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 park has two areas open to visitors – the Flagstaff Section and the Isla Gorge Lookout. The main feature of the park is the sandstone which has eroded to form sandstone cliffs and gorges as well as historical links to early settlement. This travel guide gives you the information you need to visit the Isla Gorge National Park.
Driving Distances To Isla Gorge National Park
We recommend following the directions we found here as they are more reliable than a GPS. Be aware too that it is a 45 minute drive between the Flagstaff Hill Section and the Isla Gorge Lookout.
- Rockhampton to Isla Gorge National Park: 240 kilometres or 2 hours 45 minutes
- Gemfields to Isla Gorge National Park: 415 kilometres or 4 hours 35 minutes
- Brisbane to Isla Gorge National Park: 530 kilometres or 5 hours 45 minutes
At the Flagstaff Section is the most remote of the two areas of the park open to visitors. There are two walking trails – Hand Paved Road and Glenmoral Lookout. Both tracks 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
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, which can be seen on the track.
The track out to the Glenmoral Lookout was a fairly flat dirt track. At the lookout there are views out over the gorge and of sandstone cliffs. We walked back to the carpark via an old vehicle track and along the way we saw an echidna roaming about doing its own thing.
Isla Gorge Lookout
The Isla Gorge Lookout entry is located on the Leichhardt Highway. On the drive from the Flagstaff Hill Section before reaching the highway we saw an emu which was pretty cool.
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 were worth the drive however we ended up damaging a tyre most likely on the large rocks along the track in from the highway so be careful.
Isla Gorge Campground
There is a camping area located at the Isla Gorge Lookout section of the park. The area is 1.3 kilometres off the Leichhardt Highway along a gravel road which is accessible to all vehicles and small/medium caravans and motorhomes.
Facilities at the campground include a composting toilet, picnic tables and fire pits. Wood for fires and bins are not provided.
For more information and bookings see here.
Junction Park Theodore 🐾
Junction Park is a donation camping area on the junction of the Dawson River and Castle Creek. It is where we stayed and we recommend it to all other budget travellers.
The camping area is large and flat suitable for all rig types including tents. It is dog friendly, with river views, BBQs, picnic tables and water. There are also clean toilets and hot showers (coin operated).
The donation box is on the toilet block.
Address: The Boulevard, Theodore