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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Auburn River National Park, Queensland.

Auburn River National Park

Auburn River National Park is about 410 km north-west of Brisbane. Access to the park along Auburn River Road is slow going as it is rough and corrugated for 7 km. 4WD is recommended in the wet.

The campground has 5 areas/sites but the booking system allows for 10 bookings. We came here after a busy school holiday weekend and we heard many complaints that over the weekend there were more than five bookings and when people arrived they found that the five areas were full and that despite having paid for a booking they ended up camping along the road wherever they could pull up. Personally I wouldn’t come to Auburn River if there were more than 3 or 4 bookings as I like to experience the remote feel of the place and there is only one toilet.
Each site has a different layout. 1st site top left. 3rd site top right. 4th site bottom left. 5th site bottom right. The 2nd site was occupied by a large family group.
How many sites are there at Auburn River National Park?
There is a Day Use Area with a large shelter over two tables and a gas BBQ. The day use area shares the toilet with the campers.

Day Use Area, Auburn River National Park.
Gorge Top Walk: Class 3, 3.2 km return.
The first walk we did was on a pleasant walking track to a lookout over the gorge. We loved the spiral rock work at the lookouts in Auburn River National Park.

Lookout at the end of the Gorge Top Walk
The view from the Gorge Top Walk Lookout.
A feature of the walk were two types of Bottletree. The Queensland Bottletree Brachychiton rupestis has a swollen trunk and small leaves. The Large Leaved Bottletree Brachychiton australis has a slimmer trunk and distinctive large leaves the shape of maple leaves. Large Leaved Bottletrees are deciduous but there were a few leaves left for us to look at.
Large Leaved Bottletree Brachychiton australis
Queensland Bottletree Brachychiton rupestis 
We noticed a couple of other interesting plants: a type of She Oak that had very long needles and a fleshy vine.
Unknown fleshy vine and a local Causarina (She Oak) at Auburn River National Park
Gorge Lookout: Class 3, 600m return.
A short walk from the Day Use Area to a lookout over the gorge.

Auburn River Gorge Lookout.
Riverbed and Rockpools Walk: Class 4, 1.5 km return
A rough track drops down to the gorge and fitness is required to return up the track to the campground. Once arriving at the bottom of the gorge you can scramble over large boulders to interesting rocks rounded by the flow of the river. To get to these “dinosaur eggs” Parks Queensland has painted dinosaur tracks to mark the way. We were keen to see the rocks but after only going a short distance we decided to call it quits as our rock scrambling skills weren’t up to the task. We turned back and found a nice spot to have a picnic. 
Following the dinosaur trail.
Tranquil spot in Auburn River Gorge for a picnic.
We scanned the rock face in front of us for Peregrine Falcons but had to content ourselves with seeing some tell-tail “whitewash”  and a few twigs which may have been where the falcons roost.

A zoomed in look at the rockface for evidence of Peregrine Falcons.
Auburn River National Park is known to have a number of lizards, including the Rainbow Skink Carlia pectoralis. We didn’t see any lizards or snakes at all. In fact, we didn’t see any animals on this trip. The weather and the time of year may have contributed to this lack of wildlife sightings. It was the middle of winter after all and it poured with rain on our first day and was very cold and windy on our second day.

The main campground birds were Pied Currawongs. There were a few Striated Pardalotes, Whistlers and Pied Butcherbirds about. Overall our birdlist was disappointingly short.
Adult Pied Butcherbird sharpening its beak on a well worn fork in a tree where it "butchers" its prey. Immature Pied Butcherbird (R)
Rufous Whistlers.

Details for Auburn River Camping Area, Auburn River.
Access: 4WD in wet weather.
Directions: It is important to put Auburn River Camping Area, rather than Auburn River National Park, into Maps or you could end up being directed to a section of the national park that is on the wrong side of the gorge! Auburn River is about 410 km north-west of Brisbane and about 40 km south-west of Mundubbera. Travel 13 km south of Mundubbera along the Mundubbera-Durong Road, turn west into Hawkwood Road. Travel approximately 20 km before turning into Auburn River Road and drive a further 7 km on the rough road to the camping area.
Type of Camping: tents, camper trailers, Off Road caravans.
Sites: The campground has 5 areas/sites but the booking system allows for 10 bookings.
Facilities: 1 toilet, tank water at the Day Use shelter. Fire rings. Generators permitted. No showers. No drinking water. We had Telstra mobile reception.
Prohibitions: No pets. Do not collect wood from the park.
Fees: $6.15 per adult per night. Family rate available.
Bookings:  Phone 13 74 68 or online at
Cautions: 4WD access when wet. Stay on the road as the soils can be treacherous in the wet. The lookouts are not fenced. 
Day Use Area: Sheltered picnic tables, Gas BBQ, toilet, tank water.

Birdlist over the three days:
Pied Butcherbird, Crow, Pied Currawong, Striated Pardalote, Golden Whistler, Rufous Whistler, Grey Fantail, Weebill.


  1. Looks like a gorgeous place to stay! By the sounds of it I think that there would be a great variety of birds later on in the year, as well as reptiles, which would, at this time of year, be keeping to themselves, sheltering from the cold! awesome photos!

  2. Thanks Ollie. I'm sure you're right about the wildlife. Sounds like a good excuse to go back one day when it's warmer.