This blog post was written by Cassie from the Breeze Holiday Parks team, following her first trip to beautiful Carnarvon Gorge.
I drove northwest for hours and hours with the expectation that I was going to another holiday park to see another national park. Oh, how wrong I was.
I turned off the Carnarvon Highway and followed the signs pointing towards the national park and BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks – Carnarvon Gorge. A few minutes in and my jaw was starting to ache. The twists and turns matched with that 5pm sunshine peeking through the trees left me dropping my jaw more than I could count on one hand. Lining the roads were placid cows and wild horses (take note: be wary driving along this road!), occasionally looking my way but ultimately unphased by me driving by.
As the gorge came into view, I started to realise I wasn’t at any old national park. The towering sandstone cliffs and tree lines along the top were a sight to be seen. At the Breeze Holiday Parks sign, I took a right towards the holiday park. There were a few twists and turns but when I got to the Carnarvon Creek crossing (cars do have to cross this small creek but it’s generally no more than a few centimetres deep) after the long drive, I felt so excited to be there. Even though I was alone in the car I couldn’t help but let out a ‘wow!’ and feel so thrilled that this is where I was staying. A few hundred metres later and the reception building came into view. With a big timber deck, cute little bar and chairs and tables for plenty, I knew this is where I’d be spending my evenings. Checking in was a Breeze (pun intended) and the crew said I shouldn’t miss the 5pm information video outside on the deck. They were right. If I wasn’t looking forward to the next morning’s hike before, I certainly was now.
As the sun went down, I paced my way around the park to check out what was on offer. Be sure to check out the lookout for sunset (take a drink and a platter if you can!) and Carnarvon Creek to spot an elusive platypus. I spent the evening in my studio cabin – some serious luxury in this remote destination! But if you’re after something to get you back to basics or into the natural habitat, check out the Taka Tents (they’re very photogenic!) or book a powered or unpowered campsite. The next morning I rose with the sun, packed my hiking gear and drove to the mouth of Carnarvon National Park. There are plenty of ways you can plan your hike, and in hindsight, my plan was a rookie move. On the way in, I checked out the tips and park history from the national park’s Visitor Centre (it’s unmanned but full of information about the park and the area). Then, I made a beeline for the park. First up; creek crossing one. It did not disappoint. At every turn along the main track of the national park, there was a different perspective of the gorge, the next more epic than the last. I took the turn off for Moss Gardens which twisted and turned between ancient trees and giant rocks. When I arrived, I was struck by the drop in temperature, water dripping from walls covered in fluorescent green moss and I couldn’t help but feel like I was in my own little fairy garden (the garden of my 5-year-old dreams!). From there I was planning to go back to the park to relax, but I couldn’t stop myself from practically sprinting to the next stop.
I skipped the amphitheatre and went straight to Ward’s Canyon. I wound my way up the steps and onto the rock landing and towering above me on each side were cliff faces, presumably separated by millions of years of water flowing down the rocks. Even though there hadn’t been rain in the area for some time, there was still a steady flow falling down to the little pool below. I made my way back to the main track that I came along and turned off into the amphitheatre. This is one of those iconic spots you see in the photos but honestly, not one I’ve seen nor taken has done it justice. As you arrive you can see a sheer rockface and a set of stairs going up towards a narrow gap in the rocks.
Despite my unreasonable terror of falling from even a short height, I battled with myself and climbed the damn stairs. And boy, was I glad I did! I won’t lie, I was feeling a little anxious walking into the darkness of the rock ‘hallway’ leading to the amphitheatre but I could literally see light at the end of the tunnel. As the end of the tunnel opened up into this gigantic area surrounded by tall rocks, I knew immediately how it got its name. It was so quiet and serene I could almost hear my quiet breath echoing off the rocks around me. After taking it all in, I made my way back to BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks – Carnarvon Gorge, where I sat on my own private deck and thought about the morning’s adventures. I think the thing that struck me most was that each little stop in Carnarvon National Park was unique from the last and so unexpected that it made it a destination in itself. The three stops I hiked to were around 12km in total. I’m already planning my next adventure and how I am going to tackle the 20km hike. My hiking tips:
- Pack heaps of water, especially if you’re going in the hotter months.
- Pack some snacks for the walk and a picnic for when you return to the visitor area.
- Make sure you have sunscreen, well-ventilated clothing and a hat.
- Plan to spend some time at the Visitor Centre – there’s so much information there about the gorge you’d be crazy to skip it.
- Head to the furthest point in the gorge & then make your way back, seeing the sights along the way.
- Bring your swimmers along to stop off at the Rock Pool on the way back to the park – this is the only swimming area in the National Park.
Your adventure awaits. Make it a Breeze.