Day 1: Home to Isla Gorge

In October 2013 we explored Carnarvon Gorge and did all the bushwalks there (see the blog entry for that month). We enjoyed this so much that I thought it would be good to explore the other National Parks within the Sandstone Belt hence the purpose of this trip. We have limited time so only Isla Gorge, Lake Murphy Conservation Area, Robinson Gorge, Ka Ka Mundi and Salvatore Rosa are on the itinerary. Trish and Bryan, the friends we walked Carnarvon Gorge with, are also joining us for the first 3 parks.

The week before we left was very busy preparing for this trip. While it’s been planned for a long time, preparations didn’t get underway as we had the joy of our visiting family with their new babies to keep us very preoccupied. Because the majority of this trip will be in National Parks with only one opportunity to shop I decided to precook all the main meals and bring them frozen. For my future reference 5 meals fitted in the freezer – more would fit if I’d chosen similar sized containers and fitted them to the freezer. Another 5 frozen meals were put into the fridge.

The park at Nanango.

The park at Nanango.

21st April: Kilcoy to Isla Gorge National Park
We left home around 7.30am in Priscilla, with Nanango our first stop for breakfast. This town provides a lovely park and picnic area with a working windmill and a typical gold miners mine head and equipment displayed.
Next stop Gayndah for lunch and to buy some oranges – after all, this IS the centre of Queensland’s citrus industry. Here the Council allows a 20-hour stop-over for the travelling public with clean showers and toilets. Great facilities Gayndah, well done.
Onward to Eisdvold to top-up the fuel tanks and have a chat to the lovely man at the Information Centre. The Information Centre is a part of the RM Williams education centre – would be good to visit when some presentations are on. RM Williams’ first property is midway between Eisdvold and Theodore.
We’re having problems refueling. The diesel seems to foam at the mouth of the inlet and it only dribbles in from the bowser taking ages and ages to fill the tank – might have something to do with the long-range fuel tanks. We’ve asked Trakka about it and will see if they have any ideas.
On to Theodore via Cracow. Cracow is a gold town with a working goldmine. We didn’t stop. Closer to Theodore we started to see cropping  – particularly a tall spindley weedy-looking crop which we later learned was mung beans. Fancy that! The sorghum fields were also very pretty with their red heads of grain just waiting to be harvested. However the major crop is cotton and has recently been harvested. These fields are all irrigated from the Dawson River via an open-channel irrigation system which runs alongside the road for many kilometers.
From here it was a short drive down the Leichhardt Highway to the Isla Gorge turnoff and to our camp for the night. We very much enjoyed watching the sun set over this spectacular gorge – but we’ll look at it more tomorrow when our friends join us.

The sun is setting. Note the 'island' in the middle of the gorge.

The sun is setting. Note the ‘island’ in the middle of the gorge.

514K today – a big drive, but handled well by swapping drivers every two hours and having decent, long breaks along the way.

To see more photos from this section of the trip click HERE.

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