Last night we stayed Platypus Bush Camp in Finch Hatton Gorge, situated right on the edge of Eungella National Park. We didn’t know much about the camping ground, but we found it on WikiCamps and headed over hoping for the best and intrigued by people’s mixed remarks on the showers available there!
We are not people who do Caravan Parks. They’re expensive, noisy, crammed and so far removed from nature that they do not appeal to us one bit. We expected we’d *have to* stay at caravan parks during this trip, in order to remain sane (ie: shower!) and to keep our power topped up. Luckily though, we have now been on the road for two and a half months and are yet to stay at a traditional caravan park. Platypus Bush Camp is the first caravan park we booked into – and it was far from traditional!
Platypus Bush Camp
Platypus Bush Camp and Wazza were great! The camp sites were right at the entry, and while some wikicampers called the sites a car park, we got a lovely spot surrounded by tropical rainforest. Not to mention that the whole ‘car park’ is on the riverbank! Falling asleep to the sound of the river and crickets was glorious!
There is a river pool available for a swim, and Wazza even has pool noodles and floats available for the campers to use. He was also wonderful with the kids, laying out some ground rules, but also telling them about the trees and animals around the site and looking for “fairy cups” with Miss6.
There is a second river pool higher up which is being protected for the resident platypuses. We stood there quietly for a very long time (or so it seemed with three young kids!) one evening and at one stage we were certain we saw them. We watched them for a good 10 minutes before Sebastiaan snuck in closer with the camera, zoomed in… and broke the news to us that they were just fish!
Even though they didn’t come out for us at the Platypus Bush Camp, we did spot them the next morning at a platypus lookout in Broken River, and it was magical!
Broken River – Eungella National Park Platypus Lookout and Sky Window Circuit Walk
After not spotting any platypuses last night at Wazza’s Platypus Pool, this morning we woke up bright and early and drove out to a platypus lookout in Broken River. And we are pleased to report that we DID see wild platypuses there!
We showed up at 5:30am and it was already light, so I was afraid we missed the opportunity. We still waited quietly and patiently and luckily they were still out! To see such a rare animal out in the wild was absolutely amazing! They are much smaller than people think they are, at about 40-50cm long and they only come up for a very short amount of time before scurrying back to the bottom of the river bed.
Here’s a photo and a zoom in of the only platypus photo we managed to get! We are still sooo stoked that we saw them, even if there’s barely any proof!!! What an amazing experience!!!
On the way back to camp, we quickly stopped by the Sky Window Circuit Walk Lookout – a short, 250m circuit walk with a stunning view of the vast land beneath the hill. Even though it was overcast when we stopped there, the Sky Window Circuit Walk was absolutely worth stopping for, and it really added to the excitement we already felt from seeing wild platypuses!
Wheel of Fire
The one item on our bucket list for Queensland was to swim underneath some of the amazing waterfalls that the state is famous for! Today was the day we finally did it!
The Finch Hatton area of Eungella National Park has a wonderful track, just over 4km long, which leads you up the mountain to the Wheel of Fire Falls – a waterfall and water pool named after the red flowers which bloom on the surrounding trees and look like rings of fire when looked up on. About halfway up the track to this amazing spot, there is a turn off leading to a second swimming hole called Aurelan Cascades.
We took the hike and thoroughly enjoyed the tropical rainforest scenery, as well as the wildlife we got to see along the way. The walk was wonderful and the swim at the end in the river pool was amazing!
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