Eungella National Park Mackay

Photo credit: Photo: Adam Creed © Qld Govt

Survive your visit to Finch Hatton Gorge

Take extreme care around cascades and fast flowing streams. Five people have died in accidents around the Finch Hatton Gorge area over the past 40 years, many more have been seriously injured, some of these include spinal injuries. These incidents are specifically due to slipping on the wet slippery rocks and steep wet slopes—please take these warnings seriously.

Journeys

    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, 126.2KB) .

    Key to walking 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.

    Clarke Range-Broken River area - Eungella National Park
    Track nameClassification Distance
    (return unless stated)
    Time
    (return unless stated)
    Pine Grove circuitClass 4 walking trackClass 4 1.6km 45mins–1hr
    Pine Grove-Cedar Grove trackClass 4 walking trackClass 4 2.8km 1–1.5hrs
    Sky Window circuitClass 2 walking trackClass 2 250m 5–10mins
    Clarke Range trackClass 4 walking trackClass 4 8.2km one way 3–4hrs
    Granite Bend circuitClass 3 walking trackClass 3 1.6km circuit 40–55mins
    Rainforest Discovery circuitClass 3 walking trackClass 3 780m circuit 20–30mins
    Crediton Creek trackClass 4 walking trackClass 4 8km one way 3–3.5hrs each way
    Wishing Pool circuitClass 4 walking trackClass 4 1.7km circuit 35–50mins
    Crediton State Forest & Homevale Regional Park 1 / Mackay Highlands Great Walk
    Track nameClassification Distance
    (return unless stated)
    Time
    (return unless stated)
    Crediton Hall-Denham RangeClass 5 walking trackClass 5 19.5km one way 6.5–9.75hrs each way
    Denham Range-Moonlight DamClass 5 walking trackClass 5 16.2km one way 5.5–8hrs each way
    Finch Hatton Gorge Section—Eungella National Park
    Track nameClassification Distance
    (return unless stated)
    Time
    (return unless stated)
    Crediton Hall-Denham RangeClass 5 walking trackClass 5 19.5km one way 6.5–9.75hrs each way
    Denham Range-Moonlight DamClass 5 walking trackClass 5 16.2km one way 5.5–8hrs each way
    Araluen Cascades trackClass 3 walking trackClass 3 2.8km 1–1.5hrs
    Wheel of Fire trackClass 4 walking trackClass 4 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 Mackay Highlands Great Walk is only for skilled walkers with high fitness levels. Experience rainforest and palm groves, cliffs and peaks, and quiet roads and farming communities.

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