Carnarvon Gorge in Queensland’s Outback is pretty spectacular, and I couldn’t quite squeeze the hike into the gorge and out of it again into one post. So here’s part 2 of our Carnarvon Gorge visit, hiking around Big Bend and back.
If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, find out more here: Carnarvon Gorge Part 1.
Carnarvon Gorge – Part 2
Camping in Queensland in winter doesn’t exactly make for warm and fuzzy mornings, and when you run out of fuel for your little gas stove, you have to improvise. Well, only if you want to have a morning cup of coffee, of course. And not only did I get my cup of coffee, I also got some warmth to warm my little fingers. And we were clearly not the first ones to have improvised given the nicely established fire pit.
At Big Bend, we found yet another peculiar Queensland thing. Check it out, maybe you can enlighten me as to what it means… [NB: the sign is pointed away from the creek bed and towards the toilets) Don’t use your toothbrush to clean your pot?? 🙂
Exploring Boowinda Gorge
On our way to Big Bend the day before, we didn’t have time to explore nearby Boowinda Gorge.
Being 9.2 km from the visitor centre means that not that many people explore it so the chances are pretty high that you get to wander through it all by yourself, especially if you’re there early in the morning like we were.
It’s also the start of the Great Carnarvon Walk, a 5-day hike that would probably be quite spectacular.
So after my delicious instant morning coffee, we set off in said direction with the thought to climb up to Battleship Spur, a lookout beyond the gorge (not that we really knew how far it was to Battleship Spur or anything…). The first kilometre into the gorge is the most spectacular as it’s super narrow and flanked by towering sandstone cliffs.
The trek is slow-going though as you’re basically rock and boulder-hopping the entire time, pretty tiring after a while. Walking on a dirt path afterwards never felt so good.
As mentioned, the walk to Battleship Spur is part of the Carnarvon Great Walk and considered a Class 5 walk, i.e. hard. I was happy not to have to carry a pack on my scramble out of the gorge as my balance would have been all over the place otherwise.
In the end we never made it to Battleship Spur, mostly because we had basically no information and what we did have was a bit conflicting. It’s half hour from the start of Boowinda Gorge, I think??; no, it’s an hour and half, maybe??; no, it’s half hour once you’ve scrambled out of the gorge; oh, I don’t know…
We probably walked for a good hour or so but as it’s all uphill, we just decided to turn around at some point. I think we got pretty close to it but you just couldn’t tell as there’s no distance indicated anywhere and you’re walking through relatively dense vegetation. And you’re supposed to have a topographic map for the Great Walk but never mind…
So I can only imagine that the view across Carnarvon Gorge would have been magnificent.
A quick visit to the Rock Pool
From there it was back to Takarakka Bush Resort for another night with a quick side-trip to the Rock Pool.
But oh the disappointment… seriously. It looked like a nice enough picnic spot but at some point someone decided to “turn it into an attraction”. That hardly ever works, and certainly didn’t in this case. There was basically nothing to see. Unless you want to count Mr. Rockface. I don’t know if he lives there permanently though.
Oh, and, here’s a lasting impression from camping at Big Bend.
I found these amazing orange fungi things on a fallen tree trunk. As I was crouching on the tree trunk trying to get nice and close to the fungi, I was totally oblivious to other creatures in my purview. Only found this little friend afterwards when I was looking through my photos… 🙂
From here we roadtripped across to Mount Moffat and camped there for a night.
Read more: Exploring Mount Moffat
For details on what to expect at Carnarvon Gorge, walking trails, how to get there, etc., check out Queensland National Park Carnarvon Gorge.
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