See cave art dating back thousands of years

Take a hike ... and gorge  yourself with the delights of National Park's offerings

Story and Photos:  DENNIS AMOR


TAKE a hike through spectacular Carnarvon Gorge National Park in central Queensland and you can't help but become very familiar with Carvarvon Creek.

The main walking track from the camping ground to Cathedral Cave, almost 10 kilometres away, crosses the creek no fewer than 20 times. In fact, during our three-night visit to the Gorge we zig-zagged our way over the picturesque creek (stream) at least 60 times!

Wife Pat at one of the many creek crossings
Wife Pat at one of the many creek crossings

You first cross the creek shortly after turning off the main highway onto the 44km mostly gravel road leading down to the Gorge (extreme caution is needed in wet weather). The scenic backdrop of the majestic cliffs soon appears, offering just a taste of what's in store.

Mom and baby possum
Mom and baby possum
visit our tent

My wife and I camped amid towering gum trees and were visited by all manner of wildlife, including possums, brush turkeys and kangaroos.

We spent a magical half hour watching a platypus going about its business in (you've guessed it) Carvarvon Creek. We also saw two turtles and a giant eel foraging for food in the creek. I guess we were extremely lucky because everyone we spoke to afterwards were not so fortunate ... two disappointed young girls from overseas had even spent three hours on "platypus watch"!

Our "home" among the gum trees
Our "home" among the gum trees

In addition to Cathedral Cave, where we signed the visitors' book and saw Aboriginal art dating back thousands of years, our walks took us to Ward's Cave, the Amphitheatre, the Moss Gardens and along the Nature Trail. In all, we tramped nearly 40km in two days ... and enjoyed every minute, despite thunder and lightning plus being soaked to the skin by hours of torrential rain on the first day!

Pat scrambles up to the Amphitheatre
Pat scrambles up to the Amphitheatre

For people who like getting close to nature, Carvarvon Gorge is well worth a visit. During our walks we also saw wild pigs, snakes, birds of all shapes and sizes ... but only a handful of people, thanks to the poor weather and time of year. The Gorge reportedly gets very busy during holiday periods and the winter months.

There's no doubt the sounds and sights of this wonderful National Park, about 800km north-west of Brisbane, will linger with us for a long time to come. Unfortunately, we only managed to cover some of the activities but have promised ourselves we will return.

The National Park camping ground has now been closed and replaced by a commercial site. This is a great shame because the former facilities amid the towering gum trees were not only cheap but extremely pleasant.

Our stay in the Gorge was very delightful and we both reckon it is one of the most imposing places we've visited in Australia. We can thoroughly recommend it.

  • TIP ONE: Take sufficient provisions for your stay otherwise you'll have to pay dearly at the local store!
  • TIP TWO: Wet weather can easily make the 44km access road impassible, so take enough food to last an extra few days if necessary!
  • TIP THREE: Don't forget the insect repellent.
  • TIP FOUR: Book your site well in advance.




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Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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