Expedition NP

Queensland specific bushwalking discussion.
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Queensland specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Expedition NP

Postby Moocattle » Tue 28 Aug, 2018 10:43 pm

Hey all,

Just curious if anyone has made it to “The Amphitheatre” section of Expedition NP (gazetted 2001). I’m heading out to Robinson gorge in a few weeks, with the aim of making it out to one of the softwood scrub stands (@St Clair Range/Cannondale Mtn). I'm struggling to find much information let alone pictures - and I'm pretty sure I've read every online source regarding Expedition range now. I haven’t been able to get a hold of a copy of “Exploring Queensland’s Central Highlands“ so I’m not sure if there’s anything in there. I've had Grahame walshs' "The Roof of Queensland" for a while and have been dreaming of sandstone - so I may as well tick of a few unique forest types too!

Currently the plan is to either walk up Robinson creek from Starkvale and follow the St Clair range to its’ NW stand(45km return), or get to what used to be Spotted Gum campground and walk to Cannondale Mtn from there(32km return). Both have pros and cons, so I’m undecided. In the 2015 sandstone country tourism plan, it’s proposed that better access via Arcadia (p.251, 2.2.4), along with 4wd access and a walking track from Robinson Gorge (p.265. 3.3.3) be established. The same document actually states that the section is ‘closed’ to public, while the Qparks site lists Cannondale as a feature. So maybe it’s a trip best left for the future?

Otherwise, I’ll just spend the week exploring around starkvale, and maybe do an overnighter up Glenhaughton creek which I’ve heard is more interesting than Robinson gorge. Any know some specific spots I should check out while I'm at starkvale?

Will report back on the trip either way.

Cheers.
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Re: Expedition NP

Postby ofuros » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 10:25 am

Walsh's books are a great inspiration to get out & explore those Np's. 8)
Warner's "Exploring Qlds Central Highlands" has a section on Robinson Gorge NP including access routes & tributary exploration info plus a geology map.
Other NP's covered are shown in the photo.

The local NP's ranger may be able to provide more info...great time of year to be exploring,
enjoy your adventure, Moocattle.

IMG_20180829_094109.jpg


Side creek info in Robinson Gorge...

IMG_20180829_103025.jpg
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Expedition NP

Postby Moocattle » Thu 30 Aug, 2018 3:57 pm

Thanks for the pic of that page @Ofuros. That's some good info - definitely need to find a copy of that book now! Perhaps a trip to the state library is in order.
Dug up a number for the local ranger, so will give them a call about getting to Cannondale Mtn.
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Re: Expedition NP

Postby Moocattle » Wed 26 Sep, 2018 10:43 pm

Got back last Friday from a week long trip. Managed to get out to the Amphitheatre but we did change our plans a fair amount. It was so incredibly hot and dry, with nothing to soak up the heat. The drought is pretty bad right now. Thought I’d share some observed information anyway.

Here's a map with some notes/pics to accompany the description
https://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/ ... ditionNP18

We set off from Starkvale around 8am,. From the bottom of the gorge access track we headed upstream (N). The going was made easy by heavily used cattle tracks in combination with the empty creek bed. We made it out of the gorge for lunch and decided to walk to a different softwood stand as the cliffs up on the range looked impassable, and the heavy heat favored heavily against exploring routes up to the St Claire Range. We headed West along management tracks past ‘The Tin Hut’ (1901) and an occupied QPWS station and reached the scrub at about 3pm. The scrub itself was pretty interesting, though a lot of the [ur=https://i.imgur.com/I3Yox8z.jpgl]undergrowth was dead[/url]. Slept under a bottle tree and listened to White-throated Nightjars all through the night. Broke camp at 4.30am to beat the heat to the gorge, and went back the way we came. Filled our water up at a tank outside the gorge near the management track. We took the same route back, with the addition of climbing up a ridge for a view. That afternoon was brutally hot and we just lay about in the shade at Starkvale, waiting for the sun to go down.

On the third day we headed downstream from the access track back at Starkvale. The cows didn’t seem to go past this point, and there wasn’t much of a footpad otherwise. More and more puddles as you head downstream make it hard to stay in the creekbed. The banks are thick with long dead grass that isn’t very pleasant to walk through. Lots of gorges to explore, and it’s worth going as far downstream as you can where the walls narrow. We opted to hang out and take it in by a waterhole in surprise creek after exploring some short gullys further down Robinson. Shepherds Peak and the Cattle dip are absolutely worth looking at before doing other exploring for better perspective of the area.



I will definitely be back. The three full days were not enough at all. Missed out on exploring Glenhaughton creek, which appears to be the pick of the lot. Would love to get down into the Cattle Dip as well. Also, here's a few more pictures in addition to those above.
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Re: Expedition NP

Postby ofuros » Thu 27 Sep, 2018 7:13 am

Just the start of a lot more trips to the area...thanks for sharing your exploration, Moocattle.
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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