Eungella National Park – the best place to see platypus

Eungella National Park

Description

Eungella National Park is located at the end of Pioneer Valley, 86 km west of Mackay. It is a popular park for a weekend escape or a few days vacation.

The park is located high above the surrounding plains where you have to take a windy road to climb to the top. Don’t worry, the road is sealed now so you can get there with any car. If you tow a caravan take additional care.

Once on the top, you can grab a coffee or lunch at the Eungella general store located right at the end of the climb.

The park is home to many unusual species like Eungella day frog, spiny cray and Eungella honeyeater. Due to the park is located on the subtropical/tropical climate boundary, you can find species that live in both environments.

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If you tried to search for a platypus in the past and you did not spot one, Eungella National Park is the perfect place to see this unusual animal if you are patient and stay quiet on the walks around the creek.

Travel Spiced Life

Some call Eungella the platypus capital of the world

Eungella National Park - Skygate Window Circuit
Eungella National Park – Skygate Window Circuit
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Weather

Eungella National Park is a place where you don’t experience cold nights. In the winter months, between June and August, the temperatures drop at night to only 11 degrees, so you can bring your camping gear all year round.

In summer though, it can be quite hot and humid with a lot of rain.

Eungella National Park Average Temperatures and Rainfall
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec 
313130282725252628303132Max
232322201613111114172022Min
29735321012064382426223780170Rain mm
151615121086446811Rain days
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Best Time to Visit

You can come to Eungella all year round. Note that in spring you can get some unexpected storms, and in summer, heavy rain. 

If you plan the take your family and kids, winter and spring holidays are the best options, but it can get busy so make sure to book your accommodation or camping in advance.

Eungella National Park - hiking
Eungella National Park – hiking
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Access & how to get there

The park is best accessed by Mackay Eungella Road from the east. When you drive from Mackay, go past Netherdale, and at the end of Pioneer Valley, there is a steep climb to the top of Clarke Range.

Also, it is possible to get to Eungella from the west by taking some dirt roads. 

Coming from Nebo – take Turawilla Road and later turn right into Lizzie Creek Road. Once you arrive at Lake Eungella, turn right into Eungella Dam Road that takes you to Eungella National Park.

Coming from Collinsville – drive 26 km south and turn left into Collinsville Exmoor Road. Follow the road for 84 km and turn left into Lizzie Creek Road. Once you arrive at Lake Eungella, turn right into Eungella Dam Road that takes you to Eungella National Park.


Accommodation

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Camping

Broken River Camping Area

Open plan campsites located adjacent to Broken River. Set in natural bushland it is a perfect place to stay for a night and look for platypus.

The area can be accessed by conventional vehicles and is suitable for camper trailers and caravans.

Facilities:

  • Tent sites
  • Camper trailer and caravan sites
  • Fire pits
  • Toilets
  • Wheelchair access
  • Generators are allowed
Fern Flat Camping Area

Located beside Broken River where you are able to spot a platypus.

There are 8 sites available and they are only suitable for tents. You park your vehicle and take a short walk to your campsite. 

The area is not suitable for camper trailers and caravans.

Facilities:

  • Tent sites
  • Fire pits
  • Toilets
  • Picnic tables


Book your camping spot online via Queensland National Parks

Fern Flat Camping Area - our tent
Fern Flat Camping Area – our tent

Caravan Parks

Unfortunately, there are no caravan parks in Eungella. 

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Resorts

Broken River Mountain Resort

Broken River Mountain Resort is located in the heart of Eungella National Park, at the banks of Broken River, next to the Broken River Visitor Information Centre. 

If you want to spare yourself from packing camping gear and come to Eungella for a weekend, the resort is a great place to stop and enjoy the park.

Facilities at the resort:

  • Accommodation: cabins and lodges
  • Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool
  • Outdoor Areas
  • Function/Conference Centre
  • Spotlighting tour – complimentary for all resort guests every Saturday

Book your stay at Broken River Mountain Resort

Broken River
Broken River
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Things to do

Looking for platypus

Eungella National Park is where it is almost guaranteed to spot a platypus. All labels and information boards around the park’s main area will give you a feeling that this is a platypus kingdom.

Below are our tips on how to spot a platypus:

  • Go in the right time – Platypus is active usually at dust and down. In the morning go on a river walk between 4 am and 8 am and in the evening between 3 pm and 7 pm.
  • Look for bubbles – Platypus dives for food and usually stays underwater. While diving it makes bubbles appear on the water surface. Look for bubbles and follow them to spot a platypus.
  • Don’t make noise – Platypus is a wild animal and Eungella is its natural habitat. Make sure you stay quiet while walking next to the river and soon you will be rewarded to spot this awesome animal.
  • Be patient – sometimes you have to stay longer than you think. Be patient as sometimes you need to wait a little longer before platypus comes out.

Hiking – Rainforest Walks and Lookouts

Eungella National Park is plentiful with various walking trails suitable for any walker.

Visit Queensland National Parks to learn more about walks in Eungella.

Hiking Pine Grove Circuit
Hiking Pine Grove Circuit

Scenic drives

The main drive you get to Eungella National Park is already one where you enjoy the beautiful views, but there is more.

Pine Grove to Broken River – the main road that takes you from Pine Grove to Broken River and Broken River Mountain Resort. It is a 10 km drive that goes by the Sky Window through lush rainforest and open pasture to Broken River.

Broken River to Crediton Hall – it is a 10 km dirt road that is suitable for conventional vehicles. The road goes past some farming communities and ends at Crediton Hall, a popular picnic spot with tables and toilets. Note, if you want to continue to Denham Range you must have a 4WD.

Crediton Hall to Denham Range – it is a 33 km one-way road that takes you to the Denham Range camping area. The road is for 4WD only and can be very steep in places. 

Denham Range to Moonlight Dam – it is a 100 km drive if you start from Denham Range. You have to take a few unsealed roads and tracks that are accessible by 4WD only. If driving from Denham Range, take Cockies Creek Road and Eungella Dam Road. You will pass Lake Eungella on the way. Then, follow the road and join Turrawulla Road. You will access Moonlight Dam from the south.

Note, that it is much easier to get to Moonlight Dam from Nebo (50 km away), so plan your way accordingly.

Moonlight Dam to Mount Britton – Mount Britton is an abandoned mining town situated 35 minutes drive from Nebo. These days it holds evidence of prosperous gold times with many old mining equipment and materials. You can see a mining display and some rustic shelters containing high-quality prints and information boards. 

Mount Britton is now part of The Mining Trail drive and if you want to follow it you can pick up some brochures from the Visitor Information Centres in the region.

Mount Britton can be also accessed by a 4 km walk from Moonlight Dam.

If you drive from Nebo, turn to Homevale Road and follow it until your reach Mount Britton.

Spotlighting

There is an organised night tour in Broken River Mountain Resort. You can join their resident environmentalist and learn about nocturnal animals in the national park. 

The tour is complimentary for all resort guests and runs every Saturday evening. If you are visiting Eungella during the week you can book a tour for $70 per family on any other day.

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Our Experience & Tips

We visited Eungella National Park in September during the school holiday. Interestingly there were not many people around.

We camped at the Ferny Flat camping area. This campground is only suitable for tents with a short walk from the vehicle. Around us, we had only 3 other families camping, so it was quiet.

In the evening, we had a campfire in a fire pit and we enjoyed it.

Funny story

Kasha was preparing dinner in the campfire while I went for a platypus walk with Nell. On the way back to the campground we heard a scream. We ran back to our camping spot and saw an interesting picture.

Kasha was chasing a scrub turkey that took our car keys from the top of our thermal pot that was sitting on the ground. Luckily after 30 meters, the turkey dropped the keys on the ground.

The reason the turkey took the keys was I had a lizard paw (a souvenir from Kuranda) attached to it, and the turkey thought it was a snack or something.

Travel Spiced Life

Always keep your keys in a safe spot away from animal reach.

During our stay, we walked many trails including Pine Grove Circuit, Sky Window Circuit, Pine Grove – Cedar Grove track, and Granite Bend Circuit.

The most important is that we spotted platypus every day of our three days stay. That is why we always say that in Eungella it is almost guaranteed to spot a platypus.

One day we also went for a 4WD drive to Lake Eungella. It is a scenic drive that goes first through the rainforest and later changes to open woodland. Lake Eungella is a popular boating and skiing spot. It is also possible to camp there.

On our last day, after a long walk, we visited Eungella general store and had a great lunch. We always like trying local food stores as they are usually very friendly and offer good meals.

In summary, Eungella National Park is a great place to admire nature and wildlife. If you like rainforest, hiking, or 4WD trips this is a great place to visit.


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Enjoy outdoors with Tentworld equipment


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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