Unleash Your Inner Explorer: A Weekend of Sunset’s, history and mesmerising views
Porcupine Gorge, Walker's Lookout, vast skies and finding fossils are all unique natural wonders that offer visitors an unforgettable experience. Located in the rugged terrain of North West Queensland, Hughenden is an outback destination that is rapidly becoming a popular travel hotspot.
Elly Rose in front of the giant Comet windmill
Hughenden is home to a variety of outdoor adventures, spectacular scenery, and unique cultural attractions that will leave you awestruck.
One of the must-visit attractions in Hughenden is the Porcupine Gorge National Park, approx. 73km from town. Known as the "Grand Canyon of Queensland," the park boasts breathtaking views of the deep gorge that has been carved out by the Porcupine Creek over millions of years. Visitors can take a scenic walk along the edge of the gorge, or hike down to the base to explore the creek and the surrounding bushland. The lookout offers spectacular views of the rugged landscape and the endless blue skies, which makes for a perfect backdrop for your photos.
It got its name due to the spear grass in the area (looks like the spikes on an echidna) plus there are lots of echidnas in the area.
Elly Rose at Porcupine gorge! What a view.
Can I access the gorge in my car?
Yes, the road to the gorge is sealed bitumen all the way.
Set your tripmeter to 0 at the Flinders Discovery Centre and look out for these points of interest along the way:
- 7km Belemnite locality- Two washed out creek beds pass under the road and in these gullies you can find old Belemnite fossils if you’re lucky. (parts of an ancient marine creature over 100 110 million years old.
- 6km Dingo fence- As you cross the grid, look for the old wooden posts and mesh fence. You have to get out and walk through the grass a little. This was once the old dingo fence which extended more than 2500km, making it the longest fence in the world! It was built to protect sheep from the dingoes but is no longer maintained.
- 8km Eaglehawk Gorge Lookout – Stunning views of the start of the gorges.
- 4km Mailman’s grave – Believed that in 1886 the mailman died and was buried where they found him. His grave is marked by a pile of rocks and small white cross.
- 5km Whistling bore- Look for a rusty turnstile and walk through. This is easy to locate. Turn off your car engine to hear the mysterious sound of the bore whistling. It sounds like a kettle. One possible explanation is that a cave in underground has created a wind tunnel.
- 6km is a native well and the rock formation is completely different again.
Elly Rose about to go through the turnstile to listen to the whistling bore
"The whistling bore sounds like a kettle being boiled and is very spooky when there are no other sounds."
Another highlight of Hughenden is the Walker's Lookout, which is located 10 kilometres outside of town. This lookout is perched atop Mount Walker and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. From here, you can see the vast expanse of the Flinders River, the scenic beauty of Porcupine Gorge, and the nearby dinosaur fossils. The lookout is an excellent spot to watch the sunset or the sunrise, as the sun paints the sky in a vivid display of colours. There are six different viewpoints and each one as stunning as the next.
Elly Rose and Maggie at Walkers Lookout
Speaking of dinosaurs, Hughenden is famous for its rich fossil deposits. The Flinders Discovery Centre is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in dinosaurs or fossils. The centre houses an impressive collection of fossils, including the Muttaburrasaurus, which was first discovered in the area in the 1960s. Visitors can also take part in guided tours to some of the nearby fossil sites, where they can see the remains of dinosaurs that roamed the area millions of years ago.
Elly Rose and Darby the Dinosaur on the wall of the town library
Finally, the endless skies of Hughenden are a sight to behold. With little light pollution and wide-open spaces, the night sky is simply breathtaking. Visitors can take a guided tour of the stars and learn about the constellations, planets, and galaxies that are visible in the southern hemisphere. Alternatively, you can simply lay back and enjoy the serenity of the night sky, as the Milky Way twinkles above you.
Elly rose near the native well and cool rock formations
In conclusion, Hughenden is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you're a nature lover, a history buff, or a stargazer, there's plenty to see and do in this outback town. From the rugged beauty of Porcupine Gorge to the spectacular views of Walker's Lookout, to the dinosaur fossils and the endless skies, the man-made lake and beach, Hughenden is a must-visit destination that will leave you awe-inspired. There is so much for families to discover over a weekend or few days.
If you are travelling to Hughenden during April/May you might like the Festival of Outback Skies blog post
FAQ for the adults
Telstra Next G and Optus networks
How many fuel stations in Hughenden?
There are four fuel stations that carry unleaded, diesel and 98% Octane.
Business hours on the weekend
Sat - 9am – 12pm Sat
Foodworks are open 7am – 7pm – 7 days