Carnarvon National Park Travel Guide

  • From the underside
    From the underside
    by iandsmith
  • Cabbage palms are ererywhere
    Cabbage palms are ererywhere
    by iandsmith
  • Those pebbles were where you cross
    Those pebbles were where you cross
    by iandsmith

Carnarvon National Park Things to Do

  • Some advice

    This is a very popular park and it is advised to book accommodation prior to arrival when coming during busy times such as Easter, Xmas etc.. Up to 70,000 visitors a year make the trek to this outback oasis, well known to the grey nomads and European backpackers, who were the only tourists I came across during my stay.You need quite a few days here...

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  • Baloon Cave

    So I left and first went in and viewed Baloon Cave, named after an aboriginal stone axe. Here were coloured rocks as pretty as any I’d seen yesterday, some paintings and more cabbage tree palms. The walk in was easy, only 500 metres of flat path and some of the other rocks had wonderful strata and patterns about them.

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  • Warrumbah Gorge

    I pushed up a side canyon called Warumbah and found it just as splendid and one spot left me gasping as I revelled in the cornucopia of greens that nestled by the brook. All too soon it was over, a sprinkle starting just as I turned for the motorhome.

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  • Mickeys Creek Gorge

    From my notes at the time" then I was back in the motorhome and heading for Mickeys Creek; a place I’d not researched but was going to do anyway.As I pushed up into the gorge I started to revel in it. There was no-one else here and the tiny creek played its tune to the ferns and palms and the noise drifted across to sheer cliffs that are the...

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  • The Walk - part three

    From my notes:"I pushed on to Cathedral Cave and its aboriginal art, quite prolific in this location, featuring unique double handed forearm stencils, boomerangs, the usual hands and other strange items, such as the vulva.It said, “An engraving of the human vulva is shown here in the pecked style of engraving. The significance of this motif is not...

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  • The Walk part two

    As I started the downward hike from Ward's back to the main trail, a man I’d met the previous day was coming up. He’d done the big walk yesterday and mentioned that I’d need a stick for the creek crossings. I hadn’t had any trouble so far and when I returned to the main walk and did crossings 9 through 12, I wondered what he had been fussing...

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  • The Walk -part one

    From my notes:"Today was THE walk day; the big one, the one on top of my “A” list. I arrived at the carpark and went past the ranger station and queried the weather. “I thought it was supposed to be fine?” I said.“It was,” he replied, “the forecast changed this morning. We were supposed to have a week of fine weather now they’re predicting a 30%...

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  • The Amphitheatre

    From my notes at the time: "I left at 8.30, a tad later than I’d hoped and ambled along, not in any particular hurry but keeping good time until I took the turnoff to the Amphitheatre, one of the main attractions hereabouts. It’s 630 metres off the main track and you get close to the cliffs which are very impressive but that’s not it. No indeed,...

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  • The Amphitheatre

    Someone asked me what was the best thing at Carnarvon. I replied that it wasn't so much better or worse it was different, because to me the attractions all had their own allure but in different ways.If you want a straight out "Wow" moment, then The Amphitheatre is hard to toss.

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  • The Moss Garden extras

    If you're into nature and photography, you'll find lots more in Violet Canyon to grasp you attention. There's the fig tree roots wrapped around the rock, a photogenic side stream, interesting rock formations and much more, like the delicate bush flowers and fungus if you care to look.Here are some samples of what you might find.It's a 7 km round...

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  • The moss of the garden

    "Beside you on the raised wooden platform is the dripping moss, oozing its moisture and accompanied by liverworts and smaller ferns with a few aimlessly dangling vines to frame the palette. All the water ending up in an icy shaded pool below whose excess gurgles through the rocks on its downward course, one I followed for a little while away from...

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  • At the Moss Garden

    "The Moss Garden is one of those special spots in the Australian wilderness that will enchant with its location beneath towering sandstone cliffs that form a spectacular backdrop to mature ferns that overhang like parasols held by servants from ancient royal courts and seemingly protect the delicate waterfall that must barely carry a drop when...

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  • Moss Garden walk

    From my notes at the time:"At the Ranger Station I got a map and advice and headed out to tackle the Moss Garden, once better known as Violet Canyon and listed as a 2.5 hour class three walk which was accurate except they didn’t mention the rock hopping. At the final rock crossing a couple were coming back saying they couldn’t get across without...

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  • First walk

    I arrived around lunchtime and knew I would only have time for a feeler so I chose the Moss Garden, nee Violet Canyon. Someone had mentioned that they'd loved it when they were there doing an art course so I headed off.One thing I didn't know about Carnarvon was the creek crossings. Just getting to the Moss Garden you have to cross a few but the...

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  • MAIN TRACK

    If you follow the whole length of the main track, you will end up at the Big Bend campground. It is a nearly 20k return walk. I didn't do the whole of this long walk this time, on the agenda for next time.You may see Turtles as it is the Upper reaches of Carnarvon Creek. A composting toilet and picnic table is located here. If you are planning to...

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  • BOOLIMBA BLUFF

    A 3.2k walk from the visitor centre.THIS WALK IS ONLY FOR THE PHYSICALLY FIT people, as it involves quite a climb up the mountain. 963 steps to climb and small ladders to negotiate to get you to the top. At the start, the route takes you through the dry Gorge, then it starts climbing.I took my time, as I'm asthmatic, had breathers, and got to the...

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  • WARD'S CANYON

    The walk is 4.6ks one way from the visitor centre. A short, but steep climb leads you into the small and beautiful Ward"s Canyon. A small stream lined with mosses and ferns. You will find the rare king tree fern (Angiopteris evecta) here, its the WORLD'S LARGEST FERN. and is believed to have strong links with the ancient flora of Gondwanan origin....

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  • ART GALLERY

    Located 5.4k's one way from the Visitor centre. There are over 2000 engravings, ochre stencils and freehand paintings done by the Aborigines here. They are along a 62metre long sandstone cliff. An interperative display explains the meanings of the site. The Art Gallery contains one of the best examples of stencil art in Australia.Incredible!Do not...

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  • MOSS GARDEN- A hidden jewel

    The Moss Garden is a 3.5 one way walk from the visitor centre. Off the main walking trail, its only a short walk. This "hidden jewel" is in Violet Gorge. I just loved this place, and how extra nice it was when walking in the heat, it was like the natural air conditioning had been turned on!Located here is a natural spring which seeps from the rock...

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  • BALOON CAVE ABORIGINAL CULTURAL TRAIL

    One kilometre return. This is a short easy walk passing by Cycads and Fan palms to a small sandstone overhang which has stencilled Aboriginal rock art. The track has sign posts on how the Aborigines used this area.It is an Aboriginal cultural trail—1 km return (45 minutes) Class 2 [Easy, level, well-graded track, suitable for all fitness levels]

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  • NIGHT WALK

    We arranged to do a night walk from the Takarakka campground. We went with a Ranger into Carnarvon Gorge, she had a powerful spotlight with her, and most of us had torches. We did manage to see some Gliders, that was all, its just luck with nature as to what you see on the night. We had a good time any rate.

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  • Watch the Platypus..

    Early in the morning or at dusk, at Takerakka camp ground, you can walk down to the waterhole and stand very quietly on the viewing logs. The platypus can be seen (not every time but pretty frequently) in the waterhole.

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  • Big Bend

    This is a long but magnificent walk. At the end there is a beautiful waterhole, a camp ground with minimal facilities and some great scenery, magnificent from the floor of the gorge. If you are into this sort of thing you will love it...if not, don't bother. You will wonder what the fuss is about.

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  • Cathedral Cave

    This is quite interesting if you have an interest in indigenous art. Start the walk early in the day, as early as you can, and keep going to Big Bend. It's worth the effort.

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Carnarvon National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • The crossings

    If you are unsure on your feet, you should be warned that there are 21 creek crossing over rocks, not every one stable, and, guess what, there are 21 on the way back as well!This will tire your legs and you may get wet if the creek is running. I am fortunate enough to have waterproof shoes but everyone else I saw had wet feet and socks etc.A lot of...

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  • FATAL FRUITS

    When walking the trails, we saw heaps and heaps of beautiful Cycads growing, they were tremendous.. These are the ancient zamia cycad, Macrozamia Moorei, and they are EXTREMELY POISONOUS, AND CANCER PRODUCING in their natural state. Guess what, Aboriginal people found a way to eat them!Large quantities of the cooked Nutshells were found in...

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  • WALKING LEVELS

    A lot of our Australian National Parks, give you numbers that refer to how hard a walk is. This is good, as only YOU know your level of fitness, so if you see a Level 4 walk that you wish to do, but are very unfit, then you will need to give this a pass!So here is our Australian bushwalking tracks are classified.Class 2 trackEasy, level,...

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Carnarvon National Park What to Pack

  • Brisvegaskid's Profile Photo

    by Brisvegaskid Written Jan 4, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good walking shoes that can handle a bit of water are a must. Mine fell to bits.

    You walk across about 20-something creeks, so they must be able to handle water.

    And bring a hat and a long sleeved shirt to protect against the sun...you will need it.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen...

    Was this review helpful?

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Carnarvon National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • An island of fungi

    From the trail at around crossing 12 or so I looked over and saw a flash of orange. I knew it was bracket fungi of a fairly common type in Australia called pycnoporous coccineus....actually I didn't know that last bit, I had to look it up, but I have seen it regularly on my rainforest bushwalks.So, it looked like a good specimen so I hacked my way...

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  • VIRGIN ROCK & MT. ZAMIA

    Some of the interesting Mountains we saw around Springsure were Mount Zamia and the Virgin Rock, which is situated four kilometres from Springsure, on the eastern side of Mount Zamia. TheVirgin Rock has been named such, because of its naturally formed likeness to the Virgin Mary and Child. I hope your imagination is better than mine! We saw this...

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  • ROAD TRIP TO SPRINGSURE

    Springsure is a very typical Queensland country town nestled below the Capricorn Highlands with the local landmark Mount Zamia.We stopped here on our way to Carnarvon Gorge National Park. I thought it was a rather nice small town, set in a very pretty setting.The area around Springsure was first explored by Ludwig Leichhardt during his 1844-45...

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Carnarvon National Park Favorites

  • The Walk - Boowinda Gorge

    I'd not done any research on this but was convinced by a couple who were just leaving that it was worth a look. I'm so pleased I listened to them. From my notes at the time:"When I returned to Boowinda my legs were sending a clear message they didn’t want to clamber over yet more rocks but, ultimately, that’s what I did, slogging my way up this...

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  • A special place

    There was little left now but to walk to my goal, there were few distractions en route and an hour passed before I did crossing 19 and came upon what I now hold to be my favourite spot in the whole gorge. There is a large slab of rock which is just at comfortable seat height and from here you have an unrestricted view across the rock laden...

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  • Ward's Canyon

    From my notes at the time: "I returned to the main trail and next opted out at Ward’s Canyon, a short, steep, but pretty affair with a waterfall that carried not a lot of water but, above the fall was a colourful canyon or two bedecked with the usual liverwort and moss and a stream that had vividly coloured rocks with backlit tree ferns adding...

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