Visiting the Mackay Highlands Great Walk safely
The Mackay Highlands Great Walk starts in Eungella National Park, 80km west of Mackay via the Mackay-Eungella Road.
At the head of the valley, the road winds sharply and steeply up the Clarke Range—not recommended for caravans. When you reach Eungella township at the top of the range, follow the road sweeping left to get to Eungella National Park. The Mackay Highlands Great Walk starts at the Pine Grove car park at the edge of Eungella township. It then continues through Crediton State Forest and Homevale Resources Reserve and finishes at Moonlight Dam in Homevale National Park.
Walk the Great Walk from north to south. This will allow you to follow track markers and avoid extremely steep climbs in dry and exposed conditions.
Tourist drives with several associated short walks are available in the Eungella and Mackay Highlands area. For more information please see the Eungella National Park web page.
For road information contact Queensland Transport.
Consider the challenges ahead
Be prepared and know your limits. Sections of this Great Walk are rugged and remote.
- Walking between April and September is recommended to avoid wet and dry weather extremes.
- You must be self-sufficient—carry a first-aid kit and extra rations for emergency situations.
Arrange your vehicle support
Remember to arrange a support vehicle to pick you up at a set place and time. Do not rely on mobile phone coverage from camping areas. When arranging to be picked up from the southern end of the Great Walk at Moonlight Dam (reached via Broken River or Nebo) be aware that some gravel roads are suitable only for high clearance 4WD vehicles in wet conditions.
- From Broken River, follow Eungella Dam Road for 24.5km and turn left into Pipeline Road (also called Lizzie Creek Road). Follow this road for 17.3km and turn left into Turrawulla Road. From here, it is 36.1km to the signed left turn into Moonlight Dam. The camping area is 6km from this turn-off.
- From Nebo, drive towards Mackay along the Peak Downs Highway for 6km and turn left into Nebo-Glenden Road (also called the Suttor Developmental Road). Follow this road for 11.2km and turn right into Turrawulla Road. From here, drive about 23km past the Homevale-Mount Britton turnoff to the signed right turn into Moonlight Dam. The camping area is 6km from this turn-off.
Pack to stay safe
- Take a printed topographic map of the route or download detailed digital maps from a suitable source before you go.
- Have a compass and/or GPS (and know how to use it).
- Always carry enough water each day for at least that day and evening.
- Pack nourishing food that is compact and lightweight (plus enough for an extra day in case you are delayed).
- Wear sturdy footwear with good grip, suitable for wet conditions.
- Wear a hat, long sleeves and trousers to minimise scratches, stings, bites and sunburn. Take a warm jumper in winter and a raincoat in case the weather changes suddenly.
- Have a lightweight tent, sleeping gear, fuel stove, cooking equipment and a torch.
- Carry a first-aid kit and know how to use it. Make sure you bring supplies of any prescription medicines you will need during the walk.
- A mobile phone or satellite phone (with spare battery), GPS and a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) are recommended for remote bushwalking. Be aware that mobile phone coverage is very limited—lookouts and ridgelines are best.
- Before leaving home, consider downloading the Triple Zero emergency + app on your phone. It helps identify your location in times of emergency.
Pack to leave no trace of your visit
- Carry a fuel stove to minimise your impact and reduce fire danger.
- Pack strong rubbish bags for storing rubbish.
- Smokers, please carry a small container for disposing of cigarette butts.
- Carry a trowel and toilet paper to use between camping areas. Bury toilet waste at least 15 cm below the ground and 100 m from water. Clip-seal bags are handy for carrying sanitary items to dispose of after your walk.
Permits and fees
You must have a permit to camp along the Mackay Highlands Great Walk.
Climate and weather
Walking is recommended between April and September to avoid wet and dry weather extremes. Be prepared for track closures in times of high fire danger.
The region's dry season occurs during winter (June to August), with average temperatures from 10°C to 20°C.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available at Mackay, Proserpine, Finch Hatton and Nebo. For more information see the tourism information links.
- Temporary Closure of Clarke Range Walking Track 25 January to 24 February 2023