Tag Archive | National Park

30 Touched By The Sun

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Minerva Hills National Park

The setting sun casts a golden glow over the tallest trees in the bush and paints the sky with pastels.

As it dips below the horizon, the sun’s last light sets the sky ablaze.

29 In The Frame

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Minerva Hills National Park

A magnificent lemon-scented gum frames the view from the lookout at Fred’s Gorge.

The reflected glow of the setting sun highlights the craggy face of Dillies Knob, the weathered remnant of a volcanic plug formed more than 28 million years ago.

28 Spot the Wallaby

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Minerva Hills National Park

A pretty-faced wallaby rests in the shade of a cycad.

For a few moments she’s curious, carefully watching us watching her.

But she soon returns to more important tasks.

27 Threads of Gold

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Minerva Hills National Park

While the slopes of Minerva Hills National Park are brushed with gold dust from the wattle trees, the trees on the Skyline walking track are hung with delicate strands of spun gold.

The branches of the acacia trees are festooned with dozens of spider webs, their yellow strands of silk glinting in the soft light of late afternoon.

Who are the master spinners and weavers creating these beautiful webs?

Female Golden Orb Weavers work tirelessly to build these natural masterpieces. They live in groups of overlapping webs designed to deter predators.

While the females are quite large, the males are tiny. Luckily for the males, their gigantic mates are not aggressive and, although they might look scary, they’re not a danger to humans either.

11 Watching and Waiting

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Broken River, Eungella National Park

We’re hoping to see a platypus at Broken River, but there’s no guarantee. The man beside us has been to the viewing platform every afternoon for a week with no success.

Late in the afternoon a small group of people has gathered on the tree-lined riverbank. The setting sun casts deep shadows over the water; the conditions are perfect for platypus spotting. All we need is a co-operative platypus.

A saw-shelled turtle rests on a submerged log while several others coast along with the current. More than once we mistake a submerged turtle for a platypus.

We all heed this advice – waiting quietly, talking in whispers and watching for tell-tale signs.

Suddenly we do see ripples and bubbles and there is a platypus.

As quickly as he surfaces he turns and dives again, disappearing into the murky water. But he’s in a playful mood and reappears time and time again.

We stand for a long time watching the platypus as he searches for his afternoon meal. It’s such a privilege to see this elusive animal in the wild.

We feel elated, but we’re not as excited as the man who’s been waiting all week. He’s ecstatic!

9 The View From the Window

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Sky Window Circuit, Eungella National Park

At an elevation of 1259, it feels like we’re closer to the sky on the Eungella Plateau. And a walk around the Sky Window Circuit sounds promising.

The track follows the escarpment through sub-tropical rainforest. The trees grow tall and thin as they compete for sunlight while the undergrowth is so thick it blocks any sightings of the valley.

The views are only revealed when we reach the Sky Window Lookout.

Close by, the steep winding road we’ve just travelled up is clearly visible. Beyond that, the Pioneer Valley, flanked on both sides by the Clarke Range, opens up before us.

We can just make out the city of Mackay, 80 kilometres to the east on the coast. It really does seem as if we’re looking down from the sky.

8 Down the Mountain

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Araluen Cascades, Finch Hatton Gorge

Finch Hatton Creek flows down the mountain, carving a path through the sub-tropical rainforest.

Flowing across ancient volcanic granite, it tumbles over the rocks at Araluen Cascades into two deep pools before continuing downhill.

7 Life Support

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Finch Hatton Gorge

Rawson’s Creek tumbles down from the mountains surrounding Finch Hatton Gorge, rushing over volcanic boulders on its way to the valley. While the water sustains life in the subtropical rainforest, trees also provide sustenance for other plants and animals.

Giant strangler figs with massive buttress root systems shelter new saplings from the blazing midday sun. Vines use tall straight tree trunks for support.

Insects thrive in the foliage. Some are easily seen, while others leave evidence of their activities.

Even fallen trees give life, as other plants and animals feed on their decaying trunks.

This stump is all that remains of a long gone tree but, with its cloak of thick green moss, it’s a thing of beauty.

The Last Walk

Camping at Carnarvon Gorge, October 2020

There’s one track left to explore before we end our visit to Carnarvon Gorge and, of all the walks we do, it turns out to be the most adventurous.

The Mickey Creek walk begins inside the park, just before the Visitor Centre. Although the sign says it’s only 1.5 km everyone tells us the same thing. “Go beyond the end of the track.” As we set off, we’re not sure what to expect. 

At first the level path leads through the bush, following the course of the creek. As always, the sandstone cliffs of the gorge rise up in the distance.

It’s not long before the track narrows and becomes steeper, at times climbing up the creek bank and then crossing to the other side. 

We reach a fork in the track and decide to continue on to Mickey Creek Gorge, leaving Warrumbah Creek Gorge for later in the day. 

And then the mystery is revealed. The formed track comes to an end but there’s a well-worn path beyond it, following the creek further into the bush. Of course we go on, rock-hopping along the dry creek bed. 

The gorge becomes more pronounced; the sides are steeper, the path is narrower and daylight recedes as the walls close in. 

We reach our limit before we reach the end of the gorge. We can see up ahead where the walls meet, but the smooth stone has no footholds to climb up.

We retrace our steps back to the Warrumbah Creek Gorge track. Here the creek is flowing and the path goes alongside until it too comes to an end.

This time the way ahead is not so clear but there’s only one direction we can go, so we continue deeper into the gorge, past tree ferns and moss-covered boulders.

In Warrumbah Creek Gorge the rock walls close in much sooner. A fallen tree, long ago washed downstream, makes a handy bridge and where the stony ledges are narrow we take our time, carefully considering our next step. 

Unlike Mickey Creek Gorge, we do reach the end of Warrumbah Creek Gorge – it’s so narrow we can reach out to both sides. 

With so much incredible scenery, all the walks at Carnarvon Gorge have been amazing. This final walk has completed our week in the most spectacular way. 

Joining Jo for Monday Walks

All The Way To The End

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