A quick hiking guide to an extension of the Ivan Evans Walk in Cairns up to Waddlebla Peak & Boiboi Peak on the Waddlebla Trail.
The Ivan Evans Walk is a popular hike among Cairns locals looking for a quick walk close to town. However, the Ivan Evans trail itself is quite short and not much of an adventure on its own. For this reason, I chose to combine the Ivan Evans Walk with the steeper Waddlebla Trail up to Boi Boi Peak and Waddlebla Peak. This made it a much more challenging, more scenic and more rewarding hike— albeit without leaving much in terms of views.
Note that there are dozens of trails that run through the dense rainforest of Ellen Close Reserve and many of these are mountain bike trails. Please respect that many of these trails have been created and are managed by mountain bikers. While I’m sure they don’t mind sharing their trails, hikers and trail runners should keep out of their way and stay alert and on the lookout for downhill riders.
For the purpose of this blog, I’ll outline the route I took up to Boiboi Peak and Waddlebla Peak. However, if you wish, you can take alternative routes or finish the walk early once you reach Waddlebla Peak near Lake Morris Road.
Where is the Ivan Evans Walk Trailhead?
The Ivan Evans Walk starts at the end of Ellen Close, which is a suburban street in the Cairns suburb of Bayview Heights. The trailhead is only about 10 kilometres from Cairns foreshore, only requiring a quick 15-minute drive.
Once you pull up to the end of Ellen Close, park your car and look for the signpost in the grassy area on the right side of the cul de sac.
About the Ivan Evans Walk and Waddlebla Trail
- Hike Distance: 7-8 km
- Duration: 1-3 hours (depending on your route)
- Elevation: ~ 600 metres elevation gain
- Difficulty: Moderate (steep in sections)
Since there isn't a single route or track to Boiboi or Waddlebla peaks, I'll just run through my track and experience on the trail to help you plan your walk. The first section follows the popular Ivan Evans Walk before detouring on what is signposted as a "service track". However, it's really just the beginning of a network of mountain bike trails leading to Lake Morris Road.
From Lake Morris Road, you'll need to walk a few hundred metres along the road before picking up the Boiboi Peak Trail again.
As I mentioned above, hikers and trail runners should keep an eye out for mountain bikers and stay out of their way (take your headphones out).
Here's a GPX map that I recorded using my Garmin watch. If you like, you can download the GPX track by clicking on the link below.
GPX File: Download
My Strava: Visit
Ivan Evans Walk
The Ivan Evans Trail is a pleasant track through the Ellen Close Reserve, connecting Ellen Close to Toogood Road with a small viewpoint in the middle. The track is only 2.4 kilometres return and easy to follow. It's also not too steep, making it a good walk if you're looking for something easy or quick.
After bout 600 metres (roughly the half-way point if you're walking through to Toogood Road), you'll come to a viewpoint area. This is known as Boiboi's Lookout but really wasn't that impressive. This is not to be confused with Boiboi Peak, which is equally as unimpressive.
If you'd like to continue up to Waddlebla Peak and Boiboi Peak, you'll need to divert left at this lookout.
While not signposted, the changing of trails onto the Waddlebla Track is immediately obvious. The track steepens dramatically as it begins the ascent.
While there aren't many good views at all due to the heavy vine and rainforest, the Waddlebla Trail makes for an enjoyable climb with sections of light, rocky terrain. However, don't underestimate the steepness, especially if you've got injuries.
There is a high point just before Lake Morris Road, where the most exciting features being is a wooden sign nailed onto a tree and an old, dilapidated treehouse.
If you continue on the same trail, you'll soon pop out at Lake Morris Road. You can end the walk here, or continue up Lake Morris Road, keeping an eye out for cars and cyclists, for 600 metres to find the next trailhead. You could also continue a bit further to reach the White Rock trailhead, which offers one of the best viewpoints around.
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- Visit the Cairns Islands
- Kuranda Railway & Skyrail
- Rusty's Markets
- Day trip to Cape Tribulation
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The Boiboi Peak trailhead is located on the right side of Lake Morris Road, 600 metres up from the Waddlebla Trail. It's not immediately obvious, nor is it signposted. However, you shouldn't have any problem finding the track opposite a wide, grassy clearing, just before the dogleg switchback on the road.
The Boiboi Peak track is less steeper than the Waddlebla Track, and is also not used by mountain bikers (as far as I'm aware). You might also notice that the rainforest is denser and more tropical, with a bit of treefall and plenty of wait-a-while.
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Eventually, you'll reach Waddlebla Peak, although you'll be excused if you miss it. Really, it's just as anticlimactic as the rest of the hike. However, if you're doing this walk, then you were already aware of this. Instead, find reward in the serenity of the secluded trails through the lush, tropical forest.
This track continues for another kilometre on a similar gradient before reaching Boi Boi Peak, the highest point on this hike. Again, unfortunately, but not surprisingly— no view in sight.
From here, I chose to turn around and walk back down to Ellen Close. However, this track continues for another 2 kilometres as it descends down to Redlynch. A good option if you wanted to continue would be to head to Crystal Cascades and Fairy Falls in Redlynch after the walk.
Return to Ellen Close
From the high point at Boiboi Peak, I walked back down the same track. I took a wrong turn along one of the mountain bike tracks on Waddlebla Trail, as you can see on the GPX Map, which made me loop around to Vine Close, just around the corner.
Cairns Accommodation Guide – Where to Stay
Visiting Cairns? The best places to stay are near the Cairns Esplanade or on the sunny Northern Beaches. Below are the top 4 options for varying budgets.
- Crystalbrook Riley - If luxury and location are what you're after, you can't beat the Crystalbrook Riley. This is the best 5-star resort in Cairns and features absolutely everything you'd expect from a Crystalbrook resort.
- Fitzroy Island Resort - Sleep out on one of the picturesque Great Barrier Reef Islands at Fitzroy Island Resort. Spending the night on the island can work out cheaper than staying in town and means you get more time to explore the reef, coral beaches and rainforest walking trails.
- Gilligan's Backpackers - The best backpacker option for a great vibe in Cairns. Great place to meet like-minded travelers and has facilities including a pool. air-con, a huge shared kitchen, and a great common area!
- Pepper's Beach Club - stay at the best beach resort in the heart of Palm Cove on the Cairns Northern Beaches!
More Cairns Hikes and Adventures
I hope that you found this quick, mini-guide to the Ivan Evans Walk and Wadelbla Trail to Waddlebla Peak and Boiboi Peak useful. If you enjoyed the hike, why not check out some of my other guides and blogs about hikes and adventures in Cairns below.