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Spectacular National Park features named for Leichhardt supporters.
 P 1 Expedition-Range NP panorama Robert-Ashdown THUMB

 


  

 

    

 

 

THEN

By late November 1844, wrote author John Bailey, “the grassy, thinly-timbered plains gave way to a warp of blue-tinted spurs, rising one above the other beyond the reach of vision. Leichhardt named them the Expedition Ranges.”

The profusion of prominent features allowed Leichhardt to acknowledge many of the expedition’s supporters: a prominent politician, a cash donor, and the provider of the party’s tobacco supplies!

“By riding the ridges of the ranges Leichhardt avoided the worst of the brigalow [scrub], but when the country became too rough, he was forced to descend to the valleys and lead his party as best he could along the banks of scrub-covered creeks."

NOW

Expedition National Park - in the Central Queensland Sandstone Belt - is a park of rugged gorges, spectacular views, remote campsites, wildflowers, wildlife and a rich human history. It protects a wealth of Aboriginal cultural sites, locations named by Leichhardt in 1844 and remnants of pastoral heritage.

Visitors can see rugged gorges with sandstone cliffs up to 100m high, spectacular views of the Carnarvon Ranges, and colourful wildflowers in late winter and early spring. Expedition National Park has three sections. Access to Robinson Gorge section is via Taroom or Bauhinia Downs, while access to the other two sections are via Injune.

Robinson Gorge is 90km (or two hours’ drive) north-west of Taroom along a gravel road. The last 16km is suitable for 4WD vehicles only. Robinson Gorge is one of the main features of Expedition National Park, located on the Expedition Range between Taroom and Rolleston.

The gorge winds 14 km between sheer sandstone cliffs up to 100 m high. It begins as a broad shallow basin in the north and narrows to a deep pool and narrow gorge towards its southern end.

Lined with cabbage palms (a relic from the era of dinosaurs), bottlebrushes and wattles, this section of park is home to several rare plant species including Eucalyptus rubiginosa and Leucopogon grandiflorus.

Most of Expedition National Park is covered by dry eucalypt forest the mature spotted gum forest being the only intact forest of this type.

Mount Cannondale in the Amphitheatre contains one of the largest intact softwood scrub remnants in the central highlands. Patches of dry rainforest scrub grow in narrow side gorges and wildflowers flourish along the cliff tops.

Above: Spectacular panorama from the highlands of the Expedition Range National Park dramatically highlights the challenges which faced Leichhardt and his party as they picked  their way through the country.
(Robert Ashdown)

P 2 Expedition-Range NP Mount Cannondale Robert-Ashdown THUMB

Above: Mount Cannondale, surrounded by softwood scrub, in the Expedition National Park.
(Robert Ashdown)

P 3 Expedition-Range NP view over Amphitheatre Robert-Ashdown THUMB
Above: Visitors stand on the grassy slopes and take in the expansive views across the ‘Amphitheatre’ in Expedition National Park. (Robert Ashdown)

P 4 Expedition Range-NP 4WD access only Robert-Ashdown THUMB
Above: Access to many of these sites is by 4WD only, on sometimes very rough tracks, and visitors are urged to ensure they’re carrying necessary equipment and supplies, and to check roads, weather and national parks websites for up-to-date information before setting out ... luxuries unavailable to Leichhardt and his expedition. (Robert Ashdown)
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