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. Photo credit: Photo: Adam Creed © Qld Govt

Visiting Eungella safely

    Broken River. Photo: John Augusteyn.

    Broken River. Photo: John Augusteyn.

    Eungella day-frog. Photo: John Augusteyn.

    Eungella day-frog. Photo: John Augusteyn.

    Getting there and getting around

    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.

    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, 119.0KB) .

    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.

    Before you visit

    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.

    Fuel and supplies

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

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.