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About Mount Walsh

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Getting there and getting around

Access roads into the park are unsealed. Some areas are accessible only by four-wheel-drive. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Access roads into the park are unsealed. Some areas are accessible only by four-wheel-drive. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

The northern end of Mount Walsh National Park is approximately 5km south of Biggenden township, which is 83km west of Maryborough and 47km south-west of Childers. There are three entry points into Mount Walsh National Park—Mount Walsh day-use area, Waterfall Creek and Coongara Rock.

Mount Walsh day-use area

Turn off the Maryborough-Biggenden Road onto National Park Road—on the left 80km west of Maryborough; on the right 2km east of Biggenden. Travel a further 5.3km along the unsealed road to the day-use area. This road is suitable for conventional vehicles.

Waterfall Creek

Turn off the Maryborough–Biggenden Road onto Innooroolabar Road—on the left 60km west of Maryborough; on the right 22km east of Biggenden. Travel about 2.5km and then turn right onto the unsealed Utopia Road. Continue along this road for about 8km until you reach the Waterfall Creek car park. Utopia Road is a minor unsealed road that is suitable for conventional vehicles only in dry weather and can be impassable to four-wheel-drive vehicles when wet.

Coongara Rock

Coongara Rock area is only accessible by high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles. From Biggenden, travel west 7km along the Isis Highway. Turn left onto Lords Road and travel 14km to Coongara Rock parking area.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair accessible facilities or walking tracks in Mount Walsh National Park.

Park features

Along the Rock Pool walk, impressive water gums, Tristaniopsis laurina, grow to over 25m high and wrap buttressed roots around rocks. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Along the Rock Pool walk, impressive water gums, Tristaniopsis laurina, grow to over 25m high and wrap buttressed roots around rocks. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Mount Walsh is a prominent landmark in the Biggenden area. Steep forested slopes, sheltered gullies, rugged ridge lines and mountain areas with spectacular exposed granite outcrops and cliffs support an amazing diversity of vegetation.

This includes dry rainforest and vine thickets in sheltered pockets, scrubland and heath on rock pavements and open eucalypt forest and woodland.

Common rainforest trees include tuckeroo, python tree, canary beech and the native witch hazel with its white perfumed flowers. The park is also home to the vulnerable heart-leaved bosistoa Bosistoa selwynii.

The park is a wildlife refuge for a large variety of wildlife including amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds including the vulnerable powerful owl Ninox strenua and the grey goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae. Look for peregrine falcons soaring overhead, lace monitors sunning on rocks and saw-shelled tortoises in the creeks.

Camping and accommodation

Remote bush camping

Bush camping (walk-in only) is permitted in some remote areas of Mount Walsh National Park. Campers must be self-sufficient and experienced in remote bush walking and navigation.

Bush camping is prohibited in these areas:

  • On the summit of Mount Walsh and within 500m surrounding the peak to protect the fragile, natural environment.
  • Within the Waterfall Creek catchment, including along the Rock Pools walking track, to protect the fragile riparian vegetation and water quality.

Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Other accommodation

A small range of holiday accommodation is available in Biggenden. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Waterfall Creek section features a walk to the Rock pools. Photo: Brian Tighe, Queensland Government.

Waterfall Creek section features a walk to the Rock pools. Photo: Brian Tighe, Queensland Government.

Cabbage palms, Livistona decora, growing near the rock pools occur here at their most western limit. Photo: Brian Tighe, Queensland Government.

Cabbage palms, Livistona decora, growing near the rock pools occur here at their most western limit. Photo: Brian Tighe, Queensland Government.

Wedge-tailed eagles and other birds of prey are often seen soaring above the park. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Wedge-tailed eagles and other birds of prey are often seen soaring above the park. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

White-throated treecreepers are usually seen foraging on the trunks and larger branches of fibrous barked trees. Photo: courtesy of Nigel Sethack, Orbit Photography.

White-throated treecreepers are usually seen foraging on the trunks and larger branches of fibrous barked trees. Photo: courtesy of Nigel Sethack, Orbit Photography.

Acacia pubicosta is rare outside this area, but common here on exposed rock and cliffs. Photo: courtesy of Tony van Kampen.

Acacia pubicosta is rare outside this area, but common here on exposed rock and cliffs. Photo: courtesy of Tony van Kampen.

Exploring Mount Walsh

There are several access points to begin your visit to Mount Walsh National Park from—Mount Walsh day-use area, Waterfall Creek section and Coongara Rock section.

Refer to the Mount Walsh National Park map (PDF, 147K) and access details to ensure you arrive at the correct entrance point for your chosen activities.

From the Mount Walsh day-use area a summit route leads suitably experienced and equipped people to the top of Mount Walsh—a high level of fitness, bush navigation skills and rock scrambling and climbing experience are essential.

In the Waterfall Creek section (sometimes referred to as Utopia section) you can explore on the Rock Pool walk—its diverse features include dry rainforest, open forest, heath and rock pools.

If you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, Coongara Rock section is a spectacular place to visit. Featuring the stunning granite monolith of the rock itself surrounded by hoop pine vine forest and eucalypt forest. Be aware that the four-wheel-drive tracks are narrow in sections and there are limited opportunities for passing oncoming vehicles.

Mount Walsh day-use area

At the northern end of the park, enjoy a picnic with a spectacular mountain view featuring the rugged granite top of Mount Walsh. Sheltered picnic tables and non-potable water (treat before drinking) are provided.

Walking track

Most of this rugged park is suitable only for experienced, well-equipped bushwalkers with sound bush skills. The park has one Grade 4 walking track.

Class 4 walking trackGrade 4
  • Bushwalking experience recommended.
  • Tracks may be long, rough and very steep.
  • Directional signage may be limited.
Class 4 walking trackRock Pool walk (Grade 4)

Distance: 3km return
Time: allow 1hr
Access: from the Waterfall Creek section car park.

danger


Caution!

  • Granite rocks are slippery when wet.
  • Wear shoes with good grip and avoid walking during or after rain.
  • Take care around the rock pools as wet feet can make previously dry rock surfaces very slippery.

Details: Begin your walk in hoop pine dominated dry rainforest and vine thickets fringing a moist gully. Further on, open forests and grassy woodlands feature and merge into shrubby heath along Waterfall Creek.

The creek cascades through a series of rock pools that have been potholed into the granite by years of water erosion. It is a great place to cool down in the shade and enjoy nature.

Cabbage palms Livistona decora growing near the rock pools occur here at their most western limit. Further along Waterfall Creek, impressive water gums Tristaniopsis laurina, grow to over 25m high and wrap buttressed roots around rocks.

Look for wildlife as you walk. You might see wonga pigeons in the dark shaded understorey of the rainforest or catch a glimpse of white-throated treecreepers in the open forest and woodland. Swamp wallabies also use the track and red-necked wallabies often feed around the rainforest fringes.

Mount Walsh summit route—rock scrambling skills required

Critical skills:
  • People accessing the summit route must be well-prepared climbers with a high level of fitness and bush navigation skills.
  • Rock scrambling and climbing skills are essential to navigate the exposed, very steep rocky sections.
  • If you feel unsure about your ability to climb and keep up with the rest of your group, don't attempt it.
  • This route is unsuitable for young children and inexperienced people who cannot climb unassisted.

Know the hazards!

  • Loose rocks and rock debris—they can fall at any time.
  • Steep, exposed rock faces and slabs.
  • Narrow ridges and vertical cliff edges.
  • Very slippery rocks in wet conditions.
  • Heat exposure—can lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration.
  • Poor visibility in cloud, mist or fading daylight.
  • Inexperience, poor preparation and inappropriate gear.

Serious injuries have occurred here and death could occur. Rescues are risky, even for the rescue team.

Mount Walsh summit route details

Access: from the Mount Walsh day-use area

danger


Do not attempt this route:

  • In wet conditions or if it is likely to rain—wet rocks are dangerously slippery.
  • If you can see a fire; or the weather is extremely hot.

Details: Allow at least 4hr to complete this route.

The total climb height to the summit is 462m or 1640 stairs in an 86 story building—are you fit enough, experienced and prepared for this route? Read critical skillshazards and for your safety information before you choose to tackle this route (it is not a walking track).

To protect the fragile plant communities and the natural environment, camping is prohibited on the summit of Mount Walsh and within 500m surrounding the peak.

The first 300m of the route passes through open forest to a rocky creek gully fringed with dry rainforest. Dry rainforests are important remnants of a forest type that has largely been cleared. Distinctive silhouettes of hoop pines emerge above the forest and vines are common in the understorey.

Continue upwards through open eucalypt forest to the treeline for views over the surrounding countryside. From this point onwards the route becomes steeper and requires sound bush navigation skills and a high level of fitness and rock scrambling skills.

On the rocky summit a rich mix of plant species grow. Isolated montane heaths and shrublands are considered a hot-spot for rare and restricted plant species.

For your safety

  • For your safety always check the current park alerts before you visit the park.
  • Check the weather. Conditions can change suddenly—temperatures can drop and cloud or mist can obscure key landscape features and cause disorientation.
  • Never climb in wet conditions or if it is likely to rain—wet rocks are dangerously slippery.
  • Have an experienced group leader and set a suitable group pace—keep to the pace of the least experienced in your group.
  • Make sure everyone in your group has suitable sturdy footwear, suitable clothing and enough water.
  • Allow enough time to return in daylight. It can take twice as long to descend than it takes to get to the top.
  • Plan for emergencies. Pack a fully charged mobile phone, a first-aid kit and extra clothing, water and food.
  • Carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)—in an emergency, this will assist Emergency Services to locate you. Mobile phone reception within the park is unreliable.
  • Carry a GPS and topographic map and know how to use them—don’t run the risk of getting lost. Download a QTopo map of the area relevant to your plans.
  • Let a reliable person know your plans and what to do if you do not return as expected. Remember to let them know if your plans change.

On a summit route:

  • Avoid dislodging rocks as they might hit people below you. Even small rocks can cause serious injury.
  • If you accidentally dislodge rocks, shout loud warnings.
  • Stay with your group or in pairs.
  • Save your mobile phone battery life by minimising use—you might need it to make an emergency call.
  • Take your time and enjoy the climb—take short rest breaks.
  • Keep track of the time—return in daylight.

Things to know before you go

Plan your trip carefully, be self-sufficient and ensure your vehicle is in good condition.

Essentials to bring

  • Enough food and drinking water for your trip.
  • Hat and sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
  • Shoes with flexible soles and good grip.
  • Rubbish bags to remove your rubbish from the park (bins are not provided).
  • A first-aid kit and a fully charged mobile phone.
  • If you plan to go remote bushwalking and camping or attempt the summit route also bring:
    • A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)—in remote areas without phone reception it is essential if you become lost or injured.
    • A topographic map, compass and other bushwalking equipment.
    • Warm clothing and raincoats as rapid changes in temperature and weather are common.

Essentials to know

Communication devices

Mobile phone coverage is not reliable in Mount Walsh National Park, but it might be available in areas with high elevation.

A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) could be the best emergency beacon in remote areas where mobile reception is not possible.

Private property access

The entrance roads to Mount Walsh National Park pass through private property. Please respect private property.

  • Keep to the track to stay off adjacent private property.
  • Do not litter, disturb stock or damage fences.
  • Obtain the owner’s permission before crossing or entering any private land.
  • Leave gates as you find them.

Opening hours

Mount Walsh National Park is open 24 hours a day. For your safety, only walk in the daylight hours.

Permits and fees

Camping permits

Camping permits must be obtained prior to bush camping in the park. Fees apply.

Other permits

A special permit is not required for recreational activities in Mount Walsh National Park unless they are organised events or large scale competitive events. If an activity or visit to a protected area includes commercial photography or filming—that is, to sell photographs or film footage taken on a protected area or use photographs or footage in a product which will later be sold, such as a book or postcard—a permit must be obtained and a fee paid.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Mount Walsh National Park.

Climate and weather

The North Burnett area has a climate that is subtropical and sub-humid.

Winters are usually dry and cool; nights can be frosty with temperatures dropping to an average of 5°C. Summers are warm to very hot, especially on the exposed ridges, with temperatures reaching 32°C to 40°C; nights are cooler averaging 20°C to 25°C. Watch out for late spring and summer thunderstorms, which bring lightening and flash flooding. Most rain falls between October and March.

Always check the current weather forecast before you go.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Biggenden and Ban Ban Springs Roadhouse.

For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

For your safety, never attempt to pick up any type of reptile. If you see a snake, leave the snake alone. Coral snake Brachyurophis australis. Photo: Harry Hines, Queensland Government.

For your safety, never attempt to pick up any type of reptile. If you see a snake, leave the snake alone. Coral snake Brachyurophis australis. Photo: Harry Hines, Queensland Government.

Walking wisely

Choose walks that suit the capabilities of your entire group.

  • Never walk alone—at least one member of the group needs to be a competent map-reader and bushwalker. If something happens to you, someone in your group can go for help.
  • Stay on track and obey all safety and warning signs
  • Be aware the forest is criss-crossed with tracks made by wallabies, bandicoots and brush turkeys. It is easy to get lost if you leave the track.
  • Help can be hours away.
  • Let a responsible person know where you are going and when you expect to return and what to do if you don’t return. Remember to let them know if you change your plans.
  • Plan to avoid exploring the park walking in the middle of the day, especially during hotter months.
  • Avoid exploring the park during wet weather. Tracks and rock surfaces can be slippery, especially after rain.
  • Carry enough drinking water and food.
  • Carry a first-aid kit and know how to use it.
  • Wear a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes with good grip. Carry a mobile phone. Be aware that phone reception is unreliable.
  • For remote walking carry a topographic map, GPS and compass. A PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) is recommended.
  • Explore in daylight hours only.

Rock pool safety

danger
Caution!

  • Slippery surfaces
    • Granite rocks are slippery when wet.
    • Take care around the rock pools as wet feet can make previously dry rock surfaces very slippery.
  • Concealed water hazards
    • Water depth is inconsistent and unpredictable. Shallow water and submerged rocks and logs are hidden by deep water. Do not dive, jump or use rope swings to enter the water. These activities can be dangerous and result in serious permanent injuries or death. Supervise children at all times.
    • Very cold water in deep areas can cause distress, lack of mobility, shock and even death.
    • Supervise children closely.
    • Swimming is not recommended.

See Walk safely for further information when planning bushwalking experiences.

Fire safety

Wildfires are a threat to walkers, campers and the forest community. They can occur without warning, so be aware of and prepared for the dangers.

If it’s a hot, dry, windy day, or if there is a total fire ban avoid bushwalking. Before you visit Mount Walsh visit the Rural Fire Service Queensland website for current fire bans within the North Burnett Regional Council area and fire danger ratings for the Wide Bay Burnett fire weather district.

In high fire danger conditions, trails and other areas may be closed. It is essential for your safety to follow the instructions on signs in these conditions.

In an emergency

  • Call Triple Zero (000).
  • Call 106 for a text-only message for deaf or speech or hearing impaired callers.

The nearest hospital is in Biggenden.

Emergencies do happen—be prepared and know your location at all times. Carry a fully-charged mobile phone. A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) could be the best emergency beacon in remote areas where mobile reception is not possible. Mobile phone coverage is not reliable in Mount Walsh National Park.

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

Looking after the park

Mount Walsh is a prominent landmark in the Biggenden area. Photo: courtesy of Bill Strong.

Mount Walsh is a prominent landmark in the Biggenden area. Photo: courtesy of Bill Strong.

Staghorns growing along the creek are just one of the many species protected in Mount Walsh National Park. Photo: Brian Tighe, Queensland Government.

Staghorns growing along the creek are just one of the many species protected in Mount Walsh National Park. Photo: Brian Tighe, Queensland Government.

Help protect the park so it can be enjoyed now and in the future by observing these guidedlines:

  • Everything in the park (living or dead) is protected. Do not take or interefere with plants, animals, soil or rocks.
  • Use a fuel stove—fires are not permitted in the park.
  • Taking your rubbish home for appropriate disposal. Never bury or leave rubbish in the park.
  • Use toilets if available or bring a portable toilet. If bush toileting, ensure all daecal matter and toilet paper is properly buried at least 50cm deep and 100m from tracks, camp sites and waterways. Bag and carry out disposable nappies and sanitary products.
  • When bathing or washing cooking equipment or clothes, always wash at least 100m from streams and lakes. Waterways should be kept free of pollutants including soap, detergents, shampoo, sunscreens and food scraps.
  • Avoid driving on fire trails and lesser tracks in wet conditions as this can cause considerable damage to them.
  • Limit the spread of weeds by ensuring clothes, shoes, walking and camping gear, and vehicles are clean and free of seeds before arriving at the park.
  • Do not feed or leave food for animals. Human food can harm wildlife and cause some animals to become aggressive. Store food in lockable boxes or containers.
  • Contact the Queensland Government Wildlife Hotline to report wildlife incidents in protected areas.

See the guidelines on caring for parks and forests for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Mount Walsh National Park was first gazetted in July 1947 and is managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Tourism information links

Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre
36 Avenue Street, Bundaberg
PO Box 930, Bundaberg QLD 4670

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
10 December 2019