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. Big Bend campground is the last destination on the main track.
So far, we’ve walked 12.58 km from the Visitor Centre and visited six of the nine highlights of Carnarvon Gorge. It’s another 4.5km to Cathedral Cave, Boowinda Gorge and Big Bend. Who’s up for that? Not you? Me neither! The main track is one way and we still have to go back the way we came.
Glen and our friend Jock decide one day they’ll walk the whole 9.7km to Big Bend. They don’t need to stop at all the places we’ve already seen, so they should be there before it gets too hot. Let’s go with them. Pack your lunch, fill your water bottle and strap on your back pack. It’s going to be a long day.
We set off on the main track, go past the all the side tracks and continue beyond the Art Gallery, crossing the creek several more times. The sandstone cliffs of the gorge tower over us on either side of the path.
Don’t forget the restroom I told you about near the Moss Garden. It’s the only one between the Visitor Centre and Big Bend, so remember to take advantage of it on the way.
After walking 9.1 km we finally arrive at Cathedral Cave. Like the Art Gallery, ancient indigenous rock art has been preserved on the walls of the huge cave. The vast sandstone overhang, eroded by wind and water, provided shelter from the weather for the local indigenous people who used the area as a campground.
The artworks here depict their hunter/gatherer way of life. Many images are thousands of years old, while more recent ones were created just over 200 years ago and record the local people’s first contact with Europeans.
The next stop on our walk is Boowinda Gorge, another 80 metres further along the track. Here the sandstone walls close in. The smooth curves in the stone have been formed over millions of years by water rushing through during flash floods.
Finally we arrive at Big Bend where there are campsites, toilets and picnic areas. Let’s rest a while in the shade beside the creek and enjoy our lunch.
Don’t get too comfortable though. Unlike other walkers who have set up their tents, we didn’t bring our camping gear. Soon we’ll need to walk another 9.7 km, all the way back.
Joining Jo for Monday Walks