Kroombit Tops is located 85 Klms southwest of Gladstone and can be accessed from Gladstone (via Calliope), Monto (via Cania Gorge) and Ubobo.
Although the park is accessible by two wheel drive vehicle from Calliope (dry weather only), 4wd vehicles are recommended for the other two entry points and the bomber loop.
Special Photographic Features or Notes
Spectacular views out to the port of Gladstone are offered from lookouts on the eastern side of the escarpment.
Of particular interest is the bomber loop (4wd track), and walk, and the remains of “Beautiful Betsy” an American World War two B-24-D Liberator Bomber.
Betsy left Darwin on the night of 26 February 1945 on a “fat cat” run (to collect fresh supplies) but disappeared en route to her destination in Brisbane. Despite subsequent air searches in the days and years following, Betsy was lost without trace for nearly 50 years until a park ranger checking on burning activities found the site in July 1994.
All on board (6 American crew and two British Passengers) perished. A specialist American Army recovery team thoroughly investigated the site in September 1994, recovering bone fragments, dog tags and personal effects. While the cause of her crash will never be known, a good deal of what can be interpreted from the crash site has been recounted in story boards around the walk.
How to get there
Directions from Gladstone, Monto and Ubobo are available from the NPRSR Website.
The drive from the Monto is well signed (if you know what you are looking for) and is approximately 2 hours, mostly winding bush track, with lots of gates and a few shallow creek crossings, before a steep (and rough) climb up into the national park.
Google satelite view of the area
NB – the roads are marked on google maps, however, you have to zoom right in to be able to read the road names.
The site is fairly heavily treed, and although the walk is short, allow plenty of time, take water and wear good comfortable shoes. The park is rugged and remote, you must be self sufficient for your stay.
Photography wise, a tripod would be handy and a combination of macro and wide angle lenses would probably yield the best results.
Best Time of Day
Early morning or late afternoon would be best light wise – can imagine that viewing the site on a foggy winters morning would be surreal. The lookouts are spectacular, and again, best views will be early morning or late afternoon.
More info is available from the NPRSR website above, but whilst in the area, also consider Cania Gorge National Park which contains some spectacular scenery, and the Dawes National Park (Resource Reserve) which has the remains of an old smelter and town including two brick chimneys (one over 18 metres high).
Camping is allowed in Kroombit Tops, and there is an abundance of birds and plants anyone into those subjects – and although there are few defined bushwalks, it is the sort of place you could easily spend a week or two.
Finally – the bomber site represents the loss of 8 lives, please treat it with the respect it deserves.