Eungella National Park

Friday morning I took the first bus from North Mackay to the town centre in order to rent another car for one day. Instead of booking a tour, which even doesn’t run every day, that option was much cheaper. Especially, as I could return the car whenever I want. At 7:30 I was on my to the west along the Pioneer valley into the mountains. At the end of the Pioneer valley, the road went pretty steep to Eungella. From the village there’s a nice platform with a great view all along the Pioneer valley, which is today mainly used for agricultural purpose, that means growing sugarcane and producing milk. I then went to the Broken river, which was just a 5 min drive, and arrived there at about 9 o’clock. It’s the best spot to view platypus, which I already tried to spot back on kangaroo island. So I went to the platforms and spent several time there. But unfortunately I hadn’t had any luck at all three platforms. It was written that the best times to spot them is either before 8 o’clock or after 15 o’clock. As I did all this effort I decided, after one hour patiently waiting, to spend the whole day around here. So I started the Granite Bend Circuit bush walk. The first section is going along the river, which is very beautiful. You can even extend the river walk for another 8 km (one way), but I skipped that for this day. I rather went back through a nice rainforest, which high trees, which reminded me to the rainforest in Cambodia. As I had time I drove back the road and stopped at the Sky Window, which offers probably the best view over Pioneer valley, and then even on to Peases lookout. Actually that’s only worth to stop there, if you’re anyway on the way to hike all the way up to Mount Dalrymple, the highest mountain of Queensland. As I had some time I stopped at a Café for a coffee, but I immediately dropped out of it, as I had a strange gut feeling. So I went back to the platforms at Broken river, and now in the afternoon, the platypus came out for eating. Sure, you need to be patient and silent, but after a few minutes of waiting you typically have the chance to spot them. I had great success on two platforms, and enjoyed this calm scenery for a while. It was definitely worth to make this excursion to the mountains. In the late afternoon I headed back, but made another detour to the Finch Hatton gorge. It was already a bit late, but I hurried up walking to the “Wheel of Fire” pool. Just when I arrived the last group were leaving, so I had the whole pool for a refreshing swim for my own. Shortly after sunset I walked back, and just reached the car, before it went completely dark.

Pioneer Valley from Sky View
There’re only some ducks on the Broken river during this calm morning
Turtles are very easy to spot during the whole day
The Broken river is forming a nice valley further upstream
A large lizard stopped by the way…and thought I didn’t see him 😅
The way back went through a nice patch of rainforest
Finally I spotted the first wild platypus…
…and also in the second pond they were freely swimming around…
…they only come to the surface to get some air for their next dive.
In the late afternoon I had the “Wheel of Fire” pool for my own for a refreshing swim

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