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Published: July 14th 2009
Day 79 - Mackay to Eungella
We made it out of bed by 7am to get things packed up and have a shower before making our way to Finch Hatton or possibly Eungella, we’ll decide when we’re a bit nearer to either!
Both are west of Mackay and thus inland, both are National Parks and both have Platypus frequenting the river! The route takes us through acres of sugar cane before coming into the tiny town of Finch Hatton. We think the campsite is in the gorge which is a turning off the ‘main’ road so we decide to continue on to Eungella despite the cheapy campsite being 20km along a dirt road! We’d watch the backdrop landscape change dramatically coming from Mackay and it’s industrial flat land to the Pioneer Valley and towering mountains. Guessed where Eungella is yet?! Yep, it’s on top of the Pioneer Valley and the crowning peak of a 12% graded drive! Gulp! We gave each other a knowing look and dug in! 11km later, mostly in first gear, we made it to the top where the view was amazing. We drove past all the walking track signs within Eungella and the Platypus watching
points, we fully intend to come back this afternoon or first thing in the morning and partake in some of that activity.
The dirt road was calling us down to the Dam but it went on for miles, well 21km actually! When we got there it was a beautiful spot with the forest lined hills around it but we wanted to upload the blog and there was no signal except back in Eungella! Sods law! It was only $8 per night too and we’re surprised that it doesn’t have the Camps authors red tick as the facilities are good and the site is huge! Infact it doesn’t even have the ‘nice outlook or vista’ sign against it in the book but it really should have that, it’s gorgeous and just as beautiful as Wuruma Dam or Leslie Dam which both have the red tick and the nice vista sign! I’ll have to email them with our thoughts! Anyway, having said all that we decide not to camp here but we’re glad we made the journey out! It made a lovely spot for a bit of lunch!
Back along the dirt road we go and into Eungella to find
the Holiday Park. It’s the got the best position as it looks straight down over the valley, fabulous! There were at least three campers painting the view when we arrived! We have a funny five minutes getting the caravan on to the pitch as we’ve got one of the last 3 spots (don’t say it out loud but we know what you’re thinking!) and it’s up on the ledge so we have to drive through the pitch on a steepish slope, inbetween a telegraph pole and a barn, spin around to then drive back up! Well the caravan took a teeny, weeny liking to the telegraph pole which caused a teeny, weeny dent in the top bar but it’s nothing we can’t sort out and it’s not damaged the roof so we’re all good! It must have been the thought of hitting another barn that did it!! Oh well, our first bit of tape to cover up a bit of damage - we’ll try and make that the first and last if we can!
All settled we headed to the walking track around Sky Window which gives us more excellent views of the Pioneer Valley. It must have been
very different in the years gone by but much of the forest along the valley floor has been cut down to make way for the areas sugar-cane and cattle farming industries.
It’s almost time for some more Platypus watching and we spent some time at the first viewing platform that Broken River has to offer which is just under the wooden road bridge. We immediately spot the little beauty enjoying a swim in the last of the days sun. We wander through the grounds, gutted that we’ve missed the kiosk being open so that we could grab a coffee and an ice cream to enjoy while we watched! Back to the viewing platform we go and then onto the 2nd platform further along the river! We just can’t get enough of these fascinating creatures and we’re delighted to see one swimming in and out of the burrow and swimming directly in front of us. Great, we might even suffer another early morning to go do it all again tomorrow as we’ll be up early for sunrise over the mountain anyway!!
So there we are, today turned around to be pretty good in the end! Tomorrow we’ll head back
towards Mackay, taking in Finch Hatton Gorge on the way.
From your Platypus Spotters, g’night all!
Dar and Sar
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