Follow the Platypus Trail

Multiple Locations

Have you ever wanted to see an Australian platypus in the wild?

The Mackay Region offers the best and most reliable locations to see these unusual mammals swimming in rainforest creeks and rivers. Journey to Finch Hatton Gorge and Eungella National Park for a natural adventure the family will cherish.

The best place to see a platypus in the wild is in the depths of Eungella National Park at Broken River. It takes little over an hour to reach Broken River from Mackay. The best time of day to see a platypus is during dawn or dusk, as this is when they become active to look for food.

Journey Details

Duration
8 Hours
Distance
220 Kilometres

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking/Trekking
  • Swimming

Other Information

Family Friendly:

Family friendly – please refer to operator's website for services and facilities.

Full itinerary

The Pioneer Valley

Starting in Mackay, your platypus seeking adventure starts by travelling 60 kilometres west on the Mackay-Eungella Road, weaving through paddocks of Pioneer Valley sugar cane farms.
TIP: Stop for a refreshment in a converted church for coffee among the canefields.

Country towns full of charm such as Gargett, Pleystowe, Marian and Mirani are worth exploration on your way through.
Feeling peckish? Stop at the famous Pinnacle Pub for one of its delicious pies.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel Car, Motorcycle
Distance 70 kms
Route Type One Way
Explore Finch Hatton Gorge

Continue your journey to Finch Hatton Gorge where your first glimpse of a platypus awaits.

Discover the world's first platypus SCUBA diving adventure, Rainforest Scuba and come face to face with a platypus in the cool rainforest water.

Continue the adventure by walking to one of Finch Hatton's popular waterfalls. Araluen Cascades and the Wheel of Fire Cascades are well worth the walk through the lush landscape of fascinating flora and volcanic boulders.

Distance to Araluen Cascades: 2.8 kilometres return.
Distance to Wheel of Fire Cascades: 4.2 kilometres return.

Another Finch Hatton adventure is Forest Flying. Forest Flying takes you into the tree tops for a fascinating up close view of the pristine rainforest as you glide along a pulley and harness system at your own pace.

Route Details
Mode of Travel Car
Explore Eungella National Park

Drive 30 kilometres from Finch Hatton to the town of Eungella and be treated to beautiful panoramic vistas of the Pioneer Valley.

Drive along the Eungella Dam Road to the area known as Broken River.

Platypus Walk:
Begin near the café at the Broken River carpark, opposite a camping ground. The platypus path parallels the river to a viewing platform and is suitable for wheelchairs. The short walk only takes a few minutes and caters to all fitness levels. Other attractions can be spotted in the river including turtles and eels.

Another great vantage point is from the pedestrian walkway on the Broken River Bridge itself.

Platypus Spotting TIPS:
Platypuses are shy so be patient and quiet.
Look for air bubbles rising to the surface of the water.
Take binoculars for a better view if they surface on the opposite side of the river.
Dawn and dusk are the best times of day to see them.

As your platypus adventure draws to a close, enjoy a leisurely drive back to Mackay, or stay in Eungella National park and experience a magical evening in the rainforest.

Route Details
Mode of Travel Car, Four Wheel Drive
Distance 40 kms
Route Type One Way

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Nobby

Nobby, Toowoomba Area
Nobby is an historic little town in the Darling Downs, located halfway between Toowoomba and Warwick. Nobby is home to Rudd's Pub, dedicated to author Steele Rudd, who found inspiration among his drinking partners for his stories in On Our Selection and is a great place to stop for a meal with the pub walls adorned with an extensive display of historic memorabilia and photographs of the area's pioneering past.

Pittsworth Pioneer Historical Village

Pittsworth, Toowoomba Area
From AU$5 - 5
The Pittsworth Pioneer Historical Village brings to life a bygone time, The Village consists of the old Pittsworth Post Office, the telephone exchange, the post masters residence, the original one-teacher school, a fully furnished cottage (circa 1900) and a blacksmith shop.

Hodgson Vale

Hodgson Vale, Toowoomba Area
Hodgson Vale is a rural community 12 kilometres south of Toowoomba. Popular with mountain bikers and road cyclists there are a mix of bike trails and road cycling available in the area. Make sure you pay a visit to Lions Park in Hodgson Vale, a large park located on the New England Highway.

Preston

Preston, Toowoomba Area
High on the Great Dividing Range and overlooking the Lockyer Valley, Preston is a locality that makes for great explorations, whether by four wheel drive, trail bike or on foot through the bushland. Preston Peak Wines is the perfect location to appreciate fine wine and soak in the spectacular scenery.

Cambooya

Cambooya, Toowoomba Area
The little village of Cambooya is in the heart of Steele Rudd Country. Australian author Arthur Hoey Davis, who wrote under the pen name 'Steele Rudd' and is best known for 'On Our Selection', spent much of his childhood on his family's small block at Emu Creek near East Greenmount.

Pittsworth

Pittsworth, Toowoomba Area
A pleasant 30-minute drive from Toowoomba, just off the Gore Highway is Pittsworth. There lies some of the richest farming land in Australia. The Pittsworth Pioneer Village showcases the early development of the area and is dedicated to the memory of the feats of Arthur Postle - the "Crimson Flash".

Clifton

Clifton, Toowoomba Area
If you think of a quintessential country town streetscape you’ve got Clifton in mind. Dating back to 1875, this classic little town halfway between Toowoomba and Warwick has been used in a number of Australian movies including The Thornbirds.
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Note: Information on listed products and services are provided by the operator and were correct at the time of publishing. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD).