If you are looking for a destination to take your breath away, then look no further than Blackdown Tableland. With stunning gorges, secluded waterfalls, and views that go on for days, it’s no wonder this gem is listed as one of the must-see places in Queensland.
Now it’s not exactly a weekender destination as it is 8.5 hours from the Sunshine Coast, but this is one spot that is well worth the drive. The drive out there is do-able in one day but there are also plenty of places to stop in between if you want to do it over two days. We visited Blackdown Tableland on day 2 of a 10-day trip to Townsville and back, staying in Childers the night before to break up the drive.
There is 6km of sealed roads to get to the entrance shelter at the top of the tableland. Now fair warning, it is a steep and winding climb to get up there. This does mean that, unfortunately, the drive is not suitable for heavy trailers or caravans. Roads past the entrance are unsealed, winding and a little slippery in parts. Most of the park is accessible with a 2WD vehicle, but you will need a 4WD for the Loop Road to Mitha Boongulla.
There is only one campground at Blackdown Tableland, the Munall Campground. The campground is about 8km past the entrance of the park and features 16 sites. All of the sites are shaded and well protected by surrounding bushland and rocky hills. The majority of the sites are best suited for tent camping, but there are some spots that will accommodate, trailers, small motorhomes or vans. The sites are, private, quite a good size and can accommodate up to 6 people.
TIP: Try to get a site a fair distance from the loos. When the campground is busy, the smell is not so great…
The campground has limited facilities including composting toilets, log seats, individual fire rings and does not permit generators. If you are planning to stay for a few days, a dual battery system or solar set-up would be ideal. There is no mobile coverage at the campground, but there is limited coverage is available at the Yaddamen Dhina lookout.
What to See:
If you enjoy a bush walk or hiking track, Blackdown Tableland is definitely a must visit. With 6 different tracks ranging from easy to difficult, there is something for everyone.
- Yaddamen Dhina is an easy, short 200m walk but it features some of the best views of the tableland. This is a great spot to stop for a picnic. If you’re really keen, the view from here at sunrise is spectacular!
- Goodela is a moderate level, 3.6km walk that winds through the eucalypt forest near the Yaddamen Dhina lookout. A great walk for nature lovers and bird watchers.
- Goon Goon Dhina is a 2.5km track that starts from the campground and is relatively flat making it suitable for most fitness levels. Along the track, you’ll find plenty of attractions giving you some insight into the history of the area.
- Mook Mook has got to be one of the best tracks on offer at Blackdown. It is a moderate walk (just be mindful of your footing) and is accessible from the campground. Although it was quite dry when we visited, after a bit of rain, the rock formations and creeks flowing through here are spectacular. The track continues on through bushland and finishes up at a lookout on the edge of the tableland.
- Gudda Gumoo Lookout is a decent trek at 3.6km, and it is a great one for nature lovers, showcasing the unique flora and fauna that Blackdown has on offer.
- Gudda Gumoo Gorge is not a stroll in the park, but if you are up for it, this track is well worth it. It is a 4km round trip which, for the most part, isn’t too bad, but the real kicker is the 240 stairs down to the waterfall at the end of the track. The waterfall is absolutely stunning, and the cool, clear water almost makes you forget about the stairs… that is, of course, until you remember that you need to go back up them again… Needless to say, this track is not for everyone, but if think you can handle it we highly recommend giving it a crack.
4WD Loop Road
If 4WDing is more your thing, there is a 19km loop road that is worth doing. The track passes through sandstone outcrops and dense forest, with a lookout and picnic spot along the way. There is nothing too crazy to encounter along the way but the tracks are covered in pea gravel so can be slippery at times. The track may also be closed in wet weather.
Blackdown Tableland has quite a unique environment abundant with native wildlife. The range of birdlife is quite spectacular. Kingfishers, cockatoos, kookaburras and robins frequent the campgrounds. While falcons, wedge-tail eagles and goshawks soar through the gorges. During the day you’ll also find skinks, geckos and goannas basking in the sun. At night, head out with your torch to spot gliders, owls and bats.
- Booking in advance is essential, you cannot self-register at the campground.
- The nearest town, Dingo, is 31km away. Before you head up the range, triple check that you have all the essentials: firewood, first-aid kit, food & water, insect repellent, marshmallows.
- There is no water available at the campground so bring plenty of your own water for drinking and for showers, washing etc. It is recommended to allow at least 5L of water per person per day (plus extra for emergencies).
- Wear a good pair of walking shoes and watch your step! Even the easy tracks can be slippery thanks to the pea gravel on the ground.
- The elevated location means the temperature can drop drastically overnight. Even in the warmer months, prepare for much cooler nights.
For more information on Blackdown Tableland visit the QLD National Parks website.