Finally I can continue writing about our trip to Queensland and in this post I write about one of our favourite days spent hiking in the fabulous Carnarvon Gorge. For much of our trip in Queensland, away from the big centres, we had poor and unreliable mobile/wifi coverage so I apologise for the delay since my last post. Now we are back home in Victoria and the wifi at home is great so apart from working at getting our garden into top shape for spring and summer I have no excuses.
Our plan for the day was to hike up the main gorge track as far as the Art Gallery. We would divert in there for a look, return to the main trail and head back, diverting down the other side trails as we made our return walk. So we were up reasonably early, ate breakfast and drove the short distance to the carpark near the information centre. After parking and grabbing our daypacks we headed to the main track. Straight away we came to our first stream crossing of the day. The rock path consisted of large stable rocks
so it was easy to cross the shallow but attractive creek.
The gravel trail was well formed with a few ups and downs along the way.
To our left was a large rocky outcrop, easily seen through the trees.
Granite boulders poked up here and there.
This tree had grown around a tall boulder.
We came to several more creek crossings. Some required good balance or assistance from a walking pole to avoid wet feet.
This bright orange fungi growing on a burnt log caught our eye.
Here’s another creek crossing.
Deeper into the gorge ferns and bracken occupied the lower levels
while high up on the rocks trees could be seen.
After about an hour and a half we came to the turnoff to the Art Gallery.
Up we went.
After a short walk we came to this welcome sign
just at a point where the path lead us through a narrow gap between two boulders.
When we arrived at the actual ‘art gallery’ we found a large rock wall to our left
with small signs at intervals along the path. They described what could be seen on the rock wall.
The art work had been created by a number of methods – hand drawn, by stencilling or engraving, and dated back thousands of years. Here some photos of the various sections.
After taking a good look we sat down for a brief rest before making our way back along the short trail to the main trail.
Back on the main trail it took us about twenty minutes to reach the next turn off to Ward’s Canyon.
The sign told us it was a short steep climb. I looked at the steps and thought that sure is short but not very steep.
However on reaching the crest we found a turn in the path where we could now see the steep part!
The reward for completing this steep section of steps came with the view of this small cascade.
After another climb we came to the actual canyon.
A narrow stone path lead us deeper into the canyon.
It was a beautiful, peaceful place. Soon we came to a bit of an obstacle. A large boulder forced us to duck under the side of it as we followed the pathway past it.
Shortly after we came to a fence which barred us from continuing further into the ever narrowing canyon.
Signage here detailed information about the two types of ferns found in Ward’s Canyon – the more common tree fern found above
and the quite rare King Fern found in the understory.
Here are some smaller ferns found on the ground.
As we made our way out of the canyon a family group was coming up the final stair climb so we asked them to take a photo of us.
We made our way back down to the main trail and walked for twenty minutes along it
to the turn off to our next highlight, the Amphitheatre.
The walk in started with another creek crossing
followed by some up and down sections of track
finally coming to a series of steel step ladders up.
After making our way through a reasonably narrow gap there was another small ladder
from which the path led into a huge cavern
with a large gap in the roof.
Amazingly we had the entire Amphitheatre to ourselves so we sat for a while on one of the bench seats and took it all in. After making our way back down and along to the main trail again we continued our return trip crossing more small creeks
and taking in the beautiful landscape.
Even though we walked at a pretty fast pace, the 1.5kms from the Amphitheatre turnoff back to the final highlight of the day seemed to take a long time but in reality was only twenty minutes.
Straight away we headed up some steps
before making our way up and sometimes down the track. This tree we passed around had a most unusual trunk.
Water could be heard as we walked and the vegetation looked like it enjoyed a wet environment.
Just before we came to the Moss Garden we passed over a small stream with a lovely little cascade further upstream.
On arriving in the Moss Garden we found ourselves facing a large rock wall covered in mosses, small ferns, lichens and numerous other plants of all shades green, all enjoying the steady drip, drip, dripping of water passing over them.
The path looped around the area, passing a diminutive trickle of water which could only loosely be termed a waterfall.
There were quite a few other walkers in this area. No surprise as it was the shortest distance from the Visitor Centre. We sat down and ate a very late lunch of the sandwiches and snacks we had packed, whilst looking at the very green mosses and listening to the trickle of water.
Well rested and fed we made our way back along the trail and down the steps to the main trail.
Once back at the main trail we headed back, enjoying the scenery as we walked.
However the 2.8kms back did start to wear us out
so we were pleased when we did spot the Visitor Centre up ahead.
Passing the Visitor Centre we did read a couple of the information boards again to just reaffirm what we had in mind for the next day’s walking.
Making our way to the carpark we startled a resting kangaroo that quickly hopped away.
It was certainly lovely to sit in the car after a pretty long day of hiking. Back at the caravan we certainly enjoyed a drink before dinner followed by a good sleep.
Distance walked = 16kms