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About Expedition

Getting there and getting around

Many roads in these remote parks are suitable for 4WD vehicles only. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Many roads in these remote parks are suitable for 4WD vehicles only. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Expedition National Park has three sections. Access to Robinson Gorge section is via Taroom or Bauhinia Downs, while access to the Lonesome and Beilba sections are via Injune.

It is a 5–6 hour drive between Robinson Gorge section and Lonesome and Beilba sections. There are no roads directly connecting Robinson Gorge section with Lonesome and Beilba sections.

Wet weather may cause some roads to become unsafe or inaccessible, most commonly between November and February, however this can occur at any time following heavy rain. Check with the RACQ or local council offices for current road conditions before your trip.

For your safety, advise a friend or relative about your planned visit and safe return.

Maps

Robinson Gorge section

Robinson Gorge is 90km or two hours north-west of Taroom along a gravel road. The last 16km is suitable for 4WD vehicles only.

After rain when the creeks rise it is best to travel north from Taroom on the Leichhardt Highway for 18km and turn left onto the Fitzroy Development Road. Travel approximately 2km then turn left onto the Glenhaughton Road heading towards Glenhaughton and Reedy Creek. Travel a further 86km on the Glenhaughton Road until you reach the signposted entrance turnoff to Expedition National Park on your left. From here the park is accessible by 4WD vehicle only. Travel a further 4.7 km and turn right at the T-intersection then follow this track a further 9.9km to Starkvale camping area.

Alternatively, if Robinson Creek is passable, access can be gained by heading north from Taroom on the Leichhardt Highway for 10km and turn left onto Broadmere Road. Continue for 24km and turn right onto Robinson Creek Road. Travel a further 1.5km and turn left at a T-intersection onto Glenhaughton Road. Follow Glenhaughton Road for approximately 40km then turn left at the signposted entrance to Expedition National Park.From here the park is accessible by 4WD only. Follow the track to a T-intersection, turn right and follow the road to Starkvale camping area.

From the north, turn off the Dawson Highway 1km east of Bauhinia Downs and follow the Mapala-Fairfield Road for 93km. Turn right at Oil Bore Road and continue 7km before turning left and driving a further 16km along a 4WD sign-posted track.

Roads to the Robinson Gorge section are impassable in wet weather. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology. When you are in the area, listen to ABC radio on AM747 for the weather forecast for the 'Central Highlands and Coalfields' district. If rain is forecast, leave the park before the rain starts or remain in the park after rain until the roads dry out. For your safety, it is strongly advised that you do not attempt to drive on park management roads during or following rain.

Lonesome section

From Injune, travel north for 37km on the Carnarvon Developmental Road and turn right onto the Arcadia Valley Access Road. Drive 18km (of which 4km is gravel) to Lonesome.

Roads leading to this section are suitable for all vehicle types. During wet weather, take care on the roads, as they may become slippery.

Beilba section

From Injune, travel north for 26km on the Carnarvon Developmental Road. Turn right onto Fairview Road and then left onto Beilba Road to the park (30km gravel road).

4WD vehicles recommended. Travel only during dry weather. Loose gravel surfaces and unfenced roads, require visitors to drive carefully. There is no access for larger vehicles such as caravans or buses.

Wheelchair accessibility

The picnic area and tables at Lonesome section are suitable for wheelchair access with assistance. The remainder of Expedition National Park has no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Park features

Softwood scrub remnants surround Mount Cannondale, Expedition National Park. Photos: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Softwood scrub remnants surround Mount Cannondale, Expedition National Park. Photos: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

View over the Amphitheatre, Expedition National Park.

View over the Amphitheatre, Expedition National Park.

Lonesome section, Expedition National Park.

Lonesome section, Expedition National Park.

Beilba Gorge, Beilba section, Expedition National Park.

Beilba Gorge, Beilba section, Expedition National Park.

Expedition National Park is part of the Central Queensland Sandstone Belt. Most of the park is covered by dry eucalypt forest, the mature spotted gum forest being the only intact forest of this type. Mount Cannondale in the Amphitheatre contains one of the largest intact softwood scrub remnants in the central highlands. Patches of dry rainforest scrub grow in narrow side gorges and wildflowers flourish along the cliff tops.

For thousands of years, Aboriginal people lived in this area, leaving behind stencil art and other sacred sites. The explorer Ludwig Leichhardt passed through in 1844 during his journey to Port Essington near Darwin.

Robinson Gorge section

Scenic Robinson Gorge is one of the main features of Expedition National Park, located on the Expedition Range between Taroom and Rolleston. The gorge winds 14km between sheer sandstone cliffs up to 100m high. It begins as a broad shallow basin in the north and narrows to a deep pool and narrow gorge towards its southern end.

Lined with cabbage palms (a relic from the era of dinosaurs), bottlebrushes and wattles, this section of park is home to several rare plant species including Eucalyptus rubiginosa and Leucopogon grandiflorus.

Lonesome section

A former grazing property, Lonesome was gazetted in 1972 to protect scientific and aesthetic values. It lies along the edge of Carnarvon range and offers spectacular, panoramic views to the southern end of Arcadia Valley, Dawson River, the Carnarvon ranges and mountain spurs.

Brigalow, wilga, lancewood, bottlebrush, native bauhinia and riverine vegetation are prominent throughout Lonesome. One of the few remaining areas of brigalow growing in the red clay soils of the Arcadia Valley is protected within this park. 'The Candlesticks' form an impressive sandstone silhouette above the landscape of Lonesome.

Beilba section

Beilba section, also on the Carnarvon range border, preserves an important corridor along Dawson River to the north and Baffle Creek to the south. It protects an intact example of escarpment country.

Wildflowers provide splashes of colour throughout the park in late winter and spring. Plants to look for include grevilleas, flannel flowers, acacias, and pea flowers.

Gas companies drill for coal methane gas in the area. Please take care to avoid drilling sites. For more information contact the QPWS Toowoomba office.

Camping and accommodation

These remote parks have few or no facilities and visitors should be totally self sufficient. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

These remote parks have few or no facilities and visitors should be totally self sufficient. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Camping

Bush camping and camping in designated camping areas is permitted in all three sections of Expedition National Park.

Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Other accommodation

There are motels, hotels, caravan parks and farmstays offering accommodation in and around both Injune and Taroom. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Arcadia Valley lookout, Lonesome section, Expedition National Park. Photos: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Arcadia Valley lookout, Lonesome section, Expedition National Park. Photos: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

The Shepherds Peak track walk leads to excellent views over the park.

The Shepherds Peak track walk leads to excellent views over the park.

Discover one of Queensland's remote outback parks through walks, photography or camping.

Walking

Walking tracks are provided in Robinson Gorge section of Expedition National Park. There are no walking tracks at Lonesome or Beilba sections.

Expedition National Park's walking tracks have been classified to help you select a walk that matches your bushwalking experience and fitness. Take time to read the track grades before walking in the park. If you intend to bushwalk away from the tracks described below, obtain a topographic map, compass and GPS, and ask for advice before setting off. Ensure you carry adequate drinking water.

Maps: Robinson Gorge walking tracks map (PDF, 135K)

Key to track standards

The classification system is based on Australian Standards. Please note that while each track is classified according to its most difficult section, other sections may be easier.

Grade 4 walking track
  • Rough track. May be long and very steep with few directional signs.
  • For experienced bushwalkers.
  • Caution needed at creek crossings, cliff edges and naturally occurring lookouts.

Robinson Gorge section

Tracks in this section are signposted. Most tracks are best suited to experienced, well-equipped bushwalkers while some rough, ungraded walking tracks are suitable for fit family groups.

Robinson Gorge lookout (Grade 4)

DangerDANGER: Unfenced cliff edges. One slip could be fatal—serious injury or death may result from walking near the edge. Keep to the track. Supervise children closely.

Distance: 4km return

Time: 1 hour

Details: From Starkvale, this track leads to an unfenced lookout over Robinson gorge. There are numerous natural cliffs in the area and parents need to supervise children closely.

Gorge access track (Grade 4)

Distance: 6km return

Time: 2 hours

Details: From Starkvale camping area, take the Robinson gorge lookout track. Turn off at a sign-posted intersection and descend into the gorge along a steep, rough trail. Allow extra time to explore the gorge. There are no marked trails in the gorge. Note carefully where you enter the gorge—it is the only way out.

Shepherds Peak track (Grade 4)

DangerDANGER: Unfenced cliff edges. One slip could be fatal—serious injury or death may result from walking near the edge. Keep to the track. Supervise children closely.

Distance: 3.6km return

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Details: This trail leads 1.8km from Starkvale camping area to a sandstone plateau, Shepherds Peak, with views over the surrounding peaks and creeks. Take extreme care on top of Shepherds Peak as there are crevasses and unguarded cliffs.

Cattle Dip track (Grade 4)

DangerDANGER: Unfenced cliff edges. One slip could be fatal—serious injury or death may result from walking near the edge. Keep to the track. Supervise children closely.

Distance: 1.2km return

Time: 1 hour

Details: The cattle dip car park is located 2.7km from the Starkvale Creek campsite via a sign-posted track with passes the remains of the Old Shepherd's Hut. Walk 600m south from the car park to the 'Cattle Dip'—a spectacular permanent waterhole.

Picnic and day-use areas

The Lonesome section of Expedition National Park has parking, picnic tables, wood barbecues and fire rings. There are no toilets or drinking water in this section.

Robinson Gorge and Beilba sections have grassed areas surrounding the camping areas that are suitable for picnicking. There are no facilities at Beilba section. Pit toilets are provided at Robinson Gorge. Come prepared with a fuel stove and seating if picnicking in either section. No cooking facilities are provided.

There are no rubbish bins throughout Expedition National Park, so please take all of your rubbish (including food scraps) with you.

Viewing wildlife

Expedition National Park supports a wide variety of birdlife. Listen for the metallic 'chink' of king parrots feeding in the gorge on eucalypt flowers, fruits of cabbage palms, figs and insects. Pale-headed rosellas, lorikeets and many different types of honeyeaters are regularly seen at Starkvale camping area in the Robinson Gorge section. Several species of wallabies including the whiptail wallaby also inhabit the gorge.

Platypus and five species of turtle use permanent waterholes along the Dawson River. Look for golden-tailed geckoes in the woodlands and thick-tailed geckoes on the roads when venturing out at night.

Squatter pigeons occur in open woodlands and wallaroos are commonly seen on basalt hills in the middle of the Beilba section.

Things to know before you go

The uncommon banded form of the lace monitor Varanus varius. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

The uncommon banded form of the lace monitor Varanus varius. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Essentials to bring

Visitors to Expedition National Park must be self-sufficient, as facilities are not provided through most of the park. Be prepared and use sound judgment while visiting and walking.

  • Bring a first-aid kit and first-aid book.
  • Carry adequate fresh water, as drinking water is not provided. Bring at least 7L of water per person per day for drinking, cooking and washing as streams are seasonal and water quality cannot be relied upon.
  • Bring a sealable container for rubbish and take all recyclables and rubbish with you when you leave. Rubbish bins are not provided.
  • Fuel or gas stoves are recommended for cooking, but if you do wish to use an open fire bring your own clean-milled firewood. Never collect wood from the park or roadside. Take care with fire and make sure your fire is out before you leave.
  • Wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Bring a torch and some extra food.
  • Wear sensible footwear—boots or strong shoes.
  • Bring a topographic map and compass if you plan to do any off-track bushwalking. A GPS is also a valuable aid.
  • Bring your camera and binoculars for viewing wildlife. A torch, preferably with a red filter to protect animals' eyes, is useful for spotlighting at night.

Opening hours

Expedition National Park is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

Permits are required to camp anywhere in the park and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Expedition National Park.

Climate and weather

Temperatures in this region vary widely. Summer days generally exceed 35°C. In winter, heavy frosts can be expected as temperatures sometimes fall below freezing. Rain mostly falls between November and March; however storms can occur throughout the year.

For more information see the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

Robinson Gorge section

Fuel and supplies are available at Taroom (89km) and Bauhinia Downs (116km).

Lonesome and Beilba sections

Fuel and supplies are available at Injune (56 km) south.

For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

Stay on the tracks and keep away from cliff edges. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Stay on the tracks and keep away from cliff edges. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

To enjoy a safe visit to this area please:

  • Take care and keep away from cliff edges—they can be deceptive and are often closer than you think. Sandstone may crumble unexpectedly. Please supervise children at all times and take extra care when using binoculars or cameras at these sites.
  • Avoid gas drilling sites in the Beilba section.
  • Be prepared, even on short walks, and judge your ability and conditions carefully before setting out. Do not expect to be warned of every possible danger.
  • Choose walks that suit the capabilities of your entire group.
  • Stay together and keep to the walking tracks.
  • Carry adequate drinking water. Treat any water collected from creeks.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
  • Wear insect repellent, clothing and sturdy footwear to protect you from stings, scratches and bites.
  • Take a first-aid kit.
  • Leave a copy of your bushwalking plans with a reliable person. This person has responsibility for contacting police if you are overdue. Your plan should include:
    • your name, address, number of people in your party, ages and any medical conditions;
    • vehicle registration, make, model, colour and parking location;
    • the route you are taking, expected times of departure and return.
  • Remember that a search and rescue is costly, endangers people's lives and can damage the environment.
  • Walk with one or more friends. At least one member of each party should be a competent map-reader and bushwalker.
  • Do not feed or leave food for animals—human food can harm wildlife and cause some animals to become aggressive. Keep your food packed away when your campsite is not attended.
  • Detour around snakes. Never provoke them.

In an emergency

In case of an accident or other emergency call 000. If you have difficulty connecting to 000 from your mobile phone, try 112.

UHF Injune emergency repeater (for Lonesome and Beilba sections) is Channel 7. There is some access to Channel 5 UHF emergency repeater from the higher points of Robinson Gorge section. Channel 3 UHF Expedition can be accessed in areas to the north and east of Expedition National Park.

The nearest hospitals are at Taroom, 89km south-east of Robinson Gorge section, or Injune, 56km from Beilba and Lonesome sections. There is a full-time doctor present at Injune hospital and half-time doctor at Taroom hospital. Both hospitals also have access to flying doctor facilities.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

National parks play a key role in conserving the area's original vegetation communities such as this brigalow. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

National parks play a key role in conserving the area's original vegetation communities such as this brigalow. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Parks and forests protect wonderful natural diversity and scenery. Help keep these places special by following these guidelines.

  • Use a fuel stove. Open fires are permitted in Beilba, Lonesome and Starkvale camping areas. Fire rings are provided at Lonesome and Starkvale camping areas. Please observe any fire bans.
  • Leave domestic animals at home. Pets disturb native wildlife and other campers.
  • Leave all plants and animals undisturbed.
  • Use toilets if available. Away from toilets, ensure all waste and toilet paper are properly buried (15cm deep) well away from tracks, campsites, watercourses and drainage channels (at least 100m away). Take disposable nappies and sanitary products out of the park and dispose of them appropriately.
  • When washing cooking equipment, always wash at least 100m away from streams and lakes. Waterways should be kept free of all pollutants including soap, detergents, sunscreens and food scraps.
  • Rubbish bins are not provided. Do not bury rubbish—take it with you when you leave as it may be uncovered by animals. This includes cigarette butts, which do not decompose.
  • Do not bring firearms or other weapons into the park.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment.

Park management

The Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing (NPSR) manages Expedition National Park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Tourism information links

Expedition National Park conserves some the best remaining spotted gum woodland in central Queensland. Photos: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Expedition National Park conserves some the best remaining spotted gum woodland in central Queensland. Photos: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Blue argus Junonia orithya, Shepherds Peak, Expedition National Park

Blue argus Junonia orithya, Shepherds Peak, Expedition National Park

Taroom Information Centre
10 Yaldwyn Street
Taroom Qld 4420
ph (07) 4638 6113
email www.sandstonewonders.com

Banana Shire
62 Valentine Plains Road
Biloela Qld 4715
ph (07) 4992 9500
email
www.sandstonewonders.com

Maranoa Regional Council
email
www.mymaranoa.org.au

Injune Information Centre
32 Hutton Street, Injune Qld 4415
ph (07) 4626 0503
email

Miles Museum and Visitor Information Centre
141 Murilla Street, Miles Qld 4415
ph (07) 4627 1492
email

Theodore Information Centre
55A The Boulevard
Theodore Qld 4719
ph (07) 4993 1900

Rural Hinterland Information & Visitor Centre
11 Exhibition Avenue
Biloela Qld 4715
ph (07) 4992 2400
email

Biloela Visitor Information Centre
Callide Street
Biloela Qld 4715
ph (07) 4992 2405
email

For information on road conditions contact:

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
19 June 2017