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About Cania Gorge

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Getting there and getting around

Cania Gorge National Park is about 225km west of Bundaberg and can be reached via Cania Road, which branches off the Burnett Highway 12km north of Monto (or 82km south of Biloela). Travel through Moonford for another 13km to the main picnic area. If travelling from Brisbane the park is 500km north-west.

From Bundaberg: Head east towards Gin Gin and the Bruce Highway on Gin Gin Road. Turn right onto the Bruce Highway and then on the northern edge of Gin Gin, turn left onto Mt Perry Road. Travel to Mt Perry and turn right onto Monto Road and travel through to the Burnett Highway. Turn right and follow Burnett Highway approximately 35km to Monto. Continue on the Burnett Highway through Monto and after 11km take a right turn onto Cania Road and follow for 12km to enter Cania Gorge National Park.

From Gladstone: Head south-west on the Dawson Highway to Calliope. Continue west on the Dawson Highway towards Biloela for about 100km. At Biloela turn left and travel south onto the Burnett Highway for about 80km. Take another left onto Cania Road and travel for 12km to arrive at Cania Gorge National Park.

Wheelchair accessibility

Wheelchair-accessible toilets and picnic tables are available at Three Moon Creek picnic area. You have to cross grassy areas to reach the sheltered picnic tables and barbecues. The surface under the shelters is sandstone paved.

Park features

Fern Tree Pool. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Fern Tree Pool. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Cania Gorge preserves a valuable remnant of the Brigalow Belt natural region. More than 150 different types of plant community are found in this region, including brigalow forest, eucalypt woodland, cypress pine woodland, dry rainforest and grassland.

The park is home to more than 90 species of bird. Brush-tailed rock wallabies and common bent-wing bats are also seen.

Aboriginal people have lived in Cania Gorge for at least 19,000 years. Freehand art on the sandstone walls is a reminder of their special way of life.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted in Cania Gorge National Park.

A commercially operated caravan and camping parks are provided nearby in the gorge.

Camping is permitted in nearby parks. Find more about camping in:

Other accommodation

Hotel, motel and caravan accommodation is available in Monto. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Late afternoon sun highlights dry rainforest and illuminates the sandstone walls of Dragon Cave. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Late afternoon sun highlights dry rainforest and illuminates the sandstone walls of Dragon Cave. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

The Shamrock mine site walk leads past reminders of the area's gold-mining history. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

The Shamrock mine site walk leads past reminders of the area's gold-mining history. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Fern Tree Pool is a fine example of the quiet, shaded side-gorges that feed water into Three Moon Creek. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Fern Tree Pool is a fine example of the quiet, shaded side-gorges that feed water into Three Moon Creek. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

View from the Giant's Chair Lookout at dusk. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

View from the Giant's Chair Lookout at dusk. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

The Giant's Chair lookout, in the shade of pink spotted gums, is a great place to obtain a view over the varied vegetation communities of Cania Gorge. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

The Giant's Chair lookout, in the shade of pink spotted gums, is a great place to obtain a view over the varied vegetation communities of Cania Gorge. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Walking

Choose from eight graded walking tracks to explore Cania Gorge National Park. Use the walking track grades to choose walks that suit your group’s fitness and bushwalking experience.

Allow 15–20 minutes to walk one kilometre. This time is calculated for people of average fitness and bushwalking experience and who are wearing correct footwear. If you are walking with young children or are an inexperienced bushwalker, allow more time to include rests and to return to your starting point.

  • Ensure you carry adequate drinking water for each walk (creek water is unsuitable for drinking).
  • Walk carefully on loose gravel surfaces.
Key to track grades

Each track is classified according to its most difficult section, other sections may be of an easier level.

 Grade 2 track

  • No bushwalking experience required.
  • Track is a hardened or compacted surface and may have gentle hill section or sections and occasional steps.

 Grade 3 track

  • Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.
  • Some bushwalking experience recommended.
  • Track may have short steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps.

 Grade 4 track

  • Bush walking experience recommended.
  • Tracks may be long, rough and very steep.
  • Directional signs may be limited.
 Picnic Area Circuit (Grade 2)

Distance: 300m return
Time: allow about 20mins
Details: This short walk can be started from either end of the picnic area. The track runs beside Three Moon Creek, allowing views of the sandstone cliffs and surrounding eucalypt woodland.

 Dripping Rock and The Overhang (Grade 3)

Distance: 3.2km return
Time: allow about 2.5hrs
Distance: This pleasant walk starts at the southern end of the picnic area. After crossing the Three Moon Creek the track winds through eucalypt woodland and dry rainforest before leading to the base of Dripping Rock (2.2km return). In wet times, choruses of frogs can be heard near the creeks. The track continues on to The Overhang, where centuries of weathering and erosion has eroded the base of the sandstone cliff with striking yellow and red features.

 Dragon Cave and Bloodwood Cave (Grade 3)

Distance: 2.6km return
Time: allow about 1hr
Details: Begin at the picnic area and start on the Dripping Rock Track for 400m before taking a right turn over the bridge across Russell Gully. A moderately steep track leads to the cliff face, where a sidetrack branches north to Dragon Cave (1.8km return). Here, the natural black mural of a 'dragon' can be seen highlighted against the white sandstone wall. The southern branch of the track leads to Bloodwood Cave, so called because the roots of a bloodwood tree can be seen at the left-hand side of the cave. This walk includes natural creek crossings.

 Two Storey Cave Circuit (Grade 3)

Distance: 1.3km return
Time: allow about 45mins
Details: This scenic walk starts opposite the picnic area. Starting to the left, the circuit meanders upwards around isolated sandstone monoliths. A 20m sidetrack leads to King Orchid Crevice, a parting of the cliff that has created an ideal haven for epiphytes. The top section of Two Storey Cave is important habitat for insectivorous bats. Please do not disturb these animals.

 Fern Tree Pool and Giant's Chair Circuit (Grade 3)

Distance: 5.6km return
Time: allow about 3hrs
Details: The circuit begins from a car park 900m south of the picnic area and is best walked in an anti-clockwise direction. Crossing Doctors Gully several times, the track passes Fern Tree Pool (2.5km) and continues at a moderate climb for another 2.2km up a sandstone escarpment to the Giant's Chair Lookout. The circuit returns 900m to the car park down a steep track and steps. This walk includes natural creek crossings.
Caution: Unfenced cliff top lookouts—remain on the walking track and keep away from the cliff edge. Supervise children closely.

 Big Foot Walk (Grade 3)

Distance: 1km return
Time: allow about 20mins
Details: This short trail begins from a car park 900m south of the picnic area and runs parallel to the bitumen road. It features a large brown image of a four-toed foot on the white sandstone cliff.

 Shamrock Mine Site (Grade 3)

Distance: 1.4km return
Time: allow about 45mins
Details: This walk begins from the northern car park, about 1km south of Lake Cania. The track meanders along a creek before passing into eucalypt woodland. At the former Shamrock gold mine site, there is a self-guided walk with information about life on the Cania Goldfields. The remains of the old battery, mine shafts, processing sheds and mullock heaps can be seen along the way. Gold fossicking is not permitted.

 Castle Mountain (Grade 4)

Distance: 22km return
Time: allow 7–8hrs
Details: From the picnic area follow the 800m Bloodwood Cave track to the Castle Mountain track turn-off. There is a steep 200m track to the Gorge Lookout with a lovely view down the gorge. From here a 10km fire trail winds through open woodland to Castle Mountain Lookout. The lookout offers a rewarding view after the long walk. Return via the same track.

Caution: This walk is for experienced bushwalkers with navigation skills, self-reliance in first aid and ability to cope with weather hazards is needed. The track:

  • may be extensively overgrown, hazards such as fallen trees and rock falls likely to be present;
  • includes natural creek crossings;
  • has unfenced cliff edges and naturally occurring lookouts;
  • phone service is not reliable.

Be prepared:

  • This can be a hot walk. Start the walk in the cool of the early morning and take plenty of water and a first-aid kit.
  • Wear ankle-supporting sturdy shoes, a hat, sunscreen and comfortable clothes.
  • Before you go, put an emergency plan in place. Ensure that a responsible person is aware of where you are going, when you expect to return and knows what to do if you don't return when planned.

Picnic and day-use areas

A picnic area with sheltered tables, barbecues, tank water and toilets are provided in the park's southern section adjacent to Three Moon Creek. Boil or chemically treat creek water. No bins are provided; visitors are asked to take their rubbish with them.

Viewing wildlife

Go wildlife watching and bring your camera and binoculars. Lace monitors, dollarbirds, king parrots, wompoo pigeons, regent bowerbirds and whiptail wallabies are found in this area. Platypus live in waterholes below the dam wall. The red kurrajong flowers in spring.

See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about Cania Gorge's diverse wildlife.

Other things to do

The display shelter in the main picnic area provides information on the park's wildlife, vegetation and history.

North Burnett Regional Council manages a picturesque recreation and picnic area on the shore of Lake Cania, 11 km north of the national park picnic area. The lake is popular for water sports—fishing, boating, canoeing and swimming.

Things to know before you go

Be prepared when walking at Cania Gorge. Always carry water, and expect very hot days in summer. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Be prepared when walking at Cania Gorge. Always carry water, and expect very hot days in summer. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Essentials to bring

  • Bring your own drinking water. Boil or use chemical tablets to treat tank water before use.
  • Be aware that medical help may be hours away in the event of an accident. Carry a well-equipped first-aid kit.
  • Reduce packaging before you leave home. Bring heavy-duty bags or containers to take your rubbish when you leave. No bins are provided in the park.
  • Pack insect repellent, sunscreen and protective clothing (including hats and shoes) to avoid bites, stings and sunburn.
  • Bring your camera and binoculars for viewing wildlife.

Drinking water

Tank water is available in the picnic area, but must be treated before drinking. Treat any water collected from the creeks before drinking.

Opening hours

Cania Gorge National Park is open 24 hours a day. For your safety, walk in daylight hours only.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Cania Gorge National Park.

Climate and weather

Cania Gorge has a hot, dry climate. The summers can be very hot, up to 42°C, while evenings can be a cool 11°C. Winters are dry and pleasantly warm, up to 30°C in the daytime after very cold nights, as low as –3°C. Frosts are not uncommon in winter. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

The closest fuel and supplies are available from Monto. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

The sandstone cliffs of Cania Gorge reach heights of 70m. Always take great care when walking at Cania Gorge, and supervise children closely. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

The sandstone cliffs of Cania Gorge reach heights of 70m. Always take great care when walking at Cania Gorge, and supervise children closely. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

To enjoy a safe visit to this area:

  • Take care near cliff edges—they can be deceptive and are often closer than you think. Keep away from the edge and supervise children at all times.
  • Choose walks that suit your group's ability.
  • Be prepared for your walk, especially in hot weather. Plan to walk early in the day. Wear a hat and sunscreen.
  • Carry sufficient water (creek water is unsuitable for drinking).
  • Walk carefully on loose gravel surfaces. Suitable sturdy, ankle-supporting footwear is recommended.
  • Allow adequate time to complete the walk in daylight hours.
  • Keep to the walking tracks.
  • Obey signs and safety notices.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

In an emergency

In case of accident or other emergency please:

  • call Triple Zero (000)
  • advise the location and nature of the emergency
  • stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

The nearest hospital is at Monto.

Mobile phone coverage is not reliable in Cania Gorge National Park.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Parks and forests protect Queensland’s wonderful natural diversity and scenery. Help keep these places special by following these guidelines:

  • Everything within the national park is protected. Do not interfere with plants, animals, soil or rocks.
  • Leave pets at home—domestic animals are not permitted in national parks.
  • Never feed or leave food for animals. Human food can harm wildlife and cause some animals to become aggressive and/or diseased.
  • Use toilets if available. Away from toilets, ensure all faecal matter and toilet paper are properly buried (15cm deep) well away from tracks, camp sites, watercourses and drainage channels (100m). Carry out disposable nappies and sanitary products.
  • Keep to the walking tracks where provided, do not cut corners or create new tracks.
  • Take your rubbish away with you for appropriate disposal. Rubbish bins are not provided in the park.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

The Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing (NPSR) manages these parks and forests under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to preserve and present their remarkable natural and cultural values in perpetuity.

Tourism information links

North Burnett Regional Council

Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism

Monto Magic Tourism Action Group

Fraser Coast South Burnett Regional Tourism Board Ltd

Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
27 September 2017