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About Princess Hills

Park alerts

No current alerts for this park. See alerts for all parks.

Getting there and getting around

Princess Hills camping area is closed throughout the wet season from 1 December to 31 March inclusive—roads into and on the park become impassable for extended periods and are closed to public access. These dates may vary depending on weather and road conditions, and roads may also be closed after heavy rain. Observe road closures and restrictions, as penalties can apply. Check park alerts and with Department of Transport and Main Roads for local road conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology provides updated weather reports.

By road, Princess Hills camping area is 124km south-east of Mount Garnet—the two hour drive passes through several cattle stations. From Mount Garnet, travel 4km west along the Kennedy Highway and turn left onto Gunnawarra Road. About 55km along Gunnawarra Road turn right onto Wairuna Road and travel 42km to the Princess Hills Road turn-off. Turn left at the intersection and travel another 11km to the park boundary. Turn left onto Greasy Track and travel a further 12km. Site one is 200m off the main track, and site two is 1km. Access should only be attempted in dry conditions and four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended. Access roads are suitable for off-road caravans and camper trailers.

Maps

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities at Princess Hills.

Park features

Herbert River Falls. Photo: Ian Holloway, Queensland Government.

Herbert River Falls. Photo: Ian Holloway, Queensland Government.

Princess Hills, Girringun National Park boasts spectacular scenery and an array of plant and animal life. The camping area is situated beside the Herbert River 4km from the top of the spectacular Herbert River Falls. Below the falls begins the impressive Herbert River Gorge, with its towering cliffs and dry, rugged ridges.

Open forest dominates the escarpments and she-oaks line the Herbert River. Vine-thicket rainforest dotted with hoop pines cloaks the gullies and upper slopes of the gorge. The air around the camping area often smells of lemon-scented gums.

Gliders and owls dominate the night at Princess Hills. Emus and other birds are regularly seen during the day, as well as the occasional koala. 

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Princess Hills camping area has two separate and shady sites beside the Herbert River.

The camping area is closed throughout the wet season every year from 1 December to 31 March inclusive.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. Your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Other accommodation

A range of holiday accommodation is located in and around Mount Garnet and Ravenshoe. Blencoe Falls camping area, on the other side of the Herbert River, is 105km by road from Princess Hills camping area.

For more information, see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Sunrise over the Herbert River. Photo: Andrew Millerd, Queensland Government.

Sunrise over the Herbert River. Photo: Andrew Millerd, Queensland Government.

Sugar glider. Photo: Queensland Government.

Sugar glider. Photo: Queensland Government.

Walking

There are no formal walking tracks at Princess Hills but you can walk alongside the Herbert River. Look for freshwater crocodiles and turtles basking in the sun, and see how many species of fish you can identify.

Fishing

Fishing is permitted in Girringun National Park. Size, take and possession limits apply. Contact Fisheries Queensland for further information. Estuarine crocodiles live in the Herbert River and have been seen near the base of the Herbert River Falls—always remember to be crocwise in croc country.

Fisheries regulations apply—information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures is available from Fisheries Queensland.

Viewing Wildlife

Spotlighting at Princess Hills can be very rewarding. Three species of glider are seen in the park—squirrel, yellow-bellied and sugar gliders. Commonly observed birds include—southern boobook and barn owls, Papuan and tawny frogmouths and spotted nightjar.

When spotlighting remember to:

  • Bring binoculars.
  • Keep bulb wattage to 30 or less—this increases the chance of finding animals (by not warning them) and will extend your viewing times.
  • Use a white light to explore the forest. When viewing wildlife, add a red or orange (cellophane) filter.
  • Use all your senses to find wildlife—look for eye shine, listen for leaves rustling and inhale the smells.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

Princess Hills is a remote area and visitors must be self-sufficient. Remember to pack:

  • a first-aid kit including a space blanket
  • adequate clothing including wet-weather gear
  • sturdy, reliable footwear
  • a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
  • insect repellent
  • adequate water-carrying containers
  • a water treatment device for treating all drinking water
  • at least one form of emergency communication equipment—mobile phone coverage is very limited.
  • rubbish bags
  • firewood (collecting firewood in Girringun National Park is prohibited).

Opening hours

Princess Hills camping area is closed throughout the wet season from 1 December to 31 March inclusive—roads into and on the park become impassable for extended periods and are closed to public access. These dates may vary depending on weather and road conditions, and roads may also be closed after heavy rain. Additional closures may occur for management purposes including pest plant and animal control. Observe road closures and restrictions, as penalties can apply. Check park alerts and with Department of Transport and Main Roads for local road conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology provides updated weather reports.

Permits and fees

Camping permit

Camping permits are required for all camping areas in Girringun National Park and fees apply.

All camping must be booked prior to arriving in the area—bookings can be made up to 12 months in advance. For information on how to obtain an e-permit see camping information.

Other permits 

Various activities conducted in Girringun National Park may require a permit. These activities include commercial tours, social events such as weddings, organised group visits, school excursions, scientific research, and sale of photographs or vision of Girringun National Park. See park permits and policies for further information.

Pets

Domestic animals are prohibited in Girringun National Park.

Climate and weather

High rainfall summers and drier winters characterise the north-east Queensland tropical savanna. Daytime temperatures and humidity can be high at any time of the year and nights can be very cool. In July the average overnight minimum temperatures are between 9°C and 18°C. Temperatures may drop as low as 0°C and frosts can occur in elevated areas. July to October are generally the driest months, but heavy rain can fall at any time.

For more information see the tourism information links.

Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

The closest major towns with fuel and supplies available are Mount Garnet (124km away) and Ravenshoe (170km away).

Staying safe

Princess Hills is remote and help can be hours away. Remember to tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Have a contingency plan in place if you fail to contact them by the agreed time. If you change your plans, inform them. Be aware that mobile phone coverage is very limited.

  • Carry at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and personal locator beacons (PLBs) are the most effective. Mobile phone coverage is very limited and should not be relied upon as the only form of emergency communication. In case of an emergency, if network coverage is available, dial Triple Zero (000).
  • Cattle may be encountered in the camping area. Never startle or approach these animals and ensure they have a clear path to get away.
  • Never jump or dive into water; it may be shallower than it looks and there could be hidden, submerged objects.
  • Take care around cliffs, steep slopes and rock faces along tracks and at lookouts.
  • Supervise children closely.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
  • Carry adequate drinking water. Treat all water before drinking.
  • Estuarine crocodiles live in the Herbert River Gorge, below the Herbert River Falls. Please remember to be crocwise in croc country.

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

Looking after the park

  • Wash at least 50m from the creek. Use gritty sand and a scourer instead of soap to clean dishes. Scatter water so that it filters through the soil before returning to the creek.
  • Toilet facilities are not provided. When toileting, dig a hole, at least 15cm deep, well away from camp sites, watercourses and drainage lines. Failure to do this leads to unsightliness, unpleasant odours, pollution of creeks and potentially dangerous hygiene problems. Sanitary pads, tampons and condoms should not be buried.
  • Rubbish facilities are not provided—take your rubbish home with you.
  • Check your clothing and shoes regularly for seeds and dispose of them in your rubbish to avoid the spread of weeds.
  • Domestic animals are not permitted in national parks.
  • Camp only in designated camp sites.
  • To avoid trampling vegetation, disturbing wildlife and causing erosion, please keep your four-wheel-drive vehicle on marked tracks. Failure to stay on the track may incur a penalty.
  • Remember, this area is a national park—everything is protected.

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

Park management

Girringun National Park was gazetted as part of Lumholtz National Park in 2000 before a name change in 2003. Girringun National Park is managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service for the purposes of nature conservation and nature-based recreation.

Tourism information links

Atherton Visitor Information Centre
Corner Main and Silo Roads, Atherton QLD 4883
ph (07) 4091 4222
email

Ravenshoe Visitor Centre
www.trc.qld.gov.au
24 Moore Street, Ravenshoe QLD 4888
ph (07) 4097 7700
email 

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
30 November 2017