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. Eungella has a rich cultural history of gold mining, timber, dairying and tourism. Much of Eungella's history can be discovered on information boards along the Sky Window walking track, which has wheelchair access.

More than 200 bird species have been recorded throughout Eungella National Park, including the Eungella Honeyeater. It is also home to the Gastric Brooding Frog and the Orange-sided Skink plus many other rare natives.

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Fitzroy Island National Park

Fitzroy Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
This island national park, located close to the mainland, is rugged with diverse landscapes featuring granite outcrops, open woodlands, rainforest, mangroves and coral beaches. The island and its surrounding waters form part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Free Entry
Michaelmas Cay, part of Michaelmas and Upolo Cays National Park, is one of the most important seabird breeding sites in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Michaelmas Cay is a small, low sand cay, covered by grasses and low-growing plants.

Agincourt Reef

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Agincourt Reef, off Port Douglas on the Great Barrier Reef, is a series of many smaller reefs with at least 16 different dive sites. The Channels offer interesting swim-throughs and caves, while The Gardens are renowned for their exceptional abundance of brightly coloured reef fish.

Hope Islands National Park

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
This island national park includes East and West Hope islands as well as Struck Island and Snapper Island. East and West Hope islands are low-lying cays. West Hope Island is a shingle cay formed from piles of loose shingle (coral debris) on which only the most hardy plants such as mangroves survive.

Barron Gorge National Park

Kuranda, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Rugged mountains, ravines, tumbling waterfalls, magnificent rainforest, rich and varied wildlife, easy access and a fascinating history make Barron Gorge National Park one of Queensland’s most popular national parks.

Green Island National Park

Green Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
This small rainforest-clad coral cay is surrounded by coral reefs and is one of the Great Barrier Reef's most popular destinations. A true coral cay, it was formed over thousands of years by the build-up of sand and coral rubble deposited on the calm side of a platform reef.

Mackay Cay

Cape Tribulation, Douglas Area
The snow white sand and the crystal clear waters of Mackay Cay act as the ultimate holiday backdrop. As a small sand island approximately fifty kilometers from Port Douglas, Mackay Cay is located on the north west corner of the Mackay Reef.

Barracuda Bommie Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
With a name like Barracuda Bommie you would expect to see barracuda at this dive site, and fortunately it rarely disappoints. Located on the Agincourt Reefs, off Port Douglas, Barracuda Bommie is a giant pinnacle of coral that rises from the sandy sea floor at 26 metres.

Nursery Bommie Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
One of the most impressive dive sites on the Agincourt Reefs, off Port Douglas, is a large pinnacle called Nursery Bommie. This column of coral rises from 2 metres to 25 metres and is decorated with sea whips, soft corals and gorgonians, but it is the fish life that will be most remembered.

Castle Rock Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Castle Rock is a tower of coral at the Agincourt Reefs, accessible from Port Douglas on a day trip. Rising from 25 metres to almost break the surface, Castle Rock is home to trevally, snappers, sweetlips, goatfish, fusiliers, surgeonfish and a very friendly Malabar groper called Colin.
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