There are two groups of aboriginal people in the area of Lake Barrine. They are called the Dulguburra Yidinji and the Ngadjon-Jii. They believe a rainbow serpent they call Yamini made the lake. And according to their stories that have been handed down from generation to generation, it seems the rainforest came later, around 7600 years ago.
Europeans first discovered Lake Barrine in 1888 and made it a scenic reserve. Lake Barrine National Park was created in 1934. Much later, in 1988, the lake became part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Then, in 1994, Lake Barrine and nearby Lake Eacham were combined together under the name of Crater Lakes National Park.
The teahouse on the shore of Lake Barrine, from which you can purchase cruises of the lake, was built in 1928. It is a private business. Interestingly, the Australian Army used in during World War II as a recovery home for its soldiers. The same family, the Currys, have operated the teahouse and the tours from the teahouse for more than 70 years now.
There are many activities available near Lake Barrine and Crater Lakes National Park, but one of them is not camping. To camp in the area, you will have to go to a private camping area near Lake Eacham. Activities you will find around Lake Barrine include walking tours. There are several walking routes in varying lengths to suit any level of energy and stamina.
The lake circuit track is the longest at five kilometers. It is an easy to moderate walking route, but it will take you about two hours to complete. This track will take you around Lake Barrine and through the rainforest. You’ll see plenty of flora and fauna, including turtles and eastern water dragons on this walk.
If two hours is too long of a walk for you, one of the other two walking routes around Lake Barrine might be the best for you. The easiest is the twin kauris walk, which is an easy walk that takes just ten minutes. It’s only 160 meters long. It will take you from the parking lot to a boardwalk near two enormous bull kauri pine trees that are said to be older than 1,000 years. They are nearly three meters each in diameter and reach up into the sky about 50 meters. The other easy walk is a bit longer at 600 meters, but it will only take you about fifteen minutes. It is called the rainforest walk because it takes you around Lake Barrine and into the rainforest, sharing the circuit track for some distance.
Other activities near Lake Barrine and Crater Lakes National Park include picnicking, canoeing and swimming. Fishing is not permitted at the lake. The lake cruise, however, is probably the most popular. One reason is that you have the chance to see the amethystine python, which is thought to be Australia’s biggest snake, during your tour.