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  • Day15

    Carnarvon National Park

    June 4, 2015 in Australia ⋅ 🌫 28 °C

    Lightning Ridge to Carnarvon National Park

    We took off from Lightning Ridge bright and early (10.30am) for Carnarvon along the Castlereagh hwy heading for our first overnight stop at a town called Surat. Never heard of it? Neither had we. Apparently Cobb and Co had a change over stop there for their stage coaches.
    We were told Surat had a great Free Camp. On the way we bought home made Pies from the General Store in Hebel which was also recommended for our lunch.
    Surat was great with adequate toilets and a nice shower block behind the civic hall which the local council encouraged people to use. We met some nice people around the camp fire that night and in the morning while preparing to leave for Carnarvon got to speaking with a bloke in the caravan next to us and discovered he had a lotus Cortina and 2 other GT’s along with the bloke next to him who also had a Cortina GT500. We left at around 11.30am.

    We decided we couldn’t make Carnarvon that day so we decide to drive to Roma and check out our options. Roma is quite a large town so we stocked up there.
    Roma has a large Stock Auction happening every Tuesday and they have turned it into a bit of a tourist attraction to support the Town. We didn’t stop to see them as I was an old hand at stock auctions having accompanied Max to one. The lady in the Tourist information centre suggested we stop overnight at a place called Injune and fill up with fuel as it was the last fuel stop until Rolleston. Never heard of that either. We stayed at the local Horse racing track which had 16 powered sites with water. The next day we set off for Carnarvon Gorge after filling up with fuel.

    Now Heather’s turn for some Blog input…. We had an interesting arrival at Carnarvon Gorge National Park. The last 15 km of rough dirt road produced a few problems!! On checking the caravan fridge I discovered one stubby of beer had released most of its contents over everything, the lid had popped off a yoghurt container (beer flavoured Yoghurt for breaky) and other items had become missiles inside the fridge also. Lesson learned – secure all lids with rubber bands and pack all free space with old towels to prevent any movement when driving on dirt roads. I WAS NOT HAPPY!! The dust problem coming from the wheel arches under our beds, which are storage areas, was not solved either. (More silicone and tape required). After cleaning up, calming down and having lunch we decided to head off on one of the short (3 km) walks to one of the canyons. We were amazed at the sheer stone cliffs which rose about 100 metres above us and gradually became narrower until we could reach each side with outstretched arms. The next day we headed off on a much longer walk to a large sandstone overhang where we saw Aboriginal stencil paintings and carvings (our first rock art experience). Then on our homeward trek we visited three other spectacular canyons, each quite different with lovely little creeks, ferns and moss covered rocks etc. All up we walked 16 or 17 km., rock hopping across creeks and climbing up and down many steps. This is a truly outstanding National Park and well worth a visit if anyone is ever up this way.

    To Gayle and Alan, if you plan to visit the Gorge take good Hiking boots and keep up the Gym visits. My ankles ached from climbing over all the stones and rocks, my calves and thighs ached from the thousands of steps and stairs, my shoulders ached from carrying the backpack, my ribs ached due to the continuous gasping of my lungs for oxygen. Oh yes and by back ached just because everything else ached.
    The cattle grids are particularly nasty on the way in to the gorge and as the sign says the roads are Unmaintained. Lower your tire pressures, a lot.
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    10.30am bright and early?? Try 4.30am starts to hike for an hour to see the sun rise! Now that's bright an early. Pics look good. Love Janette