We visited here in September 2022. Staying at Sandstone Park, Carnarvon Gorge.
They have porta-loo toilets, no showers, are pet friendly and have magnificent views of the surrounding area.
We arrived about lunchtime on Saturday and the check in process was extremely easy and informative. Finding your site is amazingly easy, marked out well, and the sites are massive. Could have easily fitted three vans and cars on our sites.
We got the van set up and disconnected from the car. As we had a few hours to spare we decided to do a short walk, and its one of the first you do before you get to the visitor area.
Mickey Creek Gorge.
It is a 3km return walk from its own carpark. QNPWS rate it as a 3 and a 1.5 hr walk. I think we did it in about an 1hr. It’s a nice walk, up the creek, some rocky sections
That night, I got the campfire going and did a lamb curry in the camp oven. Best thing about these is, it all one pot, just brown off the lamb, add your flavours, some water, and water veg you want with it and let it slowly cook for a few hours, adding some rice and cream towards the end of the cook. Easy, dinner for a few nights for us.
Sunday morning and we pack our bag, Water and food is necessary.
We did not really have a plan on how to attack today. Carnarvon Gorge, in the main section, is not really a lot of different walks as such, it is one main track that does up the centre of the gorge and has all little side tracks that go off to the various sites.
So, we decided once we got there that we would just, start walking, and do each side track on the way up as we go, and see how we are feeling as we go. The first side track you come to is, Boolimba Bluff. Now we did not do this one, as a about 2.5 km one way from the main track, which doesn’t sound like much, but it is almost straight up and about 1000 stairs. So, we decided we would see how we fell later, with so much else to see in the gorge, we figured while it would be great, most National Parks have plenty of lookouts to see.
Onwards up the track and the next side walk is the Moss Garden. The moss garden is a 7 km return walk to the visitor area, but from the main track is about 670m It has a few stairs to climb but is worth the walk. You will learn how the moss garden has come to be. I believe it was also a birthing area for the local indigenous off the day.
Next stop is the Amphitheatre, this is worth the 8.6km return walk to the visitor area. From memory, it was about 270m, one way from the main track.
Wards Canyon loved this one the most, I think!
Even if you do not do anything else, just do this one. It is 9.2km from the visitor area return, and only about 250 m from the main track, but it is quite a few stairs in that 250, so be prepared.
Spectacular little water falls and canyon.
And finally, in what is called the lower section, is, The Art Gallery.
This is an area where original carvings and paintings tell a story of our indigenous past. It is 10.8km return trip to the visitor area, if you did this on its own.
If you were to do all the tracks to this point as detailed above, and then walk back to the visitor area after the art gallery, you are looking at about 15km, give or take.
But, for those that just really like walking, you can continue on from the art gallery, there is the cathedral cave, which is similar to the art gallery, in which it has some more paintings, there is Boowinda Gorge, which we didn’t do as it was climbing over big rocks to get there, and Big bend camping area. We stopped here and had lunch.
The upper area adds about 5km extra each way to the original walk. We did it, as we were there and are suckers for punishment.
So, overall we saw some amazing sites, in the Carnarvon Gorge National Park. We did about 25km over 8 hours or so.
Back to camp and we were buggered and dying to get walking shoes off. We went up to happy hour and shared our experience with those who had not done it yet, watch the sunset before retiring to our campfire and bed.
Thank God I did the Curry the night before.
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