Isla Gorge National Park
Isla Gorge National Park, in Queensland’s Central Highlands, lies at the southern end of the Dawson Range and features rugged sandstone escarpments with cliffs rising 150 metres from the surrounding grassy plains. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to view the park’s spectacular gorges, outcrops and overhangs, as the sandstone catches the colour of the sun, turning brilliant shades of orange. Adorning the overhangs are Aboriginal rock engravings and ochre stencils, evidence of the Iman people’s long occupation of the area. A legacy of European presence is an old hand-paved road at the western end of the park near Flagstaff Hill. Built in 1864, it was used to transport wool from the Roma district to the port of Rockhampton.
Eucalypt forests, brigalow and softwood scrubs dominate the landscape but there are also ten endangered plants, including rare species of ironbark and mallee. In spring there are good wildﬂower displays on the plateau. Although the Herbert’s rock-wallaby lives in the park, you are more likely to spot a whiptail wallaby or grey kangaroo. Wedge-tailed eagles, peregrine falcons and little eagles like to ride the thermals above the gorges, while closer to the ground are numerous species of nectar-feeding honeyeaters.
There are no designated walking tracks in the park, but a short trail leads to a lookout. From here experienced, well-equipped walkers can descend into the valley; make sure you carry water, the appropriate topographic map, and inform someone before setting out. The picnic and camping area, which overlooks the gorge, is just over a kilometre from the highway turn-off.
One camping area; permit and fees apply
Location and access
56 km north of Taroom; 36 km south of Theodore via Leichhardt Hwy
NPRSR 13 7468
Biloela (07) 4992 2400