Torpedo Bay Walking Circuit: Wet Season Adventure

by | Feb 20, 2022 | Atherton Tablelands

Torpedo Bay Walking Circuit: Wet season adventure

Words and photos by Leah Stevenson

It is a bummer about the wet season, right? Oh, the wet season blues! Nah, greens, reds, and pinks of every shade!

The wet season can be very beautiful! Rainforests and bushlands come to life. The rains give the trees, shrubs and grasses a little oomph and they draw out new leaves. These new leaves are often burgundies and bright reds, providing a beautiful contrast to the greens around the bush; some iridescent green, some of lighter shades. The eucalyptus trees are flowering too, attracting birds and butterflies.

I admit, I too can have a little less motivation to hit the trails in these warmer months. However, hiking in the early morning is great. The early morning is cooler, it’s not likely to be raining and once you are out and about- it’s awesome! The wetter weather may deter others, so you may find that you can often have the trails to yourself.

The Torpedo Bay Walking Circuit is an ideal wet season adventure and is also used in the iconic Grin n Bear It Challenge. This trail can be considered one of those great ‘local’ gems that have been here for years. The trail surface is mostly comprised of decomposed granite and stays grippy underfoot when wet. Grass trees and eucalyptus dominate the open forest landscape. Large granite boulders bulge out of the sides of the hills like Maltesers on the side of a birthday cake. Views of Lake Tinaroo are scattered along the trail. Once you have completed the walk, I recommend taking a swim in Lake Tinaroo.

As far as I am aware, this trail isn’t maintained but there is a well-used goat track with pink tape along the trail to help guide you. This means you need to be aware of your surroundings and use common sense. The hills on Torpedo Bay Walking Circuit are short and sharp so having a good base-fitness would make the experience more enjoyable.

There are three entrances to Torpedo Bay Walking Circuit:

Option 1) Behind the information board at the north end of the Dam Wall

Option 2) 0.9km along Danbulla Road from the north end of the Dam Wall

Option 3) Entrance is about 100m on the left beyond the entrance to Camp Barabadeen (also on Danbulla Road)

All three options can become a loop by walking back along the road (which is quite nice in the morning as the trees create pleasant shade on the road). Taking Option 1 and Option 3 would provide you with the longest walk (approximately 4km on-trail or 6.8km including the road and is for walkers with good fitness).  We took the ‘Option 2- entry point’ and did a 2.5km loop. This option took us 1 hour to complete. I’ll explain this route in more detail in this article.


Torpedo Bay Walking Circuit- Option 2: 2.5km / 1hr / 141 m elevation

Follow Danbulla Road past the information board at the northern end of the Dam wall for 0.9km. You will see a small carpark on the left at the trail entrance.

It’s a steep start! The trail heads straight up the hill until you reach the ridgeline. The trail will veer north west (left).

The trail undulates along the ridgeline. Check out the views of Lake Tinaroo along these sections of the trail.

Approximately 20 minutes into your walk you will drop into a saddle and the trail climbs steeply up the other side. A ‘saddle’ is a terrain feature where there is a low point between two higher areas.

While climbing this steep section of trail you will need to keep your eye out for the left turn. This T-intersection has a pink tape to mark the intersection (photo provided). I also noticed the noise of water flowing over the dam wall becomes noticeably louder here too.  (If you continue straight for another you will reach the turn for Option 1).

Once you turn left off the main trail keep to the top of the spur. A ‘spur’ is a terrain feature where there is a continuous, short sloping line of higher ground and the land drops away either side. When we did the walk earlier this year, my little one lead the hike.

Coming down this section of trail we veered slightly too far to the right because he followed a flat rock surface rather than the trail. He realized it was getting steeper and he knew we had gone off-track. He looked for the spur and found the trail again.

What to take

  • Enough drinking water for your adventure. My kids took about 700 ml each and I carried a larger 2-litre hydration pack. We had plenty left over.
  • First Aid Kit. I have a basic personal first aid kit that fits in my hydration pack. Snakes are more active in the warmer months. Consider taking a small first aid kit that includes a snake bandage: snakes are not a major issue- it is just worth taking this small precaution.

Leah Stevenson and family are outdoor recreation enthusiasts. If they aren’t hiking, canoeing, and camping, they are heading out on their mountain bike adventures.

Article published in the What’s On & Where To Go magazine – February 2022 Edition

by | Feb 20, 2022 | Atherton Tablelands

Leah Stevenson

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