Carnarvon Gorge with Kids

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 10:46
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Hi All,

I am toying with the idea to visit Carnarvon Gorge in mid May. From all the reading I have done it's clear that there's plenty of walking to do and to see most things you need to walk there. I have one 2 1/2 year old and one 6 month old, am I dreaming in thinking that this is a good idea? The plan is to stay there for about 5 days.

We have done plenty of short camping trips with the kids but nothing that involves allot of walking. I would hate to spend the money to get out there and be stuck around the camp for the entire time. I was thinking about those backpack child carrier things so we can lug the kids around on our backs but they will only sit still in there for so long and I don't really know how far I want to walk with my walking pack and my 2 1/2 year old on my back?

Has anyone done this trip with your kids?

Thanks
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Reply By: Member - Stevo_62 - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:40

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:40
You are correct , many of the features require a fairly long walk up the main gorge . The Moss Garden is about 4 km walk each way . I have done it with toddlers and it is a fair trek carrying them . However there are Baloon Cave & Mickeys Creek Gorge which are much shorter walk just outside the main gorge .If you stay at Takarakka camp ground , which was great last time I was there , you can view platypus in the creek right beside the camp ground.
AnswerID: 480878

Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:42

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:42
Troll,

I took my then 3 and 6 year old girls to Mt Moffatt 2 years ago and the walking track there were short compared with over the hill at Canarvon Gorge. We had issues with them just doing the 2km walks so I wouldn't recommend it :)

Mt Moffatt may be a better option as you can drive to most places with a shorter walk in to places of interest. Check out my Blog from our trip there if you want more info.


Cheers Kev
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Reply By: PaulyT - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:43

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:43
We did it with a 4 and 7 year old and somehow they managed to do the walks, even some of the long ones (12k's and all day). Could be hard work with the age of your kids though. Can't really push prams but the backpack/sling type of arrangement might work for the shorter walks depending on how fit and strong you are.

There are some walks around 2 to 5 k's which might be feasible but whether you want to carry them for hrs on the longer walks is the question. I certainly wouldn't.


Paul
AnswerID: 480880

Reply By: Member - Chris & Debbie (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:52

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:52
I suppose it is only a question that you can answer as they are your children, but we took our son there when he was 2 1/2 and he had no problem doing most of the walks. We did have a child carrier backpack for when he got tired, but most of the time he was too stuborn and just kept walking, people were amazed when he did the climb to the top of the gorge lookout.
There are a lot of short walks though and activities for kids that the rangers put on, I would say go for it.
Chris
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Follow Up By: kend88 - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 12:50

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 12:50
Most of the longer walks are reasonably flat but most of the closer ones are off the main track and require quite strenuous climbing. I think it would be too much to expect kids that age to be able to handle it and as far as carrying them goes it would make it very strenuous and somewhat dangerous for you and them. I don't think they would get much out of it at their present ages.
The platypus' would be worth seeing but we looked for 3 days without seeing them.
I reckon the kids would need to be oover 10 for them to be able to handle and get anyghing out of it. Takaraka is not cheap and there is not much else to do other than the walks.
Having said that, the (free?) camping area near the start of the walks could be just a nice place to camp and chill out for a few days, perhaps see a platypus, and try the kids on some short walks. It is only open on school holidays I believe.
Having said all that, we loved Carnarvon Gorge, can't believe it is not more popular than it seems. As good as anything in the NT as frar as gorges go.
We also liked our stay at Cania Gorge, not as much to see as Carnarvon, but the walks are much more accessable for kids, the two caravan parks are in a great setting, anjd not as far to travel to get there.
KenD
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 13:36

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 13:36
We've done it a couple of times.
The first time our youngest had just turned 6 and he did the 20km return walk to Big Bend one day unaided. He also walked the >900 stairs to Bullimbal (?) Bluff early one morning. It is almost completly flat for most of it and easy, but quite dusty walking especially if you are down low.
My 2/12 year old nephew probably walked 5km of it and was carried the rest. You don't need to walk the entire distance to Big Bend

The terrain is not difficult, it is a very well formed but dusty track, they will love playing in the creek and the numerous creek crossings, only you can work out what is fair for them.
AnswerID: 480891

Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 13:51

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 13:51
Troll

On reflection if you are only going to do Carnarvon once as a family, wait til your youngest is 5 or 6, then allocate at least 3 full days. As others have said, it is a fantastic place.
Mark
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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 14:40

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 14:40
Thanks for the info guys
AnswerID: 480898

Reply By: Kris and Kev - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 15:43

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 15:43
We were there last year and loved the place, even after our 14 km walk!
The hardest part was the new main walking track. The old track use to follow closely to the creek and there were several crossings, but nice and flat. After flood damage they built a new track which is a bit away from the creek and goes up and down hills a lot with numerous steps. Not so many creek crossings.
Some of the slight hills you could easily walk up without the need for steps, but the parks people put steps on these as well. Not sure why, the surface appears good wet or dry?
Kevin


AnswerID: 480903

Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 16:05

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 16:05
It would be interesting to see how well the new track handled the flood from Jan this year as it was bigger than last years one.


Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Pushy - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 09:21

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 09:21
Sir Kev,

Two weeks ago some friends (unfortunately I colud not get time off work) did the Carnarvon Great Walk and they said there was significant damage due to the floods including no stepping stones acroos the creek which meant wet feet.
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Reply By: Pushy - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 09:15

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 09:15
Hi Troll,

It was a long time ago but we did all of the walks in the gorge over a period of a week. At that time we had a 18 mth old who walked in patches but generally I had to carry him in a child backpack. I was totally stuffed after doing the long trip to the Cathedral rock paintings and back, although I did have a bad head cold.

We went with a group of families with older children so we did not have a choice but would have preferred to take the kids when they could all walk by themselves.The gorge is brilliant though and well worth the effort, one of the most underrated tourist spots around.

Pick a child backpack with fold down wheels so that when you get to the smooth stretches you can take off the pack and drag it behind you.Also you have to teach your youngster not to pull your ears and hair.
AnswerID: 480968

Reply By: Jacaluke - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 09:41

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 09:41
We were there last year in the July School Holidays. We stayed at the National Parks Campground where the walks start - and yes this is only open during school holidays. It costs about $7.50/adult and $3/child with family rates available - it was $20/night for us, a family of 5. Our children were aged 10, 8 and 5 at the time and we went to most of the places of interest on the walks which was about a 10km all up. We didn't make it all the way to The Bend though and my husband and I did Boolimba Bluff without the kids. The kids did the walks quite easily although the 5 year old got quite tired. I would personally wait until the kids are a bit older and will appreciate it a bit more. It's an amazing place and you have to do the walks to fully appreciate it.
AnswerID: 480971

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