Carnarvon Gorge is a breathtaking natural wonder located in Queensland, Australia, and it's undoubtedly one of the most impressive tourist destinations in the region. This ancient gorge boasts spectacular sandstone cliffs, deep gorges, and cascading waterfalls that offer visitors an unforgettable experience.
In this guide, we'll show you everything you need to know about visiting Carnarvon Gorge, including how to get there, the best time to visit, and the different hiking trails you can take.
Photo Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
HOW TO GET TO CARNARVON GORGE
Carnarvon Gorge is located in the Central Queensland Highlands, approximately 720 km northwest of Brisbane. The most common way to get to Carnarvon Gorge is by car. The main access point is via the town of Injune, which is located approximately 155km from the gorge. From Injune, take the Carnarvon Highway north for approximately 112km, and then turn left onto the sealed road at the Carnarvon Gorge National Park sign. Follow the signs for another 45 km to the park entrance. The road is now sealed the whole way in. Caution is advised during the wet season, due to Carnarvon Creek flooding during rain events.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT CARNARVON GORGE
The best time to visit Carnarvon Gorge is during the cooler months, from April to September. The temperatures during this time are more comfortable for hiking and exploring the gorge. The summer months (October to March) can be very hot and humid, which can make hiking more challenging. Additionally, some of the trails may be closed due to flooding during the wet season (December to March).
HIKING IN CARNARVON GORGE
Carnarvon Gorge offers a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging multi-day hikes. Some of the most popular trails include:
Main Gorge Track
This is a 9 km return walk that takes you through the heart of Carnarvon Gorge. The trail takes you past stunning rock formations, ancient Aboriginal rock art, and beautiful waterfalls. Our tours visit the Art Gallery, Ward's Canyon, Amphitheatre, and Moss Gardens.
This is a full-day walk with a moderate level of fitness required. You may ask why you should do this part of the gorge on a guided tour; our expert local guides help you connect on a deeper level with the ancient stories of the gorge, from its geological origins to the rare and elusive flora and fauna that many other visitors miss on their walk through the gorge.
This is a challenging 6.4 km return hike that takes you to the top of Boolimba Bluff, which offers stunning views of Carnarvon Gorge and the surrounding area.
A moderate level of fitness is required for this walk. Allow 3 hours.
Mickey Creek & Warrumbah Gorge
Embark on a thrilling rock-hopping adventure as you venture into a narrow side gorge following the creek, and enter a different world. 3km return walk.
While you are in Mickey Creek, make sure to also visit Warrumbah Gorge, which is just off the track. This is a great walk for those that want to see one of the most spectacular parts of the area on a shorter walk. Allow 1.5 hours.
This is the shortest walk in the Carnarvon Gorge, giving you a snapshot of the unique flora and fauna that make it their home. There is a chance to see a platypus in the creek if you visit in the early or late hours of the day.
Allow 1 hour. 1.5km loop.
Platypus in Carnarvon Creek - Photo Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Big Bend Track
This is a 20km return walk that takes you to Big Bend, a beautiful section of the Carnarvon Gorge where you can relax by the water and enjoy the beautiful scenery. While you are visiting the Big Bend, it is also highly recommended to visit the Cathedral Cave and Boowinda Gorge. Allow a full day, and leave early if you want to have time to explore.
CAMPING & ACCOMMODATION IN CARNARVON GORGE
There is a diverse range of accommodation options located conveniently close to the gorge, with something to suit every type of traveller. Whether you prefer air-conditioned cabins, spacious caravan sites, cozy tent sites, or something in between, you're sure to find the perfect option for your stay.
During the peak season (April to October), it's important to book your accommodation well in advance to avoid disappointment. So, make sure to plan ahead and secure your booking to guarantee a comfortable and enjoyable stay in this breathtaking area.
The accommodation providers closest to the gorge are:
- Breeze Holiday Park (Formerly Takarakka Bush Resort). Breeze Holiday Park offers a range of accommodation options, including cabins, glamping tents, and powered and unpowered campsites.
- The Carnarvon Gorge Camping Area (Only open during school holidays in peak season). The Carnarvon Gorge Camping Area offers basic facilities and unpowered sites only.
- Sandstone Park (Unpowered Caravan Sites). This is a new caravan park with spectacular views of the Carnarvon Ranges. It is also pet-friendly.
- Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge. Offering accommodation in the form of safari-style cabins.
Please be aware that the local phone reception is extremely limited. The Visitors Centre has a Telstra phone available for use, and there is a small Optus tower near the accommodation. However, during peak times when the gorge is busy, it may be difficult to obtain reception.
Photo Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Carnarvon Gorge is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Queensland, Australia. The stunning natural beauty of the gorge, combined with the variety of hiking trails and camping options, make it a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Make sure to plan ahead and book your camping spot well in advance, and don't forget to bring your camera!
Keep in mind that we have guided tours available of the main sites of Carnarvon Gorge. What sets our guided tour apart from other ways of exploring the gorge is the expert knowledge and guidance of our local guides. With their deep understanding of the area's geological origins and rare flora and fauna, they'll help you connect with the gorge on a much deeper level, enriching your experience of this ancient landscape.