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About Mount Moffatt

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Getting there and getting around

Mount Moffatt is 220km north of Mitchell via Womblebank Station. It is 160km north-west of Injune via Womblebank Station or via Westgrove Station.

The road from Womblebank is unsealed and can become impassable after rain. High-clearance 4WD is recommended. Once in the park, high-clearance 4WD is required to reach many of the features.

Note: Some roads and sections of Mount Moffatt might be closed without prior notice during wet conditions, in the event of wildfires or when rangers are carrying out other management duties.

There are no roads from Mount Moffatt directly to the other sections of Carnarvon National Park, namely Carnarvon Gorge, Salvator Rosa and Ka Ka Mundi.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible tracks or facilities in the Mount Moffatt section of Carnarvon National Park.

Park features

This is a remote park of wild and diverse landscapes. Broad, sandy valleys of the Maranoa River are covered with open, grassy woodlands. Striking outcrops of sculpted sandstone rise above the trees.

In the north-east of the park, sandstone cliffs lead up to the basalt-topped ridges of the Great Dividing Range. At more than 1000 metres above sea level, the Consuelo Tableland is the highest plateau in Queensland. Spectacular views reveal a sweeping landscape of mountain ranges, rugged peaks, escarpments and gorges.

Mount Moffatt's rich mosaic of open woodlands, forests and plains is home to a huge variety of plant and animal species.

This is also a place rich in human history. Aboriginal rock art is evidence of people's connection with the land that stretches back for at least 19,000 years. Stockyards and fences are a reminder of the area's history as a cattle station.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Mount Moffatt has four camping areas, each with a limited number of campsites. Camping fees apply. During school holidays, campsites must be booked in advance.

Dargonelly Rock Hole and West Branch camping areas

High-clearance 4WD is recommended. Pit toilets and water are provided.

Rotary Shelter Shed and Top Moffatt camping areas

These areas are accessible by 4WD vehicle only. The small Rotary Shelter Shed camping area has a picnic shelter, toilet and barbecue. Water is available but is limited and should be used for drinking only. The Top Moffatt camping area has a toilet only—no water is available here.

Other accommodation

A range of holiday accommodation is available in and near the towns of Injune and Mitchell. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Walking and driving

Take a walk to experience the special atmosphere of the Mount Moffatt bush. Walking tracks lead from the orientation area to unusual rock pillars and an Aboriginal art site.

Take the circuit drive to visit many of the park's main features, or head up the 4WD track to the top of the Consuelo Tableland.

A trip within the park can easily total more than 100km, so make sure that you have plenty of fuel. The circuit road is rough and sandy, and high-clearance 4WD vehicles are recommended. In wet conditions this road can be accessed only by 4WD. All roads within the park may be impassable for days after heavy rain.

Walking tracks from the orientation area

(1) The Looking Glass—1.9km return (allow 1 hour) or part of a 5.8km circuit walk (allow 3 hours)

Wind has eroded a cave right through an isolated pillar of Precipice Sandstone standing by the Maranoa River.

(2) Cathedral Rock—380m return (allow 20 minutes)

A bluff of Precipice Sandstone with unusual rectangular patterns on its grey weathered skin. The walking track starts on the other side of the road from the orientation area.

(3) The Chimneys—1.4km return (allow 40 minutes), or part of a 5.8km circuit walk (allow 3 hours)

Three pillars of rock have been separated from the narrow end of a small bluff of Precipice Sandstone where water has eroded down vertical fractures.

(4) The Tombs rock art site—4.2km return (allow 2 hours) or part of a 5.8km circuit walk (allow 3 hours)

More than 400 stencilled motifs (images) decorate the walls of a sandstone shelter below the bluff of sandstone known as The Tombs. The Tombs once contained burial chambers for local Aboriginal people. Skeletons were wrapped and bound in bark burial cylinders. Sadly, by the end of the 20th century, the site had been robbed of this material, leaving little evidence of an elaborate mortuary culture. Take a close look at the rock art from a boardwalk with seats.

Important!

When visiting rock art at The Tombs or Kookaburra Cave, please remember that the art is very fragile and can be permanently damaged by touching—even accidentally. Dust kicked up by visitors can also damage the art, as fine dust particles stick to the rock surface, covering the stencils. Please enjoy a close look at the rock art while remaining on the boardwalks, which have been built to prevent damage to the rock art. In order to protect the rock art, you are not permitted to leave the boardwalks. Breaching these regulations can result in heavy penalties. It is a serious offence under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to touch or damage Aboriginal rock art in any way. Fines up to $235,000 apply.

The circuit drive

(5) Marlong Arch

Soft Precipice Sandstone has weathered to create this natural sandstone arch. Please do not climb the arch.

(6) Lot's Wife

This remarkable pillar of Precipice Sandstone is the last isolated remnant of a bluff that once extended across this area. Please do not climb the rock.

(7) Kookaburra Cave

This site is named after an Aboriginal hand stencil that resembles a kookaburra. The rock art here consists mainly of engravings, with a small number of stencils. Engravings were made in the soft sandstone using a stone or bone implement. A boardwalk allows viewing of the art.

(8) Marlong Plain

The plain is a natural grassland dominated by Queensland bluegrass, Dichanthium sericeum. Park near the locked gate and walk down to the edge of the plain to view distant sandstone cliffs and ridges. This is a great spot to watch the colours of the sandstone cliffs change as the sun sets.

(9) Original homestead site

This is the site of the original Mount Moffatt homestead, burnt down in 1902.

(10) Kenniff Lookout

The Kenniff brothers are said to have used the peak of Mount Rugged as a lookout, riding their horses up from the other side.

(11) Murder site

James and Patrick Kenniff are believed to have murdered Constable George Doyle and station manager Christian Dahlke in 1902 at a site several kilometres in from the road.

(12) Incineration site

Evidence suggests that the bodies of Doyle and Dahlke were cremated by the Kenniff brothers on a large rock in the creek bed at this spot.

Kenniff Cave is closed to the public

Unfortunately, monitoring of Kenniff Cave has shown that layers of rock within it have been moving, with potential for the cave roof to collapse. In the interest of public safety Kenniff Cave has been closed to visitors under a restricted access area declaration until further notice. Aboriginal rock art similar to that within Kenniff Cave can be seen at The Tombs site.

(13) Top Shelter Shed

This picnic area is at the level of the old surface of the Buckland Volcano. Far to the north-west, look for the prominent vertical cliffs of Tyson's Nugget. This is a plug of rhyolite that penetrated the basalt towards the end of the volcano's life. As you look into the valleys, you can see how erosion has worn through the basalt, re-exposing the sandstones beneath.

(14) The Mahogany Forest

High up on the Consuelo Tableland, cool moist conditions support a majestic forest of tall, stately stringybark trees. Aboriginal people tell how the Mahogany Forest was once home to an enormous eagle—the Goori Goori bird. Aboriginal children straying from their parents were captured and eaten by the bird. Tracked to its roost high in the forest, warriors set alight the nest of the sleeping bird. The Goori Goori bird fled west across the sky, its burning feathers leaving a trail of sparks that formed Budhanbil, the Milky Way. Budhanbil still burns brightly when seen among the silhouettes of the giant Mahogany Forest stringybarks on a moonless, clear night.

(15) Head of Carnarvon Creek

The 4WD track ends at the headwaters of Carnarvon Creek. To the east, water travels down Carnarvon Gorge into the Dawson and Fitzroy rivers. Not far to the south-east, water travels via the Maranoa River into the mighty Murray-Darling catchment. Contact the rangers at both Mount Moffatt and Carnarvon Gorge if bushwalking past this point.

(16) The old stockyards

The remains of old stockyards can be seen throughout the park. The stockyards at the bend in the road near the park's information hut were built in 1902. Over the years these stockyards have been repaired and rebuilt, but original sections still remain.

Remote walks

If you are planning an off-track or overnight walk, please talk to the ranger first. Permits are required for all remote camping in the park. Walkers planning to head into remote areas should be experienced in bush navigation and safety. Water is extremely scarce.

Viewing wildlife

Mount Moffatt is a wonderful place for birdwatching, with at least 172 species recorded. See the description of Mount Moffatt's nature, culture and history for more details about the birds, other animals and plants of the area.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

  • Wear sturdy shoes, a hat, protective clothing and sunscreen.
  • Carry adequate supplies of food, water, fuel, vehicle spares and medical supplies.
  • Prepare for an extra four or five days in case you become stranded due to wet weather.
  • Bring warm clothing and camping gear as winter nights can fall below zero.
  • Rubbish bins are not provided. Please bring rubbish bags, and take all recyclables and rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Bring a fuel or gas stove for cooking.
  • Bring your camera and binoculars for viewing wildlife.

Opening hours

Carnarvon National Park is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

To camp in the national park a permit is required and fees apply.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Carnarvon National Park.

Climate and weather

Be prepared for extreme temperatures at Mount Moffatt. In winter, temperatures may fall well below zero, while in summer they may reach more than 30°C. Storms are frequent in summer. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available in Mitchell and Injune. No fuel is available between these towns and Mount Moffatt, so before you leave either town for the park, allow extra fuel for driving the 100km of park roads as well as the trip back to town. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

  • Drive carefully—roads have sandy patches and animals are often on the roads.
  • Roads can become impassable after heavy rains. You should ensure that you have extra supplies for four or five days if you are camping in the park.
  • Creek water is not suitable for drinking, so take water with you when driving in the park.
  • If your vehicle breaks down, stay with it—a vehicle is much easier to find than a person.
  • There is no mobile phone coverage in the area. In an emergency, contact the ranger on UHF Channel 8 duplex.

Looking after the park

By following these rules, you will help protect and conserve Mount Moffatt.

  • Do not bring firearms and other weapons into the park.
  • Leave your pets at home.
  • Take all your rubbish with you. Do not bury or burn rubbish.
  • Consider using a fuel stove—collecting firewood is not permitted in the park.
  • Use toilet facilities where provided.
  • Do not use generators, engine-driven compressors or chainsaws.
  • Do not use soap or shampoo in waterholes or creeks.
  • Do not take any 'souvenirs'—everything in the park is protected.

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

Park management

The Mount Moffatt Section of Carnarvon National Park was created in 1979 when the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service purchased Mount Moffatt station.

The management plan (PDF, 1.7M) for Carnarvon National Park, released in June 2005, guides the management of this area.

See the description of Mount Moffatt's nature, culture and history for more information about the history and values of this section of Carnarvon National Park.

Tourism information links

Injune Information Centre
www.mymaranoa.org.au
32 Hutton Street, Injune QLD 4454
ph (07) 4626 0503
email

Roma Visitor Information Centre
www.mymaranoa.org.au
2 Riggers Road, Roma Qld 4455
ph (07) 4622 8676
email

Great Artesian Spa and Visitor Information
www.mymaranoa.org.au
2 Cambridge Street, Mitchell Qld 4465
ph (07) 4624 6923
email

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
27 October 2017