Inaccessible and isolated, the tablelands that form the "Roof of Queensland" rise from a tangle of sandstone ranges that extend 370 km from Tambo in the west to Theodore in the east. From the cluster of basalt-topped tablelands - Consuelo, Murphy, Buckland and Piebald - rises one higher than the rest; the Wattle Tableland. The Wattle, which was called Goorbulla by the vanished Bidjara Aboriginals, is the true "Roof of Queensland", although the name is also used for the whole complex of ranges. From this broad tableland, a view stretches into the very haze of the horizon. It is a view of ranges deeply scored with chasms and ravines, covered in a dense bush. Massive rock formations, carved and weathered by the elements, thrust above the bush, the trickles of water at their bases forming the headwaters of rivers that flow far to the south, east and west. The pale sandstone is pitted with shelters containing the records of a people who lived in these lands for some twenty thousand years.
This book is in no sense a definitive work on the area. It simply sets out to provide the opportunity to view and appreciate features of the area's rugged grandeur, including many which, because of inaccessibility and isolation, would never be seen by the usual visitor.
The exact locations of many features have not been revealed, as such information would be self-defeating, only assisting in the escalation of the destruction of the often fragile sandstone environment. As technology allows an accelerating phase of development and diversification of land use, the land's isolation and rugged terrain are no longer proving to be effective protection.
Already, many features that have weathered the ravages of time with dignity are deteriorating from the effects of European man's activites during his short period of occupancy, and until adequate protective measures can be implemented, they are best left in isolation.
Thus, this book has another purpose. Only through public awareness of these problems is there any hope for the preservation of at least some of the features of this vulnerable land, and should this publication achieve no more than arouse an awareness of and respect for the region's unique features in but a few readers, then the time and effort involved will have been justified.