Queensland Gorges

Nine Amazing Queensland Gorges You Need To Visit

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If you live in Queensland, your usual holiday had you heading to Cairns, Noosa, the Sunshine, or Goldcoast. We all love the beach but that is not all there is to Queensland.

Now, sure, many people imagine leaving the Queensland coastline and heading inland as entering a red, arid wasteland…

But that is not so. Some of Queensland’s most breathtaking natural wonders are found here.

The Queensland outback has plenty to offer. We’ve found some amazing Queensland Gorges well worth braving the red dirt roads and kangaroos to experience what Queensland has to offer. 

Follow this guide to the best Queensland gorges the outback has to offer.

Nine Amazing Queensland Gorges

Carnarvon Gorge Queensland Gorges
Carnarvon Gorge
Carnarvon Gorge
Carnarvon Gorge

Carnarvon Gorge

Carnarvon Gorge will blow you away. It’s one of the best Queensland gorges and national parks to visit, not only in Queensland but in the whole of Australia. Carnarvon Gorge is Queensland’s answer to the Kimberley. The gorge system in the National park is also one of the largest in Australia.

It ticks so many boxes. With dramatic sandstone cliffs, lush greenery, abundant wildlife, incredible hikes, and some of the best indigenous rock art, it’s no surprise we absolutely loved our time here.

The best time to visit Carnarvon Gorge is between April/May – September during the cooler winter months. It will make your hiking much more enjoyable. We’ve visited at the end of August and the weather was perfect. The nights can get pretty cold in winter so keep that in mind if you are in a campervan or camping. You might need an extra layer. It dropped to 15 degrees during the night when we were here, but it can get really cold.

Carnarvon Gorge is located 720km west of Brisbane in so called Central Highlands.

Most visitors drive to Carnarvon Gorge. You can do so by driving from Brisbane towards Roma and then head north for about 3 and a half hours. 

Porcupine Gorge
Porcupine Gorge
Porcupine Gorge Pyramid
Pyramid Rock

Porcupine Gorge

Nicknamed Australia’s ‘little Grand Canyon’, this landmark definitely belongs on our must-see, must-visit list.

Porcupine Gorge is an impressive canyon that has been carved into the landscape by the eroding action of Porcupine Creek, revealing strata of sedimentary rocks spanning hundreds of millions of years.

The gorge is a great place for viewing wildlife, especially birds. Explore the sculptured sandstone and deep pools of the gorge floor along the 2.4 kilometer (return) Pyramid track. Enjoy the bird calls and look for wallaroos and red kangaroos. The short walk to the Pyramid lookout is well worth the scenic views over the gorge. Set up camp in the camping area and enjoy the solitude of the outback.

While in Hughenden it’s well worth the trip to Porcupine Gorge and Pyramid Rock.
If you have a moderate fitness level do the walk down into the gorge but go early in the day (allow 2-3 hours to enjoy time on the Gorge floor and a slow walk back to the top); take plenty of water and don’t forget to slip/slop/slap.

There are 2 main places to visit (you’ll see both brown signs off the highway, 1 for the lookout & 1 for the campground. Both are worth a visit). The Campground has a nice lookout area, a few optional walking tracks & toilets that have much to be desired (they ran out of flushing water & stank bad). If you are doing walking tracks, take plenty of drinking water.

For the “Mini Grand Canyon” experience, it’s best to visit the main Lookout point signposted off the highway. Still not like the USA, but is a more impressive gorge (canyon look to it), with millions of years of old rock layers.

If you’re not up to the trip down (and more importantly back UP!) then there are a couple of good lookout points that will provide fantastic views. Make sure to add this to your Queensland Gorges must-see list!

Amazing Queensland Gorges

Cobbold Gorge Queensland gorges
Cobbold Gorge
Cobbold Gorge glass bridge
The Glass bridge

Cobbold Gorge

Amazing place, remote but once your there it’s awesome. This breath-taking natural wonder is located on managed property and access is by tour only. This helps to protect this special place for future generations and offers an incredible opportunity to learn the intricacies of the area and its evolving history.

Tour the gorge by electric powered boat – quietly motored as not to disturb the gentle serenity of the natural ecosystems it passes. It glides across the surface mirroring the eerie silence of the Cobbold Gorge itself. A special and serene wonder.

Or book into a stand-up paddleboard tour of the gorge to finish off your long weekend. Enjoy the journey from a different angle, a way to feel more engaged with the surroundings and connected to the gorge itself.

The main drawcard for those visiting the gorge – an eleven-meter-long glass bridge that lets you gaze at the waters below. It’s the kind of experience that’ll have you raise the camera and yell ‘give us a wave’ to whoever you might be traveling with. You’ll do anything to capture that moment.

Access to Cobbold Gorge is from Georgetown in North Queensland on the Savannah Way approx 400kms West from Cairns. Overall Cobbold Gorge is fantastic and we highly recommend at least 3 nights there. Amazing place, a must for everyone’s bucket list – Must-see Queensland gorges.

Northbrook Gorge Queensland gorges
Northbrook Gorge

Northbrook Gorge

Northbrook Gorges are one hour from Brisbane and offer hiking and bushwalking trails, along with native wildlife, waterfalls, and swimming holes filled with crystal clear water.

Northbrook Gorges are a unique bushwalking escape located in the mountains of Brisbane Forest Park. Expect stunning rock pools, fun rock-hopping, and lush surrounds in Brisbane semi-secret oasis.

Yet another one of the amazing Queensland gorges worth seeing. Be prepared for stunning clear water, awesome rock formations, and a variety of wildlife (keep an eye out for snakes as they enjoy this place too). The best spot is the rock pool with the waterfall where you can enjoy a bite to eat and swim.

This is freshwater so water temp is always much cooler (great for summer and invigorating in winter) and even a resident Eel has been spotted here! Please respect the area by keeping it clean and ensure that no rubbish is left behind.

Roughly 50km northwest of Brisbane, head towards Samford Valley. We drove to the gorge via Mt Glorious Road, which further along, changed its name to Northbrook Parkway (allow 1hr travel time).

It was worth the effort. The rock walls in this part of the gorge were striking.

- Amazing Queensland Gorges -
Robinson Gorge
Robinson Gorge

Robinson Gorge

Covered in open eucalypt forest, the gorge plateau stretches along the landscape for 14 km. Its winding ridge of sheer sandstone wall is like a fortress. A place where from a great height, you can survey the land below.

Rising up to 100 m in some places, huge bulging sections and overhangs dwarf you. The multi-colored stone – sometimes deep shades of red, orange, and grey – fades in parts to soft creamy hues. Keep your camera close.

Robinson Gorge has three sensational lookouts. Each walk to the lookouts is suitable for experienced bushwalkers who can handle the rough ground.

Robinson Gorge Lookout casts sweeping views over the gorge, cliffs, and low lying valley. The walking track also leads down to the gorge where rare flora can be found among the palms and bottle brush.

Further south, Shepherds Peak is well worth the hike. The walk through the eucalypts brings you to the ridge top and a spectacular panoramic view across the gorge and beyond.

Multiple lookouts and camping areas make this gorge particularly visitor-friendly, but try to arrive prepared; don’t bother without a 4WD, and remember that in the wet season access is forbidden.

- Amazing Queensland Gorges -
Mossman Gorge Queensland gorges
Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

The world heritage listed Daintree Rainforest is a destination unlike any other. One of the Daintree’s most accessible attractions can be found in its southern regions. Mossman Gorge is located just 80kms north of Cairns and is a great first stop on your journey through this marvellous rainforest. Yet another addition to our must-see Queensland Gorges list.

Nearby the gorge itself, you will find the Mossman Gorge Centre, where you can find a gallery full of aboriginal crafts and artworks on display. From there you can stroll through the peaceful rainforest canopy from the carpark as you make your way to Mossman Gorge.

The gorge has several walking trails, all of which allow you to explore the area around you and view some of the many marvels that this rainforest has on display. Taking the River Circuit Trail will reward you with stunning views as you make your way alongside the beautiful river. This walk is 400m long and can be finished in a matter of minutes, the slightly longer trail known as the Rainforest Circuit covers a total distance of 2km. It’s on this walk that you can really spend some time exploring the natural beauty of this ancient rainforest, and if you keep your eyes peeled you may even spot some of Daintree’s famous wildlife.

- Amazing Queensland Gorges -
Hell Hole Gorge Queensland gorges
Hell Hole Gorge

Hell Hole Gorge

Hell Hole Gorge National Park lies about 70km West of Adavale. In turn, Adavale is 120km North of Quilpie and 250km South of Blackall.

So Hell Hole Gorge is pretty remote. In fact, it has only recently been opened to the public. An access road has been pushed through the privately owned Milo Station, allowing the public a route into the Park.

Although the road was in good condition when we visited, a 4WD is recommended. In fact, a 4WD is essential if you want to reach the campground at Hell Hole Gorge. There’s a couple of rock ledges down into Powell Creek then a couple of larger ones up and out the other side.

The gorge itself is better described as a large waterhole with steep red rock sides. We tried to walk down and into the hole to approach the beach section. That was tough. No paths. But we did it.

There are birds here…wedgetail, black cockatoos, honeyeaters. There is NO mobile reception. Take plenty of water.

The stars at night out there were amazing. It was worth seeing the gorge. I did feel separated from the modern world out there.

- Amazing Queensland Gorges -
Lawn Hill Gorge
Lawn Hill Gorge

Lawn Hill Gorge

I’ve heard so much about this place and my visit to the gorge exceeded my expectations.

Before visiting I was confused about the relationship between Lawn Hill Gorge and Adel’s Grove. Lawn Hill is the (Boodjamulla) National Park, Adel’s is the commercial operation 10Kms down the road. Between the two is a water reserve owned by the state government but there does not appear to be anything happening there.

The confusion arises because many of the pictures in Adel’s promotion material is actually Lawn Hill Gorge, not Adel’s Grove. Also – Adels run their Gorge Cruise in the Park, this is not clear from Adel’s Website. The Gorge cruise is in the Park, in an electric barge vehicle, and you see some of the middle Gorge and the Indarri falls; it’s the more expensive trip. The “Up the Creek” cruise is from the Grove and is basically a nature cruise in a petrol barge that travels slowly up the river; it’s cheaper and you learn a bit about Albert (ADEL is his initials).

This beautiful oasis amid dry, stony savannah country sounds much more romantic when referred to by its Aboriginal name, ‘Boodjamulla’ National Park. Boodjamulla is the Waanyi people’s name for the Dreamtime Rainbow Serpent, who formed the gorge to keep his skin wet.

The scale of Boodjamulla is best appreciated by a combination of hiking up to the rocky plateaus and drifting on the gorge waters.

For the moderately fit the must-do hikes are the four-kilometer, Island Stack walk that kicks off with a staircase climb that eases into an easy track that loops around a large island of rock in the heart of the gorge.

From this track, there’s a short Cascades walk to a pandanus-fringed pool, with mini-waterfall. If you start this walk in the wee hours – wear a head torch – the sunrise experience is well worth the loss of shut-eye.

One of the main activities here is to canoe through the gorge. There are “harmless” freshwater crocodiles, but I was assured they are no threat whether you’re on or in the water. You can only take the canoes upstream into the upper gorge area. The two gorges are separated by Indarri Waterfalls, where you can either tie up and go for a swim or carry your canoe along the path into the second gorge.

The gorge is spring-fed and you can see the air bubbles floating up from the bottom. The water is surprisingly clear in some parts and there are lots of small fish who will pop up to say hello.

- Amazing Queensland Gorges -
Copperfield Gorge
Copperfield Gorge

Copperfield Gorge

Copperfield Gorge is the remnants of an ancient lava flow that spewed from a now extinct volcano thousands of years ago. Today it is a stunning natural beauty cut out of the ground.

This gorge is a few hundred metres from the Einasleigh Hotel and has parking suitable for those towing caravans or camper trailers.

Copperfield Gorge is free to visit and a great budget-friendly alternative or addition to the Undara Lava Tubes.

There are many wonderful waterholes and areas to swim in the gorge and along the river; a welcome relief in the heat. Also, the wide sandy bank is a great place to relax with trees along the banks offering some shade.

Then there is the opportunity to see the rock formations created by the ancient lava flow. Check out the layers of lava flow, the basalt columns and marvel at how nature with some trees, shrubs and a river can transform it into a place of great natural beauty.

Einasleigh and Copperfield Gorge are south off the Savannah Way (a series of highways and roads that run west from Cairns) and accessible from the Savannah Way towns of Georgetown and Mount Surprise.

Once you are in the region, it is a 77 km journey south-west from Mount Surprise or 115km south-east from Georgetown. The road from Mount Surprise is gravel with some corrugations. The road from Georgetown is a mix of tar, dirt and gravel with the most being tar.

An alternative route from the south is along the Kennedy Development Road / State Route 62 from Hugenden. The 340km journey is on a sealed road.

Einasleigh’s roads in and around town are sealed.

- Amazing Queensland Gorges -
finch hatton gorge
Finch Hatton gorge

Finch Hatton Gorge

Finch Hatton Gorge is located just outside of Finch Hatton, between Mackay and the Eungella National Park. On arriving at Finch Hatton Gorge, you will find a large BBQ and picnic area, as well as some amenities. It is from this point that you can join one of the fabulous walking trails.

Within the Finch Hatton Gorge, there are a couple of magnificent walking trails. The shorter walk is 1.6km (one way), taking you to the small, but pretty Araluen Falls. It returns along the same path, however, it also makes up the first section of the longer walk (which is definitely worth the extra distance).

The longer walk continues on to the Wheel of Fire Falls and is a total of 2.1km (one way). The scenery along the walks is wonderful, with a variety of plants and trees.

Amazing Queensland Gorges

There is so much to see and do in Queensland and this is by far, not a complete list of Queensland gorges, but it is a start. If you know of other places you think should be added to this list of Queensland gorges, please feel free to add a comment below. We would love to hear from you.

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