Carnarvon National Park - Mt Moffat - Rotary Shelter July 19 - 21 2023
  Its labeled "4wd only". Starts off fairly benign.
  Then becomes steeper, and stonier.

But nice and "square", so no awkward bits.

Its more than a track, its a well made road.

  There's the Rotary Shelter campsite. And there's the Top Shelter picnic area.

This is the latter.

Looking approximately west ... which was a bit of a surprise as the road is predominatly west - east.

  The road (or is it a track) is relatively level after the top shelter. Mild undulations.

But still a bit slow for us.

  A glimpse of hills through the trees as we drive.
  Constantly changing forest. And then "Mahogany Forest".

Not mahogany of course (this is Australia after all). But tall, straight, big, trees.

  The Great Walk crosses the road ..... this leads to Consuelo Campsite, to the east, the other side to West Branch Campsite, to the south west.
  We drive to the end of the road. At least as far as the park will allow.

We walk along the 4wd track south, beyond the gate.

Admiring giant cycads as we go.

  There's a fruit, which contains lots of these seeds, neatly packed.
  They really are big.

Reminds me of giant lobelias on the sides of Kilimanjaro as the walk reaches higher altitudes.

  We walked about a km down the track.

Realising it continued down, to follow a valley, we returned to the truck.

Had we carried on walking we would have reached Gadd's Camp, on the Great Walk.

The walk is along the 4wd track for a few km north of the camp.

We found a high point just past the turnaround at the end of the track where we parked.

Looking south (I think).

  We nearly blinked and missed the pair of emus that had occupied our little hillock.

Much more interesting than the slight depression that is the source of Carnarvon Creek, which deepens as it runs south eastwards, eventually flowing through the gorge.

Hard to picture through the trees, the other side is beyond the emu.

  The camera misbehaved a bit, as is its wont. Time for a new one?

The emus obliged by meandering slowly through the grass, as if in protest at being disturbed

The camera eventually obliged by responding to repeated, desperate, shutter pressing.

I have no idea why it was so important to take a pic. I think a reminder, a supplement to our memories. Which is really what this whole blog is.

  Back to the Great Walk. We decide "West Branch" today.

Through the mahogany forest.

We meet the bushwalkers we saw last night at West Branch Campsite.

One of those delightful conversations that included "here we are on our great outdoor remote adventure and we meet you two strolling along". They were concerned they had made too much noise last night, so we dutifully apologised for the noise of our diesel heater ..... without laying the conveniences of our truck on too thick .... though we couldn't resist including "hot showers".

All in good humour.

  And another cycad in fruit.

We turned back after a km or so, rather than follow the track downhill. If we walked far enough (about 5km) we would reach where I walked to from West Branch a couple of days ago.

  An unscheduled roadside stop on the drive back to Rotary Shelter camp. Just for pics.

Looking a bit east of south, the pimple in the middle is Mt Moffatt. The namesake of the park.

  A bit further round, south. Zoomed in a tad.

West Branch Camp somewhere towards the right.

  And Mt Moffatt zoomed in a lot.
  The view from the campsite, with the rear window about 3m from a 50m drop, and a couple of large stones behind the rear wheels, despite the ground being level, was similar to the last three pics.

But just along from the truck the yellow wattle (we think) stood out.

  The campsite is on a ridge. Room for three campers.

Another of those "are we a tent or a camper trailer?" days.

  This from behind the truck as the sun lowered in the sky.

Mt Moffatt hidden behind the errant branch on the left.

  And through the rear window next morning. While still in bed.

The morning ritual usually begins with "turn the heater on and wait for truck to warm".

  Back to the Great Walk. Follow the track east, towards Consuelo.

We recall about 6.9km from where the Great Walk meets the 4wd track.

Through the mahogany forest.

  And another bout of "how to take a pic of pleasant".
  With occasional wild flowers. These attached to a vine.
  "Should we just ignore the people and they'll go away?".

We are unsure whether the whitish stripe on their cheeks is a trick of the light - we opt for real. One day we'll find the easy "how to tell a kangaroo from a wallaby" book.

Or a walleroo, or a euro, or a .......

  The innards of a cycad seed.
  It was one of the segments from a fruit.

We turned back after 4km. The track following a ridge to avoid the heads of a couple of creeks.

  Back at camp we finally begin to see birds. They have so far in Mt Moffatt been elusive. We hear them, but don't see them.

First was a Jacky Winter. Which we recognised after seeing one in Robinson Gorge.

  A tree creeper of some sort. Fascinating watching it on the rough bark. It moved just as fast up, down, and round. Stopping to pick bugs out.

We thought perhaps simply a brown tree creeper. But with deep yellow legs and an upward turned beak perhaps a varied sitella.

  Within 20m of the truck a white eared honey eater.

Apart from the white ear, greenish back, plus grey top of its head and dark under chin, are distinctive.

As well as its shape and behaviour. Visiting flowers, seeking nectar. Very different to tree creeping or fly catching.

  And another of those "even with the bird book we couldn't tell" birds.

The pink near its beak is "real". Caught in another pic as it flew off.

It didn't stay long enough for any other observations .....

Somewhere in the park are 175 different species represented.

  Next day, we knew about the gated 4wd track that leaves our road in the mahogany forest, a couple of hundred meters before the Great Walk headed towards Consuelo. Heading south east.

It crossed the Great Walk after about 700m. We thought we'd see where it went.

The kangaroos were no help, they just stared at us.

  The track is as well made as the road track we've traveled from the campsite. A road we are getting used to - over three days that's three times in each direction.
  Ali stopped at about 4 1/2 km. Resting while I looked a bit further.

Looking at the map, and gps traces, we were within 75m of where we stopped yesterday on the Great Walk track. When I stopped today I was within 700m of Consuela campsite after walking 6km. It was 6km back to our campsite.

Looks like the Great Walk has been established between camp sites (with water and roads) that existed when the park was a cattle station.

We have no idea what this fluffy thing is.

Nothing to do with the dingo we saw not too long after - the cameraman was late again ...

  More cycad in fruit.

The central stem was withered. It looks like the fruit releases seeds progressively.

Not for eating without lots of specialist preparation.

  We stopped at the picnic area on the way back.

Looking north west(ish) again. The bigger pimple, right of centre, may be Mt Letheridge, or The Steeple. The Dividing Range.

  Every time we drove through this cutting we almost remembered to take a pic.

Just an indication of the effort that went into building the 4wd only road we've traveled.

Tomorrow, after three nights at the Shelter Shed, we will move to Top Moffatt.

Carnarvon National Park - Mt Moffat - Top Moffatt July 22 - 25 2023

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