CANIA GORGE- REUNION, WALKS & WILDERNESS
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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JOURNEY: Gin Gin to Cania Gorge 208 kms
WEATHER: Cold nights down to 0; warm sunny days
The night at Gin Gin Rest Area was not really restful as the huge road trains, trucks and cars rattled along the Bruce Highway with only a period early morning where there seemed to be a little respite or were we by this time exhausted and no longer noticed them?
We were happy to see that all but two of the vehicles parked overnight had moved on, according to the “Queensland Roads” rules for rest areas. If everyone abides by the rules then the facilities will remain!
From Gin Gin it was about 50kms to Mount Perry a tiny town with a mining history and some interesting old buildings. Here we made breakfast and took a walk along the main street on this gorgeous cool and sunny morning.
One of our road maps indicated that we would have to travel on a gravel road to reach the Burnett Highway but Tom-Tom our GPS had found a longer route on bitumen, and for that we were happy because the sealed road we had been travelling was in very bad condition and we guessed that the gravel road would be corrugated and rough. So all smiles, we drove on through wide open country, which seemed to mostly support big mobs of cattle- there were no towns or mobile coverage.
With no need to stop in Monto, we took the Cania Dam Road to our destination, Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat, where we are meeting up with friends made on the road two years ago, Robyn and Graham.
The Retreat borders the Cania Gorge National park which has tall sandstone cliffs, cool gorges, caves and is forested by “dry rainforest”. At this time of the year the park although dry- most of the creeks are without water- has temperatures that make for comfortable walking on the many trails.
Not requiring power we found a spacious grassy area set aside for campers, beside a wooden table and designated camp fire place and as usual most of the caravans were squeezed together around the power outlets. It was time for coffee and food and with our camping kitchen in place it was full speed ahead.
It was just wonderful to sit in the sun and soak in the warmth; of course overnight temperatures fall to around 3 and less, but by noon it is sunny and around mid twenties.
The Retreat burns a communal camp fire each evening so everyone gets to warm up there but Robyn and Graham have a nicely heated motor home that fits two visitors so our two evenings together, after we shared a BBQ dinner in the camp kitchen we got cosy in their van for some good laughs and conversation there.
We originally met in Clare SA when we parked next to each other in the camp ground. and as often happens we kept meeting up along the way until we went on to Darwin and they went east back to Queensland. We have kept in touch since; they took a round the world trip just before we did and are planning their next one so we had a lot of notes to compare. They were doing a Queensland road trip so we all met up here in Cania Gorge which was great.
Wonderful to catch up and thanks for all the motor home renovation tips, Robyn and Graham!
Originally we planned to stay only three nights but felt so comfortable here that we extended our stay until Sunday morning.
Most of the walks were short, the longest we tackled was the Fern Tree PoolCircuit which was 6km from the camp and the Two Storey Cave Circuit was especially scenic with huge caves and walls and areas of elkhorn and flowering orchids.
The trails from the picnic area, 1km from our camp took us through more lush vegetation although the Three Moon Creek was pretty dry in parts. Most days we hiked about 8kms to keep up the exercise aspect! The picnic area is beautifully maintained and the Creek actually had water at this spot.
The Retreat is a lovely camp ground with excellent facilities, very neatly maintained; the managers are friendly and competent. Most evenings bush poets would keep the crowds enthralled with their comic verses and the camp kitchen was a friendly meeting place with a great BBQ plate.
The bird life is mostly currawongs, magpies, lorikeets as well as the dusty apostle birds and some busy babblers ; didn't see any kangaroos, but came across some shiny gold skinks scurrying through the grasses.
There is no phone or internet coverage but you can access the Retreat's satellite internet for $3 for half an hour which we did to attend to some urgent business. And you know what? It's not a bad thing to have some wifi free time just like an alcohol free day, heh?
So it was reading time again- Sheila with Shantaram and Kath with a Baldacci thriller from the camp office.
We spent 5 happy days here at Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat and we can recommend it as a destination. $28 pn with power and $23 pn without.
A short visit to Cania Dam 15 kms from the Retreat on the morning of our departure was interesting in that there once was a gold mining town beneath the water, with schools, hotels, shops etc and then when the gold was gone so was the population and now it's Cania Lake!
Boom and bust and life goes on!!