Mount Moffatt, Carnarvon National Park Capricorn | Outback Queensland

Photo credit: Photo: Robert Ashdown © Qld Govt

Things to do

    Cathedral Rock is a bluff of precipice sandstone with unusual rectangular patterns on its grey and weathered surface. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

    Cathedral Rock is a bluff of precipice sandstone with unusual rectangular patterns on its grey and weathered surface. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

    Rock art is a tangible reminder a rich and vibrant cultural. Photo: John Augusteyn © Queensland Government

    Rock art is a tangible reminder a rich and vibrant cultural. Photo: John Augusteyn © Queensland Government

    Open plain country along the Mount Moffatt circuit drive. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

    Open plain country along the Mount Moffatt circuit drive. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

    Take in panoramic views to the park's north-west from Top Shelter Shed. Photo: Linda Thompson © Queensland Government

    Take in panoramic views to the park's north-west from Top Shelter Shed. Photo: Linda Thompson © Queensland Government

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    Mount Moffatt has four camping areas, each with a limited number of campsites. Camping fees apply. During school holidays we recommend booking campsites well in advance.

    Dargonelly Rock Hole and West Branch camping areas

    Camp underneath a big night sky in a semi-open woodland setting, both camping areas have hybrid toilets and limited water—treat water before consumption. High-clearance 4WD is recommended to access these camping areas.

    Rotary Shelter Shed and Top Moffatt camping areas

    Camp with a spectacular outlook across to the southern end of the park at Rotary Shelter Shed. This small camping area has a picnic shelter and hybrid toilet. Enjoy the peace and quiet along the East Branch of the Maranoa River at Top Moffatt. This camping area has a hybrid toilet. Both camping areas have limited water (treat before consumption) and are accessible by high-clearance 4WD vehicle only.

    Other accommodation

    A range of holiday accommodation is available in and near the country towns of Injune and Mitchell. For more information see the tourism information links.

    Walking and driving

    Take a walk to experience the special atmosphere of the Mount Moffatt bush. A variety of walking tracks begin from the Sandstone day-use area, West Branch camping area and sites along the Mount Moffatt circuit drive.

    Walking

    Carnarvon National Park's walking tracks have been graded to help you select a walk that matches your bushwalking experience and fitness. Take time to read these class descriptions before walking in Mount Moffatt.

    Key to track standards

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

    Grade 3 walking trackGrade 3 track

    • Gently sloping, well-defined track, usually with slight inclines or few to many steps.
    • Steep sections occur.
    • Caution needed on creek crossings, suspended bridges and steps.
    • Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

    Grade 4 walking trackGrade 4 track

    • May be extensively overgrown; hazards such as fallen trees and rocks likely to be present.
    • Caution needed on creek crossings, cliff edges and naturally-occurring lookouts.
    • Moderate level of fitness required.
    • Ankle-supporting footwear strongly recommended.

    Grade 5 walking trackGrade 5 track

    • Long steep and difficult in sections, unformed track with irregular surface, loose stones.
    • Experienced bushwalkers with specialised skills, including navigation and emergency first aid.
    • Considerable exposure to the elements may be experienced.
    • High-quality, ankle-supporting footwear with flexible soles and good grip should be worn.

    Walking tracks from the Sandstone day-use area

    Grade 3 walking trackGrade 3 track: Cathedral Rock—380m return (allow 20 minutes)

    A bluff of Precipice Sandstone with unusual rectangular patterns on its grey weathered skin. The walking track starts on the other side of the road from the Sandstone day-use area.

    Grade 3 walking trackGrade 3 track: The Chimneys—1.4km return (allow 40 minutes), or part of a 5.8km circuit walk (allow 3 hours)

    Three pillars of rock have been separated from the narrow end of a small bluff of Precipice Sandstone where water has eroded down vertical fractures.

    Grade 3 walking trackGrade 3 track: The Looking Glass—1.9km return (allow 1 hour) or part of a 5.8km circuit walk (allow 3 hours)

    Wind has eroded a cave right through an isolated pillar of Precipice Sandstone standing by the Maranoa River.

    Grade 3 walking trackGrade 3 track: The Tombs rock art site—4.2km return (allow 2 hours) or part of a 5.8km circuit walk (allow 3 hours)

    More than 400 stencil motifs (images) decorate the walls of a sandstone shelter below the bluff of sandstone known as The Tombs. This entire area is a sacred burial site for Traditional Custodians. Appreciate the rock art from a boardwalk with seats provided.

    Important!

    When visiting The Tombs or Kookaburra Cave, please remember that the rock art is very fragile and can be permanently damaged by touching — even accidentally. Dust kicked up by visitors can also damage the art, as fine dust particles stick to the rock surface, covering the stencils. Please enjoy a close look at the rock art while remaining on the boardwalks. It is a serious offence under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to interfere with a cultural resource in a protected area — maximum penalty of 3000 penalty units.

    Walking tracks from West Branch camping area

    Grade 3 walking trackGrade 3 track: Maranoa Circuit walk—3km circuit (allow 1 hour)

    Majestic smooth-barked apple, white cypress and budgeroo trees are some of species growing in the open woodland along this circuit walk.

    Grade 5 walking trackGrade 5 track: Carnarvon Great Walk—87km circuit (6 days recommended)

    The secondary entrance to the Carnarvon Great Walk is located at West Branch camping area. This 87km remote circuit walk is for experienced and well prepared bushwalkers only. Camping permits are required. The Great Walk is open seasonally from 1 March to the 31 October every year and links the Mount Moffatt and Carnarvon Gorge sections of Carnarvon National Park.

    Driving

    Take the Mount Moffatt circuit drive to visit many of the park's main features, or head up the 4WD track on the High Country and Kenniff drive to experience the top of the Consuelo Tableland.

    A trip within the park can easily total more than 100km, so make sure that you have plenty of fuel. All drives within the national park are rough and sandy, high-clearance 4WD vehicles are recommended. All roads within the park may be impassable for days after heavy rain.

    The Mount Moffatt circuit drive

    Travel through the wide, sandy valleys of the Maranoa River past open grassy woodlands and striking outcrops of sandstone on the Mount Moffatt circuit drive. The 32km circuit drive offers stunning landscape features, cultural heritage places and the Mount Moffatt information hut where you can learn all about the national park.

    Marlong Arch

    Soft Precipice Sandstone has weathered to create this natural sandstone arch. Please do not climb the arch.

    Lot's Wife

    This remarkable pillar of Precipice Sandstone is the last isolated remnant of a bluff that once extended across this area. Please do not climb the rock.

    Kookaburra Cave

    Grade 3 walking trackGrade 3 track: Kookaburra Cave — 1.7km return (allow 1 hour)

    A pleasant 850m walk through open woodland brings you to Kookaburra Cave, view the rock art from an elevated boardwalk.

    Marlong Plain

    The plain is a natural grassland dominated by Queensland bluegrass, Dichanthium sericeum. Walk down to the edge of the plain to view distant sandstone cliffs and ridges. A perfect place to experience the changing light across the plains as the sun sets.

    The Kenniff drive

    Steeped in adventure, tragedy and an intriguing murder mystery, the Kenniff drive (4km one way from a turn-off on the High Country drive) traverses country in the northern section of the park. This area was a well-known haunt for two notorious bushrangers, the Kenniff brothers. This drive is suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles only.

    Kenniff Lookout

    The Kenniff brothers are said to have used the peak of Mount Rugged as a lookout.

    Incineration site

    Evidence suggests that the bodies of Doyle and Dahlke were cremated by the Kenniff brothers on a large rock in the creek bed near this spot.

    The High Country drive

    Experience the lofty heights of the Consuelo Tableland in the north-eastern section of the park. Forming part of the Great Dividing Range, this area reaches over 1,000 metres above sea level. Aptly named the ‘Roof of Queensland’, enjoy panoramic views across the landscape on the High Country drive (18km one way from the Mount Moffatt circuit drive intersection). This drive is suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles only.

    Top Shelter Shed

    This picnic area is at the level of the old surface of the Buckland Volcano. Far to the north-west, look for the prominent vertical cliffs of Tyson's Nugget. This is a plug of rhyolite that penetrated the basalt towards the end of the volcano's life. As you look into the valleys, you can see how erosion has worn through the basalt, re-exposing the sandstones beneath.

    The Mahogany Forest

    High up on the Consuelo Tableland, cool moist conditions support a majestic forest of tall, stately stringybark trees.

    Head of Carnarvon Creek

    The 4WD track ends near the headwaters of Carnarvon Creek. To the east, water travels down Carnarvon Gorge into the Dawson and Fitzroy rivers. Not far to the south-east, water travels via the Maranoa River into the mighty Murray-Darling catchment.

    The old stockyards

    The remains of old stockyards can be seen throughout the park. The stockyards at the bend in the road near the park's information hut were built in 1902. Over the years these stockyards have been repaired and rebuilt, but original sections still remain.

    Remote walking

    Carnarvon National Park offers some challenging off-track bushwalking. The sandstone wilderness can be hazardous for inexperienced or poorly prepared walkers. Accidents have happened, even to experienced bushwalkers, a high level of physical fitness and navigational skills are essential. Nature can be unpredictable—storms, fires and floods can happen in a flash. Plan to walk safely and be responsible.

    Walkers should familiarise themselves with the area before attempting an extended walk and check the Park alerts section of this website for current information on tracks and conditions.

    Remote walking is only advised in the cooler weather, usually April to September. Walking during summer can be very hazardous due to high temperatures and lack of surface water.

    Complete a remote bush walking advice form (PDF, 173.3KB) to help with your remote walking preparations. Give a copy of this form to a responsible person and make sure that they know your exact route and when you expect to return. If you change your plans, tell them. Contact them when you return. Have an emergency plan in place if you fail to contact them by an agreed time. If you are overdue or potentially lost, your nominated contact should report this to the Queensland Police Service (phone Triple Zero 000). The police will organise rescue—procedures. Please note: The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will not check that you have returned from your bushwalk.

    Mount Moffatt section offers a rich mosaic of natural beauty in a spectacular landscape. To help protect the parks unique natural and cultural values remote area walking groups must be no larger than 6 people. The entire national park is a living cultural landscape for Traditional Custodians, please respect this special place and stay safe during your visit. (Important! It is a serious offence under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to interfere with a cultural resource in a protected area—maximum penalty of 3000 penalty units).

    All bushwalkers are expected to walk soflty and follow the minimal impact bushwalking and bush camping practices.

    Contact us for assistance with route advice and other detailed information. It is recommended that you contact the rangers at Mount Moffatt at least 10 days prior to your walk to let them know your plans and to check on current conditions. Permits are required for all remote overnight camping.

    Refer to staying safe for more information on safe walking in Mount Moffatt.

    Viewing wildlife

    Mount Moffatt is a wonderful place for birdwatching, with at least 172 species recorded. See the description of Mount Moffatt's nature, culture and history for more details about the birds, other animals and plants of the area.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.