Salvator Rosa is another remote section of the Carnarvon National Park. Two camping areas, located on either side of the access road, are provided, and are on the banks of the crystal clear water of the spring fed Nogoa River. Although new wheel chair access composting toilet facilities are provided the park remains mainly undeveloped.
The park is mostly eucalypt woodland and open forest but with many spectacular eroded sandstone outcrops and formations. A four wheel drive is needed after leaving the camp grounds, and crossing the river, to follow a sandy track. This track closely follows the river and it’s tributary, Louisa Creek, taking in the many walking and viewing areas such as Spyglass Peak, Belinda and Mitchell springs and the remains of the stock yards left by Major Mitchell, with a total round trip of 18 km’s.
The 400m walk to Spyglass Peak leads past a long stone outcrop that looks like a man made rampart with spy holes and arrow slits. The track leads to the base of the peak, where a 10 meter diameter hole can be seen at its summit, you should allow plenty of time to explore around this area.
Further along the track you come to Belinda Springs with crystal clear water flowing from under a small rock ledge. Together with Mitchell springs, millions of litres of water continuously pour into Louisa Creek. At the end of the track leads to a locked gate, walk beyond this gate past the Mitchell Springs to the remains of Major Mitchell’s yards where he would rest and feed his horses during his expeditions through area.
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Salvator Rosa, at the Western edge of central Queensland’s sandstone belt, contains deeply eroded rock formations. Most of the park is open forest, eucalypt woodland and acacia scrub. In winter to early spring the country is ablaze with flowering acacias and wild flowers.
This area was named by Thomas Mitchell, after the Neapolitan 17th Century artist, Salvator Rosa, who portrayed the same rugged mountainous terrain in his paintings that Mitchell seen in the landscape.
Thomas Mitchell passed and repassed through this area between July and September 1846, in search of a route form Sydney to Port Essington (Darwin). Mitchell set up his base camp at the spring-fed oasis he discovered, which is now known as, Major Mitchell Springs.