Cania Gorge National Park – The Overhang and Big Foot

Cania Gorge National Park

Description

Cania Gorge National Park is located in the North Burnett Region of Queensland. The closest bigger towns are Monto located 38 km on the south or Biloela located 105 km away on the north.

The park is known for its towering cliffs, old caves, and sheltered gorges. Also, you can find aboriginal paintings on sandstone walls. 

There are more than 90 species of birds. When doing the walks you can spot brush-tailed rock wallabies and in caves bent-wing bats.

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Access & how to get there

Cania Gorge National Park is easily accessible by a conventional bitumen Cania Road that starts 12 km north of Monto (82 km south of Biloela).

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There is no camping allowed in the park, but you can stay in one of the two caravan parks (we provide mor information about accommodation bellow).

For daily visitors, you can park your car at the Three Moon picnic area to access the walks or drive to the Cania Lake picnic area to enjoy the beautiful views.

Cania Gorge National Park
Cania Gorge National Park

Accommodation

Caravan Parks

Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat
2 WD Access
Individual and community fire
3G Access
Power Sites
Tent & Cabins
Dogs Allowed

Cania Gorge Tourist Park is located at the door of Cania Gorge National Park. The entrance to the park is right in the front. The park is run by Tony & Maries, friendly hosts that provide all information you want before going for walks. You can book powered and unpowered sites.

It is a quiet caravan park where you can bring your pet, dive in the pool and enjoy nature.

Cania Gorge National Park - Entrance for Walks from Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat
Cania Gorge National Park – Entrance for Walks from Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat
BIG4 Cania Gorge Holiday Park
2 WD Access
Campfire
3G Access
Power Sites
Tent & Cabins
No Dogs
Dump Point

Cania Gorge Holiday Park is located further in Cania Gorge National Park. You have to follow Cania Road, pass Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat and the Three Moons Picnic area, and two kilometers before Cania Lake you will find the park.

The most interesting features of this caravan park are daily bird feeding (lorikeets, king parrots, and kookaburras), twin loop water slide to the pool, kayak and boat hire, outdoor movies played on Wednesday and Saturday, and in school holidays.

Pets are not allowed due to many Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Pretty Faced Wallabies visiting the park during the day. At dusk, they may also be accompanied by Rufus Bettongs.

There is a dump point for those travelling in caravans.

Ecosystem

Cania National Park is a beautiful natural area in Queensland known for its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. One of the most prominent ecosystems found within the park is the eucalypt woodland.

The eucalypt woodland in Cania NP is characterised by tall trees with smooth bark and narrow leaves that can reach heights of up to 30 meters. The dominant species in the area is the spotted gum, but there are also many other eucalypt species present, such as ironbark, grey gum, and blue gum.

The understory of the eucalypt woodland is often composed of a range of shrubs and grasses that can vary depending on the soil type and moisture levels.

Some common understory plants found in Cania NP include the native grasses kangaroo grass and wallaby grass, as well as a variety of flowering shrubs like bottlebrush and banksia.

This eucalypt woodland is an important habitat for a range of native wildlife, including koalas, wallabies, possums, and a variety of bird species such as cockatoos, parrots, and kookaburras.

Visitors to Cania can explore the eucalypt woodland on a number of walking trails that wind through the park, offering stunning views of the trees and the surrounding landscape.

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Walking tracks

All walks in Cania Gorge National Park are closely located and easily accessible with the exception of Castle Mountain which is located 22 km away from the entrance of the park.

Big Foot Walk

Short, 1km return walk from Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat. You will be rewarded with a big painting on the nearby sandstone cliff – quite spectacular.

Cania Gorge National Park - The Big Foot
Cania Gorge National Park – The Big Foot

Fern Tree Pool and Giant’s Chair Lookout

Continuing your walk passing the Big Foot, you will find the entrance to the Fern Tree Pool and Giant’s Chair Lookout. It is a 5.6 km walk. At Fern Tree Pool you can cool your feet or have a splash in the water if it is not too cold. At the Giant’s Chair Circuit you will find a nicely made platform to enjoy the views.

If you want to climb fewer steps it is recommended to go anti-clockwise.

Two Storey Cave Circuit

Continuing our way again you will find another loop walk to Two Storey Cave. It is a short, 1.3 km walk where you pass King Orchid Crevice and you may even find bats in the cave if you scramble inside.

Dragon Cave, Bloodwood Cave and Gorge Lookout

Once you complete all walks on the west of Cania Road you can cross to the other side for more short walks. 

This walk is a 3.2 km circuit and is really worth doing. 

First, you pass a creek on the little boardwalk bridge and then you walk your way through a relatively easy path. The area around Moon Creek is also home to a diverse range of plant life, including river red gums, paperbarks, and bottlebrushes, which provide habitat for a variety of birds and other wildlife.

Shortly after you pass the creek, step on the intersection where you can go left to The Overhang or right to the Bloodwood Cave.

Once there you notice that Dragon Cave and Bloodwood Cave are not huge but they represent closely this natural sandstone environment.

The Gorge Lookout is great as you can see the surrounding bushland and nearby hills.

Dripping Rock & The Overhang

On the way back, you arrive back at the intersection where you can walk to The Overhang.

First, you pass Dripping Rock. It is a fern and green moss-covered rock ledge that is wet all year round making this place look fresh green. Considering the surrounding area is pretty dry this small area is a little oasis in the middle of the bushland.

The Overhand, in my opinion, is the most spectacular part of Cania Gorge National Park.

It is a huge sandstone rock that overhangs the bottom dry creek. Pictures will not represent this view closely and the best is to see it by yourself. Perhaps, it may really look spectacular after heavy rain when water fills the creek at the bottom.

As a bonus, you will also find aboriginal paintings.

Cania Lake

Cania Lake a not a walk but rather a drive to the end of the Cania Road where you find a picnic area and stunning views of Cania Lake.

It is a popular spot for fishing and water sports. There is a boat ramp access if you want to get a popular saratoga but also bass, golden perch, silver perch, eel, or garfish.

Cania Dam

Shamrock Mine Site

It is a 1.4 return walk to the old mine. First, you climb the hill, and then the path winds between relics and signs to give you an overview of what happened in the past.

There are some collapsed mine shafts here and there, so better to stick to the main path as you don’t want a risk of falling inside one of them.

Castle Mountain Lookout

This is an 11 km one-way (22 km return) walk that leads to a beautiful lookout.

It is not very popular due to its distance but the lookout at the end is spectacular. 

Mostly it is a fire trail that is overgrown in some places. There are some hilly parts you need to walk in and not much shade, especially at the end. Take enough water and stay hydrated.

A fit hiker can do this walk within 6 hours.

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Our Experience & Tips

We visited Cania Gorge National Park in June as part of our Cobbolt Gorge big loop.

We found the park very interesting. Maybe it is not huge, but definitely, it has its charms. The Overhang and the Big Foot was the big highlight of our stay.

We stayed in the Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat and we liked it very much. The first time, we had our dog Capri with us, but the park is pet friendly so there were no issues.

The nights in June could be really cold up to 5 degrees, but we were lucky to get 12 degrees so it was warm.

One of the highlights of our stay was the avility to set up our own campfire and prepare meals over an open flame. This added to the rustic and adventurous feel of our experience.

Have you been to Cania Gorge? Maybe you walked the long Castle Mountain Lookout walk. Please leave a comment below.


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4WD Equipment Checklist

GPS Navigator or compass

Maxtrax – if you get bogged, you can use it for additional traction

Tire Deflator – deflate tires quickly when going on dirt or 4WD

Air Compressor – inflate tires quickly after going back on bitumen (we use MM)

Tire Repair Kit – to fix the tire by yourself when you don’t have access to the tire shop (we use Oztrail)

UHF Radio – for communication with your mates and in emergency

Full Recovery Kit (with Dampener Blanket) – must-have if you are going on real off-road

High Lift Jack – useful if you do serious 4WD tracks

Shovel – useful if you get bogged, also good for campfire cooking

Fuel funnel with water filter – additional protection when fueling up in dodgy places

Additional fuel canisters


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