Visiting Hell Hole Gorge safely
Hell Hole Gorge National Park is 69km north-west of Adavale (256km north-west of Charleville, 189km north of Quilpie) via unsealed roads. Head from Adavale towards Blackall, taking the Milo-Gooyea Road at the crossroads and following the signs to the park. Roads within the park follow old seismic lines and boundary fences.
A 4WD vehicle is required. All roads have soft sections when dry and may become impassable when wet. Access is not suitable for caravans but can be negotiated towing an off-road camper trailer with care.
Access to Hell Hole Gorge is via working pastoral properties. Take care to avoid stock on unfenced roads and leave gates as you find them.
Roads can be closed after rain (in the local area or further upstream) when flooding isolates the park.
See the Department of Transport and Main Roads (13 19 40) for information about road and travel conditions and visit driving in Queensland for safe driving tips. Contact Quilpie Shire Council to enquire about local road conditions.
Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Warning! Hell Hole Gorge is very remote.
Make your visit memorable for all the right reasons. Be well prepared and use sound judgment. You will be far from help should something go wrong.
- Plan your trip carefully and prepare for emergencies. Are you, your vehicle and equipment up to it? Carry reliable communication equipment, extra spare tyres, fuel, oil, engine coolant and vehicle retrieval equipment.
- Prepare for an extra four or five days in case you become stranded due to flooding. Check local road conditions before heading to the park.
- Visiting in cooler months is recommended.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt even on cloudy days.
- Take plenty of drinking water with you—water from creeks and waterholes is not suitable for drinking.
- Supervise children. Take care on slippery rocks and steep banks. Stay well back from cliff edges.
- Do not jump or dive into any creek or waterhole—they can be shallow and have submerged hazards.
- Walk during the cooler parts of the day to avoid heat exhaustion. Plan to complete any walk before dark.
- Keep to designated tracks and drive below 40km/h on the park’s narrow, unsealed roads. Access roads to the park can be rough and may have gutters, washouts or loose edges (especially after heavy rain). Dust may seriously decrease visibility.
- Drive carefully. Always wear seat belts and look out for kangaroos, emus and other wildlife on roads.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times and be on the lookout for animals and insects that could scratch, sting or bite.
- If your vehicle breaks down, or becomes bogged, stay with it. A vehicle is much easier to find than people.
Before you leave
- Thoroughly check the condition of your vehicle and equipment.
- Check with Department of Transport and Main Roads (13 19 40) for local and main road conditions.
- Check the park alerts on this website for current information on tracks and conditions.
- Advise friends and family of your itinerary. Let them know where you are going, when you plan to return and what to do if you are late or lost.
Visit the Department of Transport's driving conditions for safe driving tips.
After good rains (in local areas or far upstream) flooding can cut access roads and leave you isolated in a remote area for long periods. Be ready to sit tight if it rains.
- Check for closures before travelling.
- Obey all road closures—roads may be closed due to boggy conditions or water over the road.
- Avoid flooded crossings as submerged obstacles and washouts may pose a hazard.
- If it’s flooded—forget it!
In an emergency
In case of accident or other emergency call Triple Zero (000).
Mobile phone coverage is not available in Hell Hole Gorge National Park.
Satellite phones can be used in Hell Hole Gorge National Park. If you have a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), it should only be activated in a serious emergency situation, when there is no alternative way to raise assistance.
Coin-operated public phones are located at Adavale.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service operates in this area. For more information, please read the general guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Essentials to bring
- Be self-sufficient—bring adequate supplies of food, water, fuel, vehicle spares, a portable toilet and medical supplies.
- Be prepared for the conditions. Wear sturdy shoes, a hat, protective clothing, insect repellent and sunscreen. Bring warm clothing and camping gear as winter nights can fall below freezing.
- Bring at least 7 litres of water per person per day for cooking, drinking and washing (plus an extra emergency supply).
- Prepare for an extra four or five days in case you become stranded due to wet weather.
- Bring sturdy rubbish bags and sealable animal-proof containers. Rubbish bins are not provided—you must take all recyclables and rubbish with you when you leave.
- Bring your own clean, milled firewood for cooking; or preferably a fuel or gas stove.
- Carry a well-equipped first-aid kit—packed with remote area first-aid in mind—and know how to use the items in it.
- Carry reliable communication equipment such as a satellite phone or UHF radio which can be used to contact RACQ, the Royal Flying Doctor Service or police should the need arise. Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are recommended for remote area travel.
- Bring your camera and binoculars for viewing wildlife.
There is no reliable supply of drinking water in the park—you must bring adequate drinking water for your stay. Bring at least 7 litres of water per person per day for drinking, washing and cooking, and enough emergency water for at least another seven days in case of stranding.
Hell Hole Gorge National Park is open 24 hours a day.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Hell Hole Gorge National Park.
Climate and weather
The cooler months of the year, from April to September, are the best times to visit.
Be prepared for extreme temperatures. In summer, day-time temperatures can soar above 45°C while in winter they may fall below freezing overnight. Storms are most frequent in summer and may lead to flooding or road closures.
Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available at Charleville (256km) and Quilpie (189km) from the park. No fuel is available at Adavale (69km) although it has a small general store. Allow sufficient fuel for travelling within the park as well as for your return trip. More fuel is used when conditions are hot and the road surface is rough.
For more information see the tourism information links.