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Auburn River National Park & More

Home > Brisbane > Day Trips | Escape the City | Free | National Parks | Outdoor
by Jane Wong (subscribe)
My dogs and I are kind of a package deal. www.instagram.com/eddyandsam
Published April 22nd 2016
A relatively unknown gem of a national park
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Spot me!


Auburn River National Park... Credits to whoever came up with such a beautiful name. Just hearing the name enticed me into paying a visit, even without doing any research.
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Beautiful drive in perfect weather.


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Couldn't think of a better way to spend my Sunday.


This beauty of a national park is situated approximately 410km north-west of Brisbane - don't be put off by the distance! It was a beautiful drive, with places you can stop and explore along the way. I, of course, had to stop by Gayndah (for the Big Orange), and also Mundubbera (for the Big Mandarin!)
Big Orange in Gayndah, the citrus capital of Queensland.


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Mundubbera also claims to be the citrus capital of Queensland (perhaps the capital spans over several towns?), which explains why they are host to the Big Mandarin.


There is a cafe at the Big Orange (called the Big Orange Cafe, obviously), where you can enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in addition to a relatively extensive menu. Service was both quick and friendly, and the food was great - one of the best ham and cheese toasties I've ever had (although I guess I was pretty hungry at this point of the road trip)! The Big Orange is also a Tourist Information Centre, where you can get brochures/information on things to do in Gayndah and its surrounding towns.
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Outside the Big Orange Cafe.


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Another interesting fact: Gayndah is Queensland's oldest town, circa 1849.




Gayndah is situated on the Great Dividing Range with twin hills, affectionally known by locals as "Duke and Duchess", to the south. Archer's Lookout is sits on the Duke, providing great panoramic views all round.
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View from the lookout (not my beer!)


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Beautiful view.


We made another (great) pitstop before continuing on to the National Park. McConnell Lookout is located approximately 6km north of Gayndah, and provides stunning views of the Burnett River. The drive up was steep and narrow, although quite manageable.
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View of the Burnett River.


The drive to the carpark of Auburn River National Park was mostly on unsealed roads - do drive slowly, and be very cautious especially when there is a sharp bend around a corner, or when the originally two-way road temporarily becomes a single-track road. Having said this, we managed the drive in a normal sedan, so 4WDs are not necessarily, except perhaps in wet weather.
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Entrance to Auburn River National Park.


We did do some research on the way to the National Park, finding three options. The first is a 600m walk to Gorge Lookout, the second a strenuous 1.5km riverbed and rockpools walk, and the third an easy 3.2km gorge-top walk. We weren't wearing the most appropriate shoes on this particular day, so we opted for the 600m walk to Gorge Lookout. However, it was only a 15 min walk - it seemed a bit of a waste to drive all this way just for a short stroll, so we turned around and headed for the riverbeds instead. Despite this track being classified as Class 4, it was quite manageable - just remember to take as much time as you need and help each other out. You will not be disappointed with the view...
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The three options to choose from - which path would you take?


Clambering on the riverbed rocks was so much fun, and we had the place to ourselves, despite it being a Sunday. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, although I guess it helped that it hadn't rained in a while so the rocks were completely dry. Also, there were blue arrows on the rocks to help you find a suitable path to take - some are most definitely better than others!
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Lots of nooks and crannies to explore!


Overall, it was an amazing trip - it is quite a lengthy drive so do remember to bring plenty of water, snacks, good company, and of course, a great playlist!
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Why? Great drive, lots to see and explore!
When: Anytime
Where: Gayndah, Mundubbera & Hawkwood
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great review but no mention of camping area?
by Matth (score: 0|3) 1181 days ago
Thanks Jane. I will go one day to explore on the basis of your recommendation.
by ycwong (score: 2|512) 1179 days ago
Wow! A wonderful place to go hiking. The big orange and mandarin are so interesting. I 'm sure I would like to go there in July. Thanks for the beautiful photos.
by lokyl (score: 0|2) 1179 days ago
It looks like it'd be a fun trip and the view is absolutely stunning.
by crazi (score: 0|2) 1179 days ago
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