Camping at Carnarvon Gorge, October 2020
The main track at Carnarvon Gorge is 9.7 kilometres one way. With several sets of steps, many creek crossings and some gradual inclines, the track is classed as Grade 3/4 and is suitable for bushwalkers with some experience. Nine side tracks off the main track lead to the scenic wonders of the gorge. The walk to the Moss Garden begins 2.8 kilometres from the Visitor Centre.
Its location in central Queensland means Carnarvon Gorge is surrounded by a landscape often severely affected by drought. Inside the gorge, where water is abundant, it’s a different matter. And where there is water there is life, especially in the Moss Garden.
Hidden away in the depths of Violet Gorge, the Moss Garden is reached by a 650 metre walking track off the main track.
Like all the walks in Carnarvon Gorge, there are creek crossings and steps to negotiate. The bright green foliage of fan palms and tree ferns spreads out on either side of the track – it’s noticeably cooler in the shade.
Further into the gorge the open forest is replaced by remnant rainforest. Lianas loop from tree to tree and the roots of strangler figs take hold wherever they can.
The track rises steeply away from the creek and the gorge narrows until the sandstone walls on either side almost touch.
A boardwalk replaces the sandy path for the last few metres. Even though the sound of running water is ever present in most of the park, here it dominates. Water tumbles over a small waterfall, filling a round pool before flowing away down the creek. More water drips constantly from the sandstone walls of the canyon. It comes from a natural spring high above and filters through the sandstone.
The permanent supply of slowly filtered water supports a micro climate of mosses and ferns which cover the stone like a thick green carpet.
Dozens of dragonflies add jewel colours to the green of the Moss Garden. They skim across the surface of the waterhole and up over the mossy rocks, stopping for just a few seconds before taking off again.
Where there is water, there’s always life.
Joining Jo for Monday Walks