To the Karingbal and Bidjara people, Carnarvon Gorge is a ‘place of learning’ and an area of great spirituality. These traditional custodians have had a long relationship with the Carnarvon National Park region, and it’s easy to see why. It’s impossible not to be awed by the landscape of Carnarvon Gorge with its ancient towering sandstone cliffs, diverse flora and fauna and exceptional Aboriginal rock art. Carnarvon Gorge is tucked away in the rugged ranges of Queensland's Central Highlands. You’ll find a lush outback oasis home to prehistoric cycads and an astonishing array of birds, mammals, frogs and reptiles. This 200 million-year-old landscape draws around 70,000 visitors a year. This is a place to walk with nature, rock hop across picturesque creeks and connect to ancient culture. You may even spot the elusive platypus in Carnarvon Creek. Come and be inspired at Carnarvon Gorge.
Get back to nature and discover some iconic Queensland destinations. Take a guided nature walk discovering the flora and fauna of beautiful Carnarvon Gorge before getting up close with the turtles and even volunteer at the Rehab centre on Quoin Island. Enjoy bird watching tours and eco reef walks on a coral cay whilst staying on secluded Heron Island. Then venture out on a full Paradise tour to Bustard Head on the iconic LARC whilst staying in Agnes Waters.
Carnarvon Gorge is a walker’s paradise. The main gorge track winds almost 10km (19.7km return) from the visitor centre to Big Bend. With several shorter walks veering off from the main trail, there is an option for all fitness levels. You can walk along the signposted tracks or join a Carnarvon Gorge guided walk.
To get the blood pumping and for lofty views, take the 6.4km Boolimba Bluff return walk (including 300m of steps and short ladders). Opt for the easy 7km return walk to the enchanting Moss Garden for a tranquil moment. To see Aboriginal rock art, head to the Art Gallery (10.3km return), and you’ll find an impressive 62m-long sandstone wall covered with engravings and ochre stencils. This is some of the best rock art in Australia!
Winter is the ultimate time to visit Carnarvon Gorge, National Park. Summers here can be sweltering (daytime temperatures are regularly in the high 30s), making bushwalking nigh on impossible. Although the national park is open year-round, most accommodation is seasonal so check before you go.
When packing, be sure to include good walking shoes, insect repellent, and warm clothing for the evenings, which can be chilly (in the middle of winter, they can even reach freezing).
You can take a Carnarvon Gorge eco-tour with a naturalist guide on all of our Fun Over 50 Carnarvon Gorge holiday packages.
Carnarvon Gorge National Park is off the Carnarvon Highway halfway between Roma and Emerald. It’s a 9-hour drive along sealed roads from Queensland’s capital, Brisbane.
Accommodation options at Carnarvon Gorge include camping in the national park which is a five minute drive from the visitor centre. Campsites offer cabins as well as powered and unpowered sites, and glamping is available on a couple of local cattle stations. The Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge offers permanent safari tents.
If a Carnarvon Gorge walking tour isn’t for you, take to the skies for a scenic helicopter flight and the ultimate perspective on this ancient landscape and its natural formations.
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