Australian Nature Guides About Carnarvon Gorge Carnarvon Gorge Map Services & facilities
Carnarvon Gorge Photos Where is the Gorge? What to see and do Carnarvon Gorge Guided Tours Carnarvon Gorge products

Upper Gorge.

Visiting all the sites in the Upper Gorge involves around 22 kilometres, depending on how far up Boowinda Gorge you venture. There are toilet facilities at Big Bend, but always carry spare toilet paper as you will be in strife if the roll is out.

The Main Track.

Beyond crossing 10, the Main Track is far less travelled and narrows considerably as a result. Some of the Gorge's best cliff scenery is to be had along the upper section of the Main Track. The major rockfall on the far side of the Gorge between crossings 12 and 13 is hard to miss, and there are other less substantial falls further up.

Between crossing 17 and 18, the cliffs are so close and so high they are difficult to take in. This is also the first place up the track that you can see the creek actively eroding cliff if you are observant. All the sites in the Upper Gorge are basically at the same level as the Main Track, which is a blessing considering they are around 10 kilometres from the Information Centre.

Big Bend.

Access: Follows on from the Main Track.
Distance (one way): 560m.
Track Class: 3. Easy walking, some rough terrain and close vegetation. Two unmarked creek crossings.
Average Walking Time: Allow 10 to 15 minutes from the end of the Main Track

In effect the track to Big Bend is a continuation of the Main Track, which technically ends at Cathedral Cave. No further creek crossings are numbered beyond Crossing 20. Big Bend is a campground located on a lovely bend in Carnarvon Creek. It is the only campground in the Gorge open all year round. The toilet facilities are accompanied by a limited number of flat campsites, which must be booked, and a picnic table.

The maintained track ends here, but walkers are permitted to explore further if they wish - providing a remote bushwalking form has been submitted to the Rangers as beyond this point walkers are off the track system.

Boowinda Gorge.

Access: adjacent to Cathedral Cave.
Distance (one way): up to the individual, best of the side gorge is within the first 300 metres.
Track Class: in its native state. Take care on the potentially ankle-turning creek cobbles.

Boowinda is an indigenous word meaning 'thunder', and its worth remembering that fact as you explore its sinuous, smoothly eroded walls. The sandstone here has been carved into amazing shapes by some extreme flows of water. Therefore if you hear thunder when in Boowinda Gorge, it's time to leave as it is prone to flash flooding.

Cathedral Cave.

Distance (one way): 2m.
Track Class: 2. Easy. Tiered boardwalk with some stairs.
Access: After crossing 20.
Average Walking Time: Bugger all.

Cathedral cave lies just after crossing 20 and the turn-off is only metres from the boardwalked site. Ample seating is provided along the multi-level boardwalk with interpretive signs pointing out key motifs. There are some motifs shared with the Art Gallery, such as the net patterns, but plenty unique to Cathedral Cave.

Based on archaeological evidence, Cathedral Cave was the main campsite for indigenous people using the Gorge whereas the Art Gallery appears to have been primarily ceremonial in nature. certainly Cathedral Cave's massive overhang provides more shelter in adverse weather than the comparatively shallow overhang at the Art Gallery.


Carnarvon Gorge Visitor Information Centre. 4043 O'Briens Rd, Carnarvon Gorge, Via Rolleston. QLD, 4702.
Phone: +61 (0)408 741 292
© 2000-2013 Australian Nature Guides