NATIONAL PARKS HEADQUARTERS INFORMATION CENTRE
The Park Headquarters are 3kms up the road from the Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge, and are the starting point for most (but not all) of the Walks. They are also a good starting point for your exploration of the Gorge. There is an excellent topographic model of the Gorge which is more informative than any map, and interpretive displays which will help you understand the wildlife, flora, geology of the area, and the lodge.
“Guests who walk in Carnarvon National Park do so at their own risk. Natural Resorts Ltd., its employees and agents will not in any circumstances be responsible for any loss, damage or injury (arising from any cause whatsoever) which may occur to guests whilst in the National Park. Guests are solely responsible for their own safety and the safety of their property and appropriate precautions should be taken”
“Whilst all reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of this map, Nature Resorts Ltd., disclaims any responsibility for inaccuracies and any loss, damage or injury caused thereby.”
Big Bend is the farthest destination reachable along the main Gorge walking track. It’s a great picnic or swimming spot, and it is also possible to camp overnight here. From here it is another 5 km up to the spectacular view from Battleship Spur. For more information on camping or Battleship spur please see lodge staff or park rangers.
EXPLORE THE GORGE
The philosophy to follow when walking in Carnarvon National Park is that the walk along the way can offer you as much enjoyment as the destination. You’ll miss a great deal if you just put your head down and plod along the track. Here, we outline some of the walks in Carnarvon Gorge National Park.
When planning your day, remember you can include more than one destination.
Eperience more when you take a guided tour with Canarvon Gorge’s most experienced tour guides. Australian Nature Guides
3.6 km one way from the Park Headquarters
Seeping down through porous sandstone and out over an impervious layer of shale, a continuous flow of crystal clear water fosters the growth of a variety of ferns and mosses in a lovely natural garden. A nearby waterfall makes a splendid backdrop for a lunch or ‘smoko’ stop. About 200 metres before the Moss Garden where the two creeks join, you’ll see a huge deciduous fig growing astride a large rock, and rocks covered in elkhorn ferns. This is also one of the few places in the Park where you see birdsnest ferns.
ABORIGINAL ROCK ART GALLERY
5.6 km one way from the Park Headquarters
The most accessible display of Aboriginal rock art is at the Art Gallery. Under an overhanging rock face, a wide variety of motifs typical of the region’s Aboriginal art are very well preserved, and an excellent interpretive display explains their significance. The walk can combine visits to Aljon Falls and the Amphitheatre to make a very pleasant all-day trip.
The track starts from the main road of Queensland’s National Park, not far from the park entrance, following Mickeys Creek to where it is joined by Warrumbah Creek. Both Mickey and Warrumbah Creek side gorges are well worth exploring. In parts of Warrumbah Gorge, you can stretch your arms and touch both walls of the Gorge. On the way into Warrumbah Gorge, there’s a large cleft in the rock face on the right, and just around the base of the cliff there’s some very interesting vegetation, including quite a few orchids on the rocks. It’s a short and easy walk into these two gorges, but allow a couple of hours to enjoy it, especially on a hot afternoon, where the “natural air conditioning” makes it a most pleasant place to be. The sunlight only reaches the floor of these gorges for a very short period each day, and they have a micro-climate all of their own.
3 kilometres return from the Lodge.
Walk up along the road to the car park and head across to Baloon Cave. Stoneaxe stencils and some hands can be seen here. The track back to the Lodge braches off to the left just before Baloon Cave. “Baloon” is the Aboriginal word for axe. Aboriginals possibly used the rock layer in the cave to make stone axes. Walk down along Mickey Creek to return to the Lodge.
4.1km from Park Headquarters. Darting off the main track, the Amphitheatre side gorge takes you to a most unusual formation caused by the crossing of two fault lines and subsequent wind and water erosion. Climbing a 10metre ladder, though a narrow rock crevice and into the magnificent Amphitheatre itself, a splendid natural garden of tree ferns and moss takes centre stage
9.3km from the Park Headquarters. The track to Cathedral Cave and Big Bend1 – the overnight camping area- starts at Park Headquarters. Several more river crossing after Wards Canyon track keep an eye out for a shelf of red and purple sandstone, coloured by iron and manganese. The pool just below this is often inhabited by catfish. The Cathedral cave itself is one of the most extensive Aboriginal Art Sites in the gorge. Whilst in the area of Cathedral Caves it is well worth your time to visit Boowinda Creek Gorge. The first 500metres are the most spectacular within this twisting gorge.
3.2 km from the Park Headquarters. Just over the first crossing, the track branches right. For most of the way, it climbs gently up the slope until it reaches a small, steep gully. Take it slowly and rest as often as you like. One good resting spot is a soft sandstone cavern created by wind erosion about half way up the steep section. Upon reaching the plateau you will notice a stand of Bugeroo trees. The final ten minute walk to the top of the bluff provides you with sweeping views of the Gorge, the plains to the East, the Great Divide to the West cresting to about 4,000ft, and the camping area and Park Headquarters below you.
ALJON FALLS & WARD’S CANYON
4.6 km from Park Headquarters. Just passed Casuarina Grove a short track leads to Aljon Falls and Ward’s Canyon. This narrow, cool side gorge with permanent water gives life to flourishing ferns and mosses. The ‘King Fern’ (Angiopteris evecta), a “living fossil” whose plant form has been unchanged over 300 million years grows here as well.