Sundown National Park Southern Queensland Country

Sundown National Park is a rugged and remote wilderness on the Queensland–New South Wales border. Photo credit: Brett Roberts © Queensland Government

Things to do

    The Broadwater on the Severn River has a campground nearby. Photo: Brett Roberts, Queensland Government

    The Broadwater on the Severn River has a campground nearby. Photo: Brett Roberts, Queensland Government

    Nundubbermere Falls after good rain. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Nundubbermere Falls after good rain. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    Camping and walking are best between May and September when you can expect cold nights, frosty mornings and warm, clear days. Summer can be hot and humid. A range of camping experiences are available. Camping areas at The Broadwater and Nundubbermere Falls can be accessed by conventional vehicles, while a rough 4WD track leads to camping areas at Red Rock Gorge, Reedy Waterhole and Burrows Waterhole. All camping areas, except Red Rock Gorge, are on the Severn River.

    Bush camping is permitted in all areas of the park. For safety reasons, walkers should provide the rangers with their route details.

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

    Other accommodation

    A range of holiday accommodation is available in and around Stanthorpe, Texas and Tenterfield. For more information see the tourism information links.

    Walking

    Sundown offers a variety of walks ranging from formed and maintained tracks which need basic fitness and footwear, to more remote walks which require a high level of fitness, sound navigation skills and self-reliance. The walks listed here are just a few of what you are able to experience while at Sundown. The best time for walking is during the cooler months from April to September when you can expect cold nights, frosty mornings and warm, clear days. Summers can be hot and humid with temperatures occasionally reaching 40°C.

    Caution: some of the walks suggested are not along constructed tracks. The routes may be rough and traprock is extremely slippery when wet. Please use care. Current weather, water and river height information should be obtained before undertaking any walks.

    Each track has been classified so you can select a walk to match your walking experience and fitness.

    Key to track standards

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

    Class 3 walking trackClass 3 track

    • Gently sloping, well-defined track with slight inclines or few steps. Track may be uneven and partially overgrown.
    • Caution needed on loose gravel or muddy surfaces and at exposed natural lookouts.
    • Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

    Class 4 walking trackClass 4 track

    • Distinct track may be narrow, up and down or overgrown and usually with steep exposed inclines or many steps.
    • Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces, muddy areas and at exposed natural lookouts.
    • No formed creek crossings, no fences on cliff edges or lookouts, high level of caution required.
    • Moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

    Walking tracks at a glance

    Matching experience and expectations—to make your planning easier, simply match your expectations and experience with the most suitable track or trail.

    Walks from the southern entrance

    These walks start from The Broadwater camping area at the park’s southern entrance.

    Track nameDistanceDurationClassification
    2. Permanent Waterhole 2km return 1hr Class 3 walking trackClass 3
    1. Western Circuit 4.5km return 1.5hrs Class 3 walking trackClass 3

    Walks in the north-eastern section

    Track nameDistanceDurationClassification
    3. Red Rock Gorge lookout track 500m return 15mins Class 3 walking trackClass 3

    Walking tracks in Sundown

    Walks from the southern entrance

    These walks start from The Broadwater camping area at the park's southern entrance.

    2.Class 3 walking trackPermanent Waterhole (Class 3)

    Distance: 2km return

    Time: Allow 1 hour

    Details: Follow the walking track from the information hut to Permanent Waterhole. This waterhole is permanent even in the driest times and is approximately 5m deep, making it perfect for swimming. From the rock cliffs near the mouth of Ooline Creek, tiny azure kingfishers may be seen; and at dawn or dusk, platypus often surface as they feed.

    1. Class 3 walking trackWestern Circuit (Class 3)

    Distance: 4.5km return

    Time: Allow 1.5 hours

    Details: The Western Circuit takes you away from the river to the more open high ground. Follow the Permanent Waterhole track to 20m and then turn off to the left. The track leads around the hill above the camping area before crossing a small creek and climbing up to the western boundary of the park. Look for woodland birds such as spiny-cheeked, yellow-faced and fuscous honeyeaters, and golden whistlers which favour this area. Extensive views to the south and west, and up into the main valley of the park, can be experienced from the high open ground. The track then takes walkers down to the open flats, where turquoise parrots and diamond firetails may be seen, and back to the camping area.

    Longer and more difficult walks

    Only fit and experienced walkers who are well prepared whould attempt these walks into remote and rugged terrain.

    Walks in the north-eastern section

    Short walks

    3. Class 3 walking trackRed Rock Gorge lookout track (Class 3)

    Distance: 500m return

    Time: Allow 15 minutes

    Details: From Red Rock Gorge, a graded track leads to a lookout providing spectacular views of Red Rock Gorge. Peregrine falcons inhabit this area. There is a show of granite belt wildflowers, including sago flower, in the spring.

    Driving

    Depending on how you drive, you can be a welcome visitor or someone who causes careless damage to roads and wildlife. Follow these tips for minimum impact driving.

    • Wash your vehicle thoroughly before and after trips to prevent the spread of weeds and pathogens.
    • Leave gates as you find them.
    • Due to steep, narrow and rough roads the towing of trailers and campervans is not recommended.
    • Stay on designated roads and tracks and please obey signs.
    • If an obstruction blocks your path, don’t drive into the roadside drain to pass it—shortcutting leads to erosion and you may get stuck.
    • Do not attempt to remove the obstruction; go back the way you came.
    • If, in an emergency, you choose to remove the obstruction, do so to a point where you can pass and immediately report this to the ranger.
    • Never push obstructions into drains.
    • If you get stuck, try not to use trees for winching. If you have no choice, use tree protectors.
    • Give way to animals—parks and forests are for their protection.

    For information on how to be safe and minimise your impact when four-wheel-driving, please read the guidelines on Four-wheel-driving.

    Viewing wildlife

    Sundown offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching with over 150 species recorded in the park, including some seasonal visitors. Birdwatching is best early in the morning or late afternoon. See woodland birds among the eucalypts and ducks, herons, cormorants and tiny azure kingfishers along the river.

    Watch eastern grey kangaroos browsing on gentle slopes and the grassy flats around The Broadwater late in the afternoon or early in the morning. Red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies and wallaroos also live in the park. The once common brush-tailed rock-wallaby now survives only in the northern end of the park.

    See the description of the park’s natural environment for more detail about Sundown’s diverse wildlife.

    Fishing, swimming and canoeing

    Line fishing is permitted in the Severn River and people can swim and canoe in the larger waterholes of the river.

    Caution: do not jump or dive into waterholes. They can be shallow and have submerged obstructions.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.