We load our packs with the billy, breakfast, coffee, hot chocolate and reading books to have a fancy Easter Sunday breakfast with a view. A short 5km drive takes us to the Carnarvon National Park visitor centre and we set off along the main walking track through the long grass again. Today’s destination is Boolimba Bluff, some 3.4km away. The bluff stands guard at the entrance to Carnarvon Gorge and is an imposing sight above us.
The first part of the walk is relatively easy. For a kilometre we follow the main Carnarvon Creek track before we slowly start to ascend after the Boolimba Bluff trail exit. Massive boulders litter the sides of the path between the long grasses. The rock field is a beautiful contrast of hard cold grey and soft flowing grass.
And then we reach the dreaded climb. Well, to be honest, it’s only 300m and, by world standards, an easy walk up some stone steps and steel ladders. But it’s a steady steep climb ever upwards through a cool narrow gorge that looks like it remains forever out of the sun’s reach.
Partway up the climb there is a large white cave. Hundreds of footprints mark the soft powdery sand surface and we can’t resist following them. I picture all the people who have sheltered here or used the white powdery sand as the base for body paints. Is this cave old enough for that? Or did it develop after the First People were taken from their lands? I may never know but I can see that it would be a safe shelter from the heat and a soft place to rest in a rocky landscape.
And then, just as the steps started suddenly, we are spat out of the gorge and onto the plateau. It’s drier up here than in the gorge but still lush and green. The contrast to the cattle country outside the gorge is stark. The bluff is just 750m farther down the trail. From here we look out over the lands both within and outside Carnarvon Gorge.
It’s a magnificent place to cook up an Easter breakfast of baked beans on bread. I also hide a few Easter eggs so my parents can have an Easter egg hunt. But not without having to shoo some currawongs away before they steal the “treasures”.
After a lazy hour of breakfast and reading, we head back down to camp.