Carnarvon Gorge to Big Bend
Bidjara & Karingbal Country

2 h 45 min to 4 h 30 min

9.5 km
oneway segment

↑ 274 m
↓ -144 m

Hard track
Starting from the Carnarvon Gorge Visitor Centre, Carnarvon Park, this walk takes you to the Big Bend walkers’ camp via the first section of the 87 km Carnarvon Great Walk, visiting Moss Garden, Ward’s Canyon, Art Gallery and Cathedral Cave along the way. Head along the iconic gorge and start off your journey with a comprehensive walk. Offering you cool havens in the otherwise scorching gorge with the side trips; this track features great views, top-notch rock art and some strangely peaceful moments in unique places. The gorge itself is stunning enough to justify the heat and effort, but the side trips diversify the experience greatly. The campsite has non-flush toilets and offers heaps of shade. Enjoy the relatively cool weather and try to spot some catfish. Unfortunately, you can’t swim with them. Check the weather temperature beforehand and try to avoid midday hikes. Don’t be fooled by the heat during the day as the campsite can get windy and cold during the night. Remember to bring some insect repellent for the mozzies (Australian slang for mosquitoes) as well. Be prepared to get your feet wet at the crossings. Keep in mind that you’ll need a permit to access Carnarvon Park and the campsites. Let us begin by acknowledging the Bidjara & Karingbal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2021.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Segment This is part of longer journey and can not be completed on it is own.
Full Journey Carnarvon Great Walk
Start (-25.0602838,148.2354231)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Carnarvon Highway, A7
  • Turn on to Wyseby Road, 2 then drive for 18.1 km
  • Turn left onto Obriens Road and drive for another 25.5 km
  • Continue and drive for another 190 m
Finish (-25.0336264,148.1708198)
Mode (end)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the Carnarvon Gorge Visitor Centre, head towards the creek along the formed walking track. After crossing the said creek, keep left at the first intersection to join the Big Bend Walk. Stay on the track as it veers left and meanders along the creek(to your left) to continue along Carnarvon Gorge Visitor Centre to Big Bend walkers’ camp Track.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Big Bend Walk.
There is a toilet (about 75 m back from the start).
There is a pay phone (about 35 m back from the start).
After 105 m cross the ford.
Then cross the stepping stones (about 30 m long)
Then cross the ford.
After another 15 m (at the intersection of Nature Trail & Big Bend Walk) continue straight, to head along Big Bend Walk.
After another 1 km (at the intersection of Big Bend Walk & Boolimba Bluff Walk) continue straight, to head along Big Bend Walk.
After another 370 m cross the ford.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This optional side trip takes you to the Moss Garden, a place that has an incredibly peaceful and stunning scenery, along with a little waterfall to add to the serenity. To start this optional side trip veer left here. On returning from this side trip veer left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 1.3 km (at the intersection of Big Bend Walk & Moss Garden Walk) continue straight, to head along Big Bend Walk.
After another 130 m pass the toilet (50 m on your left).
Continue straight, to head along Big Bend Walk.
After another 85 m cross the stepping stones (about 140 m long)
After another 320 m cross the stepping stones (about 45 m long)
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This optional side trip takes you to the Amphitheatre. 60 metres deep, this acoustic rock formation presents a unique audible experience. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip error >360 when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 270 m (at the intersection of Big Bend Walk & Amphitheatre Walk) veer right, to head along Big Bend Walk.
After another 20 m find the "tiered ladder" (110 m on your left).
tiered ladder
tiered ladder

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After another 310 m cross the ford.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This optional side trip takes you to the Ward's Canyon. Step back in time as you're passing through the King ferns and slender tree ferns in this naturally cool spot. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip error >360 when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 305 m (at the intersection of Ward's Canyon Walk & Big Bend Walk) continue straight, to head along Big Bend Walk.
After another 480 m cross the ford.
After another 40 m cross the ford.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This optional side trip takes you to the historic Art Gallery, where Aboriginals of the time engraved and painted 2000+ pieces of art. Especially the ochre stencils here are amongst the best in Australia. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip error >360 when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 225 m (at the intersection of Big Bend Walk & Art Gallery Walk) continue straight, to head along Big Bend Walk.
After another 65 m cross the ford.
After another 60 m cross the ford.
After another 205 m cross the ford.
After another 550 m cross the ford.
After another 550 m cross the ford.
After another 60 m cross the ford.
After another 205 m cross the ford.
After another 610 m cross the ford.
After another 255 m cross the ford.
After another 230 m cross the ford.
After another 240 m cross the ford.
After another 180 m cross the ford.
After another 290 m cross the ford.
After another 260 m cross the ford.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This optional side trip takes you to the Cathedral Cave. Eroded by wind and rain, this cave was used as shelter by the Aboriginals for thousands of years. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 40 m (at the intersection of Big Bend Walk & Cathedral Cave Walk) continue straight, to head along Big Bend Walk.
After another 95 m cross the ford.
After another 9 m (at the intersection of Big Bend Walk & Boowinda Gorge) continue straight, to head along Big Bend Walk.
After another 25 m cross the ford.
After another 320 m cross the ford.
After another 75 m come to "Big Bend walkers' camp".
There is a fee to use this campsite.
About 75 m past the end is a toilet.
The end.

This optional side trip takes you to the Moss Garden, a place that has an incredibly peaceful and stunning scenery, along with a little waterfall to add to the serenity.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Moss Garden Walk & Big Bend Walk Start heading along Moss Garden Walk (a walking track).
After 135 m cross the ford.
After another 55 m cross the ford.
After another 310 m cross the ford.
After another 125 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 630 m to the main route.

This optional side trip takes you to the Amphitheatre. 60 metres deep, this acoustic rock formation presents a unique audible experience.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Amphitheatre Walk & Big Bend Walk Start heading along Amphitheatre Walk (a walking track).
After another 10 m continue straight, to head along Amphitheatre Walk.
Keep left.
After another 10 m cross the ford.
After another 60 m cross the ford.
After another 60 m cross the ford.
After another 15 m find the "tiered ladder" (on your left).
tiered ladder
tiered ladder

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After another 195 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 350 m to the main route.

This optional side trip takes you to the historic Art Gallery, where Aboriginals of the time engraved and painted 2000+ pieces of art. Especially the ochre stencils here are amongst the best in Australia.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Art Gallery Walk & Big Bend Walk Start heading along Art Gallery Walk (a walking track).
After another 335 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 335 m to the main route.

This optional side trip takes you to the Cathedral Cave. Eroded by wind and rain, this cave was used as shelter by the Aboriginals for thousands of years.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Cathedral Cave Walk & Big Bend Walk Start heading along Cathedral Cave Walk (a walking track).
After another 40 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 40 m to the main route.

This optional side trip takes you to the Ward's Canyon. Step back in time as you're passing through the King ferns and slender tree ferns in this naturally cool spot.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Ward's Canyon Walk & Big Bend Walk Start heading along Ward's Canyon Walk (a walking track).
After another 265 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 265 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Carnarvon Gorge to Big Bend


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 9.5 km
Time 2 h 45 min to 4 h 30 min
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Foretasted & unexpected storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There is one 9.5 km from the start.

Toilet: There are 3 on route, on average they are 2.4 km apart with the largest gap of 6.6 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
-76 m[toilet]
Toilet
2.9 km[toilet]
Camp site
9.5 kmBig Bend walkers' camp
Toilet
9.5 km[toilet]
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