Whether travelling from Rolleston or Taroom, the trek into Expedition National Park is as interesting as the park itself. It truly is a case of the journey being every bit as enjoyable as the destination.
Expedition National Park straddles the Expedition range between Rolleston, Bauhinia Downs and Taroom and is largely inaccessible, except by properly equipped and experience bushwalkers. However there are two camp sites on the eastern side of the park, near Robinson Gorge, and both of these are accessible by 4WD. There is no access for conventional vehicles or low clearance trailers and caravans.
Spotted Gum campsite, near the northern end of Robinson Gorge, has no facilities while Starkvale Creek campsite has pit toilets and a rainwater tank. There are self-registration stations at Starkvale, which is closer to the gorge proper, and is the jump off point to the "Cattle Dip" an aptly named section of Robinson Gorge. The gorge starts off as a wide shallow depression near Spotted Gum camp-ground then narrows and deepens towards its southern end to form this Cattle Dip, a 6m wide and up to 100m high chasm with a permanent water hole in the bottom.
A clearly defined, 2km long, walking trail from Starkvale camp-ground leads to a lookout over the gorge. An offshoot from this trail leads down into the gorge. It is steep in places
and requires a scramble over rocky outcrops. Before exploring the bottom of the gorge make sure you take notice of where the trail ends as this is the only exit from the gorge. Once in the gorge it is possible to walk all the way down to the Cattle Dip. There is a 1.5km 4WD track followed by an easy 400m walk to a lookout over the Cattle Dip and no trip to Robinson Gorge would be complete without seeing it.
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Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places
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The area is part of Queenslands sandstone
belt. It has hot summers and summer storms can brew up quite quickly from a previously cloudless sky. The winters are cool and dry with cold nights and frosty mornings.
The bottom of Robinson Gorge
has large numbers of wattles, grevilleas and cabbage tree palms. There are ferns and mosses in the shady areas. Both rock and whiptail wallabies live in the gorge. Cattle tracks in the creek beds bare testament to the parks early cattle station days.
The area on top of the gorge is dry eucalypt forest with spotted gum, box and apple tree in abundance. Cycad, she-oak and wattle can also be found.
There is an abundance of bird-life in and around the camp-grounds. Look for king parrots, pale headed mountain parrots and rainbow
lorikeets feeding on nectar or fantails chasing insects. Be prepared for a kookaburra wake up call at daylight.
In Autumn watch out for clouds of pale green butterflies sucking moisture from cow pats on the Taroom
Aboriginal peoples inhabited this area for thousands of years before European exploration and aboriginal art sites have been reported in the park. The sites are unmarked so keep a keen eye out. National Parks and Wildlife ask that if you do spot
any art sites please don't disturb them.
The Ludwig Leichhardt expedition passed through here in 1844 on their way to Darwin
. They camped here and at Lake Murphy Conservation Park
, 100km to the south east, near Taroom
. The eastern part of the national park was originally part of Glenhaughton Station and became a national park in 1953.