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Camp Gedling was purchased in the early 1980s from the Gedling family, who were active supporters of the Ignatius Park College Community. Since then it has served the College and a range of other community organisations, businesses and individuals as a venue for educational, training and recreational activities.
The high set, weatherboard building near the camp fireplace is the original science lab from Our Lady's Mount Christian Brothers College which was located on Stanton Hill above the present city centre, before the College was relocated to Cranbrook and became the present Ignatius Park College.
Camp Gedling's thirty-year history includes some quite significant events in the development of Townsville and its hinterland. These include active use of the new Hervey Range Road officially opened in the mid-seventies, the establishment of High Range Military Training Area and a fifteen-year nickel mining operation linking the ore deposits at Greenvale to Yabulu and Townsville port. This contemporary history and the colourful pioneering background of Thornton's Gap have added value to the area as a popular tourist destination.
IPC Camp Gedling is a community-friendly campsite owned and managed by Ignatius Park College and supported by 200 years of education in the Edmund Rice Tradition.
For users of the great outdoors in the Townsville and wider Charters Towers communities, Camp Gedling has a number of unique features:
Geographically it is ideally situated
- For Townsville and Thuringowa users, it is only 35 minutes drive and suitable for one-day activities as well as extended overnight stays
- Charters Towers and district users have the convenience of an overnight space that provides quick access to coastal and offshore attractions, such as Magnetic Island, Great Barrier Reef Wonderland, Tropical Museum and adjacent beaches
- Camp Gedling is the closest mainland campsite to Townsville providing basic facilities with camping space for up to 70 people
- Local caterers are available to provide for some or all catering needs as well as information on the historical background of Thornton's Gap and Hervey Range
- The campsite is in a rural Australian setting of dry tropics bushland and under the care of active traditional ownership
- It is semi-remote, away from suburbia, but with relatively quick access to emergency services. An on-site caretaker is available to assist in the event of an emergency of a medical or material nature
- At an altitude of 350 metres, Camp Gedling is often considerably cooler than lower coastal areas and is situated at the top of the escarpment it very often sports an accompanying cool breeze
It has a number of significant educational opportunities that derive from its location
- Facilities are basic without ‘mod-cons' and provide a measured and safe degree of challenge to basic living activities i.e. a bush camping experience
- Water availability on the property is directly dependent on seasonal rainfall and so its conservation is a priority for all users - an excellent opportunity for a hands-on approach to developing a water-wise mentality in students and other community users
- The campsite works well for small, intense training groups e.g. sporting teams as well as for larger, general camping groups of up to 70
- The dry tropics bushland is a good resource of hands-on experiences that supplement classroom topics in Science and other related disciplines. The Spear Grass flats, escarpment and Hervey Range plateau provide obvious and useful habitat contrasts
- Hervey Range and more specifically, Thornton's Gap, have a rich pioneering heritage as the only thoroughfare in the late 19th century, linking pastoral and mining enterprises of the Burdekin Basin with Townsville. Access to some local collections of artefacts and memorabilia are available for educational purposes
- The results of a combined JCU-Thuringowa-Kirwan State High School archaeological dig conducted adjacent to Camp Gedling in 2005 are housed in the Thuringowa Central Library and are available as learning resources and for the progress of ongoing fieldwork
- By arrangement, the Traditional Owners of the area are available for educational sessions and visits that can include a range of bush skills, art and Indigenous culture
- The endangered Gulburu Gecko has recently been found in the Thornton's Gap ecosystem
- In clear weather, without the glare of suburban lights, the night sky is ideal for astronomy and navigation exercises
- The Hervey Range plateau topography offers a range of navigational challenges. Thornton's Gap, Speed Creek, the old Greenvale rail line access road and the main Hervey Range Road provide well-defined boundaries for small and focussed as well as larger, extended exercises
- Walks out to the escarpment edge and to hills west of Camp Gedling can be made by arrangement with the landowners. The old Hervey Range Road that links the Council reserve at the bottom with Pipers Lookout at the top is an easy and enjoyable two and a half-hour walk
- Excellent abseil sites are located along top of the escarpment and can be accessed with landowners' permission
- The campsite has suitable outdoor space for team building, personal development and ‘bush sports' activities.
- A communal camp fireplace that also doubles for kup-murri preparation is available
- A high challenge ropes course is available for hire by arrangement with the College
- Water holes at the highway bridge at Keelbottom Creek can be easily accessed for water based activities subject to seasonal flow in the creek
Ignatius Park College - Camp Gedling is located at Hervey Range approximately 35km from Townsville on the Hervey Range Development Road. It is located on top of the range just beyond Piper's Look Out.
Campsite for 60 - 70 people comfortably.
Small family groups are also welcome.
Self-catering. Contact Ignatius Park College for details
Showers and toilets (septic)
Open, covered dining area and adjoining kitchen
Upstairs hall (The original Our Lady's Mount Science Lab)
Outdoor facilities & Services
Open areas for general activities and bush sports
High challenge ropes course
Ignatius Park College
Alix Harrington | Event Co-ordinator
T: 07 4796 0255 M: 0405 695 968
F: 07 4796 0200
384 Ross River Road, Cranbrook
PO Box 121 Aitkenvale 4814
Trevor Rethamel | Property and Services Manager
T: 4796 0222 | M: 0417645846
Personal and professional development including team building, bushcraft and navigation is available. Please contact the College to discuss.
Acknowledgement of Country
The Ignatius Park College Community would like to humbly acknowledge the Wulgurukaba peoples on whose land our College is located, as well as the Bindal peoples on whose land many of us live and travel across daily. We respectfully thank the elders of this traditional land both past and present for guiding us through the journey of time to where we are today.