Carnarvon National Park
is one of
the best ones in Queensland.
Inland from Gladstone and Rockhampton on the Capricorn Coast, Carnarvon
is one of the best national parks in Queensland.
In the dry outback of Queensland, it's an oasis with moss gardens,
rock pools and
pockets of lush rainforest, where Carnarvon Creek has
carved a deep gorge into the sandstone, leaving 200m-high white cliffs
to surround it. And it is known for some of the best Aboriginal rock
art in Australia.
Escarpment. Poster by
AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to
Ka Ka Mundi and Salvator Rosa
There are different sections in the park. The
westernmost Ka Ka Mundi and Salvator Rosa are the most remote. Ka
Ka Mundi protects rainforest patches and the native
brigalow scrub with lots of native
wildlife. In Salvator
Rosa there are some heavily eroded sandstone
Spyglass Peak and the Eye of the Needle. The early explorer Major
Thomas Mitchell (who gave the name for a species of pink cockatoos)
camped in Salvator Rosa
on his way to the Gulf
Savannah. There are no
amenities in Salvator Rosa or Ka Ka Mundi and campers have to be
Escarpment. Poster by AllPosters.
Mt Moffatt Section of Carnarvon National Park
Mt Moffatt is another remote section of Carnarvon National Park, with
some of the most spectacular sandstone formations in Australia. It used
to be home for the Nuri and Bidjara Aboriginal
people. The most
paintings are in the Kenniff cave – now
closed to the public because of the risk of the cave roof to collapse
under the unstable rocks. The cave is named after Kenniff brothers –
two bushrangers who used to hide in the cave and kill the policemen who
were sent out to arrest them. There are no tracks from Mt Moffatt to
the other sections of the park and campers need to be self-sufficient.
The gorge. Poster by AllPosters.
Carnarvon Gorge Section of Carnarvon National Park
The 16,000ha Carnarvon Gorge is the most accessible and most visited
section of the park, with marked walking trails, camping sites and a
caravan park which is accessible for 2WD vehicles. There are 21km of
walking tracks in the gorge where you
can spend days hiking along
the main gorge as well as the colourful and lush side-gorges with
plants, cabbage tree
palms, ferns, gum
and ancient cycads.
The animals include platypus,
eastern grey kangaroos,
wallabies, bettongs, possums
and over 170 species of
birds including lorikeets,
honeyeaters and powerful
The Gorge. by bauple58 via Flickr.com
Short Bushwalks in Carnarvon National Park
There are a few short walks in case you don’t want to spend the whole
day walking. The shortest is the 2km Nature Trail
that gives you a snapshot of the flora and fauna of the gorge floor.
The 3km Boolimba Bluff Track passes
through a diversity of habitats on top of the cliff and has some
good views over the gorge. This walk is best done in the morning as it
gets very hot in the midday sun. The Mickey Creek Gorge
Track takes you to one of the side gorges – it is 1.5km
long and includes some rock-hopping
in the end. Sun can hardly reach
the gorge bottom and parts of it get quite cool even in the middle of
the day. The 500m Baloon Cave Track goes
through open palm
forest to a site
Gorge walk. Poster by AllPosters.
The Long Bushwalk in Carnarvon National Park
If you are a keen bushwalker, head off to the main gorge. The Main
Gorge Walking Track is 9.7km long and crosses the creek
22 times on its way to the Big Bend in the other end. Along the main
track which is mostly flat, there are several side-tracks to side
gorges which can be a bit steeper in places. The first of them takes
you to Boolimba Bluff, and the second to Moss
Garden – a moist waterhole where the water that
constantly drips from sandstone walls supports many species of mosses
It is 3.5km from the visitor
centre, and 650m off the main walking track (one way).
Moss garden. Poster by AllPosters.
Amphitheatre and Wards Canyon
The next side-walk on your left hand side is the Amphitheatre
– a 60m deep chamber, carved in the rock by running water. The
Amphitheatre is 4.3km from the visitor area and 630m off the main
walking track. The next one on your right hand side is the Wards
Canyon, a 270m steep walk away from the main track, with
the rare King Ferns and a pocket of remnant rainforest.
Amphitheatre. by murrayhenwood via Flickr.com
Gallery - Aboriginal Rock Painting
On the other side of the main creek you can soon turn into the Art
Gallery – one of the main attractions in the Carnarvon
National Park with over 2000 engravings and Aboriginal
the 62m long sandstone walls. The Art Gallery is 5.4km from the visitor
area and 300m off the main track, the last part of it is a gradual
Aboriginal rock painting. Poster by AllPosters.
Click on thumbnail to
Cathedral Cave - Aboriginal Rock Painting
About 3.5km later on the main track you come to Cathedral
Cave – an eroded overhang of sandstone cliff with a
panorama of some great aboriginal
art examples across its walls – the
cave sheltered Aboriginal people for thousands of
years. One hundred metres away is the spectacular Boowinda
Gorge, and a few hundred metres north is the Big
Bend – a natural rock pool beneath some looming rock
the end of the main track. Places
to stay include Best
Western Hospitality Inn, Central
Apartments Carnarvon and Carnarvon
Gorge Wilderness Lodge.
Aboriginal rock art. Poster by AllPosters.
on thumbnail to
Here's a map of Carnarvon National Park -
you can double-click anywhere on the map to zoom it in and see the
places closer. Drag the map to move around, and if you want to see the
satellite image with Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top right hand
This site uses
British English, which is the English we use in Australia. You will
find words like "traveller", "harbour" and "realise", and they are all
correct in the language used in Australia.
best efforts have been made to ensure
that all the information on this site is correct,
gondwananet.com is not to be blamed should there be a mistake.
All contents of this website are strictly protected
by the Law of Copyright. What
does that mean?