Eungella National Park
Located 80km west of Mackay, Eungella is one of Queensland best known national parks, covering more than 50,000 hectares of rich, fertile and mostly unexplored land. Comprising primarily of dense tropical rainforests, Eungella's landscape is dotted with mountains, rivers and ravines.
In aboriginal language, Eungella translates into ‘land of clouds’ and it is indeed a fitting name for this stunning natural reserve. Camping, animal and bird watching, canoeing, cycling and of course, guided as well as unguided walks top visitors' lists of 'things to do ' at Eungella. Each of the walking trails offered is a great opportunity to observe the wondrous beauty of nature. Apart from rat kangaroos and the intriguing gastric brooding frogs which incubate the young inside their stomach, with the tadpoles emerging from the mothers' mouth the park is home to more than 200 bird species… a genuine real-world 'Animal Planet' experience.
The picnic area at Broken River offers stunning views - there are accommodation and camping arrangements here. Make sure to register at the Ranger's Office for camping because Broken River is very popular as one of the very few places in Australia where people can glimpse the shy Australian platypus at play in its natural environment. You can also enjoy possums and other native animals which venture out at night, by embarking on evening torch light walks on the trails around Broken River.
By day Eungella's well-marked walking trails showpiece magnificent specimens of gigantic red cedars, quaint waterholes, rainforest vegetation and lush surrounding farmland. Eungella is child-friendly but pets are not allowed inside the national park. Ramp access for the disabled is provided for at Sky Window and Broken River. Permits are required and fees are charged for campers.
One of Eungella’s walking tracks leads to the Finch Hatton Gorge picnic area. It is an eco-tourist's dream – ‘forest flying’ will literally have you swinging from tree to tree. Glide above the ground with suspended cables, it's safe and lots of fun and get a bird's eye view of the breathtaking beauty of the rainforest below you.
When you are tired from your flight, go on a guided walk through the dense forest to learn about the flora and fauna. Home to diverse wildlife, including the wallaby, azure kingfisher, flying fox, birdwing butterflies, Finch Hatton offers excellent cabins, bush campsights and barbecue facilities. You can arrange for a guided tour or explore the area on your own, which is very convenient thanks to well-marked walking trails. The trails lead you to swimming holes, where you can cool off, and the beautiful Wheel of Fire and Araluen Falls.
If your itinerary involves intense bush walking, wear sturdy footwear and also bring along swimwear for some refreshing dips in the parks' waterfalls and watering holes. It would also be a good idea to carry some mosquito repellent, and of course, don’t forget to carry your camera- there will be plenty of opportunities to take some great photographs.