Friday, July 29, 2016

July 26th,  27th & 28th Carnarvon Gorge

Anzac Centenary Memorial in Emerald
The Emerald Artworks demanded a second look so we drove by some of them again then drove out to see Lake Maraboon where there is major work happening on the Fairburn Dam wall. On the way out we passed by a very large citrus orchard which is claimed to be the largest in Australia. It produces oranges, lemons and limes.

We continued on from the Lake south toward Springsure then Roleston on the way to Carnarvon Gorge. The National Park is 40 km from the main Highway. The road travels through several Station properties. We were lucky to see a Bustard, or Bush Turkey, as they are often called, as well as a couple of brolgas and 4 emus. The cattle station is currently running a huge number of cattle maybe 1,000 head. Oat crops have been planted to feed them and they certainly look contented, many are lying down, peacefully as if they have had plenty to eat for the day! One mob was being moved across country by horse and rider with several dogs to help. The country is wet after heavy rains.

John had booked 2 sites at Takarakka Bush Restort. There are a lot of campers in the park and we are conveniently placed with good space. We attended an info night at 5.00pm. This was a clear and enthusiastic dialogue about all the walks available and the Carnarvon National Park itself. We look forward to exploring it tomorrow.

Wednesday July 27th
Eileen crossing Carnarvon Creek
An early start for a long walk along Carnarvon Gorge. It was a lovely temperature for walking. John and Geoff walked about 14 km or even further. Eileen and I walked about 9 km. We planned to visit the Amphitheatre but I found one of the creek crossings somewhat challenging so we turned back and went into the Moss Garden. This pathway presented nearly 200 steps to climb. The very old rocks were covered in beautiful vivid green moss. The water fall were so very lovely to sit by while we ate our lunch. We welcomed the last creek crossing as we had walked for about 5 hours.Needless to say we are very weary this evening. The stepping stone crossings presented the biggest challenge for me although Eileen enjoyed the fun of them. The Carnarvon Gorge is very lovely with birds, wallabies, ferns, orchids, moss, palm trees, eucalyptus and  acacia trees as well as the clear running creek itself.
This evening we are all very tired, we have booked to stay a third night and tomorrow I expect will be very SLOW.

Queensland Silver Wattle
Carnarvon Gorge covers a vast area and would be wonderful to see from above. I doubt we will do this as Helicopter rides cost $400 for 40 minutes. There is no mobile phone contact here which, in this electronic age, gives everyone a different look at communication in remote areas.

Staghorn Ferns growing along Mickey Creek

Thursday July 28th
A much colder morning but a beautiful warm day. Late morning we set off for some more walking, but shorter walks today. Geoff drove us to the Visitor Car Park where the track to the Rock Pool began. John drove the car around to collect us at the end. This saved us having to walk back. It was an easy walk apart from needing to cross the Canarvon Creek on two occasions… one of these crossings had a few centemetres of water over a couple of the stepping rocks. I was pleased to be across each time. John was waiting for us when we reached the Rock Pool. A leisurely lunch was enjoyed before we departed for the walk up Mickey Creek. This was a very pretty walk with dozens of free growing Staghorn Ferns..some were  really tiny and others had grown much larger…fancy seeing these growing wild! The trees in this gorge were  Morton Bay Ash or Carbeen and Spotted Gum which really grows very large in this environment. Both the Silver Leaved Ironbark and the Narrow Leaved Iron bark were growing together along this narrow valley. The Queensland Blue Gum added another lovely aspect to the scenery. There were a couple more acacias/wattles which we have not been able to identify.

The Wilderness Lodge has a very good Information Centre. We visited this display and were able to identify some trees and birds. This was very good as nobody else has been able to help us with queries about Flora and Fauna. 'Mystery' birds have been the Pale Headed Rosella Parrot and the Red Winged Parrot. We will look at them with renewed interest.

Pretty Faced wallaby
As we were completing our walk today we passed a couple on the path. The lady looked so very much like our friend Helen Twitt. Eileen and Geoff were able to tell us that Helen has a twin sister….sure enough it was Helen’s sister, Lynette. We enjoyed quite a long chat with her and her husband. What a coincidence!!

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