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About Lake Murphy

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Getting there and getting around

Check road conditions with RACQ and local councils prior to departing. Roads become impassable after rain. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Check road conditions with RACQ and local councils prior to departing. Roads become impassable after rain. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

The park can be reached via the Warrego Highway from Brisbane or via the Dawson Highway from Gladstone.

Turn onto the Leichhardt Highway from the Warrego Highway at Miles or from the Dawson Highway at Banana. Turn off the Leichhardt Highway 18km north of Taroom, onto the road signposted Fitzroy Development Road. Travel 2km to the Glenhaughton Road turnoff. Turn left and drive 10.5km to Lake Murphy. Conventional vehicle access is possible in dry weather.

Warning: Roads may become impassable after rain.


Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities at Lake Murphy Conservation Park.

Park features

Sunset over Lake Murphy. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Sunset over Lake Murphy. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Nestled beneath the low Murphy's Range in the central highlands, Lake Murphy remains largely unchanged from the days when Europeans first passed this way.

Lake Murphy provides a seasonal refuge for waterbirds. This perched lake fills only when nearby Robinson Creek overflows, and has been dry five times in the past two centuries. The shaded, grassy campsites near Lake Murphy are a great place to spend the night and watch the sun set over the lake. Even when the lake is dry, this is a peaceful and beautiful spot.

Camping and accommodation


A camping area is located within Lake Murphy Conservation Park.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at you camp site.

Note, there is no longer any onsite self-registration available.

Other accommodation

A range of holiday accommodation is available in and around nearby towns. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Lake Murphy Conservation Park picnic and camping area. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Lake Murphy Conservation Park picnic and camping area. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

The Lake access walking track. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

The Lake access walking track. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government


Lake Murphy Conservation Park has one circuit track and a short walk to the shoreline of the lake.

Key to track standards

The classification system is based on Australian Standards. Please note that while each track is graded according to its most difficult section, other sections may be easier.

Grade 3 walking trackGrade 3 track

  • Gently sloping, well defined track with slight inclines or few steps.
  • Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces, cliff edges and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

Grade 3 walking trackLake access track—300m one-way (allow 10 minutes)

Walk from the picnic and camping area to the shores of Lake Murphy.

Grade 3 walking trackLake Murphy circuit—4km return (allow 1 hour)

This circuit track follows through the open woodland studded with iron bark trees and Dawson River palms, before following Robinson Creek through forest red gums and returning through woodland to the picnic area.

Picnic and day-use areas

The park has a picnic shelter, picnic tables and composting toilets. Bring your own drinking water.

Boating and fishing

Boating and fishing are prohibited at Lake Murphy.

Viewing wildlife

Look for koalas in the forest red gums or red-necked wallabies grazing the grassy plains. See waders when the lake is full and woodland birds in the forest. If you go spotlighting at night, you might see brushtail possums or greater gliders in the trees along the walking track.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

Visitors must be self-sufficient as facilities in this area are limited. Be prepared and use sound judgment while visiting and walking.

  • Bring a first-aid kit and first-aid book.
  • Carry adequate fresh water, as drinking water is not provided. If camping, bring at least 7 litres of water per person per day for drinking, cooking and washing as streams are seasonal and water quality cannot be relied upon. Bring water purifying tablets to treat stream water before use.
  • Bring a sealable container for rubbish. Bins are not provided.
  • Bring a gas stove. Wood-fired barbecues are provided. Bring your own cleaned milled wood. Please observe any fire bans.
  • Wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Bring a torch and some extra food.
  • Wear sensible footwear—boots or strong shoes.
  • Bring a topographic map and compass if you plan to do any off-track walking. A GPS is also a valuable aid.

Opening hours

The park is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Find out more about camping in Lake Murphy Conservation Park 


Domestic animals are not permitted in Lake Murphy Conservation Park.

Climate and weather

Temperatures in this region vary widely. Summer days can exceed 35°C. In winter, heavy frosts can be expected as temperatures sometimes fall below freezing. Rain mostly falls between December and March, however storms can occur throughout the year.

Fuel and supplies

Taroom is the closest town for fuel and supplies and is 31km south-east of Lake Murphy Conservation Park.

Staying safe

Pacific baza. Photo: © Robert Ashdown

Pacific baza. Photo: © Robert Ashdown

To enjoy a safe visit to this area, please:

  • Be prepared, even on short walks. Judge your ability and park conditions carefully before setting out. Do not expect to be warned of every possible danger.
  • Choose walks that suit the capabilities of your entire group.
  • Stay together and keep to the walking tracks.
  • Carry adequate drinking water. Treat water collected from creeks.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
  • Wear insect repellent, clothing and sturdy footwear to protect you from stings, scratches and bites.
  • Take a first-aid kit and first-aid book.
  • If planning a remote walk leave a copy of your bushwalking plans with a friend, relative or other reliable person. This person has the responsibility for contacting police if you are overdue. Your plan should include:
    • your name, address, number of people in your party, ages and any medical conditions
    • vehicle registration, make, model, colour and parking location
    • the route you are taking, and expected times of departure and return.
  • Walk with one or more friends. At least one member of each party should be a competent map-reader and bushwalker.
  • Do not feed or leave food for animals—human food can harm wildlife and cause some animals to become aggressive. Keep your food securely packed away when your campsite is not attended.
  • Detour around snakes. Never provoke them.

The closest hospital to Lake Murphy Conservation Park is at Taroom (31km south-east of the park).

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

In an emergency

In case of an accident or other emergency:

  • call Triple Zero (000)
  • advise the location and nature of the emergency
  • stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

Mobile phone coverage is unreliable.

Looking after the park

Female clearwing swallowtail. Photo: © Robert Ashdown.

Female clearwing swallowtail. Photo: © Robert Ashdown.

Parks and forests protect wonderful natural diversity and scenery. Help keep these places special by following these guidelines.

  • Preferably use a fuel stove. Open fires are permitted in the campground fire rings only. Please observe any fire bans.
  • Leave domestic animals at home. Pets disturb native wildlife and other campers.
  • Leave all plants and animals undisturbed.
  • Use toilets if available. Away from toilets, ensure all faecal matter and toilet paper are properly buried (15cm deep) well away from tracks, campsites, watercourses and drainage channels (at least 100m away). Take disposable nappies and sanitary products out of the park and dispose of appropriately.
  • When washing cooking equipment, always wash at least 100m from streams and lakes. Waterways should be kept free of all pollutants including soap, detergents, sunscreens and food scraps.
  • Rubbish bins are not provided. Do not bury rubbish—take it with you when you leave. This includes cigarette butts, which do not decompose.
  • Do not bring firearms or other weapons into the park.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment.

Park management

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service manages Lake Murphy Conservation Park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Tourism information links

Taroom Visitor Information Centre
10 Yaldwyn Street, Taroom Qld 4420
Open Mon–Fri 10am–2pm (Dec–Feb)
Mon–Fri 9am–4pm (Mar–Nov)
ph: (07) 4628 6113

Injune Visitor Information Centre
36 Hutton Street, Injune Qld 4454
ph: (07) 4626 0503

Miles Visitor Information Centre and Historical Village Museum
141 Murilla Street, Miles Qld 4415
ph (07) 4627 1492

For information on road conditions contact:

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
7 March 2019