Australia: The Land Where Time Began
Kroombit Tops National Park and Forest Reserve
What's special?Rugged mountain scenery, sandstone cliffs and gorges, creeks, waterfalls and a variety of vegetation types are protected in two adjacent reserves on the 800–900m high Kroombit Tops Plateau. This large protected area is the headwaters for many creeks and a refuge for wildlife including tropical and subtropical rainforest species and animals close to the limit of their usual range. The Kroombit tinkerfrog Taudactylus pleione, which is vulnerable to extinction, lives in the rainforest.
Most of the plateau is covered in dry woodland with a heath understorey. Open forests of white mahogany are common. Subtropical rainforest with piccabeen palms grows in sheltered pockets on the wetter eastern side of the plateau. Kroombit Tops is the northern limit of cool temperate white beech rainforest. Dry rainforest with towering hoop pines and tall wet sclerophyll forests with Sydney blue gums grow in the central part of the plateau. Dry bottle tree scrubs grow on the drier western side of the plateau.
Kroombit Tops is the site of a large erosion caldera up to 40m across, formed by past volcanic activity.
Exploring Kroombit TopsKroombit Tops is a low-key destination for self-sufficient visitors. Few facilities are provided and most of the park is rugged wilderness. Mobile phone reception points are signposted throughout the forest.
Bush camp at The Wall along the circuit drive or at Griffiths Creek along the forest drive. Campfires are allowed but no facilities are provided. Take drinking water. Creek flow is seasonal. Get your camping permit before you arrive.
Enjoy the view from a lookout on the eastern escarpment. On a clear day, you have stunning views over the Boyne Valley.
Go for a 90-minute scenic drive on a loop road through the park. Most of this circuit is four-wheel-drive only. Allow two hours for the drive. Find out about the tragic plane crash during World War II on the western side of the plateau. Signs help you understand what happened. You must obtain a permit to traverse before driving through the forest.
See the subtropical rainforest and cool temperate rainforest just past the lookout.
Go birdwatching. Glossy black-cockatoos feed in the casuarinas. Enjoy the wildflowers in spring.
A four-wheel-drive road from Cania Gorge is another scenic drive for day-trippers. Horse riding is allowed by permit along the National Bicentennial Trail.
Nights can be cool, especially in winter
WalkingA 700m return track along the four-wheel-drive scenic drive leads to the site of a 1945 bomber plane crash. Rough tracks lead to other features but should only be attempted with Ranger advice. Be prepared for leeches if you walk through the rainforest.
Getting thereKroombit Tops is 2·5 hours’ drive south-west of Rockhampton via the Bruce Highway, Calliope and the unsealed Tableland Road. Calliope, one hour away, is the closest centre for fuel and supplies. A four-wheel-drive road provides access from Ubobo where fuel and food are also available.
|Author: M.H.Monroe Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sources & Further reading|