Everything You Need To Know About Cania Gorge National Park In Queensland
Whether you’re looking for some information about Cania Gorge National Park in Queensland or you’re looking for things to do in Bundaberg or things to do in Agnes Water, then look no further! Cania Gorge is home to beautiful walking tracks and Aboroginal hand rock art paintings.
Did you know that Aboriginal people lived in Cania Gorge for 19,000 years?
This remarkable gorge is a beautiful home to so many different terrains, we honestly felt like we were in multiple national parks. What’s really cool about Cania Gorge is on the drive there, it’s quite dry. But, when you enter into the gorge, it gets tropical quite fast, making it feel like you’ve reached a hidden gem. It’s also home to over 90 species of birds as well as wallabies and bent-wing bats and is an ancient place making you feel like you’re walking through history.
We read mixed reviews about Cania Gorge with some people loving it and others not so much. I suppose the weather can make a difference to the day, but for us simply knowing that Aboriginal people lived here for 19,000 years just blows my mind. It’s a hard thing to comprehend and makes the visit utterly special.
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How To Get To Cania Gorge
It takes roughly around 2h30m to drive to Cania Gorge from Agnes Water or Bundaberg. The drive we did from Agnes Water takes you mostly on gravel roads (we were fine in our 2wd car) and is a beautiful drive. We stopped off in Builyan and found a cute coffee shop with a lady playing the accordion outside. It was random but kinda genius and a highlight to our day.
We were worried about getting fuel, but you can fill up at Monto if needed. This is the biggest town in the area, complete with supermarkets and cafes.
If you’re coming from Brisbane, it takes 6 hours to drive to, which is a good stop off to spend a couple of days in if you’re on your way to Carnarvon Gorge as well. When we visited Cania Gorge, it wasn’t anywhere near as busy as Carnarvon Gorge.
Cania Gorge Walks To Consider
When we were researching Cania Gorge walks, we were unsure which one to do. We didn’t want to do a mammoth hike after our long, hot Carnarvon Gorge hike we did before! Instead, we chose to do a short hike which took us to Dripping Rock, The Overhang, Dragon Cave and Bloodwood Cave. Because this was a day trip from Agnes Water, we left a bit of the day to see some of the amazing Monto art trail in the nearby town.
The majority of the Cania Gorge hikes start and finish at the Cania Gorge Picnic Area.
1. Castle Mountain (grade 4)
Distance: 22km (allow 7-8 hours)
We would have totally done the Castle Mountain walk in Cania Gorge but we decided to save that one for another time. The highlight of this epic hike is the Castle Mountain Lookout at the halfway point which overlooks views of Lake Cania. I think it looks worth it personally!
2. Fern Tree Pool and Giants Chair Circuit (grade 3)
Distance: 5.6km return (allow 3 hours)
I think three hours is a good amount of time for a day hike. It’s not too short and not too long, perfect for friends or couples to take on. Luckily there are some shorter hikes if you have small children. Although I had read that the Giants Chair Lookout doesn’t provide epic views as you might like it to, the fern tree gully is supposed to make up for it!
3. Dripping Rock and The Overhang (Grade 3)
Distance: 3.2km return (allow 2.5 hours)
This is the Cania Gorge walk we actually did which we’ll talk more about below. We chose this hike as it wasn’t too long and it seemed to be one of the most popular walks in Cania Gorge. I saw photos of The Overhang and it looked impressive so we thought we’d take a look.
I also like the option of having Dragon Cave and Bloodwood Cave to do as an add on at the end of this hike which proved to be a good idea!
The hike actually took us 1h50m all up to Dripping Rock, The Overhang and Dragon Cave, which we’ll talk more about later in this post.
4. Dragon Cave and Bloodwood Cave (grade 3)
Distance: 2.6km return (allow 1 hour)
As noted above, you can hike to Dripping Rock, The Overhang, Dragon Cave and Bloodwood Cave all together. Or, you could do them separately if you prefer. We saw a couple of families hike to the caves as it’s a nice and easy walk. Although we didn’t notice it, there’s a mural of a dragon on the sandstone inside the cave wall.
5. Two Storey Cave Circuit (grade 3)
Distance: 1.3km (allow 45 minutes)
Hike this beautiful track up to a breathtaking cave, which is also a haven for bats. You can actually crawl into the cave too, probably not the best for anyone with a fear of bats or who suffers from claustrophobia!
6. Big Foot Walk (grade 3)
Distance: 1km return (allow 45 minutes)
We really wanted to go on the Big Foot Walk but unfortunately, we ran out of time. In this walk, you’ll find an impressive huge bigfoot imprinted in the side of a cliff. It’s a huge highlight in the Cania Gorge National Park and something we will come back to see again!
7. Picnic Area Circuit (grade 2)
Distance: 300m return (allow 20 minutes)
The shortest Cania Gorge walk is the Picnic Creek Circuit which will talk you along the Three Moon Creek for views of the famous cliffs protecting the gorge.
8. Shamrock Mine Site (grade 3)
Distance: 1.4km return (allow 45 minutes)
The only Cania Gorge walk not located from the Picnic Area is the Shamrock Mine Site from the Northern Carpark. It’s been said there’s not a huge amount to see, but a lot to learn about the history of this walk with educational signs around.
Dripping Rock and The Overhang Walk Review
Distance: 3.2km return (allow 2.5 hours)
We decided to do the Dripping Rock and The Overhang walk in Cania Gorge with an add on of Dragon Cave. Although it’s suggested the Dripping Rock and The Overhang walk will take 2.5hrs, it actually took us all up of 1h50m including Dragon Cave. We didn’t walk fast and we stopped a lot to look at the Aboriginal rock art and The Overhang.
We loved this hike and were instantly rewarded the beautiful views and a feeling of being surrounded by ancient land. It took us 28 minutes to walk to Dripping Rock although we probably wouldn’t have noticed it as it was moss against the cliffs with a sign telling us.
As we continued on along the boardwalk, it took us a further 20 minutes to get to The Overhang because of the amount of times we stopped to look at the Aboriginal rock art. On the way back I timed it, and it took us about 15 minutes from The Overhang back to Dripping Rock.
Although it was amazing to see the Aboriginal Rock Art, it was an absolute shame to see people had graffitied their own names alongside it. I can’t say I’ve ever seen that before and it felt like a disgrace to the Aboriginal culture, to be honest.
The Overhang is beautiful and we walked through it in awe taking photos of this beautiful site with the sun peeking through the trees. It’s definitely worth the walk and a highlight for us.
On the way back to the car at the picnic area, we ended up detouring to check out Dragon Cave & Bloodwood Cave. It’s only a 10 minute walk to Dragon Cave up a slight incline on a big path. The terrain felt completely different than to The Overhang without the tropical rainforest feel. We enjoyed seeing Dragon Rock, especially when we later realised the significance when we popped over to the incredible Month Silo Art Trail.
We didn’t continue to Bloodwood Cave this time, purely because we ran out of time, unfortunately. When we got back to the car, we stopped by the picnic tables and BBQ area and had our pre-made falafel wraps we brought with us!
We then made our way to Monto which we’ll talk more about below.
Visit The Monto Art Trail
On our way out of Cania Gorge National Park, I remembered there is the Monto Art Silo Trail so we quickly looked it up on Google and made a beeline to the impressive huge silo just outside of Monto called The Three Moon Silo. It’s the first piece of silo art we had ever seen and it’s totally amazing.
There’s a sign explaining the piece of art and how it’s of the Dragon Cave we had just been to! You can read about the story of this piece on the Australian Silo Art Trail site. We then went back into town, found the famous cow mural down an alleyway on the main street and another silo painted as well. I love how some small towns are really brought to life with the street art like Yeppoon is as well.
Tip – there’s an insanly AMAZING honesty box at the Three Moons Silo in the car park, full of boxes of fresh veggies, homemade sauces and cakes. We’ve never seen anything like it. Be sure to put the correct money into the box when taking anything. We got some zucchinis and beans and they have to be the best we’ve ever tasted. I would totally come back to Cania Gorge and Monto just to come to the honesty box, it’s that good!
Difference between Cania Gorge & Carnarvon Gorge
Are you wondering whether to go to Cania Gorge or Carnarvon Gorge National Park? While they might both be a gorge, these two national parks in Queensland are totally different. While Cania Gorge is beautiful and easier to get to, Carnarvon Gorge is on another level.
The eight Cania Gorge National Park walks nearly all start from the Picnic Area and are relatively short. In Carnarvon Gorge, there’s pretty much one track in and out of the gorge, but what makes it special is that it’s almost like going sightseeing! On the track, it verges off to different ‘attractions’. I say ‘attractions’ but what I mean is mind blowing pieces of nature like the Amphitheatre, and Boowinda Gorge for example.
Carnarvon Gorge isn’t easy, especially if you visit in the warmer months. Trust me! We hiked in 40+C and the air was so dry, it was beyond difficult. You can read our complete guide for everything you need to know about hiking in Carnarvon Gorge if you’re interested!
But, what makes Carnarvon Gorge extra special is the Aboriginal rock art. With over 2000 paintings at The Art Gallery for example, it’s home to some of the best Aboriginal art in Australia.
While we will certainly head back to Cania Gorge to explore the other walks, if you had to choose one to visit, Carnarvon Gorge would be our top pick!