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Home > Travelogues > 2009 Travelogues Index > Carnarvon National Park

The Carnarvon National Park in Queensland’s Central Highlands spans 2,980 square kilometres of the sandstone belt and features the well known Carnarvon Gorge where white sandstone cliffs and tall Carnarvon fan palms line the permanent creek.  High above the cliffs, Carnarvon Creek starts in the Consuelo Tableland which reaches 1,232 metres above sea level at its peak.  These two adjacent but distinct parts of the park are linked by The Great Walk which takes six or seven days, but we will take the easy way. 

 

The Great Walk is the longest of the remote walks being an 87 kilometre loop leaving Carnarvon Creek via Bowinda Gorge.  This hike through rugged country climbs high into the ranges to the ‘roof of Queensland’ within the Mount Moffatt section of the Carnarvon National Park.  Read about The Great Walk.

 

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Carnarvon National Park features Carnarvon Gorge and other attractions

 

 

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For those with more time and hiking experience, lesser known and not well marked walk trails include the following.  Register with the Rangers at the Visitor Centre if taking any long or lesser used walk trails.  For those visiting Mickey Creek Gorge, further easy walks along Mickey Creek and the spur Warrumbah Creek can be included in the day. 

 

In the main Gorge, Koolaroo Creek branches off the trail to the Moss Garden and travels through Hellhole Gorge for several kilometres.  

 

A longer unmarked walk trail leaves the Rock Pool trails and climbs the Clematis Ridge to an eroded remnant of the cliff.  Much of the trail involves steep climbing for around 2.5 kilometres on an indistinct trail. 

 

Beyond Big Bend, the Carnarvon Creek continues for a further 25 kilometres and this can also be walked by the very adventurous.  Other unmarked walks within this section of the Carnarvon National Park are only suitable for very experienced hikers. 

For those not able to take long walk, there are three short walks from the track prior to the main car park and park headquarters. Baloon Cave to view Aboriginal rock painting.  Mickey Creek Gorge through a narrow gorge cut by the creek.  Nature Trail and Rocky Pool on the Carnarvon Creek.  There was not time to take these short walks due to our short stay. 

There is no ideal alternative to Takarakka # see update. The parks campground is only open in school holidays anyway and is listed as not suitable for caravans or large motorhomes. Some people who couldn't bring pets into the park camped alongside Carnarvon Creek on the road in and commuted (leaving a dog-sitter), but there were some deep ruts from people getting bogged. Subject to creek levels and seasonal conditions this will not always be an option.  We decided it was well worth it to stay at Takarakka and pay the price. Takarakka is a well appointed CP in a pleasant location. 
 
The caravan park at Rolleston is a good hour's drive from the National Park, but it does allow pets and is budget priced.   You will still need someone to look after you dog, but you may be able to take turns dog sitting with another camper.

We stayed at caravan park for Carnarvon Gorge for two nights only as we did not have a caravan park booking and the nice big site we were so lucky to get was only available for two nights, so rather than move we moved on out.  A third night would have allowed us to see the short walks we missed.  See our review of Takarakka Bush Resort

 

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In addition to the well known Carnarvon Gorge section and the Mount Moffatt section, there are two other sections of the Carnarvon National Park open to visitors and both are accessed separately.  Salvator Rosa turnoff is 114 kilometres west of Springsure along the Tambo Road.  Ka Ka Mundi is 130 kilometres south west of Springsure, reached by heading west on the Springsure Tambo Road for 50 kilometres then south via Buckland Road.
See also Q&A on walking in the Carnarvon Gorge
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Great news, particularly for those travelling with pets, with the opening of a new station based camping area on the edge of the Carnarvon National Park. It is only a few kilometres from the Gorge so ideally situated, and they have kennels for hire for you dog/s during park visits.
 
Stage one is now open to self sufficient travellers, with the park due to open fully 1st May 2017. Only 41 sites spread over 20 hectares situated on the edge of the National Park. Tent Camping, Caravan, Motorhome, Camper trailers and Swags are all welcome as long as you are self sufficient. Dump point available. Fires are permitted in designated fire pits when there is no fire restriction in place. See Sandstone Park for more details.
# Update:  
Read on to see what we did at Caranarvon Gorge