To plan our Sandstone Belt trip, we used Murray White’s awesome 4WD Queensland Atlas. The book includes a range of 4WD trips across Queensland, including detailed trip notes and maps. For our almost Outback trip, it turned out to be a fantastic resource so I’m very glad we had the maps and track information at hand on our way to Expedition National Park.
Without the book, I doubt we would have considered stopping at Expedition. And that would have been a real shame because it’s got a gorge, it’s remote and we were the only people there!
So here’s a bit more on the Expedition National Park leg of our awesome Queensland road trip.
From Cania Gorge we set off for the sleepy town of Theodore, some 200 km away, to start the first leg of our 4WD trip through Expedition National Park. We pretty much followed the route in the book, travelling from Theodore into Expedition via Lake Murphy to Bauhinia (if you’re keen, check out the map).
Read more: Disappointed at Cania Gorge National Park
On our way to Expedition, we passed through the town of Banana and I got really excited about seeing giant bananas. But to my disappointment, no big banana or anything even remotely to do with bananas was to be found. 🙁
Although we left Cania Gorge by about 8:30 am, we still only managed to get to Expedition NP and our campsite at Starkvale Camp just after 4 pm.
The last 16 km to the campsite is a 4WD-only track with a couple of creek crossings (no water when we went) and one steep rocky descent that we didn’t find particularly steep at all. As we learned later in the trip though, things can change rapidly in Queensland, and tracks can become impassible with only the teeniest amount of rain.
Travelling the 380 km seemed to take a long time but we were rewarded with a fabulous camp spot. And what was even better, we were the only ones there (hallelujah!) and got a glorious sunset to watch! Finally it really felt like camping in a remote area!
We set up camp in a nice, flatish area near the creek bed and discovered the next morning that we actually camped in the day use area. Who on earth would drive to this remote spot for the day is, however, beyond me…
Looking back, I wish we had planned more than one night there. We had barely any time for exploring nearby Robinson Gorge the next morning. It was such a pleasant and relaxing spot, I could have stayed there for a few more days.
It seems strange that Expedition NP is so underrated, perhaps because it is rather remote. I had very low expectations of the whole area but it is really quite beautiful. Robinson Gorge at its narrowest is barely six metres wide with sheer cliffs on both sides. Talk about being impressed! 🙂
Two short walks at Expedition
From Starkvale Camp, there are two short walks (plus the slightly longer one to Shepherds Peak, which we didn’t do). One walk takes you to Robinson Gorge Lookout (4 km return), the other to Cattledip Lookout (1.2 km return).
From Robinson Gorge Lookout, you can also climb down into the gorge. Cattledip Lookout also gives you views over Robinson Gorge but at the narrow end. Lookout sounds a bit too formal for what is really just the end of unfenced cliffs and a lot of scrambling around.
The creek bed is pretty much dry in winter except for the permanent water hole at the narrow end of the gorge.
Exploring the bottom of the gorge would have been awesome as there’s a rocky path leading down into it. The rest is bush bashing though, there are no tracks in the actual gorge. You could easily spend a day there, looking at the rock formations and wandering to the narrow end of the gorge. It looks just beautiful. Oh well, another time… 🙂
If you have low expectations, you probably won’t get disappointed! 🙂 We planned way too little time for Expedition, it was exactly our kind of place. Remote, rugged, a few walks to explore, and nobody else in sight!
If you head over there, you will need to high-clearance 4WD and come prepared to be self-sufficient. Not long ago, a father and his son got stuck in the mud there and almost died (a farmer ended up rescuing them).
Check out the Queensland National Parks’ website on Expedition National Park for infos on how to book a campsite, how to get there and a walking map.
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