Carnarvon Gorge

Upon arrival in the National Park at noon, we head to the information bay to find out about all the options in this Gorge. Quite tired of driving another 800 km in two days, we decide to go for the three day hike, to discover the entire area. This time we need to pick our tent and sleeping bags with us for the two nights inside the gorge camp ground. We start the trip with rain jackets and waterproof flybags on our backpacks, because of the heavy rainfall in the beginning. The fall stops after some fifteen minutes, when we see the sun again.

That afternoon we walk the 10km trip to the campground, while we also visit two side gorges. The cosy moss garden, with an idyllic waterfall and the naturally carved amphitheatre. Halfway our walk, a huge thunderstorm catches us, so we unwrap our rain jackets again, meet a man tall kangaroo hiding under a tree for the rain and head deeper in the gorge.
At Cathedral Cave, we enjoy the Aboriginal art. This site contains three typical art forms. Firstly the ochre stencils, made by holding an object at the rock and throwing paint on it, so that only the shape remains. Secondly the free hand drawings, drawn with a finger, a twig, a brush or something else. The last ones are the engravings. At this site we see some nets, emu and kangaroo trails, emu eggs, boomerangs and axes, vulva’s and some more. Finally we arrive at the Big Bend camp site in the dry, set our tent up and enjoy a sleep in nature within our sleeping bags.

Next day we go for a nature walk to the Battleship Spur, a lookout point some 5 km away from our camp site. This trip starts in the magnificent Boowinda Gorge before we climb out the gorge and keep climbing till we’re at a miraculous spot above the gorge area and have a scenic view on the entire landscape.
From the Battleship we have an overview of the entire gorge… Miraculous.
Back at our camp site we relax and enjoy a good book in nature.

Our last day we start with breaking the camp up and returning the 10 km walk. Along the way we visit some other side gorges. The first is the Ward’s Canyon, with magnificent king ferns and another art gallery.
We end the trip with a climb to the Boolima Bluff lookout near the entrance, to have another miraculous view over the area.
These three walking days were extremely relaxing in a stunning environment. All the time we felt the presence of the Aboriginal rainbow snake with us, in the waters of this gorge. At the last art site, an engraving of this important ancestor is made.

By returning to our car we get an unpleasant surprise… Our battery is flat, we forgot to turn off the lights after the rain on our first day. Time to test our booster cables. We receive help from Olivia, a ranger woman from the nearby cattle station and in no time Janis drives again.
Because of the late hour, we ask her what’s the best overnight option. She invites us to camp on the station, so she realise a dream of Ilse! Happily we park our car on a site with a stunning gorge view.
When we start to build up our camp, Olivia returns with some great news, her mother has enough food, so we may join at their table. A delicious surprise! Above all Bruce and Lucinda are so kind to us, we feel immediately home. A big part of their family lives together at the station. Bruce and Lucinda, Olivia with her husband and little Jack, one of their sons with his Swedish girlfriend.
After dinner, with a chocolate dessert, an even bigger surprise follows! We may use a room in the house if we wish and may use their bathroom. A luxe we almost forgot after all these months on the road.
Properly bathed, we sleep like roses in that great bed.

Next day we use the facilities of the station to clean Janis’ interiors, do our laundry (Lucinda even helps me whitening a couple of shirts) and work on our pictures. Just a great relaxing day. We feel so happy to be able to clean our car.
That evening we have another great meal, when the other son of Bruce and Lucinda arrives, with his wife and three children. As finish we play cards with the entire family and sleep once again heavenly in the bed… But tomorrow we have to go on, a big family party is planned on the ranch.
These days over there were great, so with pain in our heart we leave the station, but not before Bruce let both of us enjoy a small horse riding and they learn us a trick to restart the car, because our battery is flat once again. We didn’t reload her during these days.
But that is not a big problem, because we head on a long boring trip to Fraser Island, so the battery has plenty of time to recharge. That night we sleep on a rest area near Ban Ban Spring and tomorrow we’ll enjoy the sandy 4WD tracks of the huge sand island.