Carnarvon Great Walk Days 4 - 6, May 2018

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Carnarvon Great Walk Days 4 - 6, May 2018

Postby Mutley » Sat 26 May, 2018 6:15 am

Day 4

The morning began with two inquisitive magpies just outside my tent and a grey kangaroo with an inverted joey just a few metres away. They must have been surprised to see a human appear from the strange blue orb - about as surprised as I was to awake to an audience.

Day 4 is the longest - 17.3 kms with two steep inclines. The track from west branch ascends gradually through sandy ironbark country and up into the Cycad grasslands again.

All single track, it is in good condition and didn’t disappear on me once, unlike day two. In good condition except for the pig’s relentless digging. I reckon they use the track as a piggy super highway and every hundred metres or so, sniff a buried morsel, excavating six square metres in the process. This can be beside the track, or right in the middle. It makes the track very hard to follow and is a complete mess visually. Some hillsides are covered in these unsightly digs. There must be thousands of the little *&^%$#@! out here and they need to be dealt with. There, I feel better now.

The two climbs are not arduous and the peak of the second climb is a good place for lunch.

The afternoon walk passes through the ‘Mahogony Forest”, a large area of enormous silver top stringybark - very similar to the alpine ash forests in Victoria. The height is now over 1200 metres which would explain such vegetation possibly.

Consuelo camping zone is a picturesque spot in a small valley and well protected. As with Gadds camp there is a shelter and underground water tanks.

Walking time 5 h 10 m
Total time 6 h 30 m

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Morning Audience

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Management Track through grasslands

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The track is there somewhere


Day 5

A relatively easy and short walk across the Consuello Tableland, mostly flat and easy walking through more beautiful forest.

About to leave when a rustle in be nearby grass revealed a black pig walking my way. Being a greenhorn Victorian ( yes I know we have pigs in Vic) I tried my best dominant intimidation... something like gooowwnnn uuuckkkkooffff getouttaeree. It worked. Pig took off for the hills.

In retrospect I was glad of this harmless initiation in pig scaring. The day saw 2 more surprise pig moments. Almost on top of one of one before we realised each other’s presence. Pig- “snort” and hasty retreat right across my path. Human “eek”frozen to the spot- replacement underwear please !!

For the remainder of the day I announced my presence with some cursing jibberish every few hundred metres. These pigs are huge and quite mean looking. The piggy excavations continued to be seen throughout the day. #Qldparks ? Step up please and get rid of these invaders.

Made camp at 2 pm at Cabbage Tree. Another shelter and underground water tank but no toilets. The area is a camping “zone” which means you can pitch a tent anywhere in the vicinity but in reality options are limited as the surrounding grass is so thick and tall. A very tranquil spot though and one bar of 3G Telstra reception.

Walking time 3 h 40 m
Total time 5 h 30 m

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Damage caused by feral pigs. These diggings are everywhere and are destroying the park.

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Camp shelter with water pumps


Day 6

The trail condition of the last day is in stark contrast to the virtual freeway of day 5. Immediately from camp the walker is pushing through chest high grass - this continued on and off until the Demons Ridge climb.

The walking on the last day is varied in track and contour, with some magnificent views to the East at the top of Demons Ridge. Further on the walker passes the Devil’s Finger - a rock spire pointing at the heavens - also a good place to stop for lunch.

Soon after, the turnoff to Boolinda Bluff is reached. It is well worth turning left for the 750 metre easy stroll. Once there, the entrance to the gorge is visible, as is Battleship Spur - the peak I lunched on five days prior.

The remaining 2 1/2 kms involves a steep descent down rocky steps and ladders until the main gorge access trail is reached, then a 15 minutes walk to return to the visitors centre.

That evening at Takarakka lodge, I enjoyed a few beers with the caravan set and had a really great night sharing stories. A few nights a week, they have a roast dinner special for $25, which I highly recommend (need to BYO plate, bowl and cutlery). The crew really looked after this weary traveller and I thank the staff for their great hospitality.

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The Devil’s Finger

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View from Boolinda Bluff


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I really didn’t know what to expect from this walk. It is rugged, beautiful and in some sections quite tough. Something I would certainly not recommend for someone’s first multi day walk. But still a stunning walk nonetheless.

It is really 2 walks in one. The first an exploration of the magnificent gorge and the second a taste of the unique and varied Queensland forests.

Would I do it again? At the moment, writing this at the Takarakka bush resort with a coldie in front of me - probably not. But if a few mates showed some interest then who knows.

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The best time to walk is definitely in the cooler months as later in the year it is just too hot to contemplate. I walked in late May and every day was in the low 20’s and sunny, but beware the nights are very cold, with one night down to zero.

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Access to Carnarvon Gorge is varied. I chose to rent a car from Brisbane and drive but it is such a long way. In hindsight, I should have flown from Brisbane to Emerald. The drive from Emerald is about 3 hours. I ended up spending $150 in fuel, which is the discounted one way flight from Brisbane to Emerald. Or fly to Roma, but this seems to be more expensive. Alternatively, the drive from Rockhampton is only about 5 hours.

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Re: Carnarvon Great Walk Days 4 - 6, May 2018

Postby ofuros » Sun 27 May, 2018 5:22 am

Thanks for the write & pics, Mutley...it's on the 'to do' list.
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Carnarvon Great Walk Days 4 - 6, May 2018

Postby hunsta » Sun 03 Jun, 2018 12:18 am

Magnificent report. Three of us are in the midway point of doing all 10 of the Qld Great walks. This one is on the list next. Couple of questions. How vague did the track get when it got vague. I assume from the report there were marker arrows in some spots. Are these along the entire walk? Or just the spots where the track gets iffy? And lastly. Alot of our great walks here in SEQld have raised platforms at the walkers camps were one can prepare meals and such. I see there were covered areas. Were these mainly covering the water tanks? Or is this for walkers shelter use?
Once again great report. look forward (except the stairs bits on day 2) to this one.
Cheers
Craig
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Re: Carnarvon Great Walk Days 4 - 6, May 2018

Postby Mutley » Sun 03 Jun, 2018 11:36 am

Hey Craig.
The track disappeared for a few hunderd meters on day 2, about 3 kms from Gadds camp. I think a few arrows were missing. A group behind me experienced the same. A quick check of the GPS and I found the track again, 50 metres to my left. Whether or not you have a GPS you will definitely ned the topo map. With the map it is pretty easy to find your way again, as there are plenty of visible features to find your position.

Much of the walk is through thick grass and the pig diggings ca make finding the track a bit difficult, but if you walk arrow to arrow, you should have no problems.

Regarding the shelters, they are really just a roof for rainwater collection. They have a dirt floor and no tables or benches. The water pumps are right in the middle, which seems strange. A table and bench seats would have been a great addition, There are level areas around the shelters to pitch tents. Would recommend you take a chair as there are not many things to sit on. There are ‘no fires’ signs at every camp, with a steel fire pit not far away ??? Go figure.
Enjoy the walk.
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Re: Carnarvon Great Walk Days 4 - 6, May 2018

Postby racca » Tue 21 Aug, 2018 5:24 pm

Excellent report Mutley! It did increase my intense dislike of feral pigs though!
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