Isla Gorge National Park is located on the traditional lands of the Wulli Wulli and Jiman Aboriginal people at the southern end of Dawson Ranges, between the townships of Theodore and Tarooma, 415km northwest of Brisbane. The national park has two areas open to visitors – the Flagstaff Section and the Isla Gorge Lookout. The main features of the park is the sandstone which has eroded to form cliffs and the gorge.
We drove from Theodore where we are camped and headed out to the Flagstaff Section a 45 minute drive through cattle station country. (We recommend following the national parks directions here.)
At the Flagstaff Section we did both walking trails – The Hand Paved Road and Glenmoral Lookout. Both are classified as a grade 4 track due to unevenness and some steep sections. Each track is said to take 45 minutes each but we did both (combined) easily within 30 minutes.
The Hand Paved Road was originally built from the port in Rockhampton to Roma to transport goods by bullock and wagons. Built in 1863 the road was used up until 1930s at which time a new road had opened. There is a small section of the paved road still in fairly good repair, we walked the track to see it.
The track out to the Glenmoral Lookout was a fairly flat dirt track. At the lookout we enjoyed the views before following an old vehicle track which looped back around to where our car was parked. Along the vehicle track we were fortunate to see an echidna.
We then left the Flagstaff section, drove back out to the Leichhardt Highway and drove further along the highway for another 30 kms to the Isla Gorge Lookout entry to the national park. On this drive, before reaching the highway we saw an emu.
The Isla Gorge Lookout is a 10 min walk each way along a track that follows a ridge giving fantastic views from both sides. The views speak for themselves. There is also a campground, toilets and a picnic area.
Afterwards we headed back home to our camp in Theodore but not without getting a flat tyre.