Carnarvon Gorge, Carnarvon National Park Capricorn | Outback Queensland

Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Like to become a campground host?

The department is seeking volunteers to act as campground hosts at Carnarvon Gorge section, Carnarvon National Park over the Queensland school holidays. Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Beyond brilliant—an adventurers’ guide to Carnarvon Gorge

Read more on the Think outside blog Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Visiting Carnarvon Gorge safely

    The road into Carnarvon Gorge allows excellent views of the park's cliffs. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

    The road into Carnarvon Gorge allows excellent views of the park's cliffs. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

    Carnarvon Gorge is a wild place—walk safely. Looking east at dawn from Boolimba Bluff. Photo Michael O'Connor © Queensland Government

    Carnarvon Gorge is a wild place—walk safely. Looking east at dawn from Boolimba Bluff. Photo Michael O'Connor © Queensland Government

    Careful planning will mean an enjoyable walk. Wards Canyon. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

    Careful planning will mean an enjoyable walk. Wards Canyon. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

    Getting there and getting around

    Carnarvon Gorge is between Roma and Emerald. From Roma, drive 90km north to Injune then a further 111km along the Carnarvon Highway to the signed Carnarvon Gorge turn-off. From Emerald, drive 65km south to Springsure then 70km east to Rolleston, and a further 61km to the Carnarvon turnoff.

    No fuel is available after leaving Rolleston or Injune. The nearest vehicle and tyre repair facilities are at Injune and Rolleston.

    The 45km road into the park from the Carnarvon Highway is mostly sealed and is suitable for conventional vehicles and caravans. Be careful. Carnarvon creek rises rapidly after heavy rain and can make access impassable. Please check with Department of Transport and Main Roads (13 19 40) or RACQ for the latest road conditions.

    Wheelchair accessibility

    The Carnarvon Gorge visitor area has wheelchair-accessible picnic tables and disability car parking.

    Staying safe

    To enjoy a safe visit to this area, please be well prepared and use sound judgment.

    • Take care on the many rocky creek crossings. Stepping stones can be slippery or unstable. Serious injury has occurred to visitors as a result of falling on the rocks. Wear appropriate footwear with a good grip.
    • Take care and keep away from cliff edges—they can be deceptive and are often closer than you think. Sandstone is brittle and may crumble unexpectedly. Please supervise children at all times.
    • Carry plenty of water with you. Creek water is not suitable for drinking unless properly treated. There are water taps available in the national park camping and day-use area, though all water needs to be treated before consumption.
    • Falling trees and limbs, flash flooding and rock falls occur naturally. Avoid natural hazards by not walking in extreme weather.
    • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
    • Wear insect repellent, clothing and sturdy footwear to protect you from stings, scratches and bites.
    • Never dive or jump into any creek or waterhole. Shallow water and submerged objects present a serious risk. You may be severely injured or killed.

    Walking safely

    No matter what type of walk you intend to do, you should always plan ahead to walk safely. Judge your ability and conditions carefully before setting out, even on short walks. Do not expect to be warned of every possible danger. Learn as much as you can about the terrain and local conditions and make sure that you wear appropriate clothing and reliable gear. Choose walks that suit the capabilities of your entire group. Stay together and keep to the walking tracks.

    Most importantly, you should always advise friends of your itinerary before departing for a walk, particularly if you are planning on remote walking in the park. Whether on a day walk or longer trek, you should plan to finish walking well before dark. If walking in thick forest, it will get dark much earlier, so carry a torch, even if you are on a day walk.

    When walking, stay together as a group and walk at the pace of the slowest person. Fatigue on long walks raises the risk of accidents and an injury in remote country can become life-threatening.

    By planning ahead, you will not only have a memorable trip, but also a safe one.

    In an emergency

    In case of accident or other emergency call Triple Zero (000).

    There is limited and unreliable mobile phone coverage within the Carnarvon Gorge section of Carnarvon National Park.

    Satellite phones can be used at Carnarvon Gorge. Consider taking a Personal Location Beacon (PLB). If you have a PLB, it should only be activated in a life-threatening emergency situation, when there is no alternative way to raise assistance.

    The nearest hospital, with a full-time doctor and access to flying doctor facilities, is at Injune, 111km south of Carnarvon Gorge.

    For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

    Before you visit

    Essentials to bring

    • A first-aid kit and first-aid book
    • An animal-proof sealable rubbish container (bins are not provided)
    • A fuel stove and fuel if camping at Big Bend camping area or in remote areas
    • A hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
    • A torch and some extra food
    • Sensible footwear—boots or strong shoes
    • Carry adequate fresh water when walking—at least 2 litres per person. Bring water purification tablets to treat water before drinking if camping or walking in remote locations.

    Drinking water

    There are water taps available in the Carnarvon Gorge camping and day-use area. All water needs to be treated before consumption. If camping or walking in remote locations treat water before drinking.

    Opening hours

    Carnarvon National Park is open 24 hours a day.

    The Carnarvon Gorge Visitor Information Centre is open every day 8am to 4pm (except Christmas Day). The visitor centre offers free Wi-Fi from 8am to 4pm every day, and there is also access to public phone 24hrs a day. Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions in the national park.

    Please note: Camping in the national park visitor area is available during the Easter, June-July and September-October Queensland school holiday periods only. Big Bend camping area, reached by a 19.4km return walk, is open all year. For more details, see the camping information page.

    Permits and fees

    Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite.

    Pets

    Domestic animals are not permitted anywhere in Carnarvon National Park.

    Climate and weather

    Temperatures in this region vary widely.

    Summer days generally exceed 35°C. If visiting in summer you should plan to walk early in the morning, as later in the day it can become very hot, with occasional thunderstorms and flash flooding.

    In winter the nights can be cool with temperatures falling to freezing point.

    Average yearly rainfall is 600–800mm per year, with most rain falling through the storm season of October to April. For more information see the tourism information links or the Bureau of Meteorology.

    Traffic and road conditions

    After heavy rain, the access road may become impassable. Creeks are subject to flooding. Check with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (13 19 40) for local and main road conditions before setting out.

    Fuel and supplies

    Fuel and supplies can be bought from either Rolleston, 106km north of the park, or Injune, 111km south. LPG fuel is only supplied at Emerald (196km north-west) or Roma (201km south). For more information see the tourism information links.