Flinders Discovery Centre and Museum
Porcupine Gorge National Park
Known as Australia’s “Little Grand Canyon” with its cool, clear, flowing creek, towering cliffs of vibrantly coloured sandstone and comparatively dense vegetation provides a striking contrast to the sparsely wooded, dry flat plains which surround it. This impressive canyon reveals strata of sedimentary rocks spanning hundreds of millions of years of geological history.
Hughenden is the access point for the Porcupine Gorge National Park - a canyon hidden away about an hours drive north. The road passes through flat woodlands of typical Australian Eucalypts and Acacias and gives no hint of the existence of the Gorge until one reaches it. The Gorge has been carved by Porcupine Creek out of a basalt lava-flow giving off the beautiful soft colours of the walls towering 150 metres over the water. The Gorge can be appreciated from two distinct areas. The first point is a lookout giving a view deep into the Gorge below. There is no access to the base of the Gorge from this point. The second point is a National Park campsite where basic facilities are provided. From this point there is a walking track that takes visitors to the bottom of the Gorge where the Pyramid formation can be viewed. There is also a swimming hole at the base of the Pyramid.
Camping is available at the Pyramid camping ground, 74km north of Hughenden. Camping Permits are required and fees apply. Campers should bring their own drinking water as the water supply is unreliable.
The camping ground is situated in the upper level of the Gorge; the camping ground is the starting point for the 1.2 kilometre walking track which leads down into the Gorge. There are twenty-two numbered sites, including nine e-permit sites (online booking at http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/ and follow the links to Camping and Vehicle Permits) and thirteen self-registration sites. Bookings can also by made by telephoning 13 13 04.
White Mountains National Park
White Mountains National Park is characterised by white sandstone formations and complex gorge systems and covers 108,000ha of rugged terrain. For much of the year this vast area is an arid landscape but during the wet season it becomes a catchment for streams, eventually feeding into Lake Eyre in South Australia.
White Mountains encompasses a total of fourteen different regional ecosystems. During winter and early spring the park is transformed as native plants of all shapes, sizes and colour bloom across the landscape. Included are golden-orange, cream and red Grevilleas, Wattles of all shades of yellow, white clustered flowers of Ironbark and ground dwelling plants in shades of purple, white, yellow and red. The Park is also home to a variety of fauna.
White Mountains National Park is very remote and undeveloped and is only suitable for well-equipped, experienced bushwalkers. Before bushwalking you must contact the Ranger at Hughenden or Charters Towers and complete a Remote Bushwalking Form with details of your proposed trip plan and emergency contact details.
Camp Site Bookings can be made at http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/ or by telephoning 13 13 04. Bookings can also be made in person at the QPWS Reef and National Parks Information Centre in Townsville. There is no self registration at this camp area.
White Mountains National Park is 80km north-east of Hughenden and 140km south-west of Charters Towers. Visitor access at the south-eastern section of the park is from the Flinders Highway at Burra Range Lookout, where it crosses the Great Dividing Range.
Eco Walk on Flinders
Enjoy a walk along the diverse bioregions of the Flinders Shire at the Eco Walk on Flinders. These eco-systems have been replicated along the northern banks of the Flinders River with over 1.5km of walking tracks.
Throughout the Park there are picnic shelters, tables, viewing platforms and drinking fountains. Flora species from each different eco-system have been represented throughout. Along the pathway are local art pieces illustrating important historical events and various cultures of the Flinders Shire. Facilities include picnic shelters and drinking fountains.
Robert Gray Memorial Park and Flinders River
This Park area is dedicated to local characters and pioneers of the district. Plaques have been placed on the rocks scattered along the footpath winding through the park. Facilities include free BBQ’s and picnic areas along the northern banks of the Flinders River.
The Robert Gray Memorial Park also showcases the Flinders River, which rises near Reedy Springs, approximately 161 kilometres north-east of Hughenden and empties into the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is over 840 kilometres in length and covers thousands of square kilometres of country whilst in flood. Major tributaries include Galah Creek, Walkers Creek and Dutton River. It is the longest river in Queensland. It was named by Lt Stokes of the Beagle in 1841 after Matthew Flinders. The Shire of Flinders takes its name from the River, being the major watercourse in the area.
The Federation Rotunda dominates the streetscape of Brodie Street. This Rotunda is made from two 20' windmills brought into Hughenden from a property south of Prairie. Ypu can relax under the curved roof while sitting on original bush furniture. All artwork has been created by local artists.
Mount Walker is approximately 8km south of Hughenden and boasts six spectacular lookouts scanning the district over 360o and stands 478m above sea level. Named by William Landsborough in 1862 after fellow explorer Frederick Walker, today Mount Walker has become a popular place at sunset and is a photographer’s delight.
This road has a 16% incline and is not recommended for large motorhomes, buses or vehicles towing. The first 1.7km from the main road is a dirt road connecting to a sealed road to go up the top of the hill. This runs for 600m until you hit the top and then back onto dirt again.
Historic Coolabah Tree and Surveyor’s Peg
The Historical Coolabah Tree is situated past the causeway on the right as you head to the Hughenden Showground. It is of immense historical importance as it is linked to two relief expeditions searching for the Burke and Wills Expedition. It is believed that both expeditions blazed the tree on the banks of what is now Station Creek. These relief expeditions led people to become aware of the fertility and wealth of the plains adjacent to the Flinders River. Truly this tree should be preserved as a memorial to the brave explorers of this land.
“Mutt” – Fibreglass replica of a Muttaburrasaurus Dinosaur
Located in the middle of Stansfield Street, Hughenden - pronounced mutt-ah-buhr-ah-sawr-us, the name means ‘Muttaburra Lizard’.
The Muttaburrasaurus was first discovered in 1963 in the channel country of the Thompson River about 5km south-east of the town of Muttaburra. It roamed the Australian landscape about 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. It was a herbivore, eating such plants as ferns, cycads or conifers but many have also eaten some meat. It grew up to 7 metres long, was 2.2 metres tall at the hips and weighed up to 1-4 tonnes.
Muttaburrasaurus could most likely walk on two or four legs and lived in herds that were a way of defending itself.
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