Queensland Camping

Complete Guide to the Carnarvon Gorge Walks

The Carnarvon National Park is a stunning part of central Queensland.  Of course, the Carnarvon Gorge is the star attraction here with its spectacular steep sided sandstone gorge and the Carnarvon Creek, which winds and twists its way through the centre.  And the best part is, it is easily accessible to explore! 

Adults and children alike will love wandering through Carnarvon Gorge.  Along the way, you’ll rock hop across multiple flowing creeks, spot various native Australian wildlife, admire Aboriginal paintings and be blown away by the spectacular rock formations.  This place really is something special.

If exploring the Carnarvon Gorge is something you’ve been considering, then this is the perfect guide for you.  This guide not only takes you through all the different Carnarvon Gorge walks but also helps with practical information such as:

  • Where is Carnarvon Gorge located?
  • How to get to Carnarvon Gorge?
  • What’s the best itinerary for Carnarvon Gorge?
  • When the best time to visit Carnarvon Gorge is?
  • Where best to camp at Carnarvon Gorge?
  • What to pack for Carnarvon Gorge?

After reading this comprehensive guide, you’ll have all the information you need to plan a fantastic trip out to Carnarvon Gorge.

If you like to camp in Queensland, join our Queensland Camping FB group where you can talk with other campers, ask for advice and share your own camping experiences.

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Where is Carnarvon Gorge Located?

The Carnarvon Gorge is located approximately 740km north west of Brisbane and 450 km south of Rockhampton.  The Gorge is slap bang in the middle of Roma (246 km south) and Emerald (241 km north).  This makes it relatively easy to reach Carnarvon Gorge from all the surrounding coastal cities such as Brisbane, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg.

The closest town to Carnarvon Gorge is Rolleston in the north, which is 100 km away.  Injune is the nearest town in the south which is 150 km away.

How to Get to Carnarvon Gorge?

Carnarvon Gorge is in a remote location, so you will need a vehicle to reach it.  Unless your camping within the National Park, you will likely need a car to reach the walking tracks as most camping and accommodation options are a short drive away.  You could walk there – but you may like to save your energy for the tracks themselves.

The roads into Carnarvon are all sealed, except for the last 500 metres into the gorge – but it’s still accessible by all vehicles.  As you turn off the Carnarvon Highway, some of the road in does reduce down to just a single lane, but there is still plenty of room to pull over to let other cars pass.

There are multiple creek crossings on the way in, and the water does rise quickly during periods of heavy rain, so be sure to check road conditions before heading in and do not cross any flooded roads under any circumstances.

Below are further details on how to get to Carnarvon Gorge from nearby cities.  If you are coming from further afield, you can fly from Brisbane to Roma or Emerald with Qantaslink.  Another option is to fly into Rockhampton.  From any of these towns, you can hire a car from the airport.  

Alternatively, most people visit Carnarvon Gorge as part of a larger road trip.

Brisbane to Carnarvon Gorge

The Brisbane to Carnarvon Gorge road trip takes just over 8 hours.

First, depending on where you are leaving from in Brisbane, you’ll need to make your way to the Warrego Highway (A2), which commences near Ipswich.

Once you reach the Warrego Highway (A2), it’s straight through until you hit Roma – some 5.5 hours after you leave Brisbane.  Some people choose to break up their trip and stay the night in Roma.  For others, provided you’ve left early enough,  it is very much doable to keep on driving straight through to Carnarvon Gorge.

Keep reading the Roma to Carnarvon Gorge details below.

Roma to Carnarvon Gorge

The drive from Roma to Carnarvon Gorge is approximately 3 hours.  

From Roma, you’ll turn off the Warrego Highway (A2) onto the Carnarvon Highway.  

There is only one town between Roma and Carnarvon which is Injune.  Injune is approximately 90 km from Roma and is a great place to stop and fill up on fuel or other supplies.

From Injune to Carnarvon Gorge, you’ll continue north on the Carnarvon Highway for another 110 km or so and then turn left onto Wyseby Road.  From the turnoff, it’s another 40 km or so until you reach Carnarvon National Park.

As you get closer to the gorge, there is no internet service, but there is no need to panic as there are plenty of signs directing you to the gorge.

Rockhampton to Carnarvon Gorge

The trip from Rockhampton to Carnarvon Gorge takes approximately 4.5 hours.

There are two routes to choose from when leaving Rockhampton.  You can either come via Duaringa, which involves a small section of dirt road, or the slightly longer route, but all sealed road, via Duluu.

Via Duaringa

From Rockhampton, head west on the Capricorn Highway (A4) for around 110 km until you reach Duaringa.  Just past Duaringa, at Wallaroo, turn left onto the Fitzroy Development Road.

Continue driving along the Fitzroy Development Road for around 70km and then around the Woorabinda turn off, you’ll find a short dirt road section.  

Continue until you reach Bauhinia and turn right onto the Dawson Highway.  From the turnoff, it is approximately another 76 km until you reach the town of Rolleston.

From Rolleston to Carnarvon Gorge, you’ll turn left on the Carnarvon Highway and drive for another 60 km or so and then turn left onto Wyseby Road.  From the turnoff, it’s another 40 km or so until you reach Carnarvon National Park.

Via Dululu

From Rockhampton, head south on the Bruce Highway (A1) until just outside of town, where you will turn right onto the Burnett Highway (A3).   

After around 70 km on the Burnett Highway (A3), it will turn left at Dululu – however, continue straight where the highway changes to Leichhardt Highway (A5).

Continue along the Leichhardt Highway (A5) for around 37 km and turn right onto Baralaba Rannes Road.  You’ll continue on this road for around 68 km until you reach Fitzroy Development Road.

Turn left onto the Fitzroy Development Road and continue driving along the Fitzroy Development Road for around 53 km and then turn right onto the Dawson Highway (60).  

From the turnoff, it is approximately another 76 km until you reach the town of Rolleston.

From Rolleston to Carnarvon Gorge, you’ll turn left on the Carnarvon Highway and drive for another 60 km or so and then turn left onto Wyseby Road.  From the turnoff, it’s another 40 km or so until you reach Carnarvon National Park.

Gladstone to Carnarvon Gorge

The trip from Gladstone to Carnarvon Gorge is approximately 440 km and takes around 5 hours.

From the centre of Gladstone, you’ll take the Hanson Road and turn left onto Red Rover Road.  Red Rover Road then turns into Don Young Drive, which you will continue on until you hit the Dawson Highway (60).

Turn right onto the Dawson Highway (60).  Continue on Dawson Highway (60) for 330 km – past Biloela and Bauhinia, all the way until you hit Rolleston.

From Rolleston to Carnarvon Gorge, you’ll turn left on the Carnarvon Highway and drive for another 60 km or so and then turn left onto Wyseby Road.  From the turnoff, it’s another 40 km or so until you reach Carnarvon National Park.

Emerald to Carnarvon Gorge

The trip from Emerald to Carnarvon Gorge is approximately 241 km and takes around 2.75 hours to drive.

From Emerald, take the Gregory Highway south for 68 km until you reach the town of Springsure.  The Gregory Highway then turns into the Dawson Highway (60).  Continue on Dawson Highway (60) for 70 km until you hit Rolleston.

From Rolleston to Carnarvon Gorge, you’ll turn left on the Carnarvon Highway and drive for another 60 km or so and then turn left onto Wyseby Road.  From the turnoff, it’s another 40 km or so until you reach Carnarvon National Park.

Best Time to Visit Carnarvon Gorge

Most locals say the best time to visit Carnarvon Gorge is between April and September as this is when the weather is cooler and generally, there is less rainfall.  These conditions are perfect for long days of hiking.

While the winter months (June to August) are great for hiking, the nights tend to get cool.  However, this is the perfect weather for snuggling around the campfire.  Just be sure if visiting in winter to bring plenty of warm clothes for the night.  Also, remember that daylight hours are much shorter during the winter months, so ensure you start your hikes early so you can return before sunset.

The busiest time to visit the gorge tends to be in April, particularly during the Easter break and school holidays.  The gorge is just beautiful at this time as it is lush and green, with creeks flowing after the wet season.  However, do expect plenty of people on the tracks during this time.  So if you can, visit outside of school holidays around this time and make sure you book your accommodation well in advance.

If visiting during the warmer months (October to March), expect hot and humid days.  Rainfall is also much more likely during summer and there is a higher chance of flooding.  While the National Park is open during this part of the year, many local accommodation providers are closed.  So do check in advance before making your way out to the gorge.

Complete Guide to the Carnarvon Gorge Walks

Ok, so now you know how to get to Carnarvon Gorge and you’ve worked out the best time to go – let’s cover all the wonderful things to do at Carnarvon Gorge.  While Carnarvon Gorge is the perfect setting for a relaxing break, the main reason people come here is, of course, for all the wonderful Carnarvon Gorge walk options.

It can be a little bit daunting when first trying to understand all the different Carnarvon Gorge hikes and how best to tackle them all during your trip.  So below, I’m going to break it all down for you, so you know exactly which Carnarvon Gorge hiking tracks are suitable for you.

The main thing to know is that there is one HUGE walking track through the gorge, which has various smaller ones coming off it.  In addition, there are a few other smaller tracks that are NOT linked to the main walking track.

So below, I’m going to take you through first the main walking track and all the smaller tracks that come off it, followed by the various separate tracks.

I also recommend you check out the official Carnarvon Gorge walks map here.

Main Gorge Walking Track – Carnarvon Gorge

The main gorge walking track commences at the Carnarvon Visitor Centre and finishes at the Big Bend.  The entire track is 9.7 km in length – which is one way.  So it is a 19.4 km return trip.  

The track itself is just stunning.  As you twist your way through the gorge, you’ll rock hop over many tranquil creeks, admire the spectacular steep sides of the white sandstone cliffs and be bewildered over the various rock formations.

While the main gorge walking track is long, the great news is it’s mostly flat, so you don’t need to be overly fit to do it.  But this full Carnarvon Gorge hike is long.  You will need to allow between 6 to 8 hours, depending on your walking pace, to complete this trip without doing any of the side tracks.

We had friends with a child aged 12 complete the track to Big Bend in 8 hours, including a few sidetracks.  On the other hand, we met some extremely young and fit blokes who had completed the track as well as ALL the side tracks and had done it in 6 hours.  So be sure to be realistic about what you think you can achieve.

Below I’ll now go into the various sidetracks that come off the main gorge walking track.

Go to the itinerary section to see our suggestions on how best to tackle the main gorge walking track and the various sidetracks.

Nature Trail – Carnarvon Gorge

The very first sidetrack of the main gorge walking track is the Nature Trail.  Many consider this a separate walk to the main walking track, but you need to start the main track to access the Nature Trail.

As you rock hop over the first creek crossing of the main gorge walk, take the first right to start the Nature Trail.  The track follows the Carnarvon Creek downstream with multiple creek crossings.  When we did this walk, we saw various kangaroos.

It is a very easy walk, making it one of the perfect Carnarvon Gorge things to do for families with little ones or those just after a short walk.  The return walk is around 1.5 km and takes no more than 45 minutes to one hour.

Boolimba Bluff – Carnarvon Gorge

As you walk along the main gorge walking track, the second walk you will come across is the Boolimba Bluff on the right hand side.  This is said to be the hardest of all Carnarvon Gorge walking tracks and after doing it myself, I would have to agree.  Although I’ve certainly done harder walks, so don’t rule it out.

The walk is only 1 km into the main gorge walking track and the walk to the top of the Boolimba Bluff itself is 2.2 km.  So the entire return walk is 6.4 km.

As you turn off the main track, you have a slight but steady incline up the side of the gorge.  You then have a section that is basically 300 metres straight up.  This 300 metres feels like a lifetime though!  The section includes multiple steep steps as well as a series of ladders.

Once you complete the steep 300 metres section, you then have a flat section on the top of the gorge that you walk across until you reach the lookout.  Once you’re here, you’ll realise all that hard work was well worth it as the views across the gorge are spectacular.

Of course, what goes up must come down and the descent is pretty hardcore too!  I highly recommend trekking poles to help with your balance.

We did the Boolimba Bluff with a few young children aged between 10 and 12 and they all did great – although they did find it challenging.  The adults too, found this a challenging yet doable walk – just take your time and I think people of most fitness levels can do it just fine.

I’d also recommend doing it early or late in the day when the weather is a bit cooler.  We did it late in the day and it was still incredibly hot, so I can only imagine how hard this walk would be during the day.

We had heard people say they did it in around 1.5 hours, but it took us just under 2.5 hours.  So allow plenty of time for yourself to ensure you get back to the visitor centre before sunset.  While some people say the bluff is great for sunrise or sunset, I personally wouldn’t want to be doing that climb in the dark.

Moss Garden – Carnarvon Gorge

Around 3.5 km into the main gorge walking track, the Moss Garden is the next sidetrack, which you will find on the left hand side.  This is also where you will find one of the two toilets which are on the track.

The Moss Garden is just stunning, with a small waterfall where the water tumbles over the ledge into a small pool below.  Plus, due to the water constantly dripping, the side of the gorge is covered with a thick, lush carpet of moss—a scene straight out of a fairy tale with elves and fairies.

It’s just 650 metres from the main track to the Moss Garden – so a return walk of 1.3 km.  The hike starts with a creek crossing then a reasonably steep but short hike.  

The Amphitheatre – Carnarvon Gorge

Around 4.3 km into the main gorge walking track, you will come across the spectacular Amphitheatre.  

You will need to climb a ladder and then walk through a 60 metre deep chamber inside the gorge’s walls before emerging in the remarkable Amphitheatre.  This is where the various sides of the towering gorge join in a circular shape and feature a natural skylight creating a dramatic yet peaceful oasis.

It’s just 600 metres from the main track to the Amphitheatre, so a return walk of 1.2km. Again this hike requires you to rock hop over the creek and take a reasonably steep yet short hike – this is a 60m deep chamber inside the gorge’s walls.

Wards Canyon – Carnarvon Gorge

A little further up the main gorge walking track from the Amphitheatre, you will find Ward’s Canyon, around 4.5 km from the Carnarvon Visitors Centre.

Wards Canyon is absolutely gorgeous and one of my favourite places in Carnarvon Gorge.  As you enter the canyon, you pass a small waterfall and then follow a small reddish creek as it twists and turns throughout the canyon leading you to the world’s largest ferns.  These impressive ferns have strong links with the ancient flora of Gondwanan origin. 

It’s just 520 metres one way to Wards Canyon off the main track.  Although it does require you to hike up a rather steep incline – but once you reach the top, it is all flat into the canyon and well worth the effort.

The Art Gallery – Carnarvon Gorge

Around 5 km from the start of the main track, you will find the spectacular Art Gallery, home to over 2000 engravings, stencils and paintings done by the local indigenous people.  The Carnarvon Gorge rock art stretches for some 60 metres on the side of huge sandstone rocks and is considered some of the best examples of aboriginal stencil art in Australia.

It’s just 600 metres return to see the Art Gallery from the main track, so it’s a fairly short walk. 

Cathedral Cave – Carnarvon Gorge

The Cathedral Cave is yet another place to see impressive aboriginal art.  The massive rock which the wind over thousands of years has eroded, overhangs and once provided great shelter for the aboriginal people.

Cathedral Cave is around 9 km from the start of the main track and is located just 15 metres off the main track – so pretty much right there.

Boowdina Gorge – Carnarvon Gorge

Just past Cathedral Cave, some 9.2 km from the visitor centre, is the start of the Boowdina Gorge.  You can walk quite some distance up the gorge, but many say the best section is the first km which has spectacular moss covered sculpted walls.

Big Bend – Carnarvon Gorge

The official end to the main gorge walking track is at Big Bend.  Big Bend is 9.7 km from the visitor centre and so is a massive 19.4 km return walk.

For those few that make it to Big Bend, you’re rewarded with a natural pool below the gigantic sandstone walls.

Big Bend also has toilets and you can even camp the night if you’re keen – but you must hike in and out all your own gear.

Rock Pools  – Carnarvon Gorge

While there are many creeks and rock pools throughout Carnarvon, the only place you can swim is at the Rock Pools.  This is also the shortest of all the Carnarvon gorge hiking tracks.

For a super short walk, drive to the Rocks Pools’ car park (this is not at the Visitor Centre).  From the car park, it is a short 400 metre return walk to the Rock Pools.  

There is quite a wide creek to cross here and when we were there, it was flowing quite high and did result in a few of us falling into the water.  The water isn’t deep though – and it probably is much safer to walk through the water than attempt to rock hop over the slippery rocks.

Apparently, there are two rock pools – I didn’t know this when I went and so only saw the first rock pool (as pictured above), which I wouldn’t recommend swimming in – although people were.

There is a sign saying the end of the form track ends, but apparently, if you keep walking past this sign, you will find a much more beautiful rock pool – such a bummer we didn’t realise this.

You can actually walk to the Rock Pools from the Visitor Centre as well.  The return walk is 3.6 km, so allow around 1.5 hours for this walk.  This walk joins on to the end of the Nature Trail, so they are two good walks to combine, which is what we did.

Mickey Creek – Carnarvon Gorge

In my view, one of the Carnarvon Gorge best walks is Mickey Creek – do not miss this walk!

This walk does not start at the Visitor Centre, rather a few kilometres back.  You’ll see the car park on your way; you can’t miss it.

The walk is fairly flat and easy until you reach a fork in the pathway.  One way is the Warrumbah Creek gorge walk and the other is the Mickey Creek gorge walk.  Make sure you do both, as they both offer something different.

Most people in our group said the Warrumbah Creek gorge was the best track out of all the Carnarvon Gorge walking trails.  The gorge is stunning, but it does require lots of climbing over rocks and across creeks.  It probably is the most challenging out of all the walks in this regard.

As you get deeper and deeper into the gorge, it’s super narrow and depending on recent rainfall; the various water crossings may get too deep to cross.  So walk as far as you feel comfortable, then turn back.

Mickey Creek Gorge is much wider than Warrumbah Creek gorge.  You basically climb over the rocks as you make your way up the creek.  You can walk much further than Warrumbah Creek gorge, depending on the conditions.  So again, just walk as far as you feel comfortable and then turn back.

The formed track is 1.5 km from the car park – but given it’s recommended you walk much further to see inside both of the gorges, I’d say the walk is more like 2.5 km one way.  You will notice a sign that says the formed track ends here – but you can keep on walking – it is highly recommended you do.

I’d say it took us around 2 hours to do this walk, but it will take much less if you don’t venture too far into the gorges.

Recommended Itinerary for the Carnarvon National Park

So above, I’ve covered all the different walks you can do out at Carnarvon Gorge, so the next question most people have is how to plan their itinerary to cover all the different walks.

Obviously, how you plan your itinerary is going to be quite different for everyone.  It will depend on your fitness level, how long you have in Carnarvon and how much downtime you want to have between each of the hikes.

If you want to complete all the walks in Carnarvon Gorge,  you will need a minimum of 4 nights – less if you’re super fast and fit.  But for most people with average fitness, 4 nights is perfect.  If you want to take it slow and build in more rest time between hikes, you will need additional nights.

Also, I will say we are not overly fit people and had children in our group (aged 10 to 12).  So I think if we can do the below itinerary pretty much, anyone can.

Day 1 – Nature Trail and Rock Pools

If you can, I recommend trying to arrive by mid afternoon and after you set up camp, get straight into your first walk.  We started with the Nature Trail and Rock Pools walk, which can easily be combined.  Drive to the Visitor Centre and start the Nature Trail first.  At the end of the Nature Trail, you will see a sign that takes you down to the Rock Pools.

If you don’t want to walk down to the Rock Pools, you could finish the Nature Trail and then drive down to the Rock Pools car park.

If you have more than 4 nights, you can skip this walk and relax for the rest of the day.

Day 2 – Full Day Hike to Big Bend

On your second day, get up early as you can and get ready for a full day of hiking.  I recommend you plan to do as much as you can of the main gorge walking track and the various sidetracks.  Make this your biggest hiking day – whatever that might look like for you.

We had planned on walking all the way to Big Bend, but after reaching about halfway, we realised that our group’s pace was just too slow to do it in one day.  Some of the kids were simply too slow to make it back before sunset.  So our group split in two at this point with one group continuing on to Big Bend and the other group going back to camp, doing the sidetracks as they went.

If your pace is going well, I’d recommend you walk the entire way to Big Bend.  Have lunch here and then make your way back, stopping at the various sidetracks as you go.  At the very least, make sure to do the Boowinda Gorge, Cathedral Cave and the Art Gallery hikes.  

Allow at least 8 to 9 hours for this day.

Day 3 – Mickey Creek and Boolimba Bluff

If you’re like us, you’ll wake up a bit saw on day 3 after yesterday’s big hike.  So sleep in and have a lazy morning.

After a decent rest, head out to do the Mickey Creek walk.  Either bring your lunch with you to have after the walk or head back to camp for lunch.

After lunch and maybe a bit more of a rest, it’s time to take on the challenging Boolimba Bluff.  I’d leave this as late as you can in the day, ensuring to give yourself enough time to get back before sunset.  This will ensure you’re walking in the coolest part of the day.

Day 4 – Full Day Hike to Ward’s Canyon

No doubt this morning your body is hurting after climbing to the top of Boolimba Bluff – but the best thing is to keep moving.  Today, you’re going to finish off the final hikes.

Drive out to the Visitor Centre and hike all the way to Ward’s Canyon.  From here, walk back, completing the various sidetracks as you go.

You’ll need around 5 to 6 hours to complete this walk.

Day 5 – Head Home

Today it’s time to head home.  

Where to Stay – Carnarvon Gorge Camping

Carnarvon Gorge sounds absolutely brilliant, doesn’t it?  So now you know you want to go, it’s time to book a campsite.  I recommend you book as early as you can because there are only a few camping spots out here and they book out well in advance.

Below is a brief overview of the different Carnarvon Gorge camping options.  Alternatively, read our detailed guide on where to camp in Carnarvon Gorge here.

Carnarvon Gorge Camping Area

If you don’t need fancy amenities, then the cheapest place to camp at Carnarvon Gorge is right outside the main track at the Queensland Parks camping area.  Although this camping ground is only open during certain types of the year, being school holidays during Easter, June/July and September/ October.  So for other times of the year, you’ll need to book elsewhere.

This is such a lovely campground, beautiful and green with lots of grassy and shady campsites.  Amenities on site include free electric BBQs, picnic tables and non flushing toilets.  There are no showers here.

Campsites are suitable for tents or off road campervans and camper trailers.  This campsite is not suitable for caravans or large motorhomes.

Campsites are $6.75 per person per night or $27 for a family (includes 2 adults and up to 6 children)

Click here to book.

Big Bend Camping Area

For the super keen campers and hikers, you can camp at Big Bend, which is at the end of the main gorge walking track.  Just beware that you will need to hike all your gear in which is 9.7 km from the car park.  But if you’re keen to do this, it is a great way to explore the gorge.

Amenities on site include picnic tables and non flushing toilets.  There are no showers or BBQs here.

Campsites are $6.75 per person per night or $27 for a family (includes 2 adults and up to 6 children)

Click here to book.

Big4 Breeze Holiday Parks (Previously Takarakka Bush Resort & Caravan Park)

Takarakka Bush Retreat

The Big4 Carnarvon Gorge is just 4 km from the Visitor Centre, where the main walking track is located. Sprawled across 100 acres of bushland and surrounded by the Carnarvon Creek, the Big4 is a picturesque property that offers a range of affordable camping and other accommodation options.

This campground offers a range of powered and unpowered camping sites as well as self contained cabins.   There are loads of amenities here including numerous toilet and shower blocks, multiple camp kitchens, communal fire pits, a laundry, dump point and a general store.  They also put on a roast dinner a few times a week and have a daily bush bar from 4 to 5 pm.

Powered sites start at $45 per night and unpowered sites start at $35 per night.  These rates are for two adults, with additional adults $15 per night or additional children $5 per night.

Read our full review about the Big4 Carnarvon Gorge here.

Sandstone Park Carnarvon Gorge

Sandstone Park, Carnarvon Gorge, is just 5 km from the Visitor Centre, where the main walking track is located. It is a stunning campground, with every site offering 360° views of the surrounding ranges.

This campground is for self sufficient campers only as there are limited facilities provided.  All campsites are spacious, are drive through flat sites and unpowered.  You are welcome to have a fire pit at your campsite, and there are toilets, drinking water and a dump point on site.

Sandstone Park is the only pet friendly campgrounds in Carnavon.  Given that Carnarvon Gorge is a National Park, you cannot bring dogs on the hikes; however Sandstone Park have this sorted by having kennels for hire, so you’ll have somewhere safe and secure to leave your dog.  Kennels are $10 for half a day and $20 for a full day – but it is recommended you book well in advance.

Campsites are $30 per night for two people with extra adults $12 per night and extra children $7 per night.  Children under 5 are free.

Click here to book.

What to Pack for Carnarvon Gorge

In addition to all your standard camping gear, I thought I’d make a few suggestions on what you should bring to Carnarvon Gorge to make your trip more enjoyable.

Trekking Poles: If you plan on doing the hikes, I highly recommend everyone (including children) have at least one trekking pole each.  These help with your balance while crossing creeks as well as while descending steep tracks.  You don’t need anything overly expensive.  Andy has expensive ones from Kathmandu, but I share a cheap “TheFitLife” set with my daughter that I bought off Amazon and they are fine.  Click here to check them out.

Good walking shoes:  You will definitely need a good pair of walking shoes for doing all the Carnarvon Gorge.  My daughter and I did it in our joggers, which was fine, but I’d probably prefer to do the hikes in a pair of waterproof hiking shoes or waterproof hiking sandals with toe protection (like these Keen sandals).  Your shoes will almost 100% get wet while crossing the creeks and you want to give your feet plenty of support for long day hikes.  Andy wore Oboz Sawtooth hiking boots and absolutely loved them.  I had planned on wearing my Keens, but after 10 years, they decided to come apart on me on the last hike I did.

Water Bladders:  You need to ensure you have heaps of water with you while on the hikes.  We had 2 litres per person and found this to be adequate.  While drink bottles are fine, I’d highly recommend everyone has a water bladder.  With water bladders, there is no need to stop to get bottles out of packs; you can drink water as you walk along.  We just got ours off Amazon and we’re happy with them.

Good Day Pack: Of course you’ll need somewhere to carry your water, plus your snacks etc.  If you’re going with water bladders, everyone in the family will need one, although in the past, for shorter walks, we’ve just shared our water bladder with our daughter.  For those carrying most of the food, you’ll want to have a good supportive backpack with chest and waist straps.  I’d also recommend adding a few carabiners for carrying your trekking poles and water bottles if you don’t carry bladders.

Insect Repellent:  I didn’t find the mozzies too bad in Carnarvon and Andy and my daughter did not wear any repellent – but I’m someone who gets bitten a lot, so I wore Para’Kitto wristbands.  I wore one on each wrist because I’m that person that attracts mozzies from anywhere!  And I’m pleased to say I didn’t get bitten while on the tracks – so either they worked – or there weren’t any mozzies in the first place.  By the way, I also use a Thermacell for our campsite, which is absolutely brilliant!

First Aid Kit: I’d also recommend you take a first aid kit with you, just like an insurance policy that you hope you never have to use.  To be honest, we mainly took one just in case anyone got blisters etc, but lucky for us, no one did, so we never used our kit.  Anyway, we just bought a cheap small hiking first aid kit from Amazon and added a few blister plasters, just in case.

Also, you’ll want a good hat with a wide brim, sunscreen and lots of snacks!  And of course, take all your rubbish with you.


Hopefully you found this guide to Carnavon Gorge helpful.  It really is a stunning area and the trip out here is well worth it.  Find other places to stay in the Capricorn region here or Outback Queensland here.  

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