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About Crows Nest

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Getting there and getting around

Crows Nest National Park map (PDF, 97K)*

Turn off the New England Highway at the police station at Crows Nest (56 km north of Toowoomba) and take the sealed road 6 km to the park.

Caution: after heavy rain, creek crossings may be flooded.

Wheelchair accessibility

Crows Nest National Park is not wheelchair accessible.

Park features

Sit quietly by the creek and you might spot a brush-tailed rock wallaby. Photo Michael O'Connor NPRSR

Sit quietly by the creek and you might spot a brush-tailed rock wallaby. Photo Michael O'Connor NPRSR

Crows Nest National Park protects spectacular creek scenery, granite outcrops, a scenic waterfall and eucalypt forest in the headwaters of Crows Nest Creek on the Great Dividing Range west of Brisbane.

Few places have such a wonderful variety of eucalypt trees from gums to stringybarks, bloodwoods and ironbarks, delighting the amateur naturalist. The park is a haven for wildlife including platypus, swamp wallabies, echidnas, bandicoots, lace monitors, birds, and the brush-tailed rock-wallaby Petrogale penicillata, which is vulnerable to extinction in Queensland.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camp beneath the eucalypts in the small bush campground which has unpowered tent and caravan sites, pit toilets, wood barbecues and 'boil-your-own-water' showers. Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Accommodation

A range of holiday accommodation is available in and around Crows Nest, Toowoomba and the Hampton and Ravensbourne areas. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

After heavy rain, water plummets 20 m over Crows Nest Falls. Photo NPRSR

After heavy rain, water plummets 20 m over Crows Nest Falls. Photo NPRSR

A small sandy beach allows access to Kauyoo Pool. Photo NPRSR

A small sandy beach allows access to Kauyoo Pool. Photo NPRSR

Bottlebrush Pool is the ideal place to relax or swim. Photo NPRSR

Bottlebrush Pool is the ideal place to relax or swim. Photo NPRSR

Crows Nest picnic area. Photo Charlie Finn NPRSR

Crows Nest picnic area. Photo Charlie Finn NPRSR

Walking

Take a creek-side walk to waterholes and to lookouts with spectacular views.

Tracks lead from the picnic area and follow the steep-sided gorge in the upper reaches of Crows Nest Creek to a lookout overlooking Crows Nest Falls. Continue to Koonin Lookout for an impressive view over a deeper gorge known locally as the Valley of Diamonds.

Explore around the creek, but be careful. Rocks and stepping-stones can be slippery, expecially after rain. Supervise children closely.

Key to track standards

Crows Nest National Park's walking tracks have been classified to Australian Standards to help you select a walk that matches your bushwalking experience and fitness.

Class 3 track
  • Gently sloping, well-defined track with slight inclines or few steps.
  • Caution needed on decomposed granite and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.
Class 4 track
  • Distinct track usually with steep exposed granite inclines or many steps.
  • Caution needed on decomposed granite and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

Crows Nest Falls via Kauyoo Loop (including The Cascades, Kauyoo Pool and Bottlebrush Pool) —2.7 km return (1 hr) Class 3 loop to the Cascades, Class 4 to Kauyoo Pool and Bottlebrush Pool

Bottkebrush Pool is the ideal place to enjoy a swim and relax. The river she-oaks and bottlebrush trees here provide shade and habitat for a variety of wildlife. Keep an eye out for brush-tailed rock wallabies, as they move quiety around the surounding granite hills and boudlers. Take care on the steps leading down to the creek, as they can be slippery when wet.

A sandy beach allows easy access to the normally shallow water at Kauyoo Pool.

Steep crevices and slippery rocks lead to the Cascades, where you can hear the ‘tock tock’ calls of striped marsh frogs echoing around the boulders in summer. Watch your step, especially if the creek is flowing. This is another good spot to sit quietly and watch for rock-wallabies. 

Crows Nest Falls lookout—2.1 km return (45 mins) Class 3

At Crows Nest Falls water tumbles over 20 m high granite cliffs.

Access to the Crows Nest Falls waterhole has been closed due to the danger posed by large rocks falling onto the track and into the waterhole. 

For your safety, never attempt to climb around the Crows Nest Falls lookout barriers fo any reason—to do so could result in serious injury or cost you your life!

Koonin lookout—4.5 km return (1 hour 30 mins) Class 3

Wander out to Koonin Lookout for a bird’s-eye view of the gorge (known as the Valley of Diamonds) and to distant rolling hills around Ravensbourne. Look along the way for intricate lichen patterns on rocks and small ground orchids.

Picnic and day-use areas

Picnic beside Crows Nest Creek. The picnic area has picnic tables, pit toilets, gas powered barbecues and interpretive signs.

Viewing wildlife

Look for platypus in the creek near the picnic area and brush-tailed rock-wallabies on the rocky cliffs along the creek. Be patient and quiet and you may be rewarded. For your safety and to protect the wallaby habitat, stay on the track.

Go birdwatching during the day. See pale-headed rosellas, magpies, yellow robins, thornbills, golden whistlers, eastern spinebills, grey fantails or blue-faced honeyeaters. Try spotlighting for sugar gliders, brushtail possums, ringtail possums and greater gliders along the walking track at night. Enjoy the wildflowers in spring.

Things to know before you go

A rose robin, one of the many species of bird found in Crows Nest National Park. Photo Robert Ashdown NPRSR

A rose robin, one of the many species of bird found in Crows Nest National Park. Photo Robert Ashdown NPRSR

At certain times of the year small ground orhcids, such as this nodding greenhood, can be seen alongside the park's walking tracks. Photo Robert Ashdown NPRSR

At certain times of the year small ground orhcids, such as this nodding greenhood, can be seen alongside the park's walking tracks. Photo Robert Ashdown NPRSR

Essentials to bring

  • Bring sufficient water, food and first-aid supplies.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat and sturdy shoes. Apply insect repellent and carry a raincoat.
  • Rubbish bins are not provided. Please bring rubbish bags and take all recyclables and rubbish with you when you leave. Secure supplies and rubbish from goannas and currawongs.
  • Preferably use fuel or gas stoves. If you do wish to use the barbecues provided, please bring your own clean, milled timber. Never collect wood from the bush. Take care with fire, keep your fires below the grate and make sure your fire is out before you leave it, especially during hot or windy conditions.
  • Bring your camera and binoculars for viewing wildlife. A torch, preferably with a red filter to protect animals' eyes, is useful for spotlighting at night.

Drinking water

Bring your own drinking water. Treat or boil water collected in the park before drinking.

Opening hours

Crows Nest National Park is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

To camp in the national park a permit is required and fees apply. Camping fees must be paid before you camp overnight. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site. Remember: booking (e-permits) are required for school holidays and long weekends.

  • Bookings can be made 12 months in advance.
  • Bookings are accepted only when accompanied by the appropriate fee.
  • If you wish to extend your stay, you must re-register.
  • Book your campsite online, over-the-counter or by phone.
  • Outside school holidays and long weekends, permits can be obtained from the self-registration stand at the Crows Nest camping area. Pay by cash (no change available), cheque, credit card or camping credit.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Crows Nest National Park.

Climate and weather

Expect warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. Most rain falls during summer months, often as storms. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Crows Nest, Hampton and Toowoomba.

Staying safe

Valley of Diamonds from Koonin Lookout. Photo Karen Smith NPRSR

Valley of Diamonds from Koonin Lookout. Photo Karen Smith NPRSR

Staying safe

Your safety is our concern, but your responsibility. Please exercise caution and sound judgement during your visit.

  • Do not enter areas designated as restricted access—these restrictions are closed to ensure your safety.
  • Never dive or jump into waterholes. Water may be shallower than it looks or hide submerged objects.
  • For your safety, never attempt to climb around the lookout barriers at Crows Nest Falls—to do so could result in serious injury or cost you your life!
  • Be careful—rocks and stepping-stones can be slippery, especially after rain.
  • Supervise children closely. Some sections of track have steps and steep drop-offs.
  • Wear a hat and sturdy walking shoes—avoid bare feet as there could be broken glass.
  • Obey all signs.
  • Carry drinking water when walking. Treat or boil water supplied at the park before drinking.

In an emergency

In case of accident or other emergency please:

  • call 000 or from mobile phones call 112 if 000 not contactable;
  • advise your location and nature of emergency; and
  • stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

Mobile phone coverage is not reliable.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

False sarsparilla vine and other wildflowers splash colour through the forest during warmer months. Photo NPRSR

False sarsparilla vine and other wildflowers splash colour through the forest during warmer months. Photo NPRSR

  • All plants, animals and natural and cultural features of the park are protected. Do not remove living or dead plant material (including fallen timber), animals, rocks or other material.
  • For your safety, and to protect wallaby habitat, please stay on the formed tracks.
  • Fallen timber is habitat for many small creatures—do not collect it for use as firewood.
  • The creek and waterholes are home to platypus and many other wonderful creatures—keep soaps, detergents and rubbish out of the creek.
  • Take care with fire. If you light a fire, make sure it is out before you leave it. Use water, not sand or dirt, to extinguish the fire. Summer is a high fire risk time.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information on what you can do to protect our environment and heritage into the future.

Park management

Brush-tailed rock wallaby shaking off rain-drops near Bottlebrush Pool. Photo Robert Ashdown NPRSR

Brush-tailed rock wallaby shaking off rain-drops near Bottlebrush Pool. Photo Robert Ashdown NPRSR

In 1967, a national park of 236 ha was declared over Crows Nest Falls and the gorges along Crows Nest creek, to preserve the scenic and recreational value of an area long used by the people of Crows Nest. Crows Nest National Park now extends south along the edge of the Great Dividing Range towards Perseverance Dam and covers an area of 1,800 ha.

The rugged topography of the park, including granite, basalt and sandstone outcrops and permanent waterholes, provides a diversity of habitats for plants and animals, including a number of threatened species.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages Crows Nest National Park to conserve and present its natural and cultural values, and to ensure that the recreational use of its resources is nature-based and ecologically sustainable.

Tourism information links

Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre

www.toowoombaRC.qld.gov.au/

86 James St, Toowoomba Qld 4350

Freecall 1800 331 155

ph (07) 4639 3797

Hampton Visitor Information Centre

www.toowoombaholidays.info

8623 New England Highway, Hampton Qld 4352

Freecall 1800 009 066

ph (07) 4697 9066

fax (07) 4692 9257

email Kerri.Seccombe@toowoombaRC.qld.gov.au

Toowoomba, Gold West and South Burnett Tourism

www.toowoombaholidays.info

ph 1800 688 949

email enquiries@tgw.com.au

For information on road conditions contact RACQ

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

Further information

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Last updated
4 November 2013