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Pioneer Valley and Eungella

Pioneer Valley and Eungella Queensland

A sanctuary for platypuses (or platypi if you are quirky). A wonderful nature filled destination with a huge subtropical rainforest.


At a Glance

Just a short distance inland from Mackay, the mist-shrouded refuge of Eungella is a perfect destination for those who love nature. There are extensive network of bushwalking tracks in the subtropical paradise, with viewpoints for you to enjoy the magnificent views of the valley. The region is one of the most ecologically diverse park in Queensland housing many different animal and plant species. The most notable species that calls this area home is the platypus.

It would also be a good experience to be able to gaze up into the Australian night sky. Accommodations are available in Eungella. The more adventurous ones can pitch their camp here as several campsites are available here.


Pioneer Valley and Eungella
 
 


 

Where is Pioneer Valley and Eungella?

 

Pioneer Valley and Eungella is 970 kilometres north of Brisbane.

Pioneer Valley and Eungella is situated inland in the Mackay Region to the east of Mackay. It is located near the scenic and magical Eungella National Park that is said to be perpetually perched in clouds due to the unique climate. The fastest way to get here is to drive from Mackay after arriving via plane from Brisbane.


 

Things to see in Pioneer Valley and Eungella

 

Broken River

Located within the cool tranquility of Eungella National Park, the Broken River is touted as one of the best locations in the world to see the platypus, the rare marsupial, in the wild. It is just a little over a one hour of scenic drive from Mackay through the picturesque Pioneer Valley and a short climb up the mountain range to Eungella. The Broken River is an excellent place for bushwalking within Australia's largest stretch of continuous sub-tropical rainforest. The platypus viewing deck is near the picnic grounds, where amenities such as public toilets, picnic tables and barbecues can be found. Platypus viewing is best done in the late afternoon or early morning. Look for air bubbles and ripples in the water to watch the platypus quickly surface. Stay still and quiet to improve your chances of seeing one.

Broken River

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland

 

Crediton State Forest

Picturesque creek scenery, lush rainforest remnants and grassy open eucalypt forest make this area well worth a visit. From Mackay, drive 80 km west along the Mackay–Eungella Road to Eungella township. At the head of the valley, the road winds sharply and steeply up the Clarke Range—not recommended for caravans. When you reach Eungella township at the top of the range, follow the road sweeping left through Eungella National Park to Crediton State Forest.

Crediton State Forest

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland

 

Finch Hatton Gorge

A wonderful landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations make Finch Hatton Gorge a must-see attraction. There are many walking tracks which weave through sub-tropical rainforest. One of the most popular trails starts at the Finch Hatton picnic area and takes you on a 1.6 kilometre journey to the beautiful Araluen waterfall. The granite boulders and surrounding vegetation make this an ideal place to take in the scenery. Take a refreshing dip in one of the nearby rock pools, a cooling haven favoured by locals in summer.

Finch Hatton Gorge

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland

 

Platypus Viewing

Eungella National Park, approximately a one hour drive west of Mackay, is home to one of the most reliable spots in Australia to spot the elusive platypus - in the wild! From the viewing decks at Broken River, spot this shy creature in it's natural habitat, as well as turtles and other wildlife in this beautiful National Park. The best times to see this special monotreme are at dawn or dusk. The Broken River bridge also provides an excellent vantage point to see platypus swimming in the river below. Platypus are quite shy, so remain as still and as quiet as possible to increase your chances of seeing one. Keep an eye out for air bubbles, as the platypus feeds from the bottom, but surfaces to chew its food and breathe. There are 22 kilometres of walking trails in Eungella. Try to spot a platypus if you can!

Platypus Viewing

Image Courtesy Tourism And Events Queensland

 

 
 

What's the weather like?

 

Pioneer Valley and Eungella has a similar climate as its neighbours where rainfall can be significant during the summer months. In fact, Eungella is named the ‘land of the cloud’ due to its high rainfall. In Summer (December to February), the average maximum temperature is 31°C with an average minimum of 22°C. In Winter (June to August), the average maximum temperature is 24°C with an average minimum of 12°C.

 

Get to know Pioneer Valley and Eungella's history

 

Eungella, east from Mackay, was originally inhabited by the Wirri people, who named it the ‘land of the cloud’ due to it being engulfed in the clouds as a result of high rainfall. The area was declared a national park in 1941 and subsequently expanded in 1896.

The original inhabitants of the Mackay region was the Yuibera people. Captain James Cook passed through the area in 1770, naming several landmarks such as Cape Palmerston and Cape Hillsborough. The area was first pioneered by John Mackay who led an expedition to Pioneer Valley in search of good pastoral land. The nearby river, presently Pioneer River, was proposed to be named Mackay River after John’s father. However, it was renamed in 1862 to be Pioneer River after the ship HMS Pioneer that brought Queensland Governor George Bowen to the area. The area later became known as the sugar capital of Australia as it totals a third of Australia’s sugar cane output.