Australia: The Land Where Time Began
Blackdown Tableland National Park
What's special?Rising abruptly above the surrounding dry plains, Blackdown Tableland protects spectacular sandstone scenery with gorges and waterfalls at the north-eastern edge of the central Queensland sandstone belt.
Woodlands, tall open forests and heath cover the tableland, providing a home for a variety of plants and animals, several found nowhere else, such as the Blackdown stringybark, a macrozamia, red bottlebrush, the Blackdown “monster” (a type of underground cricket), and a Christmas beetle.
Ferns grow around creeks and gorges. The sheer-drop waterfall at Stony Creek Gorge is dry most of the year.
This is the traditional home of the Ghungalu people who have visited this place for thousands of years and left behind rock art, vivid reminders of their special culture.
The park also contains interesting relics of the park’s grazing past. Forest reserve surrounds the park.
Exploring Blackdown TablelandStop and enjoy the view over the surrounding grazing lands from Horseshoe Lookout. Read the displays to help you plan your visit.
Discover Aboriginal culture and see the stencil art along the Mimosa Creek cultural trail. Fit walkers can walk through open forest to a spectacular gorge at the bottom of Rainbow Falls. Cool off in the rockpool. Be prepared for a steep climb back.
Have a picnic at Horseshoe Lookout or South Mimosa Creek after your bushwalk. Take drinking water. Remove your rubbish.
Go for a scenic four-wheel-drive around the Loop Road (19km, 1–1·5 hours) in dry weather. See dry open woodland with magnificent sandstone outcrops sheltering king orchids and basket ferns. Stop at Charlevue Lookout for great views over the brigalow belt.
Camp in the forest at South Mimosa Creek. Campsites for tents, small trailers and campervans are provided. Be prepared ? winter nights can be cold and summer days, quite hot. Take drinking water and a fuel stove. Please do not feed the birds. Let them find their own food. Bookings are taken three months in advance for school and public holidays.
Look for wildlife around the creeks or go spotlighting at night. Wildflower season is one of the best times to visit.
An emergency phone is located at the ranger base opposite Horseshoe Lookout.
WalkingWalking tracks take you to heritage sites, creeks and lookouts. Wear a hat and sunscreen and carry water. Talk to the ranger about possible overnight hikes. Register and pay camping fees before undertaking overnight hikes.
AccessibilityThe lookout, picnic tables and toilets at Horsehoe Lookout are wheelchair-accessible.
Getting thereBlackdown Tableland is about 2·5 hours’ drive west of Rockhampton via the Capricorn Highway. The park turnoff is 11km west of Dingo, 110km east of Emerald or 35km east of Blackwater. The 8km climb up the Tableland is steep, winding and slippery and unsuitable for towing caravans. The camping area is a further 8km. Conventional access to most of the park is possible with care but four-wheel-drive is necessary around the loop road to Charlevue Lookout. Access may be restricted during wet weather or high fire danger.
|Author: M.H.Monroe Email: email@example.com Sources & Further reading|