Duaringa is a small town located in the Central Highlands of Central Queensland, Australia, located 107 kilometres west of Rockhampton along the Capricorn Highway.
The town is one of the region's oldest, with buildings dating back to the 1860s. The Duaringa Tourist Information Centre is artistic on the inside and out; you can see the large mural created by local artists on its feature wall from the highway. On the inside, the Centre sells local arts and crafts and has a wealth of information about the town's history and attractions. Woorabinda Arts & Cultural Centre is an Indigenous Arts space that showcases Indigenous Art, products, events and more.
Mackenzie Park on the eastern side of town is home to a unique species of tree known as the Duaringa Stringy Bark, or 'Budgeroo.' The tree can grow up to ten metres tall and has bushy foliage with small white flowers that bloom in the spring. These trees were of great cultural significance to the early Aboriginal community who used its bark to make rope, baskets and building materials. The park has a camping area with electric barbeques, a charging tree and hot showers for donation. A historic cemetery next to Mackenzie Park has many graves and headstones dating back to the 1800s.
Anglers can try their luck in the Mackenzie River, which is located 20 kilometres to the north or in the Dawson River, which is located nine kilometres to the southeast. At the Duaringa Golf Club, golfers can enjoy a leisurely 9-hole course with ironbark lined fairways that provide a challenge while also providing a shady area for kangaroos to rest during the midday heat.
The Central Highlands
(Carnarvon Gorge and Sandstone Wilderness)
The Sandstone Country is a truly unique place to travel in Queensland, with outstanding natural beauty, unique sandstone gorges, water-sculptured formations and significant Aboriginal art sites. The area's wild dramatic scenery and abundant evidence of an ancient yet ongoing culture will lift your spirits and capture your imagination.
Blackdown Tableland National Park
The Blackdown Tableland National Park, located on the outskirts of Duaringa, is a true inland oasis. The national park is located on a massive sandstone plateau that can be seen for miles around. With a deep gorge that cuts through the landscape and provides avenues for cascading rockpools, scenic waterfalls and swimming holes, this landscape is one of Queensland's best-kept natural secrets. The Ghungalu people are the traditional owners of the land and have been visiting it for thousands of years. Their culture can still be seen today through indigenous sites and rock art. The walks to access the area's scenery range from easy-grade 5-minute strolls to more moderate 2-hour return hikes.
Minerva Hills National Park
The Minerva Hills National Park is one of Central Queensland's lesser-known National Parks, located three hours southeast of Duaringa. Born of raging volcanic eruptions over 30 million years ago, you will be amazed by the variety of colours, peaks, gorges, plateaus, and wildlife - you may even see a snoozing koala. The area is relatively small, but it is ideal for a weekend adventure. While most vehicles can access it, the road (which is unsealed) is rough in some places and may require a car with extra clearance.
Lake Nuga Nuga National Park
One of many lesser-known QLD destinations is Lake Nuga Nuga and the National Park of the same name, located three hours south of Duaringa. Lake Nuga Nuga is the largest natural body of water in the Central Queensland Sandstone Belt and is accessible via the Carnarvon Highway and the Arcadia Valley Highway. The park is quite remote and has no facilities, but it is a birdwatcher and photographer's dream. The bird life is spectacular, with species such as black swans, wedge-tail eagles, black and white cockatoos, Australian bustards, and straw-necked ibis. Aside from birds, there is also an abundance of kangaroos and wallabies in the area.