Within Blackbraes National Park are two resources reserves—Moonstone Hill and Kennedy Road Gravel. The park and two reserves cover about 52,000ha, and straddle two bioregions—the Einasleigh Uplands and Gulf Plains. Undulating hills and ranges surround basalt outcrops, black soil plains and seasonal swamps. The park and reserves are above 850m elevation providing a wetter and generally cooler climate compared with the surrounding country.
Moonstone Hill Resources Reserve—a volcanic crater—is popular for fossicking gem-quality feldspar called moonstone. Moonstone emits a silvery-white to blue colour when turned in certain directions. Fossicking in the reserve requires a licence.
- Do not enter private property without the owner’s permission and leave gates as you find them.
- Everything in the park is protected—leave everything as you find it.
- Leave pets at home—domestic animals are not permitted in national parks.
- Take rubbish home as bins are not provided.
- Toilets are not provided. Bury human waste and toilet paper at least 15cm deep and 100m from the car park, fire trails and any water bodies to guard against pollution and the spread of disease.
- Limit the spread of weeds by ensuring clothes, shoes, gear, bikes and vehicles are clean and free of seeds before arriving at the park and reserve. Remove, wrap and place seeds in your rubbish.
- Ride and drive on formed roads as shown on map . Off-road riding and driving damages the environment.
- Unlicensed trail bike riders and drivers are not allowed in parks and reserves. Riders and drivers must be licensed and vehicles must be fully registered.
- Motocross is not permitted in parks or reserves.
- Avoiding driving and riding on unsealed roads during and after heavy rains.
- The use of firearms is not permitted in national parks.
If planning a spotlighting trip there are a few things that will make the experience memorable:
- Keep bulb wattage to 30 or less. This will increase the chance of finding animals (by not warning them of your arrival) and will extend your viewing time.
- Bring binoculars to get a good view.
- Use your senses to find wildlife. Look for eye shine, listen for leaves rustling and inhale the smells.
- Use a white light to explore, then add a red or orange filter to view wildlife. Cellophane is useful.
- Remember that loud voices and sounds will scare away the wildlife and ruin your experience.
- Lights should never be trained on nesting birds—this can cause them great distress.
See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.
Formerly Blackbraes Pastoral Holding, Blackbraes National Park and the associated resources reserves—Moonstone Hill and Kennedy Road Gravel—were gazetted in 1998. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages the protected area to conserve its natural, cultural and historic values.
For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland Holidays.
The natural, cultural and historical significance of Blackbraes
- Emu Swamp Camping Area at Blackbraes National Park temporarily closed 17 May to 6 July 2021