Carnarvon Gorge National Park - Boolimba Bluff July 8 2023
  Carnarvon Gorge is a well known tourist attraction. The national park campsite opens only during Queensland school holidays, and not at all at Christmas. There are two commercial caravan parks just outside the park boundary. A lodge. And guiding companies.

A quirk of booking national park campsites is the little drop down list of "accommodation types" which range from tent, through camper trailer, campervan, motorhome to caravan. Not all types are available for all campsites. We usually pick the most likely as we never seem to quite fit the categories.

Carnarvon only lists "tent". So we are a tent.

Its also usually booked out several months in advance. But it transpires that cancellations can occur.

The next challenge is that the sites are sized as 2, 4, or 6 people. I think. Though all shown the same size on the schematic map. I pick site 2, which is for 4. For the last two nights of school holidays.

  We are now on the west side of Arcadia Valley. As we approach the gorge we see the precipice sandstone that we have become used to.
  We also encounter traffic.
  But not too much.
  Oh no. How deep is it?
  Not very ...... !
  Remember. Caravans are wider than cars. And wider than the vehicle towing them.

Progress reduced as we slow to pass then accelerate, if accelerate is a term to be applied to our perceptible increase in speed.

  The car park is not full.

A good sign.

Cars from the two caravan parks and from further afield. Rolleston and Injune are both around 150km away, a manageable day trip.

We park in the car park temporarily, while I check that we will fit into the allotted camp site and we load up the pack with the usual paraphernalia.

  Boolimba Bluff is first on the agenda.

There's really only two choices. Up the bluff, or through the gorge.

  The track is under the bluff and up a gully round the back.
  With lots, and lots, and lots ..........
  ....... of steps.
  Carnarvon National Park is not quite the same as Precipice and Expedition.

The white cliffs of precipice sandstone are the same. As are the layers of other sandstones and shales. But overlaying it is basalt. From the Buckland Volcano.

Two eruptions of the shield volcano, 27 and 30 million years ago.

The top layer, of the sponge cake, on the right, is basalt. Some of it 300m thick.

Away from the gorge is plateau and table land. We'll see more when we visit parts of the park further west.

  The tilted ridge, to the right in this pic, and sort of centre in previous, is Clematis Ridge. Made of ...... you almost guessed ..... Clematis sandstone.

The sequence in this part of the Great Dividing Range (from top down) is

Tertiary Basalt,
Hutton Sandstone,
Westgrove Ironstone,
Boxvale Sandstone,
Evergreen formation,
Precipice formation,
Moolayember formation (remember the creek at Nuga Nuga),
Clematis formation

There will be a test later .... and not all layers are represented or visible in the pics.

There have been periods of the land sinking, covered by water, and rising, while cracking, and then covered by basalt from the volcano.

  Just behind the lookout is an interesting (to me) hill.

We were standing on sandstone at the lookout, a bit visible on left of a couple of pics ago.

The top of the hill is basalt. Easy really .... dark brown, and full of bubbles.

Something else to remember, the sandstones are permeable, particularly the very thick layer of precipice holds water. Moolayember formation is shale and mudstone, which are impermeable and stop water movement.

  Having climbed up a couple of hundred meters we now climb back down.

For the more adventurous, and prepared, there is an 86 km round trip possible, returning through the gorge.

Talking to campsite volunteer later about 4km along that track from the junction near the bluff lookout there is a bit of a panoramic view of the gorge and surroundings.

The bluff looks east, rather than into the gorge.

  Past a bit of a cave. The bright white, silica, of the precipice sandstone obvious.
  As well as steps there are ladders.

A quick safety inspection, as one does.....

The top step is bent in the middle. The welds for steps to sides are on the top side of the steps. Would have been better underneath so in compression when loaded with a person.

  an epiphyte. Attached to a rock!
  and the unmistakable pom poms of yellow banksias high above us.
  The sign at the track entrance is one of those 3D schematics that have become a bit fashionable for more popular parks.

Don't look too closely ...... the track to the bluff is hiding in the gully behind the bluff.

One has to assume that the tracks are all joined up ......

Tomorrow, hopefully, we will walk as far as the art gallery.

Carnarvon Gorge National Park - The Gorge July 9 2023

Sorry, comments closed.