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Black Mountain National Park, (Kalkajaka N.P.)

The mysterious Black Mountains are steeped in myths and legends, and are a special story place for the Kuku Yalanji people.
Black Mountain National Park, (Kalkajaka N.P.)

Black Mountain

Black Mountain, Queensland. Courtesy of Tourism Queensland
Black Mountain, Queensland. Courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Located 25 km south of Cooktown on the Mulligan Highway, the mysterious Black Mountains were originally formed from magma that slowly solidified under the Earth's crust about 250 million years ago.  The mountains consist of huge boulders of grey granite, which have been blackened by algae growing on the exposed surfaces. They are very unstable and should not be climbed, as rain causes the boulders to fracture, break and slowly disintegrate, sometimes explosively.

The mountains are a place of cultural significance for the Kuku Yalanji people, who call them Kalkajaka, or 'place of the spear'. They contain at least four sites of religious or mythological importance - Kambi, Julbanu, Birmba and Yirrmbal - each having its own story.

There are many non-Indigenous stories about the mountains too, with tales of people, horses and whole mobs of cattle disappearing into the labyrinths of rock, never to be seen again. Indeed, when the Cooktown Local News ran a story on April 1st about a giant black panther being caught there, the majority of people believed the story, failing to realise it was an April Fool's joke!

The park is home to some unique wildlife – one species of frog and two lizard species are found nowhere else. Godman’s rock wallabies and ghost bats also live here.

There is a lookout and viewing platform signposted from the highway, and information boards giving more information about this amazing place.

Visit the magical Black Mountains with Cooktown Tours


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