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About Castle Tower

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Getting there and getting around

There is limited access to Castle Tower National Park across private property. Access is by boat across the Awoonga Dam and then by foot across Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) land. Permission must be obtained from the GAWB before entering or crossing their land.

There are no formal walking tracks or route markers within the park. Visitors need to be experienced in bush navigation and should obtain a copy of Map 9149 Calliope topographic map before visiting the park. The map can be purchased from the Department Natural Resources and Mines business centres.

Park features

Castle Tower National Park is aptly named to reflect its dominant landscape feature—towering granite cliffs flanked by two large granite outcrops.

Open eucalypt woodland with a shrubby heath understorey covers most of the mountain. The heath contains plants found only locally, such as the Byfield spider grevillea Grevillea venusta. Small areas on montane heath occur on the high peaks. Dry rainforest scrub grows along gullies and creeks. The park is the southern limit of white gum Eucalyptus platyphylla.

Panoramic views over the Boyne Valley and Gladstone can be enjoyed from the summits of Mount Castle Tower and Mount Stanley—the two highest peaks in the park. Mount Castle Tower is 475.5m above sea level and Mount Stanley is 690.9m.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Bushwalkers can bush camp in the national park.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around the Gladstone Region. You can also camp nearby at Lake Awoonga Caravan Park. The lake is flanked on its southern side by Castle Tower National Park. See the tourism information links for more details.

Things to do

Remote hiking

The park’s summits provide perfect opportunities for experienced and energetic bushwalkers looking for a challenging hike with rewarding views.

There are no formal walking tracks or route markers within the park.

To hike and bush camp in this park you must:

  • have experience in remote area bush navigation
  • have a copy of 9149 Calliope topographic map
  • be physically fit
  • well prepared and self-sufficient

Purchase a copy of the 9149 Calliope topographic map from the Department Natural Resources and Mine business centres.

Fire and weather conditions, and your ability to navigate, can impact significantly on your safety.

Read Staying safe information and have a plan in place so you know what to do should you encounter a dangerous situation. Your safety is our concern but your responsibility.

Things to know before you go

There are no facilities available in Castle Tower National Park, so you must plan ahead, be self-sufficient and prepared for emergencies.

Be aware that mobile phone reception is unreliable in the park. It is recommended that walkers carry at least one type of emergency communication device.

Essentials to bring

  • Carry Map 9149 Calliope topographic map and compass.
  • Bring a fuel or gas stove and waterproof matches for cooking. Open fires are not permitted.
  • Carry a well-equipped first aid kit and know how to use it.
  • Pack an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and UHF radio or satellite phone.
  • Bring sufficient drinking water and food.
  • Bring strong garbage bags to take your rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear. Be prepared for cool nights, especially in winter. Pack a raincoat and waterproof pants.
  • Bring insect repellent and sunscreen.
  • Bring a shovel for burying toilet waste—there are no toilet facilities in the park.
  • Bring a torch or headlamp and pocket knife.

Opening hours

Castle Tower National Park is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Castle Tower National Park.

Climate and weather

Castle Tower has a mild subtropical climate that is generally the same as the surrounding Miriam Vale area. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meterology.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Calliope, Benaraby, Bororen and Miriam Vale. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

You must be well prepared to visit Castle Tower National Park—it is vital you are prepared for emergencies.

Before you leave:

  • Plan your journey well. By planning ahead, you will not only have a memorable trip, but also a safe one.
  • Learn as much as you can about the terrain and local conditions.
  • Always inform someone responsible about where you are going and when you expect to return. Have an emergency plan in place if you fail to contact them by an agreed time. Ensure you notify your contact person when you return or if your plans change. If you are overdue or potentially lost, your nominated contact person should report this to the Queensland Police Service (phone 000).

Always check current conditions before you journey into the park:

Obey closures and avoid visiting the park when storms, wet weather or high fire danger are forecast.

Be aware that:

  • Bush navigation skills are essential. Carry Map 9149 Calliope topographic map and track your journey.
  • Mobile phone coverage can be unreliable in this area. It is recommended that walkers carry at least one type of emergency communication device. A hand-held EPRIB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) or PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) is recommended however coverage may be variable. These devices can be hired from various outlets. Before you leave, ensure you register you EPRIB or PLB. For more information on how to obtain and register an EPIRB or PLB contact the Australian Maritime Safety Authority by phone 1800 406 406 (business hours), or email: ausbeacon@amsa.gov.au.
  • Bush fires can occur at any time. The plant communities and rugged terrain make this park particularly dangerous in high fire danger conditions. If necessary postpone your visit and always have a plan of action should you be in the park when a fire occurs.
  • Boating access is unsafe in storm conditions. Do not attempt crossing the dam in storm and high wind conditions.
  • Severe storms and strong winds can result in falling branches and trees.
  • Cliff edges can be sheer and their edges may be crumbly. Serious injury or death can occur if you fall. Stay well back from cliff edges.
  • Granite rocks become extremely slippery when wet and decomposed granite can be also be slippery. Wear sturdy shoes with good grip.

Never walk alone:

  • Walk with one or more friends. At least one member of each party should be an experienced bushwalker and competent at map reading.

For more information about staying safe while visiting national parks please read the guidelines about safety in parks and forests.

In an emergency

Use your communication equipment to request assistance:

  • Phone 000 or 112 from mobiles (if 000 not contactable). Be aware that mobile phone coverage can be unreliable in this area.
  • Call for assistance on UHF emergency channel 5, which is monitored by emergency authorities.
  • Activate your Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).

If you or members of your group become lost or injured: it is critical to keep warm and dry, and drink plenty of water. Try to find a place that is visible from both the air and ground and if possible put on bright clothing.

Looking after the park

Please help protect Castle Tower National Park by following these guidelines.

  • Use a portable stove for cooking. Open fires are not permitted.
  • Avoid contaminating water. Wash yourself and your cooking utensils at least 50m away from waterways.
  • Bury all toilet waste (and paper) 15cm deep at least 100m from waterways.
  • Take all rubbish home. Never burn or bury it.
  • Do not feed native animals. Never bury scraps as animals may dig them up.
  • Leave Castle Tower National Park as you found it. All plants and animals are protected.

Park management

The Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing (NPRSR) manages Castle Tower National Park for the enjoyment of visitors and the conservation of our natural and cultural heritage. A management plan for the park will be prepared in the future.

Tourism information links

Gladstone Visitor Information Centre
www.gladstoneregion.org.au
Marina Ferry Terminal
Bryan Jordan Drive, Gladstone QLD 4680
ph (07) 4972 9000
fax (07) 4972 5006
email gapdl@gladstoneregion.org.au

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see www.queenslandholidays.com.au.

Further information

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Last updated
14 October 2013