Can’t make it to the actual Grand Canyon? Not to worry, because we’ve got our own version right here in Queensland. It might not be as vast as its Arizona counterpart, but still spectacular nonetheless. Located in Outback Queensland, around 17 hours north-west of Brisbane, Porcupine Gorge is a great inland detour on a road trip to Cairns. This hidden gem is known as Australia’s “Little Grand Canyon”, with epic hiking trails, freshwater swimming, and a remote camping spot.
Porcupine Gorge National Park
Get a taste of the wild and remote Outback Queensland with a trip to Porcupine Gorge. The national park is located 449 km west of Townsville – so pretty much in the middle of nowhere. But sometimes in the middle of nowhere is where the most special spots lie.
For the best views of the gorge from above, head to The Porcupine Gorge Lookout and The Pyramid Lookout for dramatic vistas. The Pyramid Lookout is located at the national park’s campground, and is also the starting point to the 2.4km Gorge Walk, which takes you down to the bottom of the gorge.
When at the base of Porcupine Gorge, you can enjoy a swim in the Porcupine Creek pools. It’s worth noting, though, that the creek might not be flowing at certain times of the year due to lack of rain.
Where to stay
There’s a remote campground in the national park that you can pitch a tent at, though you’ll need to bring all your supplies, including drinking water. Alternatively, a town named Hughenden sits 74 kilometres away, where you can bed down for the night in a hotel.
Porcupine Gorge is busiest in the winter months because of the more pleasant weather, which sits at an average maximum temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. It gets extremely hot out there during summer, with average maximum temperatures often exceeding 35 degrees Celsius.
For more information about Porcupine Gorge, head to the Hughenden tourism website.