Consisting of both Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine, Crater Lakes National Park has the two clear, blue bodies of water set against the backdrop of lush Australian rainforest. The park is part of the Wetlands World Heritage Area, with hiking trails and picnic areas that allow visitors to take in the pristine scenery. Canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and bird watching also bring many to the area.
Both lakes were the result of craters formed by explosions of groundwater millions of years ago. The surrounding forest displays remnants of centuries of climate change and volcanic activity. It is a protected area maintained by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service. Towering, ancient Kauri pine trees dominate the forest. Australian animal life — from musky-rat kangaroos to pythons to thousands of species of birds and butterflies — can all be found here.
Located on the eastern part of the Atherton Tableland in Queensland, the Crate Lakes National Park is about an hour’s drive from Cairns on the Gillies Highway. An information center located at Lake Eacham is a great spot to start, with a self-guided walk through the rainforest that begins at the center.