I know, because I've seen pictures, that the view from Boolimba Bluff is well worth the climb, and with hindsight I wish I'd forced the legs. The Bluff is just over 3 km from Park Headquarters. The track branches off to the right not far after the first crossing over Carnarvon Creek. The path rises gently as far as a steep gully, but apparently there's a sandstone cavern halfway up the steep bit where you can take a breather. From the top there are views up the gorge and over the Great Dividing Range westwards, and over the plains to the east. Don't make the same mistake as I did.
First, we had a leisurely mooch around the Rock Pool, a deep hole on a bend in the Creek downstream from Park Headquarters. The Creek is described as permanently running, fed by numerous streams in the Gorge system. The white sandstone cliffs are porous and act like a huge sponge soaking up rainfall over the highlands, but the water emerges above the underlying impermeable rock. I wonder if the Creek ran throughout Queensland's long Millennium Drought.
This walk was all about birds and trees and reflections and colour and rock and stones.
|Little Pied Cormorant|
You might see a platypus in the Rock Pool – or higher up the Creek – but we weren't early or late enough in the day. I have yet to see my first platypus in the wild, and it's an important box that's not yet ticked.
I was surprised to see a Kookaburra on a ledge high up a rock wall. Was this the same rather portly chap we'd seen around the Lodge? Kangaroos seem happy to share the Lodge gardens with guests, as long as they don't get too close.
If you're fit and can easily walk to the head of the Gorge in a day, you can camp at Big Bend and then scramble up Battleship Spur for spectacular views. Another full day's strenuous walk is to Devil's signpost. Ask at the Park Headquarters for directions about the route along an unmarked track towards Clematis Ridge.
Having read the first Carnarvon post, a friend asked me the other day how long a stay I would recommend. I replied 3-4 days minimum, and longer if you want time to chill. That's twice as long as we had.
Once you've acquired the impression of unexplored possibilities, you leave with a tinge of regret and a desire to return. I had the same feelings when we departed Kilcowera cattle station a few days in to our Outback trip, and now I was approaching the end on the same note. The weather was beautiful on the morning we left to head back home to Brisbane. Beyond the Gorge entrance, golden grasses almost sparkled, mist created floating ridges, and the prospect of the city was, frankly, rather grim.
This post was last edited on 9 March 2014