Camping Trip – Four days and five nights at Carnarvon Gorge

Arrival at Carnarvon Gorge

I had booked the Takarakka Bush Resort in advance, because I’d read that they tend to be quite busy and we were staying 5 nights. They put on talks about the Gorge and what to expect, every afternoon at 4.30pm, so we wanted to be around for that.

We arrived at 4 on Tuesday, checked in and quickly set up and then headed off to the talk. It was quite interesting and well worth attending. We booked a walking tour to Boolimba Bluff. It was only $30 each and I thought it would be good to get some extra pointers and information about the Gorge for the rest of our walks on our own.

After the talk, we finished setting up the tent and campsite and then went to the kitchen area and cooked dinner. We met a young German couple who were cooking their dinner, and some fellow bbq cookers and ended up eating and chatting with them til 9. We were tired and went to bed early but couldn’t sleep. We were very happy to have the quilt and 2 extra blankets though – it was really cold!!

20150911 Our camp at Takarakka bush Resort, Carnarvon Gorge 72

Day 1 at Carnarvon Gorge

We got up at 6am on Wednesday and had breakfast and watched the baby platypus play. There was no point trying to photograph them because I don’t have that strong a zoom lense and it was still too dark. I was wearing Donald’s ski jacket and my gloves because it was so very cold! Someone later told me it was 4 degrees! We made our lunch and packed our day packs and then met our guide at 8 for the “Written on the Rocks” half day walking tour to the top of Boolimba bluff. We met at reception and then everyone took their own cars and drove out to the national park.

The walk was quite strenuous, with about 900 steps to climb. Phil, the guide, had lots of stops along the way to let people catch their breath and explain about the area. It was very interesting and we had fantastic views from the top. My feet, especially the balls of my feet, were aching when we finished. According to Google fit on my phone, we walked about 10300 steps.

Here’s some pictures from the walk:

20150909 Views along the Boolimba Bluff walk, Carnarvon Gorge 12

20150909 Views along the Boolimba Bluff walk, Carnarvon Gorge 13

20150909 Views along the Boolimba Bluff walk, Carnarvon Gorge 14

20150909 Views along the Boolimba Bluff walk, Carnarvon Gorge 15

You can just see some white orchids growing at the top of the cliff here:

20150909 Views along the Boolimba Bluff walk, Carnarvon Gorge 16

20150909 Views along the Boolimba Bluff walk, Carnarvon Gorge 17

20150909 Views along the Boolimba Bluff walk, Carnarvon Gorge 10

20150909 Views along the Boolimba Bluff walk, Carnarvon Gorge 11

The views from the top of the bluff were great:

20150909 Views from the lookout at Boolimba Bluff, Carnarvon Gorge 20

20150909 Views from the lookout at Boolimba Bluff, Carnarvon Gorge 18

20150909 Views from the lookout at Boolimba Bluff, Carnarvon Gorge 21

20150909 Views from the lookout at Boolimba Bluff, Carnarvon Gorge 22

20150909 Views from the lookout at Boolimba Bluff, Carnarvon Gorge 19

We made our way back down and stopped for some wildlife:

20150909 Pretty Faced Wallaby in Carnarvon Gorge 24

20150909 Echidna in Carnarvon Gorge 23

Once we got back to our camp, we had lunch and coffee and a bit of a rest. We had a visitor to our campsite – a kookaburra sitting in the tree, watching us read and drink our coffees:

20150909 Visitor to our camp at Takarakka Bush Resort, Carnarvon Gorge 25

I went to shower in the middle of the afternoon, to avoid the rest of the returning hikers wanting showers. I rubbed my feel with my peppermint oil and that helped with the soreness. Carnarvon Creek, which runs just behind the facilities block, looked pretty in the afternoon, so I took a quick picture:

20150909 Carnarvon Creek at Takarakka Bush Resort, Carnarvon Gorge 26

Dinner was a yummy steak cooked on the barbecue, and vegies. There weren’t as many people to chat with today, so we watched a few shows on Donald’s notebook – in bed because it was so cold!

Day 2 at Carnarvon Gorge

Another early day – we woke up at 6 and it was freezing cold again. Even with our quilt and 2 blankets, we were chilly on the sides!

We made ourselves a hearty bacon, egg and baked beans breakfast, since we were going on a 16km hike today. You have to watch out for the currawong birds here – one of them swooped down and stole a slice of toast before we knew it! After a second coffee, we did the dishes, packed our day packs with lunches I’d made the previous night (so it would start out cold!) and plenty of water drove to the national park again.

We parked the car, strapped on our backpacks and camera pack and set off on our hike. We’d been told to go as far as you intended to go along the main track, and then do the side-trips to the canyons and gorges on the way back. We followed this advice and headed along the main track – stopping when we felt weary, or, more frequently, to take photos:

20150910 Stepping stones across the first crossing at Carnarvon Gorge 27

We crossed Carnarvon Creek many times! The stepping stones were usually good, though sometimes a bit dodgy!

20150910 Stepping stones across the first crossing at Carnarvon Gorge 28

20150910 Views along the Main Path, Carnarvon Gorge 29

20150910 Views along the Main Path, Carnarvon Gorge 30

20150910 Views along the Main Path, Carnarvon Gorge 31

20150910 Views along the Main Path, Carnarvon Gorge 32

20150910 Views along the Main Path, Carnarvon Gorge 33

20150910 Views along the Main Path, Carnarvon Gorge 34

20150910 Views along the Main Path, Carnarvon Gorge 35

Our first detour off the main track was at Art Gallery, which has some aboriginal art on the rocks. There’s quite a lot of it and well worth a look:

20150910 Art Gallery, Carnarvon Gorge 36

20150910 Art Gallery, Carnarvon Gorge 37

20150910 Art Gallery, Carnarvon Gorge 38

20150910 Art Gallery, Carnarvon Gorge 39

Next side-trip back down the path was at Ward’s Canyon. This had a bit of a climb but it was pretty spectacular! Really cold inside though!!:

20150910 Ward's Canyon, Carnarvon Gorge 40

20150910 Ward's Canyon, Carnarvon Gorge 41

20150910 Ward's Canyon, Carnarvon Gorge 42

20150910 Ward's Canyon, Carnarvon Gorge 43

20150910 Ward's Canyon, Carnarvon Gorge 44

20150910 Ward's Canyon, Carnarvon Gorge 45

20150910 Ward's Canyon, Carnarvon Gorge 46

It has some special ferns known as King Ferns, which don’t grow in many places in the world:

20150910 King ferns at Ward's Canyon, Carnarvon Gorge 47

20150910 King ferns at Ward's Canyon, Carnarvon Gorge 48

We were going to have lunch there, but a family with noisy children turned up, so we turned tail and fled to somewhere more serene. Our next diversion was to Amphitheatre. There’s a waterfall and pool just outside it, and a steep staircase that’s been built to get inside.

20150910 Views along the track to Amphitheatre 49

20150910 Steps up to the Amphitheatre, Carnarvon Gorge 51

It’s a really narrow canyon at the entrance, that widens out. The acoustics in here were pretty good so I sang some. It’s OK – there was nobody else there 🙂 It has moss and ferns growing in a corner of it and the steep walls slope towards the middle, as can be seen in the photo I took pointed straight up:

20150910 Views along the track to Amphitheatre 50

20150910 Walkking into the Amphitheatre, Carnarvon Gorge 52

20150910 The Amphitheatre, Carnarvon Gorge 53

20150910 The Amphitheatre, Carnarvon Gorge 54

20150910 Looking up at the Amphitheatre, Carnarvon Gorge 55

We had a bit of a rest and our lunch there and then headed back down the main track, past more of the cycads. They grow very slowly, but are quite numerous in this area. This picture shows just how tall some of them are:

20150910 Along the Main track, Carnarvon Gorge 56

I was pretty tired and footsore by this stage, but we had one more side-canyon to visit today. This was the famous Moss Garden. It’s really beautiful – even the on the track leading to it:

20150910 Along the Moss Garden track, Carnarvon Gorge 57

20150910 Along the Moss Garden track, Carnarvon Gorge 58

20150910 Along the Moss Garden track, Carnarvon Gorge 59

20150910 Along the Moss Garden track, Carnarvon Gorge 60

And the moss garden itself was so green and magical, with water droplets sparkling and dripping off the moss:

20150910 Moss Garden, Carnarvon Gorge 63

20150910 Moss Garden, Carnarvon Gorge 64

20150910 Bianca at the Moss Garden, Carnarvon Gorge 65

20150910 Moss Garden, Carnarvon Gorge 61

20150910 Moss Garden, Carnarvon Gorge 62

We had a good long rest there and then set off back to the car. I think this last part was the hardest part of the walk for me! My feet were killing me and I was so tired! But we made it back to the car:

20150910 After our 16km walk at Carnarvon Gorge 66

Once we got back to our camp, we made some coffee and chilled for a while. I checked my phone and found that we’d done 25794 steps today! Bit more than my average 😉

Dinner was couscous with capsicum, snow peas and lamb chops, all barbecued (except the couscous, of course!). A quick and easy and yummy dish. We chatted with others who were coming and going to the platypus pond behind the camp kitchen area. We went to bed early and watched a show before sleeping.

DAY 3 AT CARNARVON GORGE

Today was our day of rest, after the last two days of walking. We got up after 8 and had a leisurely breakfast and went for a meander along the creek at the back of the property. I’d tried to take photos there before but it was too dark:

20150911 Carnarvon Creek behind Takarakka Bush Resort 70

20150911 Carnarvon Creek behind Takarakka Bush Resort 71

There were wallabies and other wildlife in amongst the caravans and tents, as well as along the creek. There was a kangaroo doe with a joey in her pouch, which I was able to photograph:

20150911 Roos at Takarakka Bush Resort 67

20150911 Roos at Takarakka Bush Resort 68

20150911 Roos at Takarakka Bush Resort 69

I bought a litre of milk for $3 at the little shop at Takarakka Bush Resort where we were staying. Expensive, but at least it was available! Other than that, we mainly rested up!

20150911 Our camp at Takarakka bush Resort, Carnarvon Gorge 73

We had our last steaks on a steak sandwich I made us for lunch and then a guy who’d come over to talk to us a few times wanted to show me his GPS route and photos on his laptop, so I spent a bit of time looking at that.

Then it was time to go to Bandana Station for their Sunset gig. It was pretty good. They get your name when you arrive and actually remember it for the whole afternoon. It was pretty amazing just for that. Olivia, the daughter, told about their life on the station and her dad, Bruce, told us old bushranger stories and sang a song. In between was tea and cake (which was really yummy), damper, and Anzac biscuits – all homemade. We were also given a couple of glasses of really nice Shiraz or beer if you wanted. And watching the sunset on the cliffs was rather pretty.

20150911 Bandana Station Sunsets at Carnarvon Gorge 74

20150911 Bandana Station Sunsets at Carnarvon Gorge 75

20150911 Olivia at Bandana Station Sunsets at Carnarvon Gorge 76

20150911 Bruce singing a song at Bandana Station Sunsets at Carnarvon Gorge 81

20150911 Bandana Station Sunsets at Carnarvon Gorge 79

20150911 Bandana Station Sunsets at Carnarvon Gorge 80

It was supposed to go until 5.30, but it easily went past 6.

20150911 Bandana Station Sunsets at Carnarvon Gorge 78

20150911 Bandana Station Sunsets at Carnarvon Gorge 77

Two glasses of wine had me quite tipsy, so another early night.

DAY 4 AT CARNARVON GORGE

This was our last full day here. We had a few things we still wanted to see, but we took it easy.

After breakfast, we had a walk down the lookout track at the Takarakka Bush Resort. It was quite the little hike – probably a couple of kilometers. It follows a ridge above Carnarvon Creek. There was wildlife along this section as well:

20150912 Views along the lookout track at Takarakka Bush Resort, Carnarvon Gorge 84

20150912 Views along the lookout track at Takarakka Bush Resort, Carnarvon Gorge 85

20150912 Views along the lookout track at Takarakka Bush Resort, Carnarvon Gorge 82

20150912 Views along the lookout track at Takarakka Bush Resort, Carnarvon Gorge 83

We stopped back at our camp and had a cup of coffee and then headed off to see a few more sights.

First stop was Mickeys Creek Gorge. It’s only a short walk but very pretty:

20150912 Mickeys Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 86

20150912 Mickeys Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 88

20150912 Mickeys Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 87

Splitting off from the path to Mickeys Creek, was Warrumbah Creek Gorge. There were ferns and fungi that I was able to get closeups on along the path. There was a lot of climbing and clambering over rocks, too:
20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 89

20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 90

20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 93

20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 91

20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 92

20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 96

This was another really narrow gorge, but accessible without a lot of upward climbing. We didn’t follow it to the end because I didn’t want to get my feet wet!

20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 98

20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 97

20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 95

20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 94

20150912 Warrumbah Creek Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 96

We headed back to camp to have lunch and a bit of relaxation.

Around 2.30, we headed back for the last stop on our visit to Carnarvon Gorge, which was at Rock Pool. This is actually a couple of pools and the only place in the park where you’re allowed to swim. It was much too cold to do that though! I can imagine it must be wonderful in summer though!

20150912 Rock Pool, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 99

20150912 Rock Pool, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 100

20150912 Rock Pool, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 101

20150912 Rock Pool, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 102

20150912 Rock Pool, Carnarvon Gorge National Park 103

More relaxation back at camp and then dinner of fresh pasta that we had in our fridge and then another early night of TV shows in bed.

(Visited 207 time, 1 visit today)