Carnarvon Gorge ..how long to stay?

Queensland specific bushwalking discussion.
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Queensland specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Carnarvon Gorge ..how long to stay?

Postby Sasha444 » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 7:38 am

Hi
We are keen day walkers and are wondering how long we should stay at Canarvon Gorge in a trip planned for July next year We don’t want to do the extended walk, jusf day walks, happy to walk 20k . Our aim would be to do a good walk most days we are there .
There seem to be quite a few side gorges to explore but how long are these walks ? We will stay in the accommodation near the Gorge ..are there other places to walk in not too far away? (We will have a car).
We live in Sydney and figure this will be our only trio to Canarvon Gorge ever so want to get it right
Thanks for your help ..Sasha
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Re: Carnarvon Gorge ..how long to stay?

Postby Aardvark » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 7:47 am

Hello Sasha444,
If you're only planning to go in to the park at the main entrance (east) i would imagine three days would be sufficient. Battleship Spur is probably a must.
There is more to see if you're going near Mt.Moffat at the headwaters of the gorge. Everything up there is more spread out. It needs time too. It is 4WD though.
Ever on the search for a one ended stick.
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Re: Carnarvon Gorge ..how long to stay?

Postby Steve_Phelps » Wed 04 Sep, 2019 4:07 pm

Just returned from a trip to QLD including Carnarvon Gorge - we spent six nights at Takarakka Bush Resort (just outside the National Park main entrance) and used almost all the time we had walking the Gorge.
Quite a few people camped at Takarakka but facilities are good, and it's currently the closest camping available unless youre doing the Carnarvon Great Walk (90km+).
No 4WD required to get to the Park entrance - but the road is susceptible to flooding in wet weather.

As we had a lot of diving gear etc with us we didnt have all our overnight walking gear so just did all the day walks that were open.
There is still a fair bit of fire damage from late last year and some tracks and areas are still closed (including Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge which was damaged in the fire).
Sandstone Camp was open for fully self sufficient campers. (Note that the camping area at the park HQ is not open outside QLD school holidays - which seem to be very busy.)

We did the gorge walk as far as Big Bend and all the possible side tracks etc that were open in the area which along with some wildlife watching and photography took us most of the time we had.
We also spent day 2 resting up after overdoing it on the first day (walked 25km+).

Carnarvon Gorge is fairly remote and a long way from any sizeable towns.
Definitely getting into wilderness once you get into the gorge area - especially the longer side canyons or beyond Big Bend.
No mobile phone at all - although there are plans to build a tower near the park HQ.
The nearest public phone is at park HQ - from Big Bend on the main daywalk track you are 3-4 hours walk from park HQ.
Nearest small towns are Injune about 150klms, Rolleston 100klms. Larger towns Roma and Emerald are both about 250kms.

I'd reccomend PLB and sat phone in case of an emergency or injury if youre going anywhere off the beaten path.
Overnight and in the much of the gorge it was quite cold even in the middle of the day.
One party was rescued at night while we were there - we met the ambulance coming in to park HQ as we were leaving to go back to camp not long after dark - even with a helipad quite close to the entrance to the park, it took 4-5 hours for the party to finally be all extracted by about 11pm, and that was for an incident on the main track, not too far up the gorge - we could hear the chopper shuttling back and forth throughout the whole rescue.

The main track is mostly well maintained but once off the track and towards the end of the main gorge section it can be rough underfoot.
There are quite a few creek crossings which could rise in wet weather.

There is plenty to see and do with spectacular sandstone ridges, side and slot canyons (wet and dry) to explore as far as you like, lush tropical vegetation in much of the gorge, aboriginal art sites, plenty of wildlife etc etc,etc - I'd like to go back and do the Great Walk next time we're up that way...
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