Castle Tower National Park Gladstone

Visiting Castle Tower safely

    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.

    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.

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

    Before you visit

    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.

    A 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.

    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.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.