The stunning Carnarvon Gorge National Park
We travelled south from the gemfields to Carnarvon Gorge National Park situated in the Central Highlands. We passed some beautiful countryside, stopping for lunch and making a cup of coffee in our Apollo motorhome. We met and chatted to quite a few other ‘grey nomads’ seeking the warmth and sunshine of the Queensland winter and visiting some great destinations on the way.
Carnarvon Gorge is simply stunning, over millions of years Carnarvon Creek has carved a way through the yellow-white sandstone cliffs, leaving gorges, waterfalls and secret pools, where you can see an abundance of wildlife, plants and birds.
You need at least a couple of days to take advantage of the many well maintained walking tracks, suitable for all abilities and of a distance to meet your timescale, but which ever one you take you will see stunning scenery, many beautiful mosses, ferns, palms, and native trees. We walked to the Moss Garden where at the end of the track is a waterfall cascading over the rock edge into a pool surrounded by moss covered sandstone walls, and the rain water that has seeped through the rock over the years produces the ideal habitat for the many beautiful mosses growing there.
Another short walk can also be taken to Balloon Cave, where the sandstone rock overhangs and Aboriginal rock art created by ochre stencils of hands and axes can be seen, and brilliant yellow of the wattle trees blooming here gave a magical beauty to the walk.
Our accommodation in Carnarvon Gorge was at the excellent Wilderness Lodge, where we slept in a deluxe safari style cabin with a full en-suite and a wonderful comfortable queen size bed. Awaking early in the morning to the sounds of the kookaburras, looking out to see kangeroos grazing right in front of our cabin, and the view of the bush all around was pretty amazing. The restaurant serves wonderful food and the attentive staff who all live on site are very knowledgeable and can give you plenty of local information.
Near the park’s main picnic area and car park is an excellent visitor centre where maps can be obtained, lots of information about the flora and fauna of the gorge can be found and the rangers are on hand to help you plan your walk.
A visit to the gorge is a must if you want to experience the stunning beauty the park offers.
We returned to Rockhampton for a night and joined the locals on a visit to the Rockhampton Show. As well as the funfair and sideshows, the main arena was where the displays and parades were taking place. We were just in time to see the parade of champion bulls, which was followed by the local emergency services on parade including a visit by the RACQ helicopter, which landed in front of the grandstand. The evening finished with a magnificent firework display.