South-west of Stanthorpe is the rugged Sundown National Park – a contrast to the rounded giant ‘marbles’ of Girraween. This is a wilderness park hidden in the Severn Valley to the west of the New England Highway.
The Severn River weaves its way through the park’s ancient rock, forming spectacular sharp ridges and steep side gorges. Access is from three directions. About 5km from the 4WD-only entrance via Ballandean, side track leads to the stunning Red Rock Gorge where 50m waterfalls tumble over cliffs stained red with lichen.
There are two all-vehicle entries that can be found south from Nundubbermere Road to Nundubbermere Falls and east from Glenlyon Dam Road to the Broadwater camping area.
Journey along back roads to the spectacular wilderness of Sundown National Park on the Queensland–New South Wales border. With its dramatic landscape of sheer-sided gorges, tree-lined ridges and peaks rising over 1000m above the Severn River, discover for yourself the park’s wild isolation.
Camp on a river flat and throw in a line to see if you can catch a yellow-belly or eel-tailed catfish. Wander to Permanent Waterhole for a refreshing dip, or climb the Western circuit and gaze out across the horizon.
Witness rust-red granite cliffs at Red Rock Gorge lookout track, with peregrine falcons flying overhead. Walk among box, ironbark and cypress trees in beautiful eucalypt woodland, and picturesque river red gums and river oaks growing along the water.
Challenge yourself with a half-day adventure, following the creek from Burrows Waterhole to Rats Castle or into Ooline Creek. Keep watch for brush-tailed rock-wallabies hiding among rocks near Nundubbermere Falls. Investigate centuries-old pastoral relics and abandoned mines where tin, copper and arsenic were unearthed from the 1870s.
Bring your binoculars—more than 150 bird species are found in the park, including red-capped robins, spiny-cheeked and striped honeyeaters, red-winged and turquoise parrots and azure kingfishers.