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A. From West to East: Petrol and diesel are available at Kunawarritji (near Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route), and this is the most expensive.  Expect a long wait as this fuel stop is half way along the Canning Stock Route and gets busy.  Next fuel available is at Kiwirrkurra, then into the Northern Territory at  Kintore.  Both of these are a short drive away from the main road. Fuel is also available at Papunya.  It pays to phone ahead of your journey to ensure supplies, as there can be delays of several days if they run out.  Times they are open can also be important, particularly at Kintore, and you may have to wait in a long queue.  They may not be open every day of the week either, despite signed times.  It is advisable to carry sufficient cash for purchases as many of the desert communities do not take cards. 

 

Distance between fuel outlets are:

 

Marble Bar to Punmu          434

Punmu to Kunawarritji         175

Kunawarritji to Kiwirrkurra    371

Kiwirrkurra to Kintore          185

Kintore to Papunya             270

 

Telfer is a mining town and you need permission to enter. 

 

We only topped up at Marble Bar, Kunawarritji and Kintore. Kiwirrkurra was cheaper than at Kunawarritji; the latter being the dearest we paid on the whole trip.

 

We phoned while still in a mobile reception area to check on fuel availability and advise our needs.  In each case we were told it was not necessary as they had plenty of fuel.  Most have diesel and Opal ULP. 

 

Details

 

Punmu – Diesel and Opal ULP available.  Mon-Fri 8 - 12 and 1 - 4 pm, Saturday 8 - 12. Phone community on (08) 9176 9110 or (08) 9176 9006  Email punmucorp@bigpond.com

 

Kunawarritji - Kunawarritji Diesel and Opal ULP available.   Phone (08) 9176 9040. Email kunawarritji@bigpond.com

 

Kwiwrrkurra - Roadhouse (08) 8956 4935. Email kiwiroadhouse@bigpond.com

 

Kintore - Walungurru (Kintore) Community Council (08) 8956 8566, Roadhouse 89568575.  See fuel times on sign photographed below.

 

Papunya – Community Store (08) 8956 8658

 

Apart from Kintore, you should be able to refuel at all the other communities on weekdays and Saturday mornings.  We were travelling toward Kiwirrkurra on a Sunday and had refuelled at Kunawarritji so not needing fuel again until Kintore.  Two vehicles approached, and the driver of the lead one stopped to ask if we wanted fuel at Kiwirrkurra.  We said no we had not planned a fuel fill here as it was Sunday.  The driver said Sunday was not a problem, but he would not be back for a while if we had wanted fuel, so thought to stop us and ask. He invited us to drive in to look around their community and see Len Beadell's ration truck.   It must have been the whole community out on a Sunday drive. 

 

Permits

 

You will need permits from the CLC for the Northern Territory part, and from DAA for the Western Australian side.  The latter cantake at least three weeks to be approved.  See Permits page for more details and links. 

 

See our travelogues from 2009.

 

 

2011 and updated June 2017

 

 

 

A. This private road has been closed to the public by the station.  You cannot travel on this road (unless you have been authorised to by Epenarra Station). 

 

2011

A. We took our off road caravan in to the camp ground with no problems; we took it slowly. It was very dry when we were there in 2008 and you are following and crossing the Finke River bed which is mainly sandy.  Conditions can vary following rain as the river can dump sand in differing places. 

However you cannot take a trailer on the track into Palm Valley itself - but you wouldn't want to anyway as it is beyond the camp ground. 

Palm Valley has a lovely serviced camp ground. After enjoying the walks, we stayed an for a third night just to enjoy the surroundings.

 

2011

Read more about the Gary Junction Road
Read more about Kunawarritji
Read more about Canning Stock Route
Read more about Kintore
 
Read more about Palm Valley
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Read more about Kiwirrkurra

A. The white sandstone cliffs and tall Carnarvon Fan Palms, interesting side features including creeks, Aboriginal rock paintings and caves make Carnarvon Gorge a worthwhile destination for a few days sightseeing and walking. 

 

We stayed 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

 

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 due to our short stay. 

 

After the first creek crossing into the main gorge, a walk trail to the top at Boolimba Bluff takes you up 1,000 steps, and incorporates a ladder in one section.  The lookouts at the top show views eastwards where the valley widens. A nice walk to start the leg muscles working.  This is not a difficult walk despite the climb. 

 

Most people walk the gorge as far as Big Bend (ten kilometres) and visit side features.  This can be done in one full on day, or some people stay for a week and go a little further, each day.  For those who have done a big walk and all the side features in one day, talk in the showers is about aching legs and an early night. 

 

Walking along the creek line is fairly flat and easy for all age groups and fitness levels, but for the numerous creek crossings on stepping stones.  A hiking stick is ideal for balance when crossing on these stepping stones, and you will find a pile of sticks left just after you cross the first bridge.  We did not see these on the way out, took sticks from the bush to use, leaving these too for others.  You will cross the creek around 23 times on the walk as far as Big Bend. 

 

We stopped just a little short of Big Bend, and chose to miss seeing the Moss Garden, as talking to others on the walk this seemed the least interesting feature.  Some travellers say it is their favourite, so perhaps we should have found the time and energy to include it.

 

We chose to walk as far as we intended, stopping only at close and easy access features on the outward journey, allowing adequate time to return and do most of the side walks on the return to ensure we didn’t run out of time and daylight. 

 

Some of the side features involve a climb, but all are short.  There are two Aboriginal rock painting galleries with easy access.  The amphitheatre has ladder access, and takes you into a cave with sheer walls.  Wards Canyon was my favourite.  The Boowinda Creek side walk is heavy going on a stony floor, and this was our turn around point, with then end of the trail at Big Bend being not much further along the creek, and having a sheer wall similar to those we had already passed.   

 

Remote walks include an 86 kilometre loop from Bowinda Gorge which can take a week through rugged country, climbing high into the ranges and to the ‘roof of Queensland’.    Read about The Great Walk.

 

See our Travelogues for the Carnarvon National Park

 

2011

 

 

10th March 2017: See news of a new pet friendly camping option close to the gorge here 

     

 

 

 

 

 

Q4. We wanted to know how many days we should spend at Carnarvon Gorge to see most of the sights.  I believe there is a very long walk, perhaps 12 - 13 kilometre one way.  This would be beyond our capability?  I guess we could not do more than 10 kilometres a day.

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Q1. Can you get fuel on the Gary Junction Road between Marble Bar and Alice Springs?

Q2. Can you go through the road from Epenarra Station to Barkly Homestead?  Some maps show the road as closed and some maps show it as a private road.
Q3. Can I take a camper trailer into Palm Valley?
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