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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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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!

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Finch Hatton

Finch Hatton, Mackay Area
Further down the valley, within Eungella National Park is the township of Finch Hatton with a convenient Internet Access Centre and local history at the old Railway Station. There's also a coffee shop which has some specific Pioneer Valley creations to tickle your taste buds, a hotel with a very interesting menu and convenience store. With waterfalls that flow all year round, fresh-water swimming holes, wonderful walking tracks, Forest Flying and a picnic area complete with tables and public toilets, Finch Hatton Gorge is one of the most popular spots in the Pioneer Valley especially in summer. With accommodation available including quiet cabins beside the rainforest, national park camping and bush accommodation.

Kuttabul

Kuttabul, Mackay Area
The Kuttabul Camel-boks are probably the biggest thing to come out of Kuttabul, up the road from Mackay. This feature of the town may not attract tourism, that is, unless the boys are in one of their two modes of dress. You see, the Camel-bok boys form the local rugby union team and they play hard when wearing the team colours. And, when they're socialising, their mode of dress is full kilt. There's another reason to spend some time in this town: it's the meat! The local butchery is well known through the whole region for its quality product. Perhaps one more reason to call in is to check out the handicraft talents of the local ladies. Kuttabul crafts include woodwork, folk art and Aboriginal styles through to concrete garden ornaments.
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