Trip Start May 08, 2008
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Takarakka Bush Retreat

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, July 24, 2009

CARNARVON GORGE NATIONAL PARK - July 20th - 24th. 2009

We just had the most fantastic time in the Gorge.  Takarakka Bush Retreat in the National Park was beautiful, peaceful and very bushy.  The sites were very big and grassy and the amenities were very new, and spick and span.  There were also fireplaces if you wanted a fire at night.  Once again, it was very cold at night, but the sky was just so clear and full of stars.  Amazing what a difference it is without any lights around.

The Rangers showed a movie one night to explain the plants, animals, geology and cultural heritage of the area, and we found this extremely interesting and it helped us decide which of the walks we would do. 

The Gorge is an oasis in the semi-arid heart of Central Queensland.  This rugged 16,000ha section of the National Park was declared a park in 1932.

Sandstone cliffs form a spectacular steep-sided gorge with narrow, vibrantly coloured and lush side gorges, and most of the walking is done on the floor of the Gorge with off-shoot gorges along the main route.

The Carnarvon Creek winds its way through the Gorge.

There is also an abundance of aboriginal rock art in the area. 

I will not try to describe how beautiful it all was.  Maybe our photos will do it justice.  I don't think I know enough adjectives to do it justice.

We had two very long walks (11.5km) and then a shorter walk (5km) and we still did not cover the whole area.  There is a lot of climbing, over rocks, cliffs, something like 11 creek crossings, and also some metal steps in some areas of the gorge, namely an area called The Amphitheatre.  Hidden inside the walls is a 60m deep chamber gouged from the rock by running water.  The acoustics are amazing and there is an awe inspiring atmosphere once inside the amphitheatre, wonderful for meditation.

It was just such a wonderful place and there was no phone or email coverage within a 100km radius of the NP.  I did, however, manage to find a coffee, scones, jam and cream at a very posh eco resort on the way into the NP area itself.  But I did only treat myself once!!!  Just too decadent!!

Oops  - I forgot to mention a highlight for us in Carnarvon Gorge

We got up very early (most unusual for us) to get down to the creek to see the platypus family which we were told lives there.  We did try the evening before, but saw nothing; and we have visited many a platypus hideout (or so the signs always said) and we have never seen one in its natural habitat yet.

However, our early morning trek paid off.  We saw the mother and a couple of smaller platypus darting around in the creek.  It was just so beautiful to see them playing around and feeding.

I must also confess that I did make an error setting the clock!!!  We crept out in the dark, but did wonder why we were the only ones standing in the freezing cold on the banks of the creek, keeping really quiet but realising it was too damn dark to see antyhing anyway!  Of course, half an hour later a couple more brave souls joined us, and that is when the little platypus family arrived.  It was just so fantastic that I was forgiven for getting us out of bed half and hour too early!

The day visitors area in the NP was also just beautiful and after our short walking day we had our lunch there among the kangaroos.  A wonderful 5 days.  We were pleased we allowed so much time, and we could have stayed much longer.

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