Mackay Highlands Great Walk Mackay

Photo credit: Adam Creed © Qld Govt

Walking

    Image of people on a short walk through the rainforest.

    Short walks through rainforest.

    Photo credit: © Queensland Government

    Image of campers at Crediton Hall.

    Campers at Crediton Hall.

    Photo credit: © Queensland Government

    Image of people walking - always prepare for a safe and enjoyable walk.

    Prepare for a safe and enjoyable walk.

    Photo credit: © Queensland Government

    Image of a people setting up camp - minimal impact camping at Moonlight Dam.

    Minimal impact camping at Moonlight Dam.

    Photo credit: Queensland Government

    Short walks

    Whether you want a family stroll or a half-day walking challenge, there's a short walk to suit you in Eungella National Park, as part of the Mackay Highlands Great Walk.

    See Eungella National Park page and the Eungella and Mackay Highlands Discovery Guide (PDF, 2.1MB) for detailed information about the short walks.

    Before setting out, think carefully about your group's fitness levels and the time you have available.

    Long walks

    The Mackay Highlands Great Walk is 56 km long and takes 3–5 days to walk. The whole walk is only recommended for experienced walkers with high fitness levels.

    Experience rainforest and palm groves, quiet roads and farming communities, and cliffs and peaks.

    Walk the Great Walk from north to south, starting at Pine Grove at Eungella and ending at Moonlight Dam. This will allow you to follow track markers and avoid very steep climbs in dry and exposed conditions.

    To find out where each track section starts and finishes, match the map references in the track descriptions below to the Eungella and Mackay Highlands map (PDF, 1.6MB) .

    Depending on how far you wish to walk, remember to arrange a support vehicle to pick you up at a set place and time. The Mackay Highlands and Eungella National Park Discovery guide (PDF, 2.1MB) gives detailed driving directions.

    Pine Grove to Broken River

    Grade 4

    Map reference: (1)–(3)
    Distance: 10km one way
    Time: allow 3.5-5hr
    Details: A moderate level of fitness is required for this shady track with some short uphill sections, steps and creek crossings. Walk through lush, tranquil rainforest and shimmering palms to cross the Clarke Range. Follow river cascades to the bustling Broken River day-use area and then to Fern Flat, a peaceful camping area accessible only to walkers.

    Broken River to Crediton Hall

    Grade 4

    Map reference: (3)–(5)
    Distance: 11.2km one way
    Time: allow 3.5–5hr
    Details: A moderate to high level of fitness is required for this long track with short uphill sections and multiple small creek crossings. Walk alongside Broken River, stopping to enjoy reflections in calm sections. Step out from rainforest and follow track markers through farming communities to Crediton Hall, a comfortable camping area.

    Crediton Hall to Denham Range

    Grade 5

    Map reference: (5)–(6)
    Distance: 19.5km one way
    Time: allow 6.5–9.5hr
    Details: Only fit and experienced walkers should attempt this remote track. Long, steep sections are a challenge. Walk through farming country, up to a rainforest ridge and through Crediton State Forest. Open views at Denham Range camping area will revive you.

    Denham Range to Moonlight Dam

    Grade 4

    Map reference: (6)–(7)
    Distance: 16.2km one way
    Time: allow 5.5–8hr
    Details: Only fit, experienced walkers should attempt this track. Extremely steep descents are a challenge. Descend through eucalyptus woodlands, enjoying the surrounding mountain ranges and sharp peaks rising from the dry country. Cross dry creek beds to Moonlight Dam, a camping area with a grazing history.

    Extend your journey to Mount Britton

    Grade 4

    Map reference: (7)–(8)
    Distance: 5.5km one way
    Time: allow 2–3hr
    Description: A moderate level of fitness is required for this exposed but fairly level track. Learn about life in an 1880s gold-mining township.

    Walk safely

    Walk only between April and September to avoid wet and dry weather extremes. Be prepared for track closures during periods of high fire danger.

    General safety guidelines

    • Mobile phone coverage is limited—help can be many hours away. It is recommended that walkers carry a personal locator beacon (PLB).
    • Carry water, food and a first-aid kit. Pack extra supplies in case your walk takes longer than expected.
    • Have a topographic map of the route, and a compass and/or GPS (and know how to use it).
    • Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. They (not rangers) are responsible for alerting the police should you fail to return.
    • Bring supplies of any prescription medicines needed during the walk.
    • Wear sturdy, enclosed boots or shoes suitable for wet conditions.
    • Take warm clothes and raincoats—weather can change suddenly.
    • Pack a hat, long-sleeved tops and trousers to minimise scratches, stings, bites and sunburn.
    • Be prepared for wildlife and know how to respond.

    On the track

    • Always carry enough water for one day and evening. Refill containers from water tanks at camping areas. Treat all water from creeks and tanks before drinking.
    • Use insect repellent regularly to keep mosquitoes and scrub mites away.
    • Plan to complete your walk well before dark.
    • Wear sturdy footwear suitable for wet conditions.
    • Take care on slippery rocks and at creek crossings. Take care near cliff edges—do not climb on rock faces.
    • Know your location at all times.

    In an emergency

    • Call Triple Zero (000) from your mobile phone or use the Emergency+ app (which uses the GPS on your smartphone to give an accurate location address)
    • Alternatively, send the two fittest members of your party to get help, leaving someone behind to care for the injured walker.
    • Do not rely on mobile phones. There is only occasional mobile phone coverage from the ridgelines.
    • If your phone does not work and cannot send for help, activate your personal locator beacon (PLB).

    Fire safety

    • Check for park alert updates on fire danger and planned burning before you go.
    • Observe all signs. In extreme conditions, the walking track may be closed for your personal safety.
    • If you see a fire, please alert a ranger or the police as soon as possible.

    Wildlife safety

    • Do not leave food for native birds and animals.
    • Animals such as goannas, possums, kookaburras and butcherbirds have caused serious injuries because people have fed them or encouraged their attention.
    • Native birds and animals need their natural diet to survive. Eating processed foods can cause them to become sick or die.

    Walk softly

    Use clean camping equipment

    Clean all walking and camping gear before arriving in the Mackay Highlands. Dirt on walking boots, tents, tent pegs and other items can carry harmful diseases—a major threat to plants and animals. Check your gear, boots, pockets, fabric and Velcro for seeds, parts of plants, eggs, insects and spiders that could be spread when you visit.

    Use a fuel stove

    • Use a gas or liquid spirit stove for cooking to reduce fire danger.
    • Never leave stoves unattended when lit.

    Toilets

    • Use toilets in camping areas.
    • Between camping areas, bury human waste and toilet paper at least 100m from camp sites, tracks and waterways and about 15-20cm deep.
    • Take all sanitary items with you—they do not decompose. Clip-seal bags are handy.

    Rubbish

    • Reduce your rubbish by bringing as little packaging as possible.
    • Bring strong rubbish bags to carry out all your rubbish and dispose of it properly. Solid waste and litter is unsightly and can injure and kill wildlife.
    • Carry a small container for disposing of cigarette butts.

    Things to remember

    • Stay on the track. Taking shortcuts causes erosion.
    • Leave your pets at home. Domestic animals are not permitted in protected areas.
    • Never feed or leave food for animals—you might be bitten or scratched. Let animals find their own food. Our foods can be harmful.