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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Mon Repos Turtle Centre, Mon Repos Conservation Park

Bundaberg, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
No visit to Mon Repos is complete without a stop at the turtle centre. Here you’ll learn heaps about marine turtles, and the conservation and research programs that are protecting them. You'll also find out how a colourful history and ancient connections have shaped the Mon Repos you see today.

Oaks Beach

Burnett Heads, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Only 18 kilometres north east of Bundaberg you will find Oaks Beach - a small beach good for snorkelling, fishing, rock walking or swimming. There is also a 200 metre stretch of beach perfect for surfing.

Mon Repos Beach

Mon Repos, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Mon Repos is home to Australia's largest concentration of nesting sea turtles. Mon Repos caters for everyone from young families to the grey nomads. You will find historical, environmental and leisure activities at Mon Repos.

Mon Repos

Mon Repos, Bundaberg Area
If you didn't know what the fuss was about, you would think Mon Repos is just another beautiful beach in the Bundaberg region, but nestled in the dunes this beach marks a very special, ancient ritual for the oceans most wise mariners.

Mon Repos Conservation Park

Bundaberg, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Your first stop should be at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre. Find out all there is to know about the marine turtles and the park and, if it’s turtle season, book yourself in to join the Park Rangers on a night-time Turtle Encounter tour.

Port Bundaberg

Bundaberg, Bundaberg Area
The Burnett River flows out to sea at Burnett Heads, and just upstream is the Port of Bundaberg with its wharves and imposing sugar terminal. Here, the broad reaches of the Burnett are home to the Bundaberg Sailing Club, and as expected, there are boat ramps and car and trailer parking at the river mouth.

Burkitts Reef Dive Site

Bargara, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Located in front of the town of Bargara, near Bundaberg, Burkitts Reef is a popular shore diving site that always provides a few surprises. The reef fringes the headland and varies in depth from two to eight metres and is covered in lovely hard corals.

Burnett Heads

Burnett Heads, Bundaberg Area
Burnett Heads is nestled along the Coral Coast and is most readily identifiable by the two historic lighthouses that dot its coastline. Oaks Beach is a 200 metre long stretch of beach safe for surfing and swimming with many choosing to fish off the rocks and groyne at The Oaks which are the best places to reach deep water.

South Head Parklands and Playground, Burnett Heads

Burnett Heads, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Located on the waterfront at the gorgeous Burnett Heads, this beautiful park offers plenty of space to run and play. For the kids there is a large climbing frame and a smaller playground. For the adults, sit back and enjoy the view of the pristine blue water whilst watching the kids play in the great outdoors.
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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).