Barron Gorge National Park

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Barron Gorge National Park is a national park in Queensland (Australia), 1,404 km northwest of Brisbane, 2 km from Kuranda and lies within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.[1] The Kuranda Scenic Railway line passes through the park with a station at Barron Falls.[1] One train runs from and returns to Cairns daily.[2] The original weir, constructed in 1934 at the top of the falls, is visible from the station lookout.

Two waterfalls—Stoney Creek Falls and Surprise Creek Falls exist on tributaries of the Barron River within the park.

History

In 1885 the explorer Archibald Meston described the Barron Falls in flood where the raging waters "rush together like wild horses as they enter the straight in the dread finish of their last race ... (where) the currents of air created by the cataract waved the branches of the trees hundreds of feet overhead ... the rock shook like a mighty steamer tumbling with the vibrations of the screw."

In 1935 the waters of the Barron River were harnessed in the Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station to generate Queensland's first hydroelectric power. Two hundred metres from the base of the Barron Falls an underground power station was carved into the cliff face. Water was delivered through pipes to drive the turbines, two 1200 kW turbo-alternators. The substation, workshops and staff houses were built around the area now forming the Skyrail station.

The stocking of exotic sports fish into the river has led to a serious decline in the diversity and abundance of native fish.[3]

Ownership of the park returned to its traditional owners on 17 December 2004.[4] Visitors to the park have not faced any changes under the new owners but Aboriginals were then able to hold traditional religious ceremonies.

See also

References

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