Expedition National Park: Camping Options

{Updated: June 2019}

You’re certainly in a remote part of Queensland if you’ve manage to trek as far as Expedition National Park.

Part of the Central Queensland Sandstone Belt, Expedition National Park offers peace, quiet and very basic bush camping. With narrow gorges, expansive valley vistas and no-one else in sight, it’s a great spot to get lost, be out of touch with civilisation and marvel at the beauty before you.

READ MORE: Exploring Expedition National Park
Views over Acadia Valley, Expedition National Park

Views over Arcadia Valley, Expedition National Park

Camping at Expedition

Expedition National Park has three sections, none of which are exactly close by in terms of driving distance.

The main, and most popular, section is Robinson Gorge on the Expedition Range and located between Taroom and Rolleston. At a minimum, you’ll be driving some 500km to Taroom if you’re coming from Brisbane.

The other two sections, Beilba and Lonesome, are approached from Injune, an almost 600km drive from Brisbane. Neither section is accessible from the Robinson Gorge section. Expedition is a rather spread out national park that you approach from different directions.

We haven’t been to Beilba but both Robinson Gorge and Lonesome offered us exactly what we were craving: Solitude, a sense of remoteness and nothing fancy. Back to basics camping.

All three sections offer established camping areas but you also have the opportunity to do remote bush camping while hiking at Expedition.

Starkvale Camping Area | Robinson Gorge section

If you want to explore beautiful Robinson Gorge, setting up camp at Starkvale camping area is going to be your best option. Unless you climb into the gorge, it won’t take long to explore the area but the drive into and out of Expedition is in itself worth the long trek.

Starkvale is only accessible by high-clearance 4WD vehicles (best entry point is from Taroom), and any caravan or non-offroad camper trailer would struggle to get here, especially in any kind of wet weather. When we visited it was mid-June, bone-dry and fairly cold but things can change quickly out here.

The road into the campground leads through a (dry) creek bed but depending on weather conditions, it might become impassable after heavy rains (usually Nov-Feb).

Our five minutes of exploring along the creek bed before losing all sunlight

Starkvale campground is set up in a lovely bush setting with roughly 8 sites (unnumbered). There’s also a picnic area and we only realised in the morning that we camped in the picnic area! 😀

As on any outback trip, make sure you’ve got adequate water supplies and fuel, and be completely self-sufficient. There is a tap and tank water but I don’t think we used it for our water supply, and Queensland National Parks says not to rely on it.

We also always have toilet paper with us but didn’t need it here as there was plenty at the very basic pit toilet. Out here, you’ll need to be comfortable with a few spider webs in the toilets…

Minimalist camping setup for one night; you can also see the road into the campground in the back left (through the dry creek bed)

Starkvale camping area at a glance

PROS: Campsites with sufficient shade; vehicle-based camping; remote bush camp setting; close to walks and near the creek bed

CONS: Having to pre-book your site (it seems ridiculous in places that are so off the beaten track); wouldn’t offer much privacy if it was packed (but that’s unlikely here)

Not sure what the tents and mozzies mean? Check out my tents and mozzies guide.

Lonesome Camping Area | Lonesome section

Most of Expedition National Park is undeveloped and this certainly goes for the Lonesome section. While you can drive around and get lost on various 4WD tracks, there are no marked walking tracks or lookouts beyond the stunning Arcadia Valley Lookout up on the escarpment.

From Arcadia Valley Road, it’s another 500m or so to the camping area. It’s well signed and easy to find.

Road turn off to the Lonesome camping area, Expedition National Park

Turn off to the Lonesome camping area

There’s no water at Lonesome so make sure you’ve got enough supplies. And in fact, there isn’t even a pit toilet here but on the flip side, there are some picnic tables!

The camping area is a large dirt / grassy area (no defined sites) surrounded by scrub and open dry eucalypt forest. It’s right next to the Dawson River but it didn’t carry any water when we were there in July.

Unlike Starkvale, you won’t actually need a 4WD to access the Lonesome camping area. A conventional vehicle should be fine, provided it’s been dry.

The peace and quiet out here was unbelievable (though I did wish there had been a toilet 🙂 ). Practise responsible toilet habits if you haven’t got your own porta potty setup.

Lonesome camping area at a glance

PROS: Camp spots with sufficient shade; vehicle-based camping; remote bush camp setting; picnic tables

CONS: Having to pre-book your site; not much privacy if it was busy (highly unlikely out here); no toilet

Not sure what the tents and mozzies mean? Check out my tents and mozzies guide.

Beilba Camping Area | Beilba section

Like Robinson Gorge, Beilba camping area is only accessible by 4WD.

Since we haven’t been there, I don’t really know how beautiful or ugly it is but since it’s a spot in open woodland with views over Beilba Gorge, it sounds rather fantastic.

And like Lonesome camping area, there’s no toilet here so come prepared.

MORE INFORMATION

Find more details on the three sections at Expedition National Park, including how to book a site, Queensland National Parks.

More posts on camping in Central West Queensland

Mount Moffatt (part of Carnarvon National Park) is one of my favourite spots in Central Queensland. The camping here is fantastic, and you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

If you want to explore a plateau with some gorgeous short walks around, camping at Blackdown Tablelands National Park near Emerald would make a great choice.

Pin me.

Expedition National Park Camping options

Girraween National Park: Camping Guide
Mount Moffatt (Carnarvon): Camping Guide
Rainbow Beach Camping Guide
September 18, 2018
Exploring Bribie Island: Camping Guide
Bunya Mountains: Camping review
Currawinya National Park: Camping Guide

No Comments

Thoughts? Comments? Shout it out. Well, not literally.