begins near Kennedy, in Girringun National Park and winds its way up through stunning World Heritage rainforest and eucalypt woodland, leading to the impressive Blencoe Falls and Herbert River Gorge. From here, it is possible to travel on to Mount Garnet and the Upper Tablelands.
The Kirrama Range forms part of the southern region of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. This region has significant culture, biodiversity and history. Since European settlement, the landscape has altered significantly. Once, diverse and abundant wildlife freely roamed the area, and the country’s first inhabitants, Rainforest Aboriginal people, applied traditional practices to manage and nurture the landscape. European colonisation displaced Traditional Owners from their land, and established community settlements and a thriving timber industry. Stories across these periods weave together a rich tapestry of narratives that reveal common threads of connection to the land, forest and animals.
The listing of the Wet Tropics as a World Heritage Area in 1988 recognised this region for its natural Outstanding Universal Value, which means that the natural significance of this area is exceptionally important for the whole world. The World Heritage listing of the Kirrama Range allowed people, place and nature to reconnect. Collaborative projects between Indigenous groups and land managers now preserve this special landscape, and the unique species within.
The closure of the Kirrama Range Road was disappointing for many of the community groups that had formed such attachment to this landscape. Credit and recognition should be given to the efforts of a passionate group of locals who formed the Kirrama Range Road Support Group. Their determination over the course of nearly a decade to rally community and government support has contributed to the decision to reopen the road. It serves as a testament to the efforts and passion of all those involved in the process including the support group, Wet Tropics Management Authority, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Queensland Government and the local Traditional Owners.