Thursday 25 August 2022

Carnarvon Gorge Destinations - Part 2

Boolimba Bluff Trail

 We were all very keen to make the trek along the gorge to take the 300 metre, steep climb to Boolimba Bluff and its awe-inspiring views of distant ranges. Our friend Laurel, who is quite fit, visited last year and came home with tales of how hard and tiring the climb was. 

Boolimba Bluff - the arrow denotes our destination looking up from the visitor centre.

We were still keen, and having a full day to make the trek, we decided to just take it one step at a time. Initially, we followed the Carnavon Creek Trail for one kilometre. The Bluff Trail then wound its way below the escarpment and surprisingly, away from the lookout for another kilometre through a diverse range of landscapes.

A gentle ascent greets us on the Bluff Trail.

We had been told that there were 900 steps to get us up onto the plateau. We usually hike in a 'peloton' and as we left the main trail, I was in the lead. I made the decision to count the first 100 steps.

100 steps done, but still no sign of the steep climb to come. 

The escarpment loomed beside us for nearly a kilometre.

Once the '100 steps' photo had been taken, I went to the back of the group. We made the decision to take a photo every '100 steps' with a change of leader so we would know we were making progress. This certainly made the climb more fun!

Onwards and upwards!

Our progress.

At this point it was another kilometre of flat, grassland walking to the lookout, but first, the climb!

The warning!

Is it fear on their faces? No, we CAN do it!

The initial incline kept going on and on.

Rests were taken not just to catch our breath, but to admire the spectacular beauty of the plants, trees and cliff faces. 

The pleasant plateau walk.

Viewpoint 1

Viewpoint 2

It was a joy to sit in the winter sunshine, discovering what was in our lunch pack on this day, and savouring the vast views.

Steady steps on the descent.

Back on the main Carnarvon Creek Trail, we were exhilarated by our morning's achievement. 

The Moss Garden Trail

I think we saved the best for last. We had time on our side and were able to savour the serenity and peace of nature's perfect garden, complete with its waterfall, ferns and mosses. 

It was wonderful to retrace our steps along the main trail for about 3 kilometres to the exit to the Moss Garden Trail. On the 650 metre walk into the mouth of Violet Gorge, there were classic Carnavon views, intensified by the amazing winter sky. 

There was a creek crossing before the final climb to the Moss Garden entrance. A series of steps then took us to the entrance. Just below the opening, we were in raptures over an unexpected glade of boulders, towering trees, ferns, grasses and a gentle stream with a delightful small waterfall.

We finally tore ourselves away from this charming spot and followed the short boardwalk to the totally enchanting Moss Garden.
Moisture for the garden comes from the largest spring in the gorge. Over 100 metres of sandstone cliff, produces drop after drop of water. The droplets are like diamonds as they fall down the lush green, mossy walls. Tree ferns strain for sunlight, amongst ferns and liverworts and centre stage is a small waterfall tumbling over a rocky ledge into an icy pool. A viewing platform has been put in place to protect this fragile environment, allowing us to sit and gaze in wonder.

Views on our return journey.


A late lunch, partaken beside the slowly flowing, crystal clear Carnarvon Creek, with a chorus of birds overhead, was the perfect way to say goodbye to this incredible gorge.

It was a totally thrilling visit to this unique National Park, with its tangle of peaks, gorges, sandstone cliffs and amazing remnants of flora, that in the drier zones above the gorge, died out millions of years ago.
Thankfully it is also one of the most unspoilt, even with the numbers passing through each day.

I would love to read your comment.