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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Blackdown Tablelands National Park, QLD.

Mimosa Creek near Munall Camping Area, Blackdown Tablelands National Park, QLD.
Blackdown Tablelands is on a plateau high above the surrounding countryside. The drive in is windy, narrow and steep. After reaching the park entry it is eight kilometers of unsealed road to the campground. There is a sign just after the turn-off from the highway that clearly states the road is not suitable for caravans. 

"Road is unsuitable for caravans."
The first thing we noticed about the campground was that sections of the figure eight driveway are covered in slats. We arrived during a very dry season but the slats indicate that at times it can get very wet in the campground.

Slats on the road near a compost toilet block.
As there is no phone reception at the campground we booked before arriving. As the sites are numbered it is necessary to choose a site number and it can be hard to know which one to choose but there is a map of the campground  online that is helpful. We also read all the comments on WikiCamps before making our decision. Some sites are tent only and  some are multi-use. When we arrived there was someone set up on the site we had booked. They also had a booking and when they showed me their booking email I was able to show them which number they had booked and they moved.

Our site was huge and had its own driveway with one section for camping and another section with a fireplace and log seating. 

Site 11, Munall Camping Area.
There are Kookaburras and large numbers of Pied Currawongs in the campground. Every time we prepared food we were mobbed by about twenty Currawongs intent on pinching food. They are quite brazen and one even entered our service body and tried to steal some cake we had stored in our drop down kitchen.

Laughing Kookaburra.
We met a fellow camper from James Cook University who was studying macropods. She had set out small live mammal traps but the traps were destroyed when Currawongs removed the pins holding them together. Although we found Blackdown Tablelands National Park to be an excellent birding location we were disappointed in the lack of animal sightings. However, we could hear frogs near every waterway, even during the day. Beautiful Mimosa Creek was only a few meters walk from our campsite and was the source of a delightful frog chorus every evening. 

Pied Currawongs

There are four walks in Blackdown Tablelands National Park. Two walks lead from the campground. It is necessary to drive to the trail-heads of the other two walks. There is also a popular 4WD track in the park. We did all the walks and I will cover them in separate blog posts.

Wildlife List: Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Lace Monitor, frogs (possibly Scarlet Sided Pobblebonks and Stripped Marsh Frogs).
Birds: Wedge-tailed Eagle, Grey Butcherbird, Sulphur-crested Coackatoo, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Pied Currawong, Torresian Crow, Australian Raven, Red-backed Fairy-wren, Grey Fantail, Leaden Flycatcher, Noisy Friarbird, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Laughing Kookaburra, Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian Magpie, Magpie-lark, Noisy Miner, Australian King Parrot, Eastern Yellow Robin, Pale-headed Rosella, Rainbow Bee-eater, Little Shrike-thrush, Weebill, Rufous Whistler. We saw Emu along Charlevue Road. We heard Tawny Frogmouth and Southern Boobook.

Details for Munall Camping Area, Blackdown Tablelands National Park:
Where: 190 km west of Rockhampton, QLD.
Access: Not suitable for big rigs. Not suitable for towing anything bigger than a small camper trailer. The sign on Charlevue Road states that the road into the national park is "unsuitable for caravans". The sealed section of road is winding and climbs very steeply. The unsealed section past the entry shelter is windy; corrugated when we visited in September 2017 and slippery when wet. Nearest fuel is at Dingo.
Campsites: 8 km past the entry shelter. 16 numbered dirt sites. Some are multi-use and some are tent only. Tip: Site 6 is listed as a multi-use site but it is not level and didn't seem suitable for most rigs. 
Booking and Fees: No self registration. Book online or by phone before arriving. Gets booked out at times. Standard National Park QLD camping fees. $6.30 pp. Family rates.
Facilities: 2 amenities blocks with composting toilets, individual fire rings with log seats (BYO wood). No water. No phone reception at campground, some available at Yaddamen Dhina Lookout. Emergency phone at entrance shelter 8 km from campground. Walks. Nearby 4WD loop.
Prohibitions: No pets. No generators.
Tip: If you have a caravan or large camper trailer it is possible to camp at Dingo or Bluff and do a day trip to the national park.

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