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About Castle Tower

Getting there and getting around

Castle Tower National Park is located about 14km southwest of Benarby on the Awoonga Dam Road. Lake Awoonga is flanked on its southern side by Castle Tower National Park. 

There is limited access to Castle Tower National Park. 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. Walkers need to be fit and 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, Mines and Energy business centres.

Please contact us for further information about access to the park.

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 of 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

Remote bush camping

Remote bush camping (walk-in only) is permitted in Castle Tower National Park. Walkers must be self-sufficient and experienced in remote bushwalking and navigation.

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. Camping is also available nearby at Lake Awoonga Caravan Park. 

See the tourism information links for more details.

Things to do

Remote hiking

There are no formal walking tracks or route markers within the park. This park is unsuitable for young children and inexperienced people who cannot climb unassisted or have no bush navigation skills.

All walkers need to have a topographic map for remote area bush navigation. Purchase a copy of the Map 9149 Calliope topographic map from the Department Natural Resources and Mine business centres.

Critical skills:
  • People accessing the park must be well-prepared walkers with climbing experience and have a high level of fitness and bush navigation skills.
  • Rock scrambling and climbing skills are essential to navigate the exposed, steep rocky sections and ridges.
  • If you feel unsure about your ability to climb and keep up with the rest of your group, don't attempt it.

Know the hazards!

  • Loose rocks and rock debris—they can fall at any time.
  • Steep, exposed rock faces and slabs.
  • Narrow ridges and vertical cliff edges.
  • Very slippery rocks in wet conditions.
  • Heat exposure—can lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration.
  • Poor visibility in cloud, mist or fading daylight.
  • Inexperience, poor preparation and inappropriate gear.
  • Serious injuries or death could occur. Rescues are risky, even for the rescue team.

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.

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

  • A copy of Map 9149 Calliope topographic map and GPS or compass.
  • Fuel or gas stove and waterproof matches for cooking. Open fires are not permitted.
  • A well-equipped first-aid kit and know how to use it and a fully charged mobile phone.
  • An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) and UHF radio or satellite phone.  
  • Enough drinking water and food for our trip.
  • Strong garbage bags to take your rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear. Be prepared for cool nights, especially in winter. Pack a raincoat and waterproof pants.
  • Insect repellent, hat and sunscreen.
  • A hand trowel for burying toilet waste—there are no toilet facilities in the park.

Essentials to know

Communication devices

When in remote areas and without phone reception, it is essential to have alternative communication devices if you become lost or injured. Mobile phone coverage is not reliable in Castle Tower National Park, but it might be available in areas with high elevation.  

Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) could be the best emergency beacon in remote areas where mobile reception is not possible.

Private property access

Access is through the Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) land. Permission must be obtained from the GAWB before crossing their land.

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.


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.
  • Plan to walk during the cooler months to avoid heat stroke—the lack of surface water could cause dehydration.
  • 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 Triple Zero (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 with a GPS and compass.
  • 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 though coverage may be variable.
  • 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.

Fire safety

Bushfires are a threat to walkers, campers and the forest community. They can occur without warning, so be aware of and prepared for the dangers.

If it’s a hot, dry, windy day, or if there is a total fire ban, avoid bushwalking. Before you visit the park, check the Rural Fire Service Queensland website for current fire bans within the Gladstone Regional Council area and fire danger ratings for the Wide Bay and Burnett fire weather district.

In high fire danger conditions, trails and other areas may be closed. It is essential for your safety to follow the instructions on signs in these conditions.

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

In an emergency

Emergencies do happen—be prepared and know your location at all times.

Use your communication equipment to request assistance:

  • Phone Triple Zero (000).
  • Call 106 for a text-only message for deaf or speech or hearing impaired callers.
  • Advise emergency services the nature of your emergency. 
  • Stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

The nearest hospital is Gladstone.

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 coloured clothing.

Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) could be the best emergency beacon in remote areas where mobile reception is not possible.

Looking after the park

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

  • Everything in the park (living or dead) is protected. Do not take or interfere with plants, animals, soil or rocks.
  • Limit the spread of weeds by ensuring clothes, shoes, walking and camping gear, and vehicles are clean and free of seeds before arriving at the park.
  • Use a portable stove for cooking. Open fires are not permitted.
  • Avoid contaminating water. Wash yourself and your cooking utensils at least 100m away from waterways.
  • Bury all toilet waste (and paper) 15cm deep at least 100m from waterways and camp sites.
  • Taking your rubbish home for appropriate disposal. Never bury or leave rubbish in the park.
  • Do not feed or leave food for animals. Human food can harm wildlife and cause some animals to become aggressive. Store food in lockable boxes or containers.
  • Contact the Queensland Government Wildlife Hotline to report wildlife incidents in protected areas.

Park management

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages Castle Tower National Park, under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, to protect its conservation and cultural heritage values and for the enjoyment of visitors now and in the future. A management plan for the park will be prepared in the future.

Tourism information links

Gladstone Visitor Information Centre
Gladstone Marina Ferry Terminal
72 Bryan Jordan Drive, Gladstone QLD 4680
phone: (07) 4972 9000

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
27 April 2020