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About Isla Gorge

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Getting there and getting around

Turn onto the Leichhardt Highway from the Warrego Highway at Miles or from the Dawson Highway at Banana. To reach Isla Gorge lookout, turn off the Leichhardt Highway 55km north of Taroom and 35km south of Theodore. The lookout is 1.3km west of the highway.

You can reach the Flagstaff Hill section from either Taroom or Theodore.

From Taroom, drive north for 31km along the Leichhardt Highway. Turn left at the 'Flagstaff via Waterton' signpost and travel for 49km (9km past the turnoff to Flagstaff Station). Turn left again and drive another 2km.

From Theodore, drive south for 8km along the Leichhardt Highway and turn off onto a road signposted 'Glenmoral Roundstone' and 'Department of Primary Industries – Brigalow Research Station'. Travel 14km, then turn left into Glenbar Road and, continue for a further 3.6km before turning right into Flagstaff Road. After 9km, turn sharp right into the park at a cattle grid on the top of the range. Follow the road for a further 2km.

Warning: Unsealed roads are slippery when wet and can become impassable after heavy rain.

Maps
Wheelchair accessibility

Isla Gorge has wheelchair-accessible toilets. Assistance may be required.

Park features

The late afternoon sun lights up the sandstone outcrops in Isla Gorge. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

The late afternoon sun lights up the sandstone outcrops in Isla Gorge. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Isla Gorge National Park is a complex maze of gorges and isolated sandstone monoliths. Soft precipice sandstone has eroded into a breathtaking panorama of cliffs, peaks, overhangs, tunnels and arches. The rock changes from yellow to orange and pink with the angle of the sun.

Outstanding scenery and rich plant life were the main reasons for gazetting this area as national park in 1964. Brilliant displays of flowering wattles appear from mid winter and boronias, red grevilleas and grasstrees blossom in August and September.

At the picnic shelter, look north out over large areas of botanically rich semi-evergreen vine thicket, to the distant rugged rock formations locally known as 'Devils Nest'. Eucalyptus beaniana—an ironbark tree found near the carpark—is one of the ten rare and threatened plants growing in the park.

Isla Gorge National Park was extended in 1990 to include the remains of a hand-paved road at the north-western tip of the park near Flagstaff Hill. This historically significant road was constructed in the early 1860s by hand, using large rock slabs. It was built less than 15 years after white settlement of the area and was used to carry wool from Roma to the port of Rockhampton. Drains on the side carried stormwater downslope and even to this day have prevented erosion.

Many kinds of birds live in the park. Look for spiny-cheeked, brown, white-eared and blue-faced honeyeaters when the eucalypts, wattles, grevilleas and boronias are in flower from mid-winter to summer. Wedge-trailed eagles soar high above the gorges and peregrine falcons leave secluded roosts on cliff faces to hunt.

Read more about the Nature, culture and history of Isla Gorge National Park.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Located on top of the gorge, the Isla Gorge campground is close to natural cliff faces with sheer drops. One slip could be fatal—serious injury or death may result from walking near the edge. Children need to be supervised closely.

Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Other accommodation

A range of holiday accommodation is available in and around the nearby towns of Taroom, Theodore and Miles. For more information see the Tourism information links.

Things to do

Take care and keep away from the edges on this short walk to a natural lookout. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Take care and keep away from the edges on this short walk to a natural lookout. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

The beautiful but elusive Herbert's rock wallaby. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

The beautiful but elusive Herbert's rock wallaby. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Picnic in the shelter at Isla Gorge day-use area. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Picnic in the shelter at Isla Gorge day-use area. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Walking

There are no walking tracks in Isla Gorge and loose, crumbly rock makes the descent into the gorge dangerous. Only well-equipped, experienced walkers should enter this part of the park. To explore the gorge system safely you will need to use the Ghinghinda 1:100,000 topographic map.

There is a short Class 4 walk to a natural lookout that overlooks Gorge Creek and Devils Nest.

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.

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
  • Distinct tracks with junctions signposted. Rough track surfaces with exposed roots and rocks.
  • Variable in width. Muddy sections and steep grades likely to be encountered.
  • May be extensively overgrown, hazards such as fallen trees and rock falls likely to be present.
  • Caution needed at creek crossings, cliff edges and naturally occurring lookouts.
  • Moderate fitness level with bushwalking experience and ankle-supporting footwear recommended.

Picnic and day-use areas

Only 1.3 km from the highway, the picnic and camping area overlook Isla Gorge. The picnic area has composting toilets, wood barbecues, a picnic shelter, water tank (treat water before drinking) and lookout.

Viewing wildlife

Many types of birds live in the park, providing the perfect opportunity for birdwatching. See wedge-tailed eagles and peregrine falcons souring above the gorge. Honeyeaters splurge on wattle, eucalypt, boronia and grevillea flowers from mid-winter to summer.

Whiptail wallabies and grey kangaroos can be seen in the valley. The Herbert's rock-wallaby also lives in the park, but is rarely seen.

Things to know before you go

The rock formation known as the 'Devils Nest' can be seen from the lookout. Photos courtesy Robert Ashdown.

The rock formation known as the 'Devils Nest' can be seen from the lookout. Photos courtesy Robert Ashdown.

Wildflowers, Isla Gorge.

Wildflowers, Isla Gorge.

Essentials to bring

Visitors must be self-sufficient as facilities in this area are limited. 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. If camping, bring at least seven litres of water per person per day for drinking, cooking and washing as streams are seasonal and water quality cannot be relied upon. Bring water purifying tablets to treat stream water before use.
  • Bring a sealable container for rubbish. Bins are not provided.
  • Bring a gas stove, as there may not be a wood barbecue available.
  • Wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Bring a torch and some extra food.
  • Wear practical footwear—boots or strong shoes
  • Bring a topographic map and compass if you plan to do any off-track walking. A GPS is also a valuable aid.

Opening hours

The park is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted at Isla Gorge National Park.

Climate and weather

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

Fuel and supplies

Taroom is the closest town for fuel and supplies for Isla Gorge National Park. Taroom is 55 km south of the park.

Staying safe

Dry rainforest patches line some of the park's small, sheltered side-creeks. Two of the park's many bird species—the varied triller and emerald dove—are usually only seen within these small areas of scrub. Photo courtesy Robert Ashdown.

Dry rainforest patches line some of the park's small, sheltered side-creeks. Two of the park's many bird species—the varied triller and emerald dove—are usually only seen within these small areas of scrub. Photo courtesy Robert Ashdown.

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 is brittle and may crumble unexpectedly. Please supervise children at all times and take extra care when using binoculars or cameras at these sites.
  • Be prepared, even on short walks. Judge your ability and park conditions carefully before setting out. Do not expect to be warned of every possible danger.
  • Carry adequate drinking water. Treat water collected from all sources including taps, creeks and lakes. Boil water for ten minutes or use sterilisation tablets.
  • 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 and first-aid book.
  • If you plan remote walks in the park leave a copy of your bushwalking plans with a friend, relative or other reliable person. This person has the 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; and
    • the route you are taking, and expected times of departure and return.
  • For remote walking in the park 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 securely packed away when your campsite is not attended.
  • Detour around snakes. Never provoke them.

The closest hospital to Isla Gorge National Park is at Theodore (35km north of the park).

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

Looking after the park

The ancient Precipice Sandstone of Isla Gorge outcrops to the east in Cania Gorge, and at Carnarvon Gorge further west. Photo courtesy Robert Ashdown.

The ancient Precipice Sandstone of Isla Gorge outcrops to the east in Cania Gorge, and at Carnarvon Gorge further west. Photo courtesy Robert Ashdown.

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

  • Fires are only permitted in the wood barbeques provided. Firewood must not be collected from within the national park. All firewood must be brought into the park.
  • 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 faecal matter and toilet paper are properly buried (15 cm deep) well away from tracks, campsites, watercourses and drainage channels (at least 150 m away). Take disposable nappies and sanitary products out of the park and dispose of appropriately.
  • When washing cooking equipment, always wash at least 100m 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. 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 manages this park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Tourism information links

Wildflowers and sandstone, Isla Gorge. Photo courtesy Robert Ashdown.

Wildflowers and sandstone, Isla Gorge. Photo courtesy Robert Ashdown.

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 RACQ (The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland) or Traffic and Travel Information or phone 13 19 40.

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

Further information

Contact us

Last reviewed
1 March 2018
Last updated
10 November 2017