We headed to Utopia Rock Pools in Mount Walsh National Park at the end of our road trip around the North Burnett region. Years of water erosion have created a series of pools in the granite rocks. The contrasts between the watercolours and the granite create a fascinating landscape.
Utopia Rock Pools are also known as Utopia Falls or Waterfall Creek Falls (the name of the car park). Here are some tips to plan your visit to Utopia Rock Pools.
Looking for a natural spot to take a refreshing dip? Check out these 14 beautiful rock pools near Brisbane!
What’s the best time to visit Utopia Rock Pools?
It’s good to visit Utopia Rock Pools after the rain to see the waterfall. If it has rained a lot, be careful as creeks can be unpredictable with water levels and debris.
Although there had been some rain in the region, there was no waterfall when we visited. Still, the rock pools looked stunning. And as there wasn’t a lot of water in the creek, it was easy to go up and get stunning views of the rock pools. Rocks near the water, often the darker ones, can be very slippery. One of us went down in the water while the other carried the clothes to keep them dry. It was refreshing, but not cold. We only stayed there for about one hour as we had to head back to Brisbane, but I’m sure families can spend a full afternoon there.
Responsible travel tip: Did you know your sunscreen can pollute the water and harm animals? The best way to protect your body from the sun is to cover it with long sleeves and pants. If you do have to use sunscreen, choose a mineral one (like zinc) to avoid harmful substances (see the full list here) and apply it at least 20 minutes before entering the water.
We visited at the end of a Sunday afternoon and were the only ones in the rock pools. But from the rubbish we could see in the car park, we could tell this can be a popular site during weekends, unfortunately.
How long does it take to walk to the pools?
The National Park sign recommends allowing one hour for the 3-kilometre return walk. However, It only took us 15 minutes to walk the 1.5 kilometres to the rock pools at a quick pace, with good hiking shoes and almost no bags. We had already walked a lot in Cania Gorge National Park and Auburn River National Park, so we found it easy to walk to Utopia Pools.
It’s graded as a class 4 track as there are some steep sections and loose rocks. If you’re fit and used to hiking, you won’t find it difficult. I’m sure most Australians go down to the rock pools without proper footwear though, and it would take a lot longer on this path. The path is not suitable for prams.
What to bring when you visit Utopia Rock Pools?
There are no facilities at the rock pools or at the car park. You’ll have to bring everything you need and make sure you can also bring it back, including your rubbish.
Responsible travel tip: There’s no rubbish bin or toilets at this beautiful remote site. Make sure you plan ahead to leave no trace. You’ll have to bring back your rubbish with you (and some extra that other visitors may have left behind, unfortunately). If you really need to go to the toilets, use the leave no trace principles to preserve the site.
Have you visited Utopia Falls? Share your experience in the comments below!
Where are Utopia Rock Pools in Mount Walsh National Park?
The walk to reach Utopia Rock Pools starts from a different car park than the walk to climb Mount Walsh. If you had in mind to visit both places in the national park in one visit, note that it takes about 30 minutes to drive from one car park to the other.
If you’re following a GPS to get to Utopia Rock Pools, make sure you’re heading to the Waterfall Creek Section car park at the end of Utopia Road. We were surprised there was no sign on the way to Utopia Rock Pools. The unsealed road at the end was in good shape when we visited; we could easily go all the way to the car park with our 2WD. It may be different in wet weather.