Granite Gorge

Granite Gorge view

Granite Gorge Nature Park is a privately run camping ground and wilderness area, half an hour west of Mareeba. It takes its name from the small but dramatic gorge formed by Granite Creek: the domes of the lookout near the entrance give way to huge tumbled boulders downstream.

At this time of year the creek finds its way through them quietly enough but high water levels recorded on the rocks are a reminder that it would be different in the Wet.

The park has a network of walking tracks with steps and hand-rails at useful points but the whole Gorge isn’t very long, perhaps only a kilometre from end to end, so it could be fully explored in a day. The area is nice enough, however, to make a longer stay worthwhile.

Mareeba Rock Wallaby

The camping ground is very pleasant and facilities are good, but the wallabies are what make it special. They are Mareeba Rock Wallabies, Petrogale mareeba, only recently (1992) identified as a species distinct from their near relations. (Townsville’s local species is one of these; see wikipedia for more on the science.)

Mareeba Rock Wallabies
Mareeba Rock Wallabies sunning themselves in the early morning

The park’s information sheet calls their population ‘semi-wild’ and they roam freely around the property, often begging for food and tolerating petting in return.

We had an entertaining encounter with one which wanted to hop into the rear of our vehicle in search of food. It was like dealing with a kitten, trying to be gentle but firm about what was allowed and what wasn’t, and we did eventually get the message across.

Wild birds are abundant and bird enthusiasts may also appreciate the collection of caged exotic parrots in the reception area.

Mareeba Rock Wallaby
Mareeba Rock Wallaby enjoying a fig leaf

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.