Auburn River National Park
Jumbled pink granite boulders, water-sculptured rock pools and cascades along the scenic Auburn River. Ironbark open forest and bottle-tree scrub. Relics of past gold mining.
Access by conventional vehicle. 4WD recommended in wet weather. 42km south-west of Mundubbera.
Auburn River is about 410km north-west of Brisbane, or 225km west of Maryborough. It is 40km or 40 minutes drive south-west of Mundubbera, which is on the Burnett Highway. Travel 13km south along the Mundubbera-Durong Road to the Hawkwood Road intersection. Turn west along the Hawkwood Road for about 20km until you reach the Auburn River National Park turn-off. Drive a further 7km to the park along an unsealed road. Conventional vehicle access is possible. Four-wheel-drive is recommended in wet weather. Stay on the road, as soils are treacherous when wet.
The 405ha park protects an area of open eucalypt forest and dry rainforest. Silver-leaved ironbark and forest red gum dominate the grassy open forests. Bottle trees thrive in the dry rainforest on the northern bank of the river near the camping area. The Auburn River, with its rock pools and cascades, winds through the park, providing habitats for numerous birds, reptiles and mammals. Its banks are lined with bottlebrushes, flowering leptospermum shrubs and stunted figs.
A basic camping area is provided on the northern bank of the Auburn River. Toilets, a gas barbecue and picnic tables are provided. Tap water is not available in the park — bring your own drinking water. River water is unsuitable for drinking. No bins are supplied; visitors are asked to take their rubbish with them.
Camping permits are required and fees apply. Outside peak periods, you can obtain your permit and pay your fees at the self-registration stand at the campground. During peak periods such as school holidays, bookings are essential and are accepted up to three months in advance, through the QPWS Maryborough office or QPWS Mundubbera office.
There are no graded walking tracks in Auburn River National Park, only rough footpads. Walks begin from the picnic and camping area.
1. Gorge Lookout — 600m return (Allow about 15 minutes)
This short stroll boasts impressive views across the river. Leave from the end of the carpark and walk the short distance to the unexpected Auburn River gorge. Views of the river and its distinctive boulders are ready to be captured on camera. Look for the "Giant's Chair" from the lookout or for a peregrine falcon's nest — easily detected because of the telltale signs of "white-wash" marks on the cliff face below a collection of sticks and debris which make up the nest. This is a naturally occurring lookout — there are no handrails. Please supervise children at all times, especially near cliff tops.
2. Riverbed and rockpools — 1.5km return (Allow about 1 hour)
This is a strenuous walk and should only be attempted by fit walkers. Leaving the picnic and camping area, this rough track winds down the side of the gorge to the river, taking you through dry rainforest, eucalypt forest and creek vegetation. Notice the swollen trunks of the dominant bottle trees along the way. At the river, take time to observe the immediate area to ensure you will be able to find the trail on your return. Take care when walking on wet rock surfaces, as they can be slippery.
3. Gorge-top walk — 3.2km return (Allow about 1.5 hours)
Follow the river on a gentle walk through open eucalypt forest along the top of the gorge. Rest awhile at the lookouts to take in spectacular views down the river, which flows over a series of cascades to the Auburn River Falls — best seen after heavy rain.
Picnic and day-use areas
The picnic area is located in a picturesque bush setting on the northern bank of the Auburn River. Picnic tables, toilets and a gas barbecue are provided. Take drinking water, a fuel stove for cooking or your own firewood. River water is unsuitable for drinking. No bins are provided; visitors are asked to take their rubbish with them.
Bring your binoculars and go birdwatching in the forests along the cliff tops or the riverbanks. If you're lucky, you might see peregrine falcons which nest in the cliffs opposite the camping area. See brush-tailed rock wallabies around the cliffs and red-necked wallabies in scrubby gullies near the camping area. Enjoy the wildflowers in spring. Explore the river's aquatic wildlife — it's teeming with interesting animals.
For camping permits and detailed information on the national park, contact:
Cnr Alice and Lennox Streets, Maryborough
PO Box 101, Maryborough QLD 4670
ph (07) 4121 1800
fax (07) 4121 1650