Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Eungella National Park

Eungella National Park is situated in the ranges at the head of the Pioneer Valley which stretches west from Mackay to the ranges. This national park covers the largest area (51,700 ha) and is the oldest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest in Australia. In the local Aboriginal language Eungella (pronounced young-galah) means "land of the clouds". 

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High above the surrounding plains, Eungella’s mist-shrouded and forest-clad mountains provide a home for a fascinating variety of unusual plants and animals, including the Eungella gastric brooding frog, Mackay tulip oak, Eungella spiny cray and Eungella honeyeater. This isolated mountain refuge lies close to the boundary between subtropical and tropical rainforests and supports species from both vegetation types.

Much of the park is wilderness dissected by gorges. Open eucalypt woodland grows on Dick’s Tableland in the rugged north-western part of the park. Rainforest trees, flowering bottlebrushes and tall river she-oaks line the meandering Broken River. Rainforest also grows around Finch Hatton Gorge.

Eungella is one of Queensland’s most ecologically diverse parks with 860 plant species, including plants close to their distribution limit such as the Eungella satinash, regent bowerbird and Sydney blue gum. This diversity is matched by a wonderful variety of wildlife.

Exploring Eungella

Go for a scenic drive to Eungella or stay for a longer visit. Stop at Sky Window for a picnic or take a short walk for spectacular views over the Pioneer Valley.

Enjoy a bush picnic at Broken River in tall open forest of swamp mahogany and forest red gums. Picnic tables, a gas barbecue and water are provided. (Boil the water before drinking.) Have morning or afternoon tea at the kiosk next to the information centre. Please do not feed the birds or other animals. Help keep wildlife wild.

Look for platypus, eels and turtles in Broken River. A viewing platform is provided for platypus watching. August is the best month for platypus activity. Water quality makes the river unsuitable for swimming.

Eungella is great for bushwalking. Explore the rainforest along the discovery trail or take a longer walk. Learn about Biri culture on the Sky Window circuit. See beautiful waterfalls along the tracks.

Stay nearby or camp at Fern Flat near the creek and picnic area. A few tent sites, toilets, fireplaces and untreated water are provided. Pay your fees at the self-registration station. Take your own firewood or a fuel stove for cooking. Experienced walkers can bush camp by permit. Boil the creek water for five minutes before drinking. Private campsites and cabins are available on the mountain.

Go spotlighting at night. See greater gliders, tawny frogmouths, sugar gliders and brushtail possums. Go birdwatching during the day. See rainbow lorikeets, red-browed finches and blue-faced honeyeaters.

Picnic or walk at Finch Hatton Gorge. Gas barbecues are provided. Please do not feed the goannas.

Join in special ranger-led activity programs in the holidays. Find out more about the park in the information centre which is open weekdays and every day in the holidays.

Walking

Eungella has more than 20km of walking tracks. Wear insect repellent and sturdy shoes when walking. Arrange to be dropped off for the Crediton Creek and Clarke Range tracks to save the return walk. For your safety, do not walk back along the busy Eungella Dam Road. Do not attempt to go beyond the pool on the Araluen Cascades track. Beware of slippery rocks.

Accessibility

The Sky Window circuit, toilets and picnic tables are wheelchair-accessible.

Getting there

Turn off the Bruce Highway 91km south of Proserpine and drive 9km to Marian. Continue 62km to the park. From Mackay, drive 80km west along the Pioneer Valley Road to Eungella township. Continue 6km south to Broken River. The road up the mountain is not recommended for caravans. Finch Hatton Gorge is at the base of the range. Turn off the Eungella Road 1km east of Finch Hatton (60km west of Mackay) and continue 11km to the picnic area. This narrow road is gravel for 6km and closed when creek crossings flood.
Key facilities at this park

Sources & Further reading

 

    
 
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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email: admin@austhrutime.com     Sources & Further reading