July 2018, Eungella, Qld
I had originally planned that we’d stay at the Broken River Bush Camp at Eungella National Park. Fortunately our mates ‘The Sugars’ in Mackay recommended the Finch Hatton showgrounds as the best option for touring the area and I now know why.
Finch Hatton is central and the road up to Eungella is steep with a gradient in places exceeding 15%. If you’ve travelled the Waterfall Way in NSW it is reminiscent but steeper. Lined with palms, tiny waterfalls spurt from the rock face and halfway up a road crew are working to repair the edge. Those guys must have nerves of steel.
Situated on the rim of the range is the hamlet of Eungella (pronounced Young gulla) a guest house, a general store, gift shop and a few houses. And a cricket pitch perched on the precipice. If they were to hit a six up here it would land in a Cane Farm several kilometres away in the valley below.
As we follow the ridge we chance upon a lookout aptly named Sky Window with breathtaking views of the length and breadth of the Pioneer Valley.
The road then turns inland through dairy farms before entering Eungella National Park at Broken River. There are small campgrounds, a cafe and shady riverside walks with platypus viewing platforms. This of course is the wrong time of day for platypus activity and just like the camels we’re not destined to see one in the wild.