Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat
Cania Gorge is part and parcel of the Cania Gorge National Park. According to Queensland Parks and Forests “Cania Gorge preserves a valuable remnant of the Brigalow Belt natural region. More than 150 different types of plant community are found in this region, including brigalow forest, eucalypt woodland, cypress pine woodland, dry rainforest and grassland.
“The park is home to more than 90 species of bird. Brush-tailed rock-wallabies and common bent-wing bats are also seen. “Aboriginal people have lived in Cania Gorge for at least 19,000 years. Freehand art on the sandstone walls is a reminder of their special way of life.”
Peter and I were catching up with friends for a few days R&R and we all made our way to Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat. Luckily we had booked out sites, and got them next to each other as the park was busy. It’s the ‘new normal’ for caravanners isn’t it! As soon as we can get on the road we do, as do what seems like thousands of others. The park was, like so much of this country in September, dry which means it wasn’t looking its best. But you could tell that one decent day of rain and it would bloom into a green oasis with no thought of dry dusty sites. We all know that you can’t hold park operators responsible for a lack of rain!
THE WALKS IN CANIA GORGE
We set ourselves up and some of our group went straight to the list of walks you can do. Let me just say that stairs and I have a very unfriendly relationship and as all but one of the walks had steps and rough terrain, I would not be on those particular walks. The one I did agree I could do was all of 300m from the front gate! First morning there, the early morning walkers headed out for a walk of anywhere between 1km and 5km. The feedback is that the walks are wonderful and the scenery is gorgeous. There was never a lack of people happy to get up early and go for a walk.
TONY AND MARIA’S RETIREMENT PLAN
Tony and Marie Haupt have owned this park for about six years now. Previously they had been at the Normanton Tourist Park and the Gulflander Motel. Marie told me that running the Cania Gorge Tourist Park was part of their retirement planning. Their aim is to end up with a bit of land so they can have chickens and Miniature Dexter Cattle, a breed I had never heard of.
However, retirement isn’t here yet. Luckily they love being part of the industry, but did find it very challenging when they, like everyone else, went into lock down. It is really tough on any business when you simply cannot trade and have no alternative way of trading than having customers come and stay. But they, like others, hunkered down and got through it. Being in Queensland meant that they had three months of lock down, not six. As soon as lock down was lifted caravanners started coming and have not stopped. The year had turned from being nothing at all to very very busy. Perhaps not the easiest way to ease into that retirement.
MEET THE BIRDS
Daily bird feeding is a big part of each afternoon. The Lorikeets know exactly what time to arrive for a free feed, and they do. Luckily there are plenty of willing hands held out for the birds to get their easy meal.
CABINS, SITES AND YOUR OWN FIRE
The park is a delight to stay at. There are some cabins, but this is primarily a park with sites – powered and unpowered. There is a swimming pool on the park which does look very inviting as the day warms up.
The communal fire pit is a good size and we used that for the camp oven cooking night. The rest of the time we had a well managed fire in our own portable fire pit. There is a small shop on the park, but if you want a lot of things, then Monto is the closest town and well worth a visit too. Basically this is a great park to use as a base for all those walks, fishing in Cania Dam and getting some of that well deserved relaxation. Even though the park was very busy, almost one in one out, it was really quiet. A good park seems to generate a lot of pleasant chatting with neighbours and this park was no exception.
Maria made one comment that stuck in my mind. When you are working flat out, it’s good to have a laugh, and she had one on a particularly busy day. She was checking a string of guests in when she saw a T shirt that summed it up completely “Bugger Bali Let’s Do Brisbane”.
Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat is the ideal place to relax, go for walks, do some fishing and meet new friends.