After leaving Roma and driving several hours north through dry semi-arid bushland, the approach to Carnarvon Gorge comes as a lush, tropical surprise. The soaring palms, rich green ferns and cascading creeks make the gorge an opulent oasis in our state’s dry, dusty interior.
Home to the Bidjara Aboriginal people, Carnarvon Gorge hosts important examples of Aboriginal rock art, peppered throughout the stunning cliffs, woodlands and valleys that constitute the national park. The dreamtime stories tell a tale of the Rainbow Serpent which made the gorges, and resides in their permanent waterholes to this day.
Wildlife is abundant throughout the park. At times it’s also very bold. Keep a close eye on your cooking steak or it could become lunch for a huge monitor lizard or kookaburra, neither of whom mind a close encounter with a hot frying pan.
Platypus, echidnas, wallabies, bettongs, turtles and kangaroos also call the park home and the birdlife is rich and varied.
In summer, temperatures regularly exceed 35 degrees Celsius, which can, later in the day, bring on thunderstorms and flash flooding so be sure not to pitch your tent too close to waterways.
Access: All vehicles. Last 15km of road has been known to flood during wet season.
Best time of year: Any time
Best bit: Soaring sandstone cliffs and pristine waterways