I was last at Carnarvon Gorge about 50 years ago and Majella had never been so it was an obvious inclusion on this trip. My previous trip was with Trevor Irvine in his parents’ Morris 1100 with my parents’ tent on the January long weekend in 1968 or 1969. The roads were rough and we got bogged but managed to have some fun and get home safely. I hoped this trip might be less eventful.
We were on the road from Possum Park just before 8:00 am. Majella drove us back to the Warrego Highway and west toward Roma. We took one deviation to look at Judds Lagoon near Yuleba. There were a few vans parked there and it seemed some people had been camping but we were not interested in fishing in the muddy water so we drove on.
At Roma we spotted signs to the Roma Bush Garden and paused there to have morning coffee and walk the path around the pond. The development was funded by the gambling community fund and is intended to show some of the plant communities typical of the region. There were no other people there but the birds seemed to be enjoying it.
I drove on from there. The roads were much better than I remembered from 50 years ago, sealed all the way to the gorge and without the steep creek crossings we found on that previous trip. By 2:00 pm we had checked in, found our site, and were eating lunch in the van.
After lunch we drove the few kilometres to the park entrance. We are saving the gorge walk for tomorrow but were up for shorter walks.
On the way back we visited the Rock Pool which is only a couple of hundred metres from the car park. It has a sizeable pool which is the only place that swimming is permitted in the area.
Further along on our way back we took the 1.5 km (each way) walk to Mickey Creek. It started in open forest below imposing cliffs and wound up a narrowing gorge that was mostly in deep shade with a mix of tall gums and palm trees and some tree ferns in the gully. It was a pleasant walk and a good warm up for tomorrow.
Back at the camp site we parked the van and walked down to the creek hoping to see some wildlife. The woman from the next door van was walking by the creek with her son and told us they had seen a platypus a short distance upstream. We walked to that point and waited a while but saw no action.
She had also mentioned that they had walked to the lookout above the campsite but we were not sure which way that was. Majella checked with the store and we walked the short distance up a step hill where we watched the sun go down behind the cliffs before walking back to the van.
Dinner began as it had last night with wine and cheese. The frozen chicken we had brought along had thawed so I used that to make burritos. We plan to use the remnants of that for wraps on our walk tomorrow.