Happy hour at Neville Hewitt Weir Camping area progressed into happy few hours and Des and Maureen were kind enough to share their fire with us. After dinner we strolled the main street of Baralaba. All very quiet on a Monday night. We finished the day with a cold but refreshing shower.
Our destination for the next day was Carnarvon Gorge. We stopped for lunch at a historical site marking the place where a plane crashed in 1943 killing all 18 passengers. The RSL and the scouts have done a great job of preserving and presenting the plane wreckage.
The last 17km into Carnarvon Gorge is dirt road and passes through a couple of floodways. Would sure make for interesting viewing if there was a little more water in the creek. Nothing to bother Hillary. She barely even got her boots wet.
School holiday family camping was in full swing at Takawakka Bush Resort. Many sites looked like a BCF or Anaconda advertisement. And there were kids everywhere.
Heading up to the NP information centre we ran into Jodie and Simon who we hadn't seen since 2005 in Port Douglas. It really is a small world. We gathered the necessary information to plan our walks for the next day and returned to camp. Sadly we missed all the the arrivals setting up - this has become one of our favourite pastimes lately.
After dinner Linda the ranger gave a 45 minute slide show all about the park walks, flora and fauna. A great overview that was enhanced by the slightly tipsy guy sitting next to us providing entertaining comments throughout. I think he was in big trouble with his wife but we found it very entertaining.
With the family camping next door starting the day at 5.30am and no consideration for noise restriction, we started the day quite early. After breakfast we headed up to the NP and commenced the main track. The track basically follows the creek line with numerous side tracks to various sites.
Out first side track took us into Ward's Canyon.
The canyon was considerably colder than the main gorge and is home to 13 massive King Ferns. The Ward Brothers were hunters and stored their possum skins in the cool canyon. This was our favourite side track.
Next we visited the art gallery.
The art is said to be up to 17 thousand years old and is predominantly stencil art. There are also vulva engravings. There wasn't a clear explanation as to what the vulva engravings symbolised.
Next we climbed into the amphitheater. A ladder takes you up through a small crack in the gorge wall and into a large opening. Sadly at the time we were there the opening was filled with many many children so after a few photos we continued on our walk.
Our final stop for the day was the Moss Garden. Reminded me a little of a small Russell Falls.
Returning to the car we had clocked over 14 km and we felt justified for having a lazy afternoon.
After a scrumptious dinner of spit roast beef and loads of fresh veggies we joined Jodie and Simon and their friends Colin and Renata for a drink. It was great to share stories about diving work and island life.
Once again our neighboring family alarm clock went off early and despite our best efforts to sleep through the noise we were up early. We did a quick walk up to the lookout, packed up the tent and are once again heading back to the coast.