Carnarvon Gorge

Tuesday, Nov 16, 1999 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Someone should have told us about Carnarvon Gorge a long time ago! It's one of the best National Parks in Australia.

Firstly Carnarvon Gorge isn't really near anywhere. We went south from Emerald via Rolleston (223km), or you could come North from Roma via Injune (238km). Both of these ways take you to the main section of Carnarvon Gorge. There are other sections to the gorge such as Salvator Rosa (access via Tambo), Ka Ka Mundi (also access via Tambo or Springsure) but we haven't been to those. In fact, we had planned to visit the Salvator Rosa section because it sounded more remote and more our style than the popular Carnarvon Gorge NP. As things turned out all roads to Salvator Rosa were closed due to wet weather and flooding but it was for the best. Carnarvon Gorge is absolutely perfect.

So what's all the fuss about? Walking. Wildlife. Climate.

Almost all the walks start from right beside the main camping area and rangers office. One main track leads out along the Carnarvon Creek zig zagging across stepping stones in the creek to both sides every kilometre or so of the 10km track that takes you right up to Big Bend. Camping is available here for trekkers (not vehicle access) if you like. Off the main track at regular intervals are tracks to side gorges. These are return tracks of about 1-4km depending on how far you wish to venture up the side gorges. There is lots of variety in both scenery, terrain, vegetation and wildlife with platypus being the favourite one to spot in the creek at dusk and dawn.

Of course, every place has it's drawbacks and even Carnarvon has some. Cold water showers unless you pay $1 per minute for hot water, long walks to showers, consistently busy (300 per night is usual), popular for school groups during term and fully booked out a year in advance in school holidays. Fees are $3.50 per person per night and there are so many rangers that you wont get away with not paying.

After 3 days of walking we moved on to another gorge system near Monto in South East Queensland. Cania Gorge is 390km from Carnarvon via Rolleston and Biloela. Although it claims to be a smaller version of Carnarvon it is definitely not as stunning, nor are the walks as interesting. We did however see a yellow belly black snake on the track.

Cania Gorge has no NP camping ground but further up the road from the walking tracks is a good caravan park and a huge dam that is literally teeming with fish for the taking. The dam is regularly stocked with perch, bream, saratoga, barramundi has a boat ramp and other activities such as water skiing and sailing is also popular.

We spent only one night and the following morning at Cania and continued on with the temptation of Fraser Island not far away. We found a sign to a tunnel and went to investigate and found a hand-carved tunnel built in the 1870s. I must remember to add the GPS coordinates for the tunnel in next update.

David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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