The Mackay Highlands Great Walk begins in the Eungella National Park, about 80kms west of Mackay. It is 56 kilometres long and takes between three to five days to complete. It can be done in one go, or broken up into smaller chunks and completed as easier day hikes.
For those wanting to warm up before the big hike, the city of Mackay offers guided heritage walks that are led by volunteers. They take in many of the city’s most picturesque and historic sites, such as the Leichardt tree on the banks of the Pioneer River. Heritage Walks leave Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Paxtons Warehouse from May to September
A popular destination for visitors to Mackay is Burp Dispensary. It’s a bar/restaurant that is as trendy as anything one would find in Fortitude Valley. It was started by Adrian Connors and his brother Damian. Every Tuesday the Burp Dispensary puts on its popular roast and red night. Make sure to give it a try!
Many people begin the Mackay Highlands Great Walk at the Eungella Chalet, which has been a popular retreat for generations. It serves up delicious breakfasts and lunches and boasts incredible views of the Pioneer Valley.
The Eungella National Park is one of Queensland’s most ecologically diverse national parks. It boasts 860 plant species and plenty of walking tracks that can be done as day walks or combined into the Great Walk.
For those not wanting to camp out, the Broken River Mountain Resort is a good option. It offers lodge and studio accommodation, hearty meals at its Possums Table Restaurant and is the perfect base for exploring the highlands. In fact Broken River offers transfers to the start of walking tracks in the region. Exploring on foot couldn’t get any easier. It also claims to be the best place in the world to spot a platypus in the wild.
Next to Broken River is a terrific restaurant and café called Platypus Lodge. It’s run by Oskar and Marlies Krobath who are originally from Austria. Their breakfasts are a favourite as are Oskar’s yodel burgers!
There are ten great walks in Queensland, for more information on all of them, readers should head to the National Parks website.
Queensland National Parks