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Eungella

An hour west of Mackay, in the rainforest-clad mountains lies Eungella National Park and the township of Eungella, at the head of the Pioneer Valley. Australia's longest, oldest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest, ranging over 51,700 hectares, the park draws its name from an Aboriginal word meaning 'Land of the Clouds'.

Thousands of years of isolation have allowed the rainforest to nurture an abundance of native life such as the platypus, and is one of the very few places in Australia to spot this shy creature in its natural environment. Be at Broken River's platypus viewing platform at sunrise and sunset for a chance to spot this furry creature.

22 kilometres of existing bushwalking tracks, plus the Mackay Highlands Great Walk, offer increasing access with varying degrees of difficulty and breathtaking views. Wheelchair access is provided at the Sky Window walking track.

225 bird species have been recorded including the Eungella Honeyeater, Wompoo Pigeon, Crimson Rosella and Regent Bower Birds. It is also home to the Gastric Brooding Frog and the Orange-sided Skink plus many other rare natives.

Eungella, Mackay Area
Queensland
Australia

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Crediton State Forest

Dalrymple Heights, Mackay Area
Free Entry
In Crediton State Forest, dry eucalypt forests contrast with lush pockets of rainforest and dramatic views. Tall, ancient rose gums continue to survive and discover scattered relics from gold mining in the 1800s or take a scenic drive along Cockies Creek Road. Camping is permitted at Crediton Hall, Denham Range, or enjoy bush camping on grassy flats at The Diggings. Camping permits are required prior to arrival and can be obtained by calling or book online. Ensure you observe all safety signs and have detailed maps of the area to ensure the safety of yourself and all company. Experienced walkers can grab a backpack and journey through the changing landscape of the 56 kilometre Mackay Highlands Great Walk (three to five days - April to September usually offering the best weather).

Cathu State Forest

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Along the rugged Clarke Range behind the Whitsunday coast, Cathu State Forest offers a quiet retreat for nature lovers. Featuring tall eucalypts, dense rainforest and pine plantations, this forest also provides magnificent views over the Whitsunday coastline. Take binoculars to watch wildlife: more than 100 species of birds, exquisite Ulysses butterflies, whiptail and agile wallabies, and northern quolls. Bushwalk or drive scenic tracks. From Clarke Range lookout, seven kilometres from the camping area, enjoy the views. Picnic or camp beside seasonal Pandanus Creek. Before cycling or horse riding, contact Queensland Parks and Wildlife Mackay. Dogs are permitted on a leash and in daytime only.

Platypus Viewing at Broken River

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Eungella National Park, approximately a one hour drive west of Mackay, is home to the most reliable spot in Australia to spot the elusive platypus - in the wild! From the viewing decks at Broken River, spot this shy creature in it's natural habitat, as well as turtles and other wildlife in this beautiful National Park. The best times to see this special monotreme are at dawn or dusk. There are 22 kilometres of walking trails in Eungella, as well as accommodation, restaurants and cafes. Try to spot a platypus if you can!

Mia Mia State Forest

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Nestled in the foothills of the Clarke Range, 20 kilometres from Pinnacle west of Mackay, the Mia Mia State Forest is mostly open eucalypt forest. Bush camping and swimming is available at Captain Crossings on Teemburra Creek. Vehicular access is by four wheel drive only. Remember that roads may be closed during wet weather or high fire danger.

Broken River

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Located within the cool tranquillity of Eungella National Park, Broken River is touted as one of the best locations in the world to see a rare marsupial in the wild, a platypus. A little over a one hour drive from Mackay, travel through the picturesque Pioneer Valley and climb the mountain range to Eungella township. Take the Eungella Dam road to Broken River. Broken River is an excellent place to enjoy bush walks within Australia's largest stretch of continuous sub-tropical rainforest. The platypus viewing deck is near Broken River's picnic grounds, where amenities such as public toilets, picnic tables and barbecues can be found. Camping permits and information about Broken River is available from the nearby Ranger's Station. Platypus viewing is best done in the late afternoon or early morning. Look for air bubbles and ripples in the water to watch the platypus quickly surface. Stay still and quiet to improve your chances of seeing one. When visiting a rainforest environment it is wise to carry insect repellent to protect from mosquitoes. Never attempt a river crossing when flooded and exercise caution during the wet season between November and April, as creek levels can rise quickly.

Eungella National Park

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Set in the mountains west of Mackay, Eungella National Park is one of Queensland's most ecologically diverse parks in Australia. Its 860 plant species include species from both subtropical and tropical rainforests. Much of the park is wilderness, dissected by rugged gorges. It is home to the Eungella honeyeater, one of five new Australian bird species discovered during the past 50 years. Bushwalking is great at Eungella, with more than 20 kilometres of walking tracks, scenic lookouts and interesting plants and animals. From the viewing platform at Broken River visitors often see platypus diving to feed. Enjoy a bush picnic under huge swamp mahoganies and red gums. Go spotlighting to spy gently on many other forest residents. There are plenty of places to eat and stay at Eungella - a great excuse to extend your visit and get back to nature.

Mackay Highlands Great Walk

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Stunning scenery including dense rainforest, deep gorges, steep escarpments and tranquil farming communities make the Mackay Highlands Great Walk a very special experience. The track traverses Eungella National Park, Crediton State Forest, and Homevale Resources Reserve and National Park. Eungella National Park is a nature lover's paradise as it is located close to the boundary between subtropical and tropical rainforest, the area supports species from both vegetation types. Starting at Eungella township, some of the walk's highlights include a magnificent rainforest of red cedar, massive Mackay tulip oak, and groves of piccabeen and Alexandra palms. Views of the Pioneer Valley are a feature from several locations along the walk, and you might even catch a glimpse of a platypus from the cool banks of Broken River. Further along, the track will enter mixed eucalypt forests featuring fragrant lemon-scented gums, bloodwoods, ironbarks, banksias and stunning grasstrees.

Gargett

Gargett, Mackay Area
Gargett is located approximately 65 kilometres west of Mackay city in the picturesque Pioneer Valley. This friendly little township has a local hotel that provides meals with a very interesting bric-a-brac shop close by. It also hosts a very popular Rodeo in September each year. Approximately seven kilometres south of Gargett Township is The Sugar Bowl, which has a large range of gift ideas with a country style and old fashioned theme. The Memorabilia Shed features a collection of Sugar Bowls, the business's namesake. Farm tractors date back to 1938 with a selection of farm machinery, an old fire engine, a unique ride on mower, gravity petrol bowser, motor bikes and an ever growing collection of early household items, ideal for the enthusiastic collector or those who just enjoy old wares.

Mirani

Mirani, Mackay Area
Mirani is situated 38 kilometres west of Mackay in the Pioneer Valley. It boasts a museum and library, Post Office, Olympic sized swimming pool, caravan park, 18 hole golf course and three squash courts. The 112 year old Mirani Hotel can supply you with a cold beer and some interesting yarns from the locals. Groceries, meat, bakery and fuel supplies are all available. Mirani area highlights include; the Mirani Museum which brings to life the early pioneer lifestyle and also includes historical industry displays. Check out the Illawong Fauna and Flora Sanctuary (don’t miss animal feeding time!), Meadowsweet Herb Gardens, Kinchant Dam – a water sport wonderland which offers a resort with caravan and camp sites as well as cabins. It's also home to Australia’s largest rustic bush furniture display. And there's the picture-perfect Pioneer Valley Golf Course – watch out for the kangaroos! The Kungurri Hill Climb, a dirt bike race to find "King of the Mountain"is held once a year approximately 16 kilometres from Mirani township. The Wintermoon Folk Festival is held on the Labour Day long weekend every year at Cameron’s Pocket; about a half hour drive from Mirani.

Teemburra Dam

Pinnacle, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Teemburra Dam is situated in the picturesque Pioneer Valley approximately 50 kilometres west of Mackay City on a fully sealed road. The dam was constructed in 1997 to cope with the increasing demand for town water storage and irrigation purposes. The dam itself has a surface area of 1040 hectares, an average depth of 14.2 metres and holds 147 500 mega litres of water at full capacity. The dam is stocked by a local fish stocking group MAFSA with Sooty Grunter and Barramundi, who have also set up their own community hatchery to breed Sooty Grunter. A 25 horse power limit applies to all boats here with no water skiing allowed. A single lane concrete ramp is provided. There is no camping allowed at the dam, however accommodation can be found in Finch Hatton Gorge, Eungella National Park and Kinchant Dam. A Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) is required to fish at Teemburra Dam.
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