Isla Gorge National Park
At the southern end of the Dawson Range, Isla Gorge National Park protects spectacular sandstone scenery in the central highlands. Here, among a complex maze of gorges, sandstone outcrops and striking rock formations change colour throughout the day. Scenic Isla Gorge is fairly broad and contains Gorge Creek, a tributary of the Dawson River.
Open eucalypt forests, brigalow and softwood scrubs and patches of dry rainforest with distinctive bottle trees grow in the park. The park is home to many rare and threatened plants including Eucalyptus beaniana, an ironbark found west of the lookout and Eucalyptus curtisii, a mallee. The plateau has brilliant wildflower displays in spring.
Isla Gorge is a great place for an inland stopover. The picnic and camping area overlooks the gorge and is just 13km off the highway. Be careful: cliff edges may crumble. Stay well back.
Watch the sunset over the orange-coloured cliffs of Isla Gorge. Camp overnight. The small camping area is suitable for caravans and motorhomes. Take drinking water and firewood. Pay your camping fees at the self-registration station.
Go birdwatching. See wedge-tailed eagles and peregrine falcons soaring above the gorge or honeyeaters splurging on wattle, eucalypt, boronia and grevillea flowers from mid-winter to summer. See whiptail wallabies and grey kangaroos in the valley. (The Herbert’s rock-wallabies which live in the park are rarely seen.)
Go for a scenic drive and walk to see the remains of the historic road near Flagstaff Hill. Have a picnic near the carpark.
Turn off the Leichhardt Highway, 55km north of Taroom or 35km south of Theodore, and drive 13km to the picnic and camping area.
To reach Flagstaff Hill, turn left off the highway at the "Flagstaff via Waterton" signpost, 31km north of Taroom. Follow this road for 49km (ignoring the "Flagstaff" sign pointing to the left halfway along) then turn left and drive 16km to the carpark and picnic area at Flagstaff Hill.
From the north, turn off the Leichhardt Highway 8km south of Theodore. Travel 14km along the Glenmoral Roundstone and DPI Brigalow Research Station Road. Turn left into Glenbar Road, continue 36km then turn right into Flagstaff Road. Drive 9km then turn right into the park. Roads can become impossible after rain.
Further information and booking centres:
QPWS Ranger in Charge
Miller and Bonner Streets
PO Box 175
TAROOM QLD 4420
Phone: (07) 4627 3358
Fax: (07) 4627 3448