Carnarvon National Park - The Gorge July 9 2023
  First cross the creek.

Carnarvon Creek, that flows into the Comet River.

  The gorge is quite wide. But the cliffs are tall.
  At times dark, thick vegetation. It slowly dawns on us that vegetation on each side of the creek is different. Different light perhaps.
  We no longer rise before dawn to begin walking. The sun is already high. Either the cliffs are too bright or the trees too dark.
  And never goldilocks.
  We can also no longer walk as far as we once could in a day.

In 1995, or thereabouts, we cajoled, persuaded, carried, our two daughters, and ourselves, to cathedral cave. And all the side gorges.

But now we limit ourselves to the Art Gallery and back.

It seems odd to me that it isn't labeled by its Aboriginal name. I'm sure it has one.

Stencils and carvings. I suspect the sandstone is too course for painting.

After lots of searching I could see the emu prints.

  The gallery is both a place of burial. With stencilled hand prints from those who have passed, and also a place of secret women's business.

I think a representation of a rainbow serpent.


  Which extends a long way along the gallery.
  We could now turn round and return to camp, with a few detours.

By the end of the day we will have walked about 9km.

This is the entry to Wards Canyon.

  With a small colony of King Ferns.

All the other colonies in Queensland are near the coast.

These are remnants of when the land here was much more humid.

  And tree ferns on the way out.
  On the main walking track we crossed the creek 6 times on the way in. And 6 times on the way out.

With a couple of crossings each way for side visits.

  Entry to the amphitheatre is through a narrow triangular passage.

Climb up the ladders.

The floor of the amphitheatre is a layer of Moolyaember Formation (shale and mudstone). Impermeable.

  A distinctive colour, very different to the white sandstone above it.
  A distinct demarcation line in the strata.
  The amphitheatre formed as water worked its way down intersecting cracks, eventually eroding the sandstone all the way down to the mudstone.
  I guess as rocks were swirled round and round they left marks on the walls, on top of the strata.
  The view from the top of the ladders.

I never did like looking down through checkered floors - something about heights.

  A quick stop to watch a small flock of white eyes in a wattle.

But we heard without seeing, babblers, we think, throughout the gorge.

  The rounded stepping stones across the creek became a bit of a problem. As well as some being wet, some with a bit of mud, some with sand like marbles, my balance was a bit off, my feet refusing to land where I aimed them.

I have wet feet.

Which is not too bad as that is how to approach river crossings in New Zealand. That in itself a big change from "if you get your feet wet change your socks" of cooler climes.

  Entry to the Moss Garden. A narrow side gorge.
  Another example of the join between sandstone and mudstone.

A lot more water this time. Strangely only one side of the mini gorge.

  With a bit of sun to highlight the bright greens of mosses and liverworts and ...
  The line between the rock types.

And thence back to camp.

Carnarvon National Park - Gorge - Mickey Creek July 10 2023

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