2011 Stanage, Nugga Nugga NP, Ka Ka Mundi, Salvator Rosa and Tambo

Sunday, Dec 25, 2011 at 17:21

Navigator 1 (NSW)

]23rd – 21st July Stanage & Nugga Nugga National Park

After a fantastic time on North Stradbroke Island we made our way north spending time in Caliope, Yeppoon, Byfield National Park, Rockhampton then to the Stanage. The 100km, sometimes very corrugated road from the highway, passes the vast area of land occupied by the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area. The Talisman Sabre operations were in full swing while we were there. This is a biennial combined training activity, designed to train Australian and US forces in planning and conducting combined task force operations in order to improve ADF/US combat readiness and interoperability. This exercise is a major undertaking that reflects the closeness and strength of our alliance with the USA.

Stanage Bay, the destination for most visitors to the area, is situated at the ‘end of the road’. With the protected waters of Thirsty Sound afforded, by the offshore islands of Mangrove, Quail and Long Islands, fishing is possible in all but the very worst of weathers. A free campground, with drop toilets and a drinking water tank, is available and is taken advantage of by many, many fishermen. A bait/ tackle, come basic supply shop and a boat storage compound makes up the town. In the little settlements of Stanage, Happy Valley and Beverly Hills many professional fishermen have built nice homes.
After looking around we decided to stay at Alligator Bay, 1.5km back out of town.Free camping was permitted along the beach but as we were a bit too tall to get in under the trees, we camped at the picnic area. There were no toilets, but being fully self contained, we were OK. This was more our scene with only three campers in the area.

Our 3 days were filled with taking daily walks along the beach on the clean, yellow sand and talking to the campers along the beach. Sunsets were beautiful! The small town of Beverly Hills was home to many professional fishermen and from one we bought fresh salmon that had been swimming that morning. At Alligator point you can drive or walk to the top of the point and take in the view.
Over the next five days we made our way slowly south west to Nuga Nuga National Park passing through Marlborough, Ridgelands and Rockhampton. Our route then took us along the Capricorn Highway to Duaringa, then south along the Fitzroy Development Road, then west along the Dawson Development Road to Arcadia Valley Road where we headed south to Nuga Nuga National Park. As the crow flies it is 44km east of Carnarvon NP.

Camping was permitted along the edge of Lake Nuga Nuga but there were no facilities. The lake is the largest natural water body within the Central Queensland Sandstone Belt and provides valuable habitat for water birds. It is believed to have only been formed within the last 160 years and many dead trees still exist in the lake.
Walks were restricted to the edge of the lake or the track as the grass was knee high and thick. It was a relaxing spot to sit back and watch the birdlife on the lake. I mustn’t mention it but Chicka drove just a little too close to the lake and down went Hugo into the soft dirt. I little packing under the wheels and he had the truck out.

22nd – 31st JulySpringsure, Ka Ka Mundi, Salvator Rosa and Tambo

After spending 3 nights we returned to the Dawson Highway to the north and continued westward to the Showground in Springsure with a fee of $17.50 per site. It was a good grassy site with two amenities blocks with hot showers and toilets. Powered sites were available.
Being Friday night the little club house was open. All day Saturday was taken up with football, first the kids and then the big boys. This was finals day so the club house was a little bit more active during the evening.

Only 4km out of town on Tambo Rd we turned onto Dendle’s Drive and into Minerva Hills National Park. This relatively small park of 2790 hectares forms an impressive backdrop to the central Queensland town of Springsure. The road was mostly unsealed and the bushland dotted with grasstrees (xanthorrhoea sp). From Fred’s Gorge to Eclipse Gap Lookout the track was a little rocky. At Fred’s Gorge there was a drop toilet, limited drinking water, a wood barbeque andshelter shed. The park is dominated by Mt Boorambool, rising 600m above sea level and the larger cliff-fringed Mt Zamia which offers panoramic views of Springsure and the surrounding landscape. We enjoyed our time in the park and as usual we were the only ones there.
Information : QPWS Roma (07) 4622 4266

It was then off to Ka Ka Mundi in the Carnarvon Nation Park, 130km SW Springsure. We headed west 50km on Dawson Rd then south on Buckland Rd past Petrona,Tanderra and through Yandaburra to the park boundary. The cattle muster was in progress and there were many cattle trucks on the road. The sandstone cliffs of the Great Dividing Range dominated the clear blue skyline to the south as we drove across the open, undulating country towards Ka Ka Mundi. This remote section of Carnarvon NP features more than 30km of sandstone escarpments and plateaus.
The sandy access track within the park was good and conventional access is possible in dry weather. However, the black soil sections outside the park become impassable when wet. The nearest supplies for us would later be further west at Tambo.

The camping spot at Bunbuncundoo Springs was no more than a small slashed area aprox 20m in diameter with no facilities. Open fires were not permitted. The self registration shelter was at the park entrance. The walk to the springs and cattle yards was heavily overgrown. These old cattle yards, near the springs, are a reminder of the early pastoral history. Ka Ka Mundi was grazed for more than a century before it became national park in 1974. While we were there the new park’s boss came in. After her inspection she gave the order for the park to be cleaned up so visitors could appreciate the history. Although there was nothing to do we stayed two nights enjoying the peace, the bushland setting and bird life.

We made an early morning start for Salvator Rosa. 46km from our campsite we turned left and headed across the Buckland Plains. Then, after several km on the Dawson Dev Rd, we headed south to Cungelela Station and then further south to Salvator Rosa on the western edge of the Central Queensland Sandstone belt. It was named by Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1846.
This park is in the remote western section of the Carnarvon National Park - do not attempt a visit in wet weather as the black soil will bring you unstuck!
The campground provides the camper with modern eco toilets. It is just back from the Nogoa River with its crystal clear waters and clean sandy bottom. The grounds, having been recently mowed, were very welcoming. To our disappointment the wooden causeway over the Nogoa River had been dislodged from its anchor points on the far side by flood waters earlier in the year. Several campers crossed over the sandy river bed but the weight of our truck could have resulted in us getting bogged. I've always wanted a water front but this would not have been the best spot! It was disappointing but on an earlier visit, in the 80 series Landcruiser in 2008, we travelled along this self guided track. The POI’s were Belinda Springs, Spyglass Peak, so named because of the 10m diameter hole near its summit, Louisa Creek Junction with its small day use area, Homoranthus Hill with its 360° lookout andMajor Mitchell Springs and the Yard Site near the location where Major Mitchell camped in 1846. Those who did the trip reported that the area, like Ka Ka Mundi, was also lacking maintenance.

Ten million litres per day of spring fed crystal clear water flows into peaceful Louisa Creek and the Nogoa River as they meander beneath a backdrop of rocky sandstone crags and spires. Over the three days we spent in the campground we were kept company by several other campers, some only staying for the night. We were happy sitting in the river sipping a drink, baking scones for afternoon tea and sitting by the campfire after dinner.

After leaving the park we took the Mt Playfair Rd, through Goodliffe National Park, to Tambo, roughly 140km. Although there were no problems getting through, there was evidence of severe erosion by recent floodwaters that was being addressed by the graders.

Downlands Drew’, our Tambo Teddy, was delighted to go back to Tambo for a visit. The ladies in the shop checked his authenticity and welcomed him. I had visions of buying him a little brother or sister but there had been a price hike since 2008 so he remains an only bear.Tambo Teddies are famous! Years ago, during a long period of drought and low wool prices, several town ladies started the business to bring tourism to the town. The first bears went on sale in 1993.

On the other side of the river Tambo provides a free campsite, no facilities provided so it is frequented by the caravaners. The surrounds were dry but it was OK for one night.

Now onto our next adventure... look out for our next blog.
The outback calls
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