Nine Mile Beach – Byfield National Park

Blackdown Tableland National Park – A Camping Trip

I’ve been avoiding writing this post because I knew I’d have to go through the 200 (or so) photos that I took, resize them all, add drop shadows and then write captions for them all. But anyway, I did get it done and you’ll be looking at the result in a second.

The view from Horseshoe lookout on Blackdown TablelandOn Wednesday the 23rd this month we drove to Blackdown Tableland National Park, which you can find out more about on the EPA website. The day before I’d booked for two nights on the web, because self registration at the campsite is no longer allowed. After stopping at the Horseshoe lookout on the edge of the tablelands (photo to the left) and finding a geocache, we arrived at the South Mimosa Creek campground at about 1PM.

We had a limited choice of campgrounds, because about 20 of them were closed for maintenance and redevelopment and only 9 were available for camping. After a while we chose a campsite and I was able to explore the surrounds. A small creek (about the size of Kemp Beach creek) flowed near us and we had a composting toilet block just opposite our tent. Unfortunately, possibly because of a lazy ranger, there was no water in the taps and we had to use the creek for washing hands and utensils.

Water cascading into pothole at Blackdown
The first place we went to after arrival: the potholes. Some, like the one shown above, has water cascading into it while others, such as the ones below, are covered by water. These particular potholes can be found at the beginning of the Mook Mook (or Officer’s Pocket) walk, just down from the campground.

Potholes filled with running water at Blackdown
Taken at the same locations as the potholes above, this photos shows the ones covered by water. I had fun jumping off the ledge to the left, which is about twice my height. There are also very short tunnels connecting some of the potholes.

A smallish waterfall at Blackdown
This waterfall is located about 50 metres down from the potholes, and although quite small, it is still very beautiful. The sides are approximately 7 metres high.

The Waterfall frozen in place from above
The view from the top of the above waterfall. I like the dynamic aspect to this pic. All the water has just been frozen in place. And don’t panic, although it looks as if I am hovering above I was really lying down and holding the camera out.

Me on my bike
The most used item that I brought along was my mountain bike, which I rode practically everywhere. You name it, up stairs, down stairs, across creeks and over rock outcrops with plenty of challenging spots. I feel like I can tackle anything with it now :) . The photo was taken on the Mook Mook walk.

The lookout at the end of the Mook Mook trail
The beautiful view from the lookout at the end of the Mook Mook trail. Unlike the picture at the top of the post, which was taken at the Horseshoe lookout on the rainy day that we arrived, this view was clear and unimpeded by rain.

Another view from the lookout on Mook Mook trail
Another view from the lookout with the fence in the foreground. In the background you can see a minor landslide, caused by a slab of rock peeling of from the cliff.

Rainbow Falls, the biggest waterfall at Blackdown Tableland National Park

Rainbow Falls would have to be among the biggest (if not the biggest) falls in a 100km radius around Blackdown Tableland. I estimate the height of the falls to be around 25 metres, which is really big if you get a tape measure and measure it out. I climbed up a bit on the right side and put my hand under the water falling on the rock you can see. It felt like someone was slingshotting you (not withstandable for more than about 5 seconds). Swimming under the falls is bearable though, because the water isn’t falling from as great a height.

They can be accessed by driving 8 kilometres from the campground and then following the walking trail for about 2km downhill. To get to the very bottom of the gorge you then have to go down 240 stairs :(

This photo can also be found on Contrasting Sharply.

Very old posts on the culture circuit
In total there are 3 defined tracks in the vicinity of the campground (not counting the walk at Horseshoe Lookout) and the last that we walked was the Cultural Circuit. The wooden, burnt out fence above was part of a settler’s stockyard. The posts have been there so long that the tree has grown around it.

Aboriginal artwork on the culture circuit
The Cultural Circuit also boasts some Aboriginal handprints (OK artwork if you must…), which are created by placing your hand on a rock and blowing paint over it.

A fiery hammock
Back at the campsite I experiment with waving a lighted stick in front of the camera, creating a fiery hammock for daring (and foolish) people :)

Dawson river in flood
On the way back from Blackdown we drove over the Dawson River again (we’d gone over it on the way to Blackdown, but it wasn’t as high as this), which was now fully in flood. Almost all the trees were partly submerged.

Dawson river in flood again
A tire tube caught in some flotsam and jetsam on the Dawson River. I bet it would have a story to tell.

And with that photo, my retelling of our trip to Blackdown Tableland National Park ends. Hope you enjoyed it.

[tags]national park, blackdown tablelands, holiday, travel, water, waterfalls[/tags]

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8 Responses to “Blackdown Tableland National Park – A Camping Trip”

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  4. Jack Dunstone ( from South Wales, UK ) says:

    Lovely pictures . We plan a trip to Rocky and Yepoon in October 2010 and will definitely make a trip thanks to your enthusiastic presentation.

  5. Camping Tips says:

    Nice Article. Have bookmarked your site! Keep it up!

  6. len says:

    HI . Love the pix I feel a little bit jellous , we camped up there about two weeks before you and there was hardly any water at all
    the potholes were dry and the falls below them were just a dribble .But at the bottom of those falls you can see a cave , we were climbing around down there and found another cave that went in under the clif about 15 meters and was full of tiny bats.
    Our experience was a dryer one than yours ,but we loved it just the same. Keep up the good work .
    LEN.

  7. The pictures are really breathtaking. Just being there must be so rewarding.

  8. yes I thoroughly enjoyed your writing. It was almost like a story book.

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