Situated in Central Queensland at the north-east edge of the central Queensland sandstone belt, Blackdown Tableland National Park offers some spectacular vistas over deep gorges and a few short bushwalks to idyllic creeks, waterfalls and waterholes. The national park forms part of the traditional home of the Ghungalu people, whose lands occupied an estimated 16,000 square kilometres.
Bushwalking in Blackdown Tableland National Park
There are a handful of fairly short, signposted trails in Blackdown Tableland National Park, all of them starting on the Main Tableland Road which runs through the park,
|Yaddamen Dhina||0.2km||Easy||Short paved trail to fenced lookout platform with sweeping views||Map|
|Mook Mook Track||2.4km||Easy||Crosses Mimosa Creek to reach the only lookout on east side of park||Map|
|Goon Goon Dina Circuit||2.5km||Easy||Loop trail with interpretive signage to Aboriginal rock art site||Map|
|Goodela||3.8km||Easy||Trail descends to creek and swimming hole above cliff-line||Map|
|Gudda Gumoo (Rainbow Falls)||4.2.km||Easy/Moderate||Return walk to wsaterfall and stunning rock pools||Map|
More of a stroll than a bushwalk, the paved trail descends gently past a picnic area to a lookout platform. There are are some sweeping views from here over the Blackdown Tableland National Park and distant ranges.
Length: 200m return. Grade: Easy
Goon Goon Dina Circuit
A pleasant loop through shaded forest and across a couple of creeks, with a number of interpretive signs explaining the park’s history and how the Ghungalu people use plants for food and shelter. Around the middle of the loop is an Aboriginal rock art site.
Gudda Gumoo (Rainbow Falls)
The longest bushwalk in the park, the trail descends to a lookout over a steep gorge, with view of distant valleys and cliffs. From the lookout, the signposted trail drops steeply down 240 steps to a waterfall and waterhole. Another, informal trail continues to some spectacular rockpools.
Camping and picnic areas in Blackdown Tableland National Park
There is one camping area, near the middle of the park, which has sixteen sites dispersed throughout the forest along an unsealed access road. Camping permits are required and must be booked in advance – the busiest times are public holidays, weekends and school holiays between April and October. You’ll need to bring your own water for drinking and showering.
A picnic area for day use is near Yaddamen Dhina (Horseshoe lookout), next to the road. There are toilets, picnic areas and free gas barbecues. A short, paved trail leads to a lookout platform.
Getting to Blackdown Tableland National Park
Blackdown Tableland National Park is in central Queensland, about 180km west of Rockhampton – about a 2 hour drive to the start of the national park. It’s accessed via Charlevue Road off the Capricorn Highway, 11km west of Dingo and 110km east of Emerald. Charlevue Road is sealed, with a steep and winding climb up to the Yaddamen Dhina (Horseshoe lookout).
From Yaddamen Dhina the road is unsealed and fairly rough. Although in dry weather an AWD/SUV should be fine, a 4WD is recommended.
Best time to visit
The best time is arguably in the Wet Season (summer), when higher rainfall means the waterfalls will be flowing and the rock pools full – although if you don’t have a 4WD avoid driving through the park if it’s been’s been raining. It’s also less busy this time of year.
The most popular times are April-October when it’s cooler; there is likely to be more water in the creeks in April/May then later in the year.