Story and photos by Fireman Ron and Di Sinclair
Carnarvon Gorge is in Central Queensland, northwest of Roma and southeast of Emerald. To get there you would travel through Injune if you’re heading north, or through Rolleston if you’re heading south. Whichever way you get there, make sure you top up your fuel at either of those places, especially if you’re towing, for the journey back out.
The Carnarvon Gorge National Park has a Visitors Information Centre at the entry to the gorge. There’s plenty of parking but no camping at the gorge itself, so check out the Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge http://carnarvon-gorge.com/ and Takarakka Bush Resort. http://www.takarakka.com.au/
The star of the story though is the amazing gorge itself. It was created over thousands of years by the natural forces of water on rock, gouging out this magnificent natural phenomenon. Carnarvon Creek runs right through the length of the gorge and is fed by a continuous supply of water filtering out of the gorge’s huge sandstone cliffs, giving a constant supply of water to the flora and the fauna of the gorge.
To experience the Carnarvon Gorge you will need to do some walking, but don’t be put off, it doesn’t have to be too much or too strenuous. There are tracks and natural features that can be accessed very easily by people who are not bushwalkers, and at the other end of the scale there are those best left to serious and skilled bushwalkers.
While were we there we did a walk along the main track, which basically follows Carnarvon Creek, up to a side gorge called The Art Gallery. This is the location of an 80m aboriginal art display that dates back to ancient times.
After spending some quiet time admiring the art we worked our way back to Ward’s Canyon, which features a beautiful waterfall and some rare examples of King Fern in the only inland environment in which they still exist.
Day two was a walk along the same main track to ‘The Amphitheatre‘, a place we will never forget. This huge open cavern is accessible by a narrow crack in the rocks, so it means going up some ladders to get there but it’s well worth it. On the return journey we spent time at the Moss Garden which is like something out of the old movie The Land Time Forgot. You feel like a big dinosaur could stick his head out at any moment.
Day three was a bit easier as we tackled some of the tracks that aren’t right inside the gorge. The Baloon Cave is an easy walk from the carpark and features a smaller version of Aboriginal art that is well worth the walk to see. Mickey Creek, the Rock Pool and the Nature Trail are all short and easy walks near the entrance to the gorge.
Make no mistake, Carnarvon Gorge is an experience you will never forget.