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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Finch Hatton Gorge, Eungella National Park, QLD.

Araluen Cascades
I have always thought of Finch Hatton Gorge as being a significant national park area and a major tourist attraction. In fact, the national parks website states that 100,000 people a year visit the gorge, so I was somewhat surprised at the state of the entry road and the generally poor presentation of this area of great natural beauty. The dirt road into Finch Hatton Gorge was in poor condition and full of pot holes. 

There are a few low causeways to cross but these caused us no problem as they only had a shallow amount of water over them when we drove in. The current was surprisingly swift though, so it would be prudent to be cautious after heavy rain.

One of the causeways on the road to Finch Hatton Gorge.
The car park was nothing more than a dirt layby on the side of the road. There was no parking available for large vehicles and no turn around area suitable for caravans or large RV’s. The overall impression of the place was not improved by the placement of several signs warning people not to leave valuables in their cars due to thefts in the area. Frankly, I found it embarrassing that this is the best that Queensland can offer to the thousands of people that travel from around Australia and the world to see this beautiful area. 

Entry to the Finch Hatton Gorge section of Eungella National Park
Finch Hatton Gorge Picnic Area
Not to be deterred, we made our way past the picnic area and walked to the Araluen Cascades (2.8 km return, Class 3). There is a lookout above Araluen Cascades and it is only a few steps down to the beautiful natural rock pool below.

Araluen Cascades Lookout.
We continued on the Wheel of Fire walk (4.2 km return, Class 4) until we reached Callistemon Crossing. As I didn't feel able to safely make the crossing we didn't get to see the Wheel of Fire and returned to our car.

Callistemon Crossing
Huge tree trunk at Callistemon Crossing.
There is no national park campground at the Finch Hatton Gorge section of Eungella National Park but there are a few options nearby. The eclectic Platypus Bush Camp is the closest but is more suited to tents and small motorhomes as there is limited space. The Finch Hatton Showgrounds have powered and unpowered sites and is a popular spot for caravaners to leave their vans and explore both the Broken River and Finch Hatton Gorge sections of Eungella National Park.

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