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

Find What's Nearby

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Mapleton

Mapleton, Sunshine Coast Area
Surround yourself with green rolling hills and breathtaking coastal views by taking a short drive up the range to the gorgeous village of Mapleton. Grab a bite to eat at the local tavern or a cup of coffee at one of the quaint cafes along the hilltop.

Cooran

Cooran, Noosa Area
About three kilometres from the Bruce Highway, Cooran is one of those country towns that offers more than you might think. Close to the Sunshine Coast towns of Pomona, Nambour, Cooroy and popular surfing beaches at Noosa, Cooran is a pretty hamlet in a lush valley.

Hanging Rock Dive Site

Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast Area
Hanging Rock is a popular reef dive off Mooloolaba, at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast. Located on the large Outer Gneerings Reef, Hanging Rock is similar to other sites in the area, with a network of rocky ridges and gutters covered in corals.

River Heads

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Located 15 minutes from Hervey Bay on Queensland's Fraser Coast region, River Heads is a major departure point for vehicles and walk on passengers to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and has magnificent views of Fraser Island, the Great Sandy Strait and the Mary River estuary.

Landsborough

Landsborough, Sunshine Coast Area
Landsborough, gateway to the Blackall Range and to the Mary Valley, is one of the historic townships of the Sunshine Coast. From 1868, it grew behind the wheels of Cobb and Co. coaches as they followed the tree line blazed by Tom Petrie to Gympie gold, discovered by James Nash in 1867.

Pomona

Pomona, Noosa Area
Nestled at the foot of Mount Cooroora, Pomona is a relaxed country town with some pleasant easy walking tracks around delightful parks. Pomona was first settled in the late 1880s and the railway that arrived in 1891 started the expansion of the agricultural industries.

Palmview

Palmview, Sunshine Coast Area
Centrally located on the Sunshine Coast, Palmview is right on the Bruce Highway and just 10 minutes drive from the golden beaches of beautiful Mooloolaba. The breath-taking Sunshine Coast Hinterland is just 15 minutes up the road and the pristine Mooloolah National Park is right next door.

Magic Mountain Dive Site

Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Magic Mountain, a dive site on the Outer Gneerings Reef off Mooloolaba's coast, is a dive for more experienced divers due to its depth of 25 metres. The large group of outcrops extend from the sandy ocean floor to form numerous gullies, ravines, bommies, swim-throughs and pinnacles, all housing soft and hard coral colonies.

Tanawha

Tanawha, Sunshine Coast Area
Take a step back to yesteryear and imagine yourself in the court of King Louis the XIV with a visit to the Sunshine Coast’s very own giant living hedge maze! Located at Tanawha just 10 minutes’ drive inland from Maroochydore, this impressive outdoor maze has been painstakingly sculptured from over 1000 trees and is the only maze of its kind in Australia.

Witta

Witta, Sunshine Coast Area
Fresh air, peace and tranquillity. That's what is on offer in the small hamlet of Witta. Witta, once known as Teutoburgh in the 1880s, was first settled by German immigrants. The name Teutoburgh came from a nearby German mission.
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