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About Eungella

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Getting there and getting around

Broken River. Photo: John Augusteyn.

Broken River. Photo: John Augusteyn.

From Proserpine

Turn off the Bruce Highway 91km south of Proserpine and drive 9km to Marian. Continue 62km to the park.

From Mackay

From Mackay, drive 80km west along the Mackay–Eungella Road to Eungella township. At the head of the valley, the road winds sharply and steeply up the Clarke Range—take care if towing a caravan. When you reach Eungella township at the top of the range, follow the road sweeping left to get to Eungella National Park and its short walks.

Eungella National Park has more than 20km of walking tracks and is the starting point for the 56km Mackay Highlands Great Walk. So whether you want to stroll with the family, walk for several hours, or set out on the Great Walk, there's something to suit. Stops along the way include, Finch Hatton Gorge, Peases Lookout, Pine Grove, Sky Window and Broken River, each offering different walks and facilities. The first stop, Pine Grove, is in the heart of Eungella township. Here you'll find parking, information and the start of the Pine Grove track.

Wheelchair accessibility

The toilets and picnic tables at the Broken River information centre and Sky Window are wheelchair-accessible.

Park features

The park protects many unusual plants and animals, including the Eungella dayfrog, Mackay tulip oak, Eungella spiny cray and Eungella honeyeater. This isolated mountain refuge lies close to the boundary between subtropical and tropical rainforests and supports species from both vegetation types.

Much of the park is remote and inaccessible, and is dissected by gorges. Rainforest dominates the area, but open eucalypt woodland grows on Dick's Tableland in the rugged north-western part of the park. Flowering bottlebrushes and tall river she-oaks line the meandering Broken River—home to platypus.

Camping and accommodation

Camp in the rainforest at Eungella National Park. Photo: NPSR

Camp in the rainforest at Eungella National Park. Photo: NPSR

Camping

Fern Flat camping area is on the western side of the Broken River picnic area (about 600m away). It is a shady spot in tranquil rainforest with a toilet, tent sites, and water provided (treat all water before drinking). The Broken River picnic area itself has information, picnic tables and barbecues. It is a 5km drive from Eungella township.

Broken River bush camp is set amongst natural bushland adjacent to Broken River.

Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Camping is also available in nearby parks and forests within the Mackay Highlands. For more information see the camping links below.

Crediton State Forest

Homevale National Park

Mia Mia State Forest

Other accommodation

Commercial cabin-style accommodation and motels are available in Eungella, Finch Hatton and Broken River.

Eungella Dam located approximately 27km along Eungella Dam Road past Broken River is a popular site for camping, fishing and recreational water based activities. Canoeing, sailing, water skiing and jet skiing are popular activities on the dam. Check with SunWater for information about boating on the dam. Stocked Impoundment Permits (SIPs) are required for those wishing to fish in the dam. These can be obtained by contacting Fisheries Queensland (part of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) on 13 25 23. Self registration camping is available at Eungella Dam. Contact SunWater on 13 15 89.

For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Walk to see the strangler fig arch at Cedar Grove. Photo: NPSR.

Walk to see the strangler fig arch at Cedar Grove. Photo: NPSR.

Eungella National Park offers many opportunities for you to explore and enjoy the natural surroundings:

Walking

Eungella National Park has more than 20km of walking tracks, varying from 30 minute easy walks to half day and day walks—many forming part of the Mackay Highlands Great Walk. Eungella is the starting point for the 56km Mackay Highlands Great Walk.

So whether you want to stroll with the family, walk for several hours, or set out on the Great Walk, there's something to suit.

Wear insect repellent and sturdy shoes when walking.

When planning a one-way walk, allow time to return along the same track to your starting point. Alternatively, arrange to be picked up or dropped off at parking areas or track access points. Consider fitness levels and weather. Allow more time to rest and return to your starting point if you are inexperienced bushwalkers or walking with small children.

Please read the safety information before you walk at Eungella National Park.

Make sure you obtain a copy of the Mackay Highlands and Eungella National Park Visitor Guide from the Broken River information centre or a local department office.

To find out where each track starts and finishes, match the map references below to the Eungella National Park short walks map (PDF, 126K).

Eungella National Park walking tracks:

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Key to track standards

The classification system is based on Australian Standards. Please note that while each track is classified according to its most difficult section, other sections may be of an easier level.

Class 2 walking trackClass 2 track (Australian Standards)
  • Easy level track, suitable for all fitness levels.
  • All junctions signposted and may include interpretive signs.
Class 3 walking trackClass 3 track (Australian Standards)
  • Distinct tracks with junctions signposted. Rough track surfaces with some exposed roots and rocks.
  • Variable in width. Muddy sections, steep grades and steps may be encountered.
  • May be partially overgrown; hazards such as fallen trees and rockfalls may be present.
  • Caution needed at creek crossings, cliff edges and naturally occurring lookouts.
  • Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear recommended.
Class 4 walking trackClass 4 track (Australian Standards)
  • Distinct tracks with junctions signposted. Rough track surfaces with exposed roots and rocks.
  • Variable in width. Muddy sections and steep grades likely to be encountered.
  • May be extensively overgrown; hazards such as fallen trees and rock falls likely to be present.
  • Caution needed at creek crossings, cliff edges and naturally occurring lookouts.
  • Moderate fitness level with bushwalking experience and ankle-supporting footwear recommended.
Class 5 walking trackClass 5 track (Australian Standards)
  • Steep track with irregular surface and loose stones.
  • Requires high level of physical fitness. Considerable exposure to the elements may be experienced.
  • High-quality, ankle-supporting footwear with flexible soles and good grip should be worn.

Walking tracks at a glance

Matching experience and expectations—to make your planning easier, simply match your expectations and experience with the most suitable track or trail.

Area

Track name

Classification

Distance
(return - unless stated)

Time
(return - unless stated)

Clarke Range-Broken River area - Eungella National Park Pine Grove circuit Class 4 walking track 1.6km 45mins–1hr
Pine Grove-Cedar Grove track  Class 4 walking track 2.8km 1–1.5hrs
Sky Window circuit  Class 2 walking track 250m 5–10mins
Clarke Range track  Class 4 walking track  8.2km one way 3–4hrs
Granite Bend circuit  Class 3 walking track  1.6km circuit 40–55mins
Rainforest Discovery circuit  Class 3 walking track  780m circuit 20–30mins
Crediton Creek track  Class 4 walking track 8km one way 3–3.5hrs each way
Wishing Pool circuit  Class 4 walking track  1.7km circuit 35–50mins
Crediton State Forest & Homevale Regional Park 1 / Mackay Highlands Great Walk Crediton Hall-Denham Range  Class 5 walking track 19.5km one way 6.5–9.75hrs each way
Denham Range-Moonlight Dam  Class 5 walking track  16.2km one way 5.5–8hrs each way
Finch Hatton Gorge Section - Eungella National Park Araluen Cascades track  Class 3 walking track 2.8km 1–1.5hrs
Wheel of Fire track  Class 4 walking track 4.2km 1.5–2hrs

Walks in the Clark Range–Broken River area

Pine Grove circuit  Class 4

Distance: 1.6km 
Time: Allow 45mins-1hr return
Map reference: (1)–(2)–(1)

Details: Fairly level circuit suitable for most visitors. Starting from the Pine Grove car park, enjoy a pleasant walk in rainforest shade with glimpses of the Pioneer Valley. Return to Pine Grove car park via roadside track.

Cedar Grove track Class 4

Distance: 2.8km
Time: Allow 1-1.5hrs return
Map reference: (1)–(2)–(3)

Details: Moderate level of fitness required for short uphill sections and stairs. Walk in rainforest shade and catch glimpses of the Pioneer Valley through tall trees. Stop at the lookout to take in the valley floor view—a patchwork of green and brown cane fields with a steep mountain backdrop.

Continue from the Pine Grove track to feel dwarfed by towering red cedars and tulip oaks. Take a moment to stand inside the strangler fig tree arch. After crossing bridges over gentle creeks and brushing past livistona palm fronds, stay a while and relax at the Sky Window visitor area.

Sky Window circuit Class 2

Distance: 250m 
Time: Allow 5–10mins return
Map reference: (3)

Details: This is a short and level track suitable for most visitors. Take a leisurely walk around to the lookout for views across Pioneer Valley to the steep, rugged northern wall. Stop at trackside signs to witness the changes in land use and people's values in the Eungella region.

Clarke Range Track Class 4

Distance: 8.2km one way
Time: Allow 3–4hrs return
Map reference: (3)–(5)–(G)–(R)–(4)

Details: Moderate level of fitness required for long track with some short uphill sections and stairs. From Sky Window, walk down through layers of bright piccabeen and Alexandra palms. During light rain or early morning mist, feel the rainforest’s magic as fronds glisten in the breeze. Descend to Broken River’s tumbling cascades and link up to Granite Bend Circuit and Rainforest Discovery Circuit to reach the visitor area and other facilities.

Note: Broken River Crossing is weather dependent with high flowing water restricting access after moderate to heavy rainfall. Visitors choosing to cross the creek need to take care on slippery rocks and be aware of fast stream flows.

Granite Bend circuit Class 3

Distance: 1.6km circuit 
Time: Allow 40–55mins return
Map reference: (4)–(G)–(5)–(6)–(G)–(4)

Details: This is a fairly level track suitable for most visitors. Consider walking Granite Bend Circuit as an extension of Rainforest Discovery circuit, starting from Broken River picnic area.

Pass through tall groves of livistona palms before taking a break at a bend in Broken River. Stay a while and listen to the water rushing over rocks.

Rainforest Discovery circuit Class 3

Distance: 780m circuit 
Time: Allow 20–30mins return
Map reference: (4)–(R)–(G)–(G)–(R)–(4)

Details: This is a short and level track suitable for most visitors. From the Broken River picnic area, step into cool and shady rainforest. Cross trickling creeks and glance up to see tall trees decorated with epiphytes and vines.
Stop at trackside signs to see the rainforest through the eyes of Eungella State School students.

Crediton Creek track Class 4

Distance: 8km one-way
Time: Allow 3–3.5hrs each way
Map reference: (4)–(6)–(7)–(8)

Details: Moderate to high level of fitness required for long track with some slopes. For a shorter walk, organise to be picked up at the Wishing Pool access point—you can also start your journey there.

From the Broken River visitor area travel through the Granite Bend Circuit to the Wishing Pool intersection. Follow the Crediton Creek track with the river at your side. Walk from rainforest gullies up to rocky ridges covered in drier vine forest. Where the track meets calm river sections, enjoy reflections in the water and watch for the ripples of a platypus.

Wishing Pool circuit Class 4

Distance: 1.7km circuit 
Time: Allow 35–50mins return
Map reference: (8)–(7)–(8)

Details: This is a fairly level track suitable for most visitors. The track entrance is hard to spot—travel 3 km along Eungella Dam Rd, turn left into Crediton Loop Road. Continue another 3 km until you reach a hairpin bend with a small car park on the opposite side of the road. Enjoy this circuit or arrange to be dropped off at the track entrance as part of Crediton Creek track.

As you pass through tall rainforest carpeted with delicate ferns, listen for different birds calling around you. Stop by the calm river pool to see forest canopy reflections.

Walks in Finch Hatton Gorge

Araluen Cascades track Class 3

Distance: 2.8km return 
Time: Allow 1–1.5hrs return

Details: From Finch Hatton Gorge picnic area, a moderate circuit with uphill sections leads you through lush rainforest and between granite boulders to the lookout above Araluen Cascades.

warningDANGER: Sheer cliffs and cascades. One slip could be fatal—serious injuries and deaths have resulted at this site. Supervise children closely.

If you are keen to swim, observe safety signs, jumping and diving into the water is prohibited. Variable water depths, submerged rocks and logs, and fast flowing water combine to make this activity extremely dangerous. Accidents have resulted in serious injury and a number of deaths

See Finch Hatton Gorge safety section.

Wheel of Fire track Class 4

Distance: 4.2km return
Time: Allow 1.5–2hrs return

Details: Turn off from Araluen Cascades track for a moderate walk to a large rock pool. This track has uphill sections with more then 300 steps—assess your fitness before commencing. Callistemon Crossing is a particularly rewarding place to sit among the palms.

warningCallistemon Crossing is weather dependent. High flowing water restricts access after moderate to heavy rainfall. Visitors choosing to cross the creek need to take extreme care on slippery rocks and be aware of fast stream flows.

When you reach Wheel of Fire, choose a comfortable boulder and cool your feet before walking 2.1km back to the parking area.

warningDANGER: Sheer cliffs and cascades. Do not attempt to climb the rocks above Wheel of Fire. One slip could be fatal—serious injuries and deaths have resulted from slipping on the rock faces while attempting to climb the cascades. Supervise children closely.

Mackay Highlands Great Walk

Distance: 56km one way (3–5 days)

Details: The walk is only for skilled walkers with high fitness levels. Experience rainforest and palm groves, cliffs and peaks, and quiet roads and farming communities.

Driving

If long-distance hiking is not your style, prepare to explore Eungella and the Mackay Highlands in your vehicle. A network of quiet gravel tracks will give you a different view of rainforest, open woodland and dry open country.

Some areas are accessible only by 4WD. To find out where each drive starts and finishes, match the map references below to the Eungella and Mackay Highlands map (PDF, 217K).

Please read Four-wheel-driving in parks and the asscoiated driving safely information before you drive in Eungella and the Mackay Highlands.

See the Mackay Highlands and Eungella National Park Visitor Guide available from QPWS for detailed driving information.

Pine Grove to Broken River

Distance: 5km one way
Time: 10min drive
Map reference: (1)–(4)

Details: This is a winding drive along a sealed road, suitable for conventional vehicles. Drive through lush rainforest, past Sky Window and through open pasture to Broken River. Fern Flat campground, at Broken River, is accessible only to walkers. Commercial cabin-style accommodation is available.

Contact Mackay Tourism for details.

Broken River to Crediton Hall

Distance: 9.7km one way 
Time: 10min drive
Map reference: (4)–(9)

Details: These roads are unsealed but can be traversed by conventional vehicles. Please watch for walkers on shared roads. Drive from rainforest to Crediton's quiet farming communities. From Broken River, drive south along the winding Eungella Dam Road for 3 km and take a left turn into Crediton Loop Road. Turn right after the Wishing Pool Circuit track entrance and continue along this road 3 km to Crediton Hall. This area is suitable for a day-time picnic stop with tables and toilets as part of the vehicle-accessible camping area managed by the Mackay Regional Council; see the Crediton Hall camping information page for more details.

Crediton Hall to Denham Range

Distance: 33.3km one way
Time: 40min drive
Map reference: (9)–(10)

Details: This drive passes through farming communities to open woodland and is on steep gravel roads suitable only for 4WD vehicles. Please watch for walkers on shared roads. Head south-west along Crediton Loop Road and admire tall stately rose gums more than a century old. Turn left into Eungella Dam Road and travel 4.7km before taking another sharp left into Cockies Creek Road. This road takes you to a series of rough tracks up to Denham Range camping area.

Denham Range to Moonlight Dam

Distance: about 100km one way 
Time: 1.25hr drive
Map reference: (10)–(11)

Details: Gravel tracks are suitable only for 4WD vehicles. Please watch for walkers on shared roads. Retrace the rough gravels tracks and Cockies Creek Road, turn left into Eungella Dam Road, follow for 14.8km then turn left into Lizzie Creek Road and follow this for 17.3km. Turn left into Turrawulla Road. Drive 40km to the signed left turn into Moonlight Dam. It is then a further 6km.

For a shorter drive, about 88km, follow Eungella Dam Road for 24.5km, turn left into Lizzie Creek Road, from here follow the directions above. Gravel tracks are suitable only for 4WD vehicles. Please watch for walkers on shared roads.

The Dray Track is accessible to walkers only. To take the safe route from Denham Range, prepare for a long drive. Alternatively, access Moonlight Dam from Broken River (85km) or Nebo (50km). Moonlight Dam camping area is accessible to vehicles.

Moonlight Dam to Mount Britton

Distance: 15km one way
Time: 20min drive
Map reference: (11)–(12)

Details: This is a gravel road suitable only for 4WD vehicles. Please watch for walkers on shared sections. From Moonlight Dam, retrace 6km back to the turnoff and turn left into Turrawulla Road. Follow this road for about 2.5km, turn left into Homevale Road and then drive another 5.5km to reach Mount Britton. All buildings are gone but Isaac Regional Council has marked original streets and presented historical photographs to give you a glimpse of the town in the 1880s.

Picnic and day-use areas

Day visitors must bring their own rubbish bags as no bins are provided in the picnic areas. All rubbish (including food scraps) must be carried out.

Sky Window: parking, information signs, three walking tracks and wheelchair-accessible toilets, barbecues and picnic tables.

Broken River: offers the greatest range of facilities and activities—parking, information signs and a range of short walks. Toilets, barbecues and tables in a shady, wheelchair-accessible picnic area make this a great place for lunch.

Finch Hatton Gorge: parking, toilets and two walking tracks.

Viewing wildlife

An amazing diversity of wildlife surrounds you in the park's tall trees, seasonal creeks, hollow logs and leaf litter. Some species here are found nowhere else. For about 30,000 years, wide corridors of dry open forest have isolated Eungella's rainforest. Moisture-loving species—unable to cross these corridors—have evolved here into distinct local forms.

Eungella offers excellent opportunities to view wildlife. Look out for platypus, eels and turtles from the platform at Broken River.

Go spotlighting at night. You can see greater gliders, tawny frogmouths, sugar gliders and brushtail possums. Go birdwatching during the day. You might see rainbow lorikeets, red-browed finches and blue-faced honeyeaters. A rustle from the forest floor and a green flash of feathers will draw your eyes to noisy pittas foraging in leaf litter. Their distinctive 'walk-to-work' call carries clearly through the rainforest.

Eungella's forests provide a refuge for unusual frogs. Secretive Eungella tinkerfrogs are found only here in the Clarke Range. They are a rare sight but you might hear them calling from rocky creek margins—listen for a short series of metallic ‘tinks’.

Two other threatened frog species, the Eungella gastric-brooding frog and Eungella dayfrog, are listed as endangered in the Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation 1994 (Qld).

Habitat critical to these frogs' survival is restricted to perennial rainforest streams of Eungella National Park and adjacent state forests. Both species have undergone range contractions, with dramatic declines in all known populations. The Eungella gastric-brooding frog has not been sighted since March 1985.

Things to know before you go

Eungella day-frog. Photo: John Augusteyn.

Eungella day-frog. Photo: John Augusteyn.

Essentials to bring

  • sufficient food and water
  • first-aid kit—and know how to use it
  • fuel stove and fuel
  • sturdy footwear
  • protective clothing
  • insect repellent
  • ground sheet
  • strong rubbish bags—bins are not provided
  • A mobile phone or satellite phone (with spare battery) GPS and a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) are recommended for remote bushwalking.

Opening hours

Eungella 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.

Commercial photography permits are required if you intend to sell any photographs taken of Eungella National Park.

Organised event permits are required for organised group activities that may interfere with general public use.

Contact us for further information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Eungella National Park.

Climate and weather

The region's dry season occurs during winter (June–August), with average temperatures from 10°C to 20°C. Between October and March, high humidity, strong seasonal rainfall and average temperatures of 20°C to 30°C make walking less comfortable.

Much of the yearly rainfall is between December and March. Walking from April to September will help avoid wet and dry weather extremes.

For more information see the tourism information links below.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Mackay, Proserpine, and Finch Hatton. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

For your safety

Consider your fitness, ability and weather conditions carefully before setting out. Be well prepared and responsible for your own safety—even on a short stroll. Do not expect to be warned of every possible danger.

Walking Safely

  • Stay with your children at all times.
  • Don't leave children alone in a tent.
  • Stay on formed walking tracks rather than taking shortcuts.
  • Inform others of your bushwalking plans.
  • Wear sturdy footwear, not thongs.
  • Walk in groups.
  • Avoid walking in the hottest part of the day.
  • Carry sufficient drinking water.
  • Protect yourself from the sun.
  • Look for and observe all signs.

Long distance walking

You should prepare well if undertaking a long distance walk such as the Mackay Great Walk and ensure you have:

  • a map
  • compass
  • personal locator beacon (PLB)
  • food
  • drinking water
  • appropriate clothing and sun protection
  • first-aid kit
  • camping permit.

Finch Hatton Gorge Safety

Dangers and risks

Five deaths have occurred in this area since 1976.

Finch Hatton Gorge section of the national park has many dangerous cascades. While the cascades look inviting to explore and climb, please beware of the dangers—too many lives have already been lost here!

Death, spinal cord injuries such as quadriplegia and paraplegia are some of the serious consequences of either climbing and slipping on steep slopes and jumping or diving into creeks. Drowning is the greatest threat to people who have injured their spines through accidents in and around the cascades and water. Take notice of the signs and remember; there is no cure for spinal cord injury—it’s with you for life.

Please observe and obey signs.
  • Take care when swimming, and do not attempt to climb steep or wet slopes, this will reduce the threat of injury or death due to:
    • slips and falls
    • drowning/near drowning
    • hypothermia or shock from unexpected water temperature.
  • Do not attempt to climb on the rock faces. Rocks may be loose or slippery especially after rain or from water spray at the cascades. 
  • Jumping and diving into the creek is now prohibited. Penalties apply.
  • Finch Hatton Gorge has fast flowing streams with turbulent currents that are dangerous, especially after rain.
  • Sudden downpours and seasonal storms can quickly change the nature of the water flows in Finch Hatton Gorge, fast stream rises and strong currents occur following heavy rainfall. Do not attempt to cross fast flowing streams.

See map of Finch Hatton Gorge (PDF, 119K).

Aesthetics and overcrowding

During summer months, the creeks and swimming holes at Araluen and Wheel of Fire often became overcrowded with visitors picnicking and swimming. Estimated current visitation to Finch Hatton Gorge is in the vicinity of approximately 100,000 day visitors annually.

Water safety

People have suffered serious injuries in water-related accidents. There are no patrolled swimming areas in Eungella National Park. Avoid tragedy.

  • Always stay with children when near water
  • Do not jump or dive into water. Serious injuries have occurred.
  • Beware of slippery rocks, especially around the cascades.
  • Take care at creek crossings. Rocks may be uneven, loose or have slippery surfaces.

Safety is your responsibility:

  • Advise a reliable friend or family member of your itinerary and contingency plan if things go wrong.
  • Be aware that this person, not the rangers, is responsible for alerting police if rescues are needed.
  • Always check track conditions just before you start.
  • Do not ignore track closure signs.

In an emergency

In case of accident or other emergency please:

  • call Triple Zero (000) or if you have difficulty from your mobile phone, try 112
  • call 106 for a text-only message for deaf or speech or hearing impaired callers
  • advise the nature of the emergency and your location
  • stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

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

Looking after the park

Parks and forests protect Queensland's wonderful natural diversity and scenery. Please help keep these places special during your stay.

  • Stay on the walking tracks. Taking shortcuts causes erosion and damages vegetation.
  • Leave your pets at home—you will protect your pet and native wildlife, and come across more animals on your walk.
  • Never feed or leave food for animals—you might be bitten or scratched. Let animals find their own food. Our foods can be harmful.
  • Pack strong rubbish bags for storing rubbish during your journey. Take all rubbish home with you. Carry a small container for cigarette butts.
  • Always use a fuel stove to reduce fire danger.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Eungella National Park (previously Broken River National Park) was first gazetted in 1936. It is managed by the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld) to preserve and present its remarkable natural and cultural values for all time.

A management plan for this park will be prepared in the future.

Tourism information links

Mackay Visitor Information Centre
www.mackayregion.com
The Mill, 320 Nebo Road, Mackay QLD 4740
Phone: (07) 4944 5888 or 1300 130 001
Fax: (07) 4952 2034
Email:

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us 

Last updated
17 May 2016