Visiting the Carnarvon Great Walk safely
Getting to the Carnarvon Gorge section
The Carnarvon Gorge section of Carnarvon National Park is about 246km north of Roma and 241km south-east of Emerald. From Roma, drive 90km north to Injune then a further 160km along the Carnarvon Highway. 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 Roma, Injune and Springsure.
The 45km road into the park can become impassable after rain and is suitable for conventional vehicles in dry weather only. Check with RACQ for the latest road conditions before setting out.
Getting to the Mount Moffatt section
The secondary entrance to the Carnarvon Great Walk is located near the West Branch camping area within the Mount Moffatt section of Carnarvon National Park. This section of the park is 220km north of Mitchell and 160km north-west of Injune.
Almost the entire road to Mount Moffatt, as well as every road within the park, is unsealed, sandy and often impassable after rain. A high-clearance 4WD is recommended, and is essential to reach many of the features within the park.
No fuel is available after leaving Injune or Mitchell, so allow extra fuel for driving the 90km of park roads as well as the trip home. It is a 316km drive between the Carnarvon Gorge visitor area and the entrance to Mount Moffatt section of Carnarvon National Park via Injune.
The visitor area near Carnarvon Gorge camping area has wheelchair-accessible toilets, picnic tables and disability car parking.
Visitors often park vehicles in the public car park at the Carnarvon Gorge Visitor Area whilst completing the Carnarvon Great Walk. Please be advised this is an unsecured car park and visitors are responsible for the security of their vehicle and belongings.
Refer to the visiting safety information for Carnarvon Gorge.
Before you visit
Thorough planning can be the difference between a safe, memorable adventure and a miserable or dangerous experience. Plan your walk well. The Carnarvon Great Walk is an area that is managed to maintain its remote and rugged natural condition. However, natural hazards exist—be aware of what to expect and how to deal with potential problems.
Allow at least six to seven full days to complete the six sections of the Carnarvon Great Walk, and include extra time if planning to undertake side trips and other exploration. Purchase a copy of the Carnarvon Great Walk Topographic Map to help you plan your walk.
When planning your walk, think about the abilities and limits of the walkers in your group. Bushwalking experience, fitness levels and track conditions are important factors. Bad weather (such as periods of high rainfall or very hot conditions) can make walking more difficult and challenging. Know how much food and water you can carry and match this with the trip’s length. Carry extra food and water in case of emergency.
Make sure that you complete a bushwalking advice form . Give a copy of this form to a responsible person and make sure that they know your exact route and when you expect to return. Contact them when you return. If you change your plans, tell them. Have an emergency plan in place if you fail to contact them by an agreed time. If you are overdue or potentially lost, your nominated contact should report this to the Queensland Police Service (phone Triple Zero 000). The police will organise rescue procedures.
For information on local conditions, contact the rangers at Carnarvon Gorge or Mount Moffatt at least 10 days before your walk and continue to monitor Park Alerts closer to the date.
When to visit
The Carnarvon Great Walk is closed from the start of November to the end of February—the hottest time of the year. The track may also be closed at other times during fires or adverse weather conditions, for essential track maintenance or for safety reasons.
The Carnarvon Gorge and Mount Moffatt sections of Carnarvon National Park (and the short walks within them) are open to visitors all year round.
Essentials to bring
Facilities are limited, so you must be fully self-sufficient. Your camping equipment should include the following:
- Sturdy boots and gaiters.
- First aid kit.
- Topographic map, compass and whistle.
- Water containers—ensure they are big enough to hold water for a full day’s walk.
- Nourishing lightweight food and high-energy snacks, but take extra food in case the walk takes longer than expected.
- Sealable containers for leftover and fresh foods.
- Strong, lightweight tent. This is essential as no shelters are provided at walkers’ camps.
- Lightweight sleeping bag and sleeping mat. Your sleeping bag may need to be appropriate for temperatures as low as –10 °C.
- Pack for all seasons—include warm clothes and raincoat.
- Hat, sunscreen and insect repellent.
- Waterproof bags to keep clothing and bedding dry, and for storing rubbish. Rubbish bins are not provided at walkers’ camps, so all rubbish must be carried out.
- Compass, torch and batteries and pocket knife.
- Lightweight cooking and eating utensils and washing up container.
- Fuel stove and fuel, lighter or waterproof matches—fires are not permitted on this walk.
- Small hand trowel or spade (or human waste disposal kit) and toilet paper.
- Hand-held EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or satellite phone. Register your EPIRB before undertaking the walk.
For further information on how to obtain and register an EPIRB or PLB contact the Australian Maritime Safety Authority 1800 406 406 (business hours), firstname.lastname@example.org, www.msq.qld.gov.au. EPIRBs and satellite phones can be hired from various outlets.
Purchase a Great Walk topographic map
Topographic map brochures contain vital orientation information and are essential for your safety. They can be downloaded from Business Queensland.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required and fees apply. Walkers’ campsites must be booked and paid for in advance. Bookings will be taken up to 12 months in advance.
The maximum group size for your Carnarvon Great Walk, if camping overnight, is six people. You can stay at each campsite for a maximum of two nights in a row.
Climate and weather
Both Carnarvon Gorge and Mount Moffatt experience extreme temperatures. In winter, temperatures may fall well below zero, while in summer they may reach well over 30 °C. Storms are frequent in summer. For more information see the tourism information links or the Bureau of Meteorology website.
After heavy rain, the unsealed section of the road to Mount Moffatt may become impassable. Creeks are subject to flooding. Check with the RACQ for road conditions before setting out.
Fuel and supplies
For Carnarvon Gorge
The Wilderness Lodge, open from 1 March to 31 October, has a cafe. Other food supplies, petrol and diesel, are available only at Injune, Mitchell and Rolleston so take extra with you. Automatic Teller Machines and EFTPOS facilities are available at Roma, Mitchell, Injune and Rolleston.
For Mount Moffatt
Fuel and supplies are available in Mitchell and Injune. No fuel is available between these towns and Mount Moffatt, so before you leave either town for the park, allow extra fuel for driving the 100km of park roads as well as the trip back to town. For more information see the tourism information links.